History and Philosophy of Science Minor

Undergraduate Program

History and Philosophy of Science Minor

pages of an open philosophy book

History and Philosophy of Science Minor Overview

In the minor in the history and philosophy of science, students use the perspectives of history and philosophy to study science as a system of knowledge and as a social institution. You will gain a deeper appreciation of patterns of reasoning and evidence in science, of the historical evolution of scientific disciplines, and of the cultural, social, political and ethical contexts of science.

The minor is open to students of all majors. It may be of particular interest for students contemplating graduate or professional studies in the humanities, sciences, law or medicine.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
100% online
Combination of online and on campus
  • m
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

History and Philosophy of Science Minor: Why PSU?

History students at PSU build strong relationships with faculty members who are experts in their particular fields, not only through our courses. These connections are strengthened through opportunities for career and academic advising, directed research and internships in the local community. History majors also can join dedicated student groups and gain exclusive access to scholarships, awards and other financial support.

The history department at Portland State is also the host for Friends of History, the Pacific Historical Review, a Public History project and the Heritage Tree Project. These programs give our students access to community partners, build the university’s connections to the community and amplify the continued need and importance of recording and studying history.

Friends of History promotes excellence in the teaching and study of history within the University and strives to increase awareness of this resource in the Portland metropolitan area.

Pacific History Review is a leading scholarly journal in the United States, this quarterly publication, covers the rich history of the North American West and the peoples and cultures of the Pacific World including Asia, Latin America, and beyond. The publication relies on work done by graduate student fellows, interns and other student workers.
The Public History program is a concentration in the history major that gives faculty and students the opportunity to work collaboratively on public history projects for and with community partners. Students also participate in public history internships throughout the greater Portland area and produce projects of their own design.

Portland's Heritage Tree program protects roughly 300 trees in the city, recognized for their historical significance, size or horticultural value. The Heritage Tree Project complements this effort, students use historical research in the local archives, and delve into the history of the city’s trees, helping to expand the historical programming and documentation of the city’s program. The Portland Heritage Tree Podcasts explore a few of the many trees within the program as well as a few trees that are not officially designated.

What can I do with a minor in History and Philosophy of Science?

Students pursuing majors in the physical or social sciences might find greater understanding of their majors by exploring the historical context of the sciences. History students often find employment in the fields of law, in government and nonprofit agencies, in education and in business. A minor in history and philosophy and science is an excellent complement to any major, but particularly those majoring in science, technology and math. Students with knowledge of history context and writing and communications skills will have advantage in the job market and a more diverse resume.

Featured Courses

  • HST 387 History of Modern Science
  • HST 434 US Social and Intellectual History
  • HST 440 American Environmental History
  • HST 460 Topics in European Intellectual History
  • HST 427 Topics in the History of Science (can include topics like Science under Nazi Germany, Einstein, and "Science Fictions")


A full list of more than 30 possible elective courses for the minor in History and Philosophy and Science.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).