About the Department
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 a minor in Latin American Studies and a minor in 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. Graduate students can pursue innovative MA and PhD degrees in the history of science and technology, environmental history, and the American west. 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 majors in the College of Letters and Science and even across campus.
Areas of Specialty
America and the 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."
Interdisciplinary Approach to Science and the Environment:
Students learn to analyze science, the environment and technology within broader cultural, historical and philosophical contexts through courses like "Philosophy of Science," "Nature and Religion," and the "Darwinian Revolution."
In conjuction with the Department of Education, the department offers a teacher education program for students seeking careers teaching middle or high school 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.
Philosophy courses at MSU examine the history of philosophy as well as issues in contemporary philosophy. Topics range from "Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness" to "Philosophy of Film," "Existentialism," "Philosophy and Biomedical Ethics," and "Philosophy of Race." For more information, click Here.
The academic study of religion teaches students about the history of the major world religions and asks students how to analyze how religion intersections with other cultural forms, such as politics, science, and material culture. Courses range from "Hindu Traditions" to "Text and Image," to "Religion, Conflict, and Politics." For more information, click Here.
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.