The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science (CHSS) - PhD

Division: Social Sciences
Degree Type: PhD (For the MA degree, see the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences)

Program Description

The Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science (CHSS) is a graduate program at the University of Chicago that offers students the opportunity to work toward the MA and PhD degrees in areas concerned with the foundations, history, philosophy, and social relations of science. Though faculty interests range broadly, CHSS has particular strengths in the history and philosophy of physics, astronomy, mathematics, evolutionary biology, psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, and communications.

CHSS has a special focus on the history of the human sciences. In collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin, CHSS has established an exchange program that offers graduate students opportunity to conduct research abroad in the history of the human sciences (broadly conceived).

CHSS differs from other programs in the history and philosophy of science in its emphasis on the importance of training in science. In the CHSS program, students earn a master's degree in a science (or mathematics), history, or philosophy. If they choose history or philosophy, they also take six courses in a science or mathematics appropriate to their level of preparation (from undergraduate to graduate level courses). CHSS maintains close cooperative relations with the Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine (within the Department of History), the Department of Philosophy, and the undergraduate program in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HiPSS).

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Contact

Admissions Office email: admissions@ssd.uchicago.edu
Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science:
bethcalderon@uchicago.edu
Website:
 chss.uchicago.edu/phd-program/

Application Method

Applications should be initiated through the online application. Paper applications are not accepted.

Deadlines

Deadline for admissions and financial aid: December 10

The Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science admits applicants once a year for the following fall quarter. Applications received after the deadline cannot be considered.

Campus Visits

Campus visits and interviews are not required. Please contact the department for more information.

Degree Objective

The Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science admits applicants only for the PhD degree. We do not offer an MA program. If you are interested in pursuing an MA focusing in Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, please look at the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS).

Application Requirements

  1. Online Application Form
  2. Non-refundable application fee: $65. Fee waiver information »
  3. 3 Letters of Recommendation
  4. GRE and TOEFL Scores
  5. Statement of Academic Purpose
  6. Writing Sample
  7. Transcripts

More application information »

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are emailed in early March. Please direct all questions about your application directly to the admissions office.

Program Requirements

Master's Requirement

If a student enters the program without an appropriate master's degree, he or she must earn the degree at the University of Chicago.

Students coming without a Master's degree should choose one of the following options:

  1. Science Option: The student may earn a master's degree in a science, here understood to include social sciences, mathematics, and statistics.
  2. Philosophy Option: The student may earn a master's degree in philosophy.
  3. History Option: The student may earn a master's degree in history.

Course Requirement

All students must complete a total of at least 18 courses at the University for a grade of "B" or better (or, if particular academic courses are not offered for letter grades, an equivalent approved by the Committee) including at least seven CHSS courses, i.e., courses that carry CHSS numbers.

Language Requirement

Students must receive a "high pass" in a foreign language exam administered by the University.

Oral Examinations

Students must pass two oral examinations. Each student has the option of taking the exams in history of science, philosophy of science, sociology of science, or anthropology of science; but at least one of the exams must be in either history of science or philosophy of science.

Dissertation

After everything else has been completed, a student begins dissertation work.

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Costs & Financial Aid

As a general principle, we provide extensive funding for all students who matriculate in our doctoral programs. Applicants to our doctoral programs are considered for all fellowship resources at the University of Chicago for which they are eligible.

We offer Divisional fellowships at two levels. Both levels provide support for up to five years, are contingent on good progress, and are renewed annually.

  1. Five-year Fellowships: Full tuition, University student health insurance, an annual combination of stipend and teaching assignments of at least $22,000, and two summer grants of $3,000 each, disbursed over the five years of the award.
  2. Two-year tuition scholarships/three-year fellowships: Full tuition and University student health insurance for the first two years; for years three through five, full tuition and University student health insurance, an annual combination of stipend and teaching assignments of at least $22,000, and one summer grant of $3,000, disbursed over years three through five.

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