Montana State University

Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies

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

Tel: (406) 994-4395
Fax: (406) 994-7420
Location: 2-155 Wilson Hall

Department Chair

Dr. David Cherry

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Graduate Admissions


Applying to the History Graduate Programs

Candidates requesting consideration for admission to the M.A. or Ph.D. program in History must complete the online application through the MSU The Graduate School's website and pay the application fee. In addition, students must be prepared to submit (upload) the following application materials:

  • Official undergraduate transcripts (and M.A. transcripts if applying for Ph.D. program) from all universities attended. Un-official transcripts can be uploaded by the student during this online process, however the MSU Graduate School must receive official transcripts directly from the university(s) attended. (Applicants who have a bachelor’s degree conferred and who are alumni of MSU do not need to submit their transcripts).
  • Statement of Purpose that addresses the applicant’s areas of intended study and the applicant’s qualifications for graduate-level work
  • Writing Sample, preferably a sample of the student's work from a history related course
  • Three (3) professional references.  During the online application process, applicants will be asked to provide information about their references. The electronic process will prompt each reference to submit a signed reference letter.
  • The GRE is not required, but scores will be reviewed if submitted
  • International students: in addition to the above, international applicants will be required to submit the following*:
    --  English proficiency scores (at or above):  TOEFL [80] or ACE [level 7], necessary for applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language. This requirement is waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S.
    -- Evidence of financial support
    -- Proof of funds (if self-funded)
    -- Copy of applicant’s passport
    -- Degree certificates as well as an English translation for all non-English academic transcripts and credentials. Photocopies can be used to initiate the application process, however official transcripts/credentials are still required upon admission
                                       *See International application process.

Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Application Deadlines

Applications from candidates who want to start in the Fall semester, and who wish to be considered for financial assistance, are due February 1. Applications received after February 1 and before July 15 will be considered for admission, but not for financial assistance. Applications will not be accepted after July 15.

Applications from candidates who want to start in the Spring semester, and who wish to be considered for financial assistance, are due October 1. Applications received after October 1 and before December 1 will be considered for admission, but not for financial assistance. Applications will not be accepted after December 1.

Non-degree seeking applications are due April 15 for Fall Semesters and September 1 for Spring Semesters. Non-degree seeking students do not qualify for Federal Financial Aid or for department financial assistance.

Application Guidelines

The faculty consider the Statement of Purpose and the writing sample to be among the most important parts of the application. The letter should describe your preparation for the program, academic interests, and professional goals. The most useful statements are those that present an intellectual portrait of the applicant, an account of the issues the applicant now finds engaging, and the program of study the candidate envisions for him/herself at MSU. The writing sample should be a substantial essay, ideally a seminar paper or senior thesis, that demonstrates the candidate's potential for advanced work in the discipline. This will be uploaded during your application process.

Letters of recommendation are most helpful when they speak to the applicant's academic and professional achievements in History or related fields.

Information about Graduate Teaching Assistantships and how to apply for them.

Contact Information

For more information about our graduate programs, please contact Tim LeCain, Director of Graduate Studies, at or call the main History Department office: (406) 994-4395.