Department of History, Philosophy & Religious Studies

  • Dr. Molly Todd begins pilot project in El Salvador focusing on Salvadoran refugee camps during the Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992) read more

  • MA student Anthony Wood published on article in Montana The Magazine of Western History, titled "After the West Was Won. How African-American Buffalo Soldiers Invigorated the Helena Community in Early 20th Century Montana.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Robert Rydell on receiving the Mary C. Turpie Prize for excellence in American Studies! read more

  • Will Wright, a PhD student studying environmental history, recently appeared in a documentary from Rocky Mountain PBS, discussing his research on the Big Thompson flood in Colorado.

  • Meet Dr. Mark Fiege, our newest Professor and Stegner Chair in Western Studies. Dr. Fiege comes to the Department from Colorado State University, along with his wife Janet Ore. Mark will be giving his first talk as Stegner Chair on October 3rd in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies.

  • The Food in America class visited the Tinsley Homestead at the Museum of the Rockies. Here a volunteer shows a student an apple corer.

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.

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Areas of Specialty

History of America and the American West

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.