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. The application consists of a standarized form and processing fee required by the university. You can complete the standardized form online through The Graduate School.

In addition, students must submit the following application materials directly to the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, including:

  • Official undergraduate transcripts (and M.A. transcripts if applying for Ph.D. program) from all universities attended
  • 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 letters of recommendations
  • The GRE is not required, but scores will be reviewed if submitted

These materials should be sent directly to:
Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Graduate Program
P.O. Box 172320
Bozeman, MT, 59717

Please note: If you are submitting your application electronically through The Graduate School's website, you are welcome to upload your Statement of Purpose and Writing Sample to your electronic application. If you do so, there is no need to send hard copies of those two items directly to the department.

Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Application Deadlines

Applications for candidates wishing to begin in the Fall 2015 semester will be accepted until July 15, 2015, but will not be considered for financial assistance. Applications for those wishing to be considered for financial assistance, including GTA positions, are due by January 30th, 2015.

Applications for candidates wishing to begin in the Spring 2015 semester are due in the department by October 1, 2014.

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.

International applicants may be required to submit additional application materials. For more information, visit The Graduate School website here or the Office of International Programs here.

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 canidate envisions for him/herself at MSU. The writing sample should be a substantial essay, ideally a seminar paper or senior thesis, that demonstrates the canidate's potential for advanced work in the discipline.

The applicant should arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies. Letters of recommendation are most helpful when they speak to the applicant's academic and professional achievements in History or related fields.

Contact Information

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