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Graduate Studies

About the Program

Yale University offers a Program in the History of Science and Medicine leading to the M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., and J.D./Ph.D. degree

The History of Science and Medicine Program is a semi-autonomous graduate track within the Department of History. The Program's students are awarded degrees in History, with a concentration in the History of Science and Medicine. Graduate students in the Program are fully fledged members of the Department. As with the rest of the Department, Program instruction is offered in small classes by the seminar method or some appropriate modification of this approach. Faculty advisers for individual guidance and direction are available throughout the entire period of enrollment. The Program provides many opportunities for professional development in teaching and research.

Candidates with top qualifications for graduate study in the History of Science and Medicine come from diverse educational backgrounds, sometimes characterized by study and experience in technical and/or clinical subjects that are not ordinarily part of preparation for graduate study in History. The Program will weigh such qualifications in evaluating applicants.

The Program offers opportunities for students to pursue degrees in concentrations that span the full range of the history of science and history of medicine, from antiquity to modern times. The broad interests of its faculty provide special opportunities to cross the boundaries between these two fields, with emphasis on the biomedical sciences and their connections both with medical practices and the physical sciences.

Goals of the Program

The Yale Program aims to sustain an integrative, eclectic response to methodological issues that have been intensely debated in recent years. It equips students with a critical appreciation of the diverse approaches now practiced in the history of science and medicine. It offers training in the close reading of texts, instruments, artifacts, and analysis of ideas and practices, and instruction in social, cultural, political and economic modes of interpretation. The Program fosters consideration of the interplay between science and technology as well as between biomedical knowledge and the clinic. It urges students to enrich their professional preparation by drawing on other disciplines including cultural studies, philosophy, and the contemporary natural and social sciences. In all, historiographic pluralism is a hallmark of the Yale Program.

Special advantages offered by the program include library resources that are among the best in North America. The Medical Historical Library contains renowned collections and rare works in the history of medicine and related sciences. The university library system as a whole has exceptional depth in original sources for the history of all the major sciences.


  • Professor in the History of Medicine and of History

    Naomi Rogers, Ph.D. (She/Her) is Professor of the History of Medicine in the Section of the History of Medicine and the Program in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University where she regularly teaches undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.  At the School of Medicine, she regularly lectures on the history of AIDS, reproduction, health economics, eugenics, nutrition, disability and health activism. Her undergraduate courses include American Medicine and the Cold War, and Public Health in America. At the graduate level, she teaches seminars on disability and on health and body politics. She is the Director of Graduate Studies for the 2022-23 academic year. Her historical interests are in 20th and 21st century history of medicine, health inequities and social justice. Her research focuses include gender and health; disease and public health; disability; feminism; alternative medicine; health policy; and health activism.  Professor Rogers has published in numerous medical, public health and history journals including American Journal of Public Health, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Journal of Medical Humanities, Radical History Review, Social History of Medicine and Women and Health. She is the author of three books: Polio Wars: Sister Kenny and the Golden Age of American Medicine (Oxford, 2014) (which received the AAHN’s Lavinia L. Dock Award for Exemplary Historical Research); An Alternative Path: The Making and Remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia (Rutgers, 1998); and Dirt and Disease: Polio Before FDR (Rutgers, 1992). In 2017, she presented the AAHM’s Garrison Lecture: “Radical Visions of American Medicine: Politics and Activism in the History of Medicine.” Since then her recent works have included: (with Zoe Adams) “Services not Mausoleums: Race, Politics, and the Concept of Community in American Medicine,” Journal of Medical Humanities, 41 (2020): 515-529; “Resistance to Polio Vaccines in Mid-Twentieth-Century America: The Role of the March of Dimes, Community Skepticism, Racial Inequalities, and Medical Politics,” Nursing History Review 31 (2022, forthcoming); and “Radical Visions of American Medicine: Politics and Activism in the History of Medicine,” Bulletin of History of Medicine (Winter 2023, forthcoming). Her current book project, Health Radicalism and the Humanization of American Medicine (under contract with Oxford), examines critics of medical orthodoxy since 1945 including civil rights, consumer and feminist activists.  Other ongoing projects include a study of antisemitism in American medicine in the decades before and after the Second World War.  She has been a consultant for a number of documentaries, including “The Polio Crusade” (PBS), “On the Basis of Sex” (Focus Features) and “War on Science” (in process).  Her perspectives on COVID-related topics have appeared in various news media including BBC Radio, CNN, Huffington Post, National Public Radio, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Professor Rogers has taught at Yale since the mid-1990s. Since joining Yale’s Program in the History of Science and Medicine in 2001 she has served as Chair of the Women’s Faculty Forum; Liaison to the Committee on Status of Women in Medicine; and Director of Medical Students for the Section in the History of Medicine. She has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences since 2018 and is a manuscript reviewer for numerous journals.  In addition to her service as Director of Graduate Studies, Rogers is currently a member of the Medical School’s OBGYN “Dobbs” Sessions Planning Committee, which has organized a series of webinars for the Yale community, and was a co-organizer of a special history-themed session “Rooted in History: Abortion, Law and American Health Care.”   Professor Rogers holds courtesy appointments in the History Department and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.