Graduate Program in the History of Science
Professor Robert A. Hatch - University of Florida

The Graduate Program in History of Science at the University of Florida provides Doctoral Degrees and a Doctoral Minor with the following general Guidelines.

NB: Always consult the most recent Graduate Catalogue, always consult the Graduate Coordinator and the appropriate HOS faculty advisor.

Graduate Catalogue: http://gradschool.rgp.ufl.edu/students/catalog.html

PhD Major Field:  Doctoral students will show themselves professionally competent in issues and historiographical approaches in the History of Science through written and oral qualifying examinations.  These examinations represent four fields of History of Science, two defined chronologically and two thematically.  In order to give a general familiarity with History of Science over time and across disciplines, students will choose two of three chronological fields:  Ancient & Medieval Science; Scientific Revolution through the Enlightenment; Modern Science.  To provide acquaintance with the specialized development of science, students, in concert with their Committee Chair and with the approval of the Committee, will propose two fields involving thematic treatments of science over at least two centuries.  Examples of possible fields include science & religion; science in France; history of biology; cultural studies of science.

Graduate instruction in History of Science differs from geographically-defined historical areas in the distinction made between courses taught at the 5000 and 6000 levels.  Given the intrinsically interdisciplinary nature of History of Science, it is likely that students wishing to study the subject do not possess sufficient training in both History and in Science.  Courses at the 5000 level are designed to acquaint students with the fundamental issues and methods in areas defined broadly in chronological and disciplinary terms.  Doctoral students normally will complete a minimum of four courses at this level, preferably before undertaking corresponding research seminars focussed in specific problems at the 6000 level.

PhD Minor Field:  Doctoral students minoring in History of Science will demonstrate by written and oral examinations a sufficient grasp of the major themes in a broad chronological period of History of Science and with the current approaches to those themes in order to show themselves capable of teaching an introductory course in History of Science over the period.  They will designate two of the following three fields for the examinations:  Ancient & Medieval Science;  Scientific Revolution through the Enlightenment; Modern Science (Traditionally: Physical; Biological).  Normally PhD minors will include three courses at the 5000 level and one at the 6000 level, selected to correspond with fields chosen for examination. 

Students electing to pursue a Doctoral Major or Minor in the History of Science are responsible for defining their fields in concert with their History of Science Supervisor.  After their Department Committee has been selected, History of Science Majors and Minors are responsible for submitting a brief (3-page) summary that outlines their interests in the field, defines their areas of focused study, and provides a tentative list of proposed courses.  While this written summary can be revised in the course of study, it should be submitted to the Supervisor during the first semester of graduate study.

Graduate Courses
History of Science - NB: Always Consult the Current Graduate Catalogue


HIS 5461 Studies in Ancient and Medieval Science. Credits: 3
Topical approach to origins of science from the second millennium B.C. to rebirth of classical thought in the fifteenth century. Topics derive primarily from Hellenic and Hellenistic Greece; focus on works of Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, their principal contemporaries, and later Islamic and Latin followers.

HIS 5480 The Scientific Revolution. Credits: 3
Emergence of modern science from Copernicus to Newton, exploring the notions of empiricism, experiment, mechanism, materialism, and the historical concepts of continuity, change, revolution, progress, as well as changing notions of evidence and discourse. Emphasis on conceptual analysis of primary text material.

HIS 5484 Science and the Enlightenment. Credits: 3
Theoretical developments in the physical and biological sciences between the late seventeenth and late eighteenth centuries, including significance of social and cultural dimensions of natural science.

HIS 5485 Special Studies in the History of Science. Credits: 3 (max: 9)

HIS 5487 Physical Science Since 1800.Credits: 3
Major developments in physical science from beginning of nineteenth century to post-World War II period. Institutional and social aspects of the organization of scientific research.

HIS 5500 Life Science Since 1800. Credits: 3
Critical problems of concern to biologists. Role of mechanistic/materialistic vs. vitalistic and reductionistic vs. holistic approaches to development of biology, as well as relationship of biology to physical and social sciences.

HIS 6469 Topics in Historiography of History of Science. Credits: 3 (max: 9)
History of writing in the discipline of History of Science from the Enlightenment to Post-Modern. Variable topics include, as examples: classical studies, history of ideas; social construction.

HIS 6478 Topics in the Scientific Revolution Credits: 3
Social, cultural, and intellectual roots of modern science from Copernicus to Newton. Variable topics: primary sources, historiography, humanism and science.

HIS 6480
Pre-Newtonian Sciences. Credits: 3

Physical and life sciences before Newton; may cut across chronological, geographical, and disciplinary boundaries.

HIS 6482 Modern Physical Science. Credits: 3 (max: 6)
Prereq: HIS 5500 or permission of instructor

Issues surrounding individual episodes from history of physics and/or chemistry in post-Newtonian era.

HIS 6486 Seminar: Modern Biological Science. Credits: 3 (max: 6)
Prereq: HIS 5500 or permission of instructor

Themes and issues in history of modern biological thought. Persistent controversies in evolutionary theory such as nature of selection, units of selection, evolutionary rates, and relationship of macroevolution to microevolution. Emphasis on close reading of On the Origin of the Species and other texts.

HIS 6488 Readings in the History of Science. Credits: 1-4 (max: 12)
Inquiry into development of western scientific thought and institutions. Specific historical topics having intellectual coherence and substantial historiography.

HIS 6489 Seminar: Social & Cultural Aspects of the History of Science. Credits: 3 (max: 9)
Inquiry into social and cultural contexts of western science. Literature, cultural values, religious beliefs, and educational institutions in western civilization. Issue of gender in science.

History of Technology

HIS 3470 History of Technology I. F. Credits: 3
The development of technology and engineering from antiquity to approximately 1750 with emphasis on the relationship of this development to the growth of western civilization.

HIS 3471 History of Technology II. S. Credits: 3
The development of technology and engineering from approximately 1750 to WW I with emphasis on the relationship of this development to the changing patterns of life in western civilization.

History of Medicine

HIS 3490 History of Modern Medicine. Credits: 3
Beginning with primitive societies, the course will trace the development of ideas of medical treatment, concepts of disease, and the growth of medical knowledge over the centuries. Students will also have the opportunity to perform research on an aspect of medical history of interest to them.

HIS 3491 Social History of American Medicine. Credits: 3
A topical approach to the origins and special problems of the healing professions in America. Emphasis is on social history rather than on technological developments. Topics may vary each time the course is offered. Student may repeat course when topics change.

If you wish to know more about the Graduate Program for the History of Science at the University of Florida, at the Doctoral or Master's leverl, you wish to consult our  WebSite:

History of Science - University of Florida


rev.rah.x.98; 2004 et seq.