Department of History, Philosophy & Religious Studies

  • Natalie Scheidler, one of two PhD students who graduated on May 7, 2016, snaps a picture with her mentor Mary Murphy.

  • Ben Bowman, Brianna Russell, Joe Pteraccione, Kyrsten Wolterstorff, Jackon Engle and Emma Narotsky in Yellowstone, working with Sara Waller's Animal Minds Project.

  • We are so proud of our graduates! Philosophy students pose for a picture at the graduation ceremony on May 7th, 2016.

  • History major and Marine Corps veteran Robert Lliteras received recognition as a 2016 Presidental Emerging Scholar and a scholarship to research the history of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan.

  • Kelsey Matson received an award from the Institute on Ecosystems to assist her with research and travel.

  • Amanda Hardin received a fellowship from the Charles Redd Center for her paper, "We Camp A While in the Wilderness: An Exploration of African American Outdoor Culture, 1866-1920"

  • Dan Zizzamia earned a postdoctoral fellowship to research environmental topics at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. read more

  • The Museum of African American History and Culture has selected one of Billy Smith's maps to display in their permanent collection.

  • History Professor Maggie Greene and graduate students Clinton Colgrove, Kelsey Matson, Kerri Clement, Jen Dunn and Patrick Collier ride a ferry boat in Seattle after attending the ASEH Conference.

  • The 2016 Award Ceremony was a great success! 31 undergraduate and graduate students were recognized for their achievements and service to the Department. Congratulations everyone!

Welcome to the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at MSU! 

An interdisciplinary department, we offer three majors, tailored major options and several exciting minors, including Latin American Studies and Museum Studies. Internships at historical societies, museums and Yellowstone are also an important part of the educational experience. Undergraduate students also have opportunities to conduct research and work directly with faculty members on topics ranging from urban coyotes to the Butte mine. The department hosts both history and philosophy honor societies, as well as a philosophy ethics debate team. At all levels of the curriculum, the department provides students with the tools to think rigorously, to research and thereby generate knowledge empirically, and to articulate their thoughts coherently. For these reasons, the department’s programs are among the most sought-after in the College of Letters and Science and across campus.

Areas of Specialty

History of America and the American West

The department offers advanced level coursework in topics ranging from Montana and the West to Race, Class, and Jazz in America. Our faculty a

Specializing in the History of America and the American West, the department offers advanced level coursework in topics ranging from "Montana and the West" to "Race,Class and Jazz in America" to "Interpretations of American Religions" to "History of American Indians."

Science, Environment, Technology, Society

The SETS major offers students a multi-disciplinary course of study that analyzes science, technology, and the environment within their broader cultural contexts, including intellectual and social history, environmental history, religious studies, and philosophy.


In conjuction with the Department of Education, the department offers a teacher education program for students seeking careers teaching secondary level history or social studies. Students who earn their degrees in the History Teaching Option may apply for state certification. For more information, click here.

Graduate Studies

The department offers both a master's and doctoral degree in history, in three areas of specialty: environmental history; history of the American West; and the history of science, technology and society. The program offers many opportunities for students to collaborate with peers, professors and visiting scholars. For more information, click here.