History & Philosophy of Science

College of Arts and Sciences

History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) studies the theories, methods, practices and institutions of science from historical and philosophical perspectives. It strives to provide a genuinely interdisciplinary structure for critical reflection on science in all its aspects.

Major category: Minimum requirements

Topic: Social sciences

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

History and Philosophy of Science is a minimum requirements major. You may declare this major after enrolling at the UW and completing the prerequisites. Visit the department website for more information.

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: Must enroll at the UW before applying to the major.
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

Suggested first- and second-year college courses: PHIL 120, PHIL 160, courses that develop writing skills, introductory science courses and mathematics courses through calculus.

Courses required for the major:

  • HSTCMP 311 SSc – Science in Civilization – Antiquity to 1600
  • HSTCMP 312 SSc – Science in Civilization – Modern
  • One course: PHIL 160 SSc – Perspectives on Science OR PHIL 460 SSc – Phil of Science
  • PHIL 120 SSc NSc RSN – Intro to Logic
  • 10 credits of Natural World
  • 10 credits of composition / writing courses

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 0
Total from Washington community colleges: 0

Career outcomes