History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Ph.D.

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Minimum Total Hours: 90

Program Code: D511

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. degree calls for a total of 90 approved credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, or 60 hours beyond the master’s degree, including dissertation hours. 

Doctoral students will be expected to complete the following minimum course requirements (not counting dissertation hours) before completion of the General Examination:
Approved course of study consisting of 30 credit hours for the master's degree or its equivalent30
At least 18 hours of Post-Master's degree coursework, which must include:18
One three hour course to complete the sequence:
Advanced Studies in the History of Ancient and Medieval Science
Adv. Stds. In The History Of Renaissance & Early Modern Sci.
Advanced Studies In The History Of Modern Science
One three hour course to complete both of:
History of Medicine Seminar
History of Technology Seminar
12 additional elective course hours beyond the MA before general exams. If students have completed either or both of the specific course requirements above, they will need to take suffi­cient additional elective courses to bring their total to 18 hours beyond the MA.
Students must complete a minimum of 2 hours of Dissertation Research:
HSTM 6980Research for Doctoral Dissertation2
Additional Coursework for completion:
Additional coursework as needed to reach 90 post-baccalaureate credit hours40
Total Credit Hours90


  • Diversity & Inclusion requirements: Participation in approved training related to diversity and inclusion is required. Students who have completed this requirement as part of their M.A. will not need to do so again for the Ph.D.
  • Language requirements: Students admitted to the doctoral program are assumed to have satisfied the course distribution and language requirement for the master’s. If not, additional coursework or language study may be required. The doctoral degree requires demonstrated competence in a second approved foreign language (beyond the language requirement for the master’s). 
  • Doctoral field requirements: Students must satisfy the requirements for four distinct fields. Three of these fields will be examined and will be closely related to the student’s doctoral research. The fourth field may be satisfied without an examination and will differ from the student’s specialization enough to ensure a breadth of competence sufficient to teach survey courses and to participate as an active and informed member of the history of science community. 1. The doctoral field, designed by the student and their committee chair, supports the student's dissertation research. 2. The second field is typically (but not necessarily) supervised by a member of the student’s committee other than the committee chair. 3. The outside field is typically (but not necessarily) supervised by a faculty member outside of the department, presumably a member of the student’s committee. This field is intended to support the student’s research interests by providing a different perspective on or a different context for the student’s research topic. 4. The complementary field may be satisfied by means other than a written examination, as determined by the student’s committee.

  • Outside courses: Students are strongly encouraged to take one or more courses outside the department, especially (but not solely) to fulfill the requirements of the outside field. These courses normally, though not necessarily, will be in the history department. 

General Requirements for Doctoral Degrees

A student should expect to spend at least the equivalent of three full academic years beyond the bachelor’s degree to obtain the doctoral degree. During this period the student will take appropriate graduate coursework, successfully complete the general examination, and successfully defend and submit the final dissertation.

All coursework applied to the doctoral degree must carry graduate credit.

The doctoral degree requires at least 90 post-baccalaureate hours, including both formal coursework and hours of research.

The minimum hour requirement for a specific doctoral degree program cannot be waived.

No more than one-half of the credit hours, both OU and overall, excluding Research for Doctoral Dissertation (6980), may be S/U-graded coursework.

The student must be in residence at OU for at least two consecutive 16-week semesters during the pursuit of the doctoral degree while enrolled and engaged in coursework or research activities as prescribed by the major academic unit.

For more detailed regulations and requirements for Doctoral degrees, please consult the Graduate College Bulletin: http://www.ou.edu/gradcollege/forms/bulletin