Undergraduate Program History and Philosophy of Science Minor

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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 medicine, humanities, science, or law.

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. 

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

The Minor in History and Philosophy of Science is a useful complement to almost any major and provides an opportunity to develop a more diverse and robust resume for graduate study or the job market. Students with majors in the natural sciences or engineering can find a greater understanding of their future work by exploring its ethical, political, and social dimensions. These contextual perspectives can be particularly useful for students interested in medical school or graduate study in other health-related fields. Students with majors in the humanities and arts have an opportunity to analyze the social and cultural impacts of science and technology. This perspective can be particularly useful for students interested in law or policy related to environmental or technological issues. As with all history courses, developing practical skills in research, analysis, and writing/communication is an important part of the curriculum.

Featured Courses

  • HST 387U 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).