Prior to admission to the Montana State University American Studies Program, it is required that each applicant determine a faculty member to serve as their first-year advisor.  This is because the American Studies Program utilizes an interdisciplinary curriculum, providing an opportunity for students to choose courses based on their area of research, instead of being confined to one specific department. Due to the vast amount of course options available to American Studies students it is the student’s responsibility to seek a faculty member to serve as their first-year advisor. 

The first-year advisor can be either a tenured or tenure-track faculty member from any department at MSU; the applicant should look for a faculty member with knowledge in the applicant’s research interests.  This knowledge will aid the student as they progress in the program and begin their own research.  In most cases, the first-year advisor will transition into the role of the student’s committee chair.

The faculty member who agrees to take on this role will dedicate a lot of time and effort towards the student’s degree completion; faculty are by no means required to serve as an advisor so please remember to be courteous and respectful when requesting their participation.

Applicants will need to print, sign, and upload the advisor form as part of their application for the American Studies doctoral program. Applicants need to list the name of their faculty advisor, their faculty advisor's home department, the applicant's name, and the academic term for which they are applying. The form must then be signed by the applicant, the first-year advisor, and the American Studies program director.

 Link to Advisor Form as a PDF document


If assistance is needed completing the Advisor form, please contact the American Studies office at 406-994-4288 or by email at [email protected].