History and Philosophy of Science is distinctive in combining historical and philosophical approaches to the study of science, often closely interwoven. In the history of science, traditional historical methods are used to develop an understanding of how the sciences originated, how they were practiced, how they developed, and how they related to their intellectual and social contexts.

The philosophy of science pursues broad conceptual issues ground in actual scientific practice, including questions such as the nature of scientific reasoning, the structure of scientific explanations, and the role of values in science. HPS offers an undergraduate major, as well as an undergraduate Certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. The graduate program in History and Philosophy of Science is committed to research and teaching in the historical and conceptual foundations of science. This interdisciplinary department offers courses and seminars that lead to MA and PhD degrees.