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American Studies (Graduate)

Delve into the interdisciplinary study of American culture as you investigate the socio-historical legacy of the United States through the lenses of the arts, history, literature, pluralism and public history.

American Studies – Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Montana State’s American Studies graduate program allows master’s and doctoral students to delve into the history and culture of the United States with a special focus on the American West. Candidates can choose to study fields such as American Arts, American History, American Literature, American Pluralism or Public History. MSU’s unique Rocky Mountain setting provides candidates with pioneering research opportunities at such sites as the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Yellowstone National Park and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.


Research in the American Studies department can take the shape of collecting oral histories, such as the stories of veterans as part of the MSU Veteran History and Arts Initative, in conjunction with Veteran History and Arts Initative director Marcus "Doc" Cravens and associate professor of history Molly Todd.



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Ivan Doig Center
Montana State runs The Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West, emphasizing developing connections throughout the humanities, arts, social sciences and natural sciences.

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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.

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Learn With Flexibility
American Studies is a truly interdisciplinary program, with access to courses based off of their area of research instead of their department – whether that be anything from anthropology to political science to theater arts.




Fund Your Education

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

Within the American Studies program, the primary forms of financial support available are teaching assistantships and research assistantships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. Assistantships include a stipend and/or tuition waiver.

Research In Your Field

Research in the American Studies program includes access to and internships at the following research collections and institutions:

  • The Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands & Peoples of the North American West
  • Museum of the Rockies
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Buffalo Bill CEnter of the West




Admissions Requirements

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the American Studies program is not different. Below are the criteria and admissions material that should be used as a guide to help as you apply to our graduate programs:

  • A completed B.A. or B.S. degree (or M.A. degree, in the case of the Doctorate program) in American Studies or a closely related field
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above
  • An official transcript from your undergraduate program
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Letter of application that addresses the applicant’s areas of intended study and the applicant’s qualifications for master level work.
  • For doctorate applicants: an advisor form identifying the faculty advisor of interest to the applicant
  • Writing sample
  • GRE scores are not required, but will be reviewed if submitted
The American Studies department at Montana State has a final deadline of March 1 for all applications to the Graduate School. With that said, the program will give preference to all applications submitted by January 31, including applicants wishing to be considered for a teaching assistantship in the fall.