The graduate program in the history of science and technology leads to the Ph.D. degree. The object of the Ph.D. program is to provide the rigorous training necessary for a scholarly career in teaching and research; consequently, the focus of the student’s activity will be the research seminars of the department. Faculty from the Institute of the History of Medicine in the School of Medicine also participate in the program.
The Eisenhower Library and the Welch Medical Library contain about two million volumes, including the special collections of the Institute of the History of Medicine in Baltimore. These research facilities are supplemented by the rare book holdings at Evergreen House, the Pratt Library, and the Peabody Library.
Other important research collections are available to students. In Philadelphia, collections include the Science History Institute, the American Philosophical Society, and the Academy of Natural Sciences. The Hagley Museum and Library’s collections in the history of American science and technology are within easy distance of campus, as are the incomparable holdings of the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and other governmental agencies in Washington, D.C.
The department has several graduate fellowships and teaching assistantships. Students may also be eligible for federal financial support through the National Science Foundation. Information on these and other fellowships can be obtained through the fellowship advisor at the student’s college, or from the Fellowship Office of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. 20025. In the recent past, doctoral candidates have also won support for their research in the United States and abroad through such sources as the Smithsonian Fellowships, the Fulbright-Hays grants, the Spencer Foundation, Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Fellowship.
Application deadline is January 15. Applicants to the Ph.D. program in the History of Science and Technology should upload and submit all required application materials and supporting documents through the online application system. For additional information on admission requirements, please visit our admissions website.
For further information on our faculty and programs, please visit our website at: http://host.jhu.edu.
Before candidates begin full-time research on their dissertations, they must prepare themselves adequately in the appropriate fields of knowledge, become skilled in the techniques of historical research, and be able to carry out a sustained piece of historical analysis and writing.
In the first year of the program students are introduced to the methods and techniques of research and complete a year-long survey course in the history of science or the history of medicine. Students in their second year of study present a research paper to the department. In the second and third years of study, students complete three “fields” or concentrations. One field must be within the Department, one outside the department generally in a historical discipline, and the third is negotiable depending on student interests and needs. Our students have also done historical fields with curators or research historians at the Smithsonian Institution. The third field can extend beyond historical subjects and may involve a scientific subject, for example. A field is intended to demonstrate a student's mastery of a specific body of knowledge, both for the student's own scholarly work and as a preparation for teaching. The fields are individually arranged and satisfied. Before being admitted for formal candidacy for the degree, the student must also demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages. If a student’s native language, excluding English, is research related, the native language may fulfil a language requirement. Students are expected to submit a dissertation prospectus by the end of the summer after their third year. The final requirement for the Ph.D. degree is the completion of a dissertation that is an original contribution to historical knowledge and of a standard suitable for publication.
The History of Science and Technology is by its nature interdisciplinary, and students are encouraged to undertake study in related areas such as history, philosophy, and the natural and medical sciences.