Montana State University

College of Letters and Science
American Studies Program

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3440

Tel: (406) 994-4396
Fax: (406) 994-7420
E-mail:
americanstudies@montana.edu
Location: 2-155 Wilson Hall

Dean:

Nicol C. Rae
nicol.rae@montana.edu

Director:

David Cherry
dcherry@montana.edu

Program Administrator/Advisor:

Cassandra Balent
cassandra.balent@montana.edu

Master of Arts in American Studies

Five-Year M.A.

Qualified students will be allowed to enter the Master of Arts program after completing three years of undergraduate course work.

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts degree requires completion of 30 credits, of which no more than 9 can be at the 400-level. Students who enter the program after receiving their baccalaureate degree will normally require two years of full-time work to complete it.

The program includes a 10-credit Master’s Thesis (Plan A) option, and an all course-work (Plan B) option. All students are required to take AMST 501, Methods in American Studies, and AMST 502, Research and Writing in American Studies. Additional course work will be selected by the student in conjunction with his or her committee chair and committee members. Under Plan A, students must register for a minimum of 10 credits of AMST 590 and defend their thesis in an oral examination. The format of thesis work is determined by The Graduate School.

Graduate Committee

A student’s committee will consist of a chair and two additional members. The committee must be formed by the end of the second semester of attendance.

Mastery of Subject Matter

Mastery of subject matter will be determined by:

  • a record of excellence in all courses
  • a four-hour written examination
  • a two-hour oral examination

Examinations

Written and oral examinations are normally taken during the student’s last semester. The written examination will consist of two parts, one issued by the chair of the student’s committee, the other by one of the remaining committee members. Written examinations will be graded pass/fail.

A student may not take the oral examination unless she has passed the written examination. In general, the first half of the oral examination will focus on coursework, the second half on the thesis (if applicable).

The Graduate School issues a deadline each semester for the submission and defense of the thesis (students in Plan A). These dates may be found at http://www.montana.edu/wwwdg/cat_dates&dead.html.

Comprehensive Exams (for Plan B students) can be taken at any point in the semester as long as the student is registered for at least three credits. Students may also complete comprehensive exams during the intersession (between semesters) as long as they were registered for at least three credits during the previous semester.

Financial Support

Currently, the only form of financial support available through the program is the Graduate Teaching Assistantship. A small number of teaching assistantships will normally be awarded each academic year, based on merit, as determined by the Graduate Committee. Interested students should apply for a teaching assistantship by submitting a letter of interest to the Program Director.

For information about general scholarship opportunities and Financial Aid, please see the "resources for students" link.