During the first year of study, students receive a general introduction to historical research and complete a year long survey in either the history of science or the history of medicine. In their second and third years, candidates prepare three fields of study: one in the Program of the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, one in the History Department and a third field to be determined by the student and their advisor. The specific requirements for such fields are set by the faculty member directing the field, in consultation with the student. These fields entail both broad and intensive reading, and may include an examination, research paper, and/or preparation of several historiographic essays. Candidates must also demonstrate a reading knowledge of two foreign languages before being admitted to formal candidacy for the degree.
The final requirement for the Ph.D. degree is completion of a dissertation that is an original contribution to historical knowledge, and of a standard suitable for publication. Candidates defend their dissertations at an oral examination before a committee of faculty from the Program and other departments.