AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM
Montana State University
Po Box 173000
Bozeman , MT 59717
Tel: (406) 994-3561
Fax: (406) 994-6049
Location: 130-I Gaines Hall
American Studies is an interdisciplinary program which draws on a distinguished cohort of full-time and associated faculty with research and teaching expertise in the disciplines of Anthropology, Architectural History, Art History, English, Film & Photography, History, Native American Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.
•MA in American Studies
•PhD in American Studies
American Studies offers the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, with a special focus on the American West. Major fields include American Arts, American History, American Literature, American Pluralism, and Public History.
Five Year MA in American Studies
Qualified students will be allowed to enter the Master of Arts program after completing three years of undergraduate course work. For more information, contact the program assistant.
Master of Arts in American Studies
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 from a list of approved American Studies courses (see the program website for a complete list). Under Plan A, students must register for a minimum of 10 credits of AMST 590 and defend their thesis in an oral examination.
Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies
The PhD program is built upon research and intensive course work that will normally require four years of full-time work. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours post-baccalaureate, of which at least 18 must be dissertation credits. A maximum of 30 credits from a previously earned master's degree (from MSU or another accredited university) may be applied toward the 60 credit minimum required for the doctoral degree.
Students are required to take AMST 501, Methods in American Studies, and AMST 502, Research and Writing in American Studies. Additional coursework will be selected from a list of approved American Studies courses (see the program website for a complete list).
PhD students must declare a major field of emphasis, which will normally require at least 12 credits of coursework. The major fields include American Arts, American History, American Literature, American Pluralism, or Public History.
In addition, PhD students must declare a supporting area, which will normally be acquired through three courses (9 credits) and a four-hour written examination administered by the supporting area advisor. The supporting area will be a thematic field, for example, Native American Studies, Technology and Culture, Women's Studies.
PhD students are required to demonstrate reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. Competency will determined by an examination administered by the program, normally in conjunction with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The foreign language requirement must be completed successfully before a student can present the dissertation proposal.
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 Admissions Committee. Interested students should apply for a teaching assistantship by submitting a letter of interest to the Program Director.
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