Indigenous and Rural Health

Apply your research to address the health and wellness of Indigenous and rural communities. 

Indigenous and Rural Health (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. in Indigenous and Rural Health program is designed to develop scholars, educators and practitioners who can address the health and wellness of Indigenous and rural communities in Montana and beyond. This unique doctorate includes a collaboration across five colleges at MSU including Education, Health and Human Development; Agriculture; Nursing; Business; and Letters and Science. This program will be available both at a distance and onsite in Bozeman.




"By leveraging interdisciplinary knowledge across the university, this program will prepare professionals to lead the development, implementation and evaluation of health systems, programs and policies; direct research programs; and educate and train the next generation of health professionals" - Alison Harmon, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development





Carnegie Classified
The prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education® ranks Montana State University among the Top 5 public, 4-year universities for Very High Research Activity with a STEM-dominant research doctoral program.


Nature’s Laboratory
MSU students make Montana, including nearby Yellowstone National Park, their classroom, laboratory and playground.


Work-Life Balance
Livability has previously ranked Bozeman as one of its Best Places to Live four years in a row, including the #1 best place to live in Montana, calling the city a "tech-savvy, economically vibrant, highly educated city on the grow" with year-round natural attractions.




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the Graduate School offer includes:

In addition, the Health Professions Advising Office may be able to assist in advice on any additional funding opportunities available.

Distance Learning 

Montana State’s PhD in Indigenous and Rural Health program is designed to be responsive to student interests and needs and therefore most of the program courses will be decided by the student and their committee. Students enrolled in the PhD in Indigenous and Rural Health program will be in a face-to-face program with accommodations for remote learners. The required classes include “Indigenous and Rural Health” which is offered as a hybrid course where students can participate in the classroom or online. 

There is a mix of distance, in-person, and hybrid courses across the areas of focus that the student may select. Through these options the student may select all distance courses or all in-person or a mixture to meet degree requirements.




Admissions Requirements

Note: no GRE Required.

The Indigenous and Rural Health PhD program emphasizes relationships among faculty, staff, and students. One of the program’s requirements is that students enter already connected with their faculty mentors and that this process begins prior to submitting an application. Therefore, potential students should review the research expertise of MSU faculty affiliated with the Indigenous and Rural Health PhD program and discuss their research interests with potential faculty mentors. Applicants are encouraged to contact the coordinator of the PhD program to discuss their research interests and for guidance on contacting MSU faculty. Learn more by visiting Doctor of Indigenous and Rural Health - Health and Human Development | Montana State University