The History of Science Department is one of the world’s leading institutions for producing the next generation of professional historians of science through a course of study that lays a broad foundation for teaching and research. Our unique, interdisciplinary program expands on the typical Euro-centric focus for a more global examination that includes perspectives from Chinese, African, Latin American, and indigenous people’s history.

You will engage with the department’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, one of the largest and richest university collections in the world. These objects represent a broad range of periods and scientific disciplines, including astronomy, navigation, horology, surveying, geology, calculating, physics, biology, medicine, psychology, electricity, and communication.

Our diverse faculty of anthropologists, historians, medical doctors, physicists, and geologists prepares you for a successful career in academia, research, and business. Recent graduates are now teaching at Princeton, Harvard, McGill University, and National Taiwan University. Others have secured corporate positions at McKinsey & Company, Amazon.com, and Sutter Hill Venture Capital.

Master of Arts (AM) and Secondary Field

The department offers admission to a very few select students seeking the free-standing AM degree. External applicants for the degree may be considered on a case-by-case basis; it is expected they will be in full-time residence. Students who have been accepted to pursue an AM include advanced degree candidates at foreign universities, and students with a PhD in another field, from Harvard or elsewhere.

GSAS students pursuing PhDs in other departments may apply to earn an AM in History of Science; please contact the departmental DGS for further information.

Such students are also eligible to earn formal recognition for completing a secondary field in History of Science.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of the History of Science and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies. 

Admissions Requirements

Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of the History of Science.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be a sample of the student’s recent written work (e.g., term paper, senior thesis, master’s essay).

Master of Arts (AM)

The department offers admission to a very few select students seeking the free-standing AM degree. External applicants for the degree may be considered on a case-by-case basis; it is expected they will be in full-time residence. Students who have been accepted to pursue an AM include advanced degree candidates at foreign universities and students with a PhD in another field, from Harvard or elsewhere. To pursue advanced work in the field, it is desirable to have some preliminary training in the natural or social sciences and in history.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for History of Science

History of Science Faculty