HOS Graduate Certificate

Anatomy of the brain

The anatomy of the brain, explained in a series of engravings / By Charles Bell. Source: Wellcome Collection.

The History of Science Interdepartmental Graduate Certificate Program is aimed at enabling students who are taking seminars in the program, working closely with program faculty, and writing dissertations on aspects of the history of science, medicine, and technology to receive a formal credential in History of Science. Many such students prepare a generals field in history of science, technology, or medicine, but that is not a requirement for the certificate. The certificate will appear on the student’s official transcript after all requirements for the certificate have been fulfilled and a graduate degree has been awarded. Students who earn the certificate are also entitled to list the credential on their curriculum vitae. 

The Director of Graduate Studies for the Program in History of Science administers the certificate program. 

Students cannot be admitted to Princeton University through the History of Science Graduate Certificate Program as it is not a degree program.


The HOS graduate certificate program is open to Princeton University Ph.D. students from any department who are not enrolled in the Program in History of Science. Students must be currently enrolled to be eligible. Master’s students are not eligible to participate, nor are Ph.D. students in the Program in History of Science. Students who are interested in pursuing the HOS certificate are encouraged to meet with the History of Science Director of Graduate Studies to discuss their plans before registering.

Course Requirements

Students must complete HOS 595: Introduction to the Historiography of Science, which is normally offered every spring, as well as two other history of science graduate courses or courses with history of science content, as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies for the Program in History of Science. Please note: courses taken for the History of Science Interdepartmental Graduate Certificate Program cannot be audited.

Research Requirement

Students in the certificate program engage in relevant research that is presented and discussed in the History of Science Program Seminar.  Students pursuing the certificate are expected to regularly attend and participate in the Program Seminar for at least two full semesters. The Program Seminar serves to foster scholarly community among the faculty, students, and visiting fellows of the Program. We meet each week that classes are in session for a ninety-minute seminar, typically to discuss a pre-circulated work-in-progress; the format of our reading varies but has included draft dissertation chapters, drafts of articles, dissertation prospectuses, book proposals, and grant proposals. A member of the community offers a formal commentary on the pre-circulated material and then the floor is open for wider discussion. The hours invested in two full semesters of Program Seminar, which include weekly reading and participation, are comparable to an additional semester-length course.

Each student must complete two presentations in the History of Science Program Seminar. One must consist of pre-circulating a piece of original research—engaging with history of science methods or addressing content related to the history of science, technology, or medicine—intended for inclusion in their dissertation, submission to an edited collection or academic journal, or other research paper. The second may be an additional piece of original research, a formal commentary, a draft of their dissertation prospectus, grant proposal, or other format approved for discussion by the convener of the seminar. Completion of these two presentations will be certified by the DGS.

How to Enroll

Students register by submitting the HOS certificate application form to the Graduate Program Assistant. Students must register by the end of their fourth year of enrollment. Required courses and four milestones representing the research requirements will appear on the students transcript/degree progress. 

Students must notify the Director of Graduate Studies for the Program in History of Science and Graduate Program Assistant which semester they intend to attend Program Seminar regularly. Additionally, students should confirm with the Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Program Assistant at the end of the semester that they have completed any attendance requirements, paper presentation, and/or comments to fulfil degree requirements.

Certificate Recipients

Taylor Zajicek
Ph.D. in progress
Program: HIS
Dissertation: Missiles and Anchovies: An Environmental History of the Cold War in the Black Sea Region, 1945-1995

Christian Flow
Ph.D. 2019
Program: HIS
Dissertation: Writing the Thesaurus of Latinity: A Study in the History of Philological Practice

Carolina Malagon
Ph.D. 2019
Program: GER
Dissertation: Phlogisticated Relations: Lichtenberg and Ritter's Readings of Chemistry

Jinsong Guo
Ph.D. 2019
Program: EAS
Dissertation: Knowing Number: Mathematics, Astronomy, and the Changing Culture of Learning in Middle-Period China, 1100-1300

Jessica Wright
Ph.D. 2016
Program: CLA
Dissertation: Brain and Soul in Late Antiquity

Kjell Ericson
Ph.D. 2015
Program: EAS
Dissertation: Nature's Helper: Mikimoto Kōkichi and the Place of Cultivation in Twentieth-Century's Pearl Empires

W. Evan Young
Ph.D. 2015
Program: EAS
Dissertation: Family Matters: Managing Illness in Late Tokugawa Japan, 1750-1868

Daniel Stolz
Ph.D. 2014
Program: NES
Dissertation: The Lighthouse and the Observatory: Islam, Authority, and Cultures of Astronomy in Late-Ottoman Egypt

Sare Aricanli
Ph.D. 2014
Program: EAS
Dissertation: Diversifying the Center: Authority and Representation Within the Context of Multiplicity in Eighteenth-Century Qing Imperial Medicine

Photo credit: "L0000838" by Wellcome Library, London is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Image has been cropped.