Table of Contents

Agricultural Science

MSU was founded in 1893 as the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. Today, the College of Agriculture is an integral part of fulfilling MSU’s land grant mission to provide a liberal, practical education to our students. Learn more about the AGSC program and AGSC course offerings.

Cropping Systems and Sustainable Agriculture

AGSC 428 

The goal of this 3-credit spring course is to elevate agricultural students' awareness of peer-reviewed literature that demonstrates application of principles to address issues of sustainability in agriculture. The course will use a student-led discussion format to highlight issues and principles in review of a series of papers that the class will read. It will focus on the interaction among agronomy, ecology, economics, and sociology to create an awareness of the interdisciplinary issues associated with sustainability in agriculture. Topical issues associated with climate change impacts, system resilience and thresholds and ways to understand complex interactions will be considered for discussion. Co-convened with LRES 529.

Animal Science

The curricula in animal science provide students with a firm foundation in the biological and natural sciences, animal breeding, reproductive physiology, nutrition, and livestock production and management.  Learn more about the ANSC program and ANSC course offerings.

Livestock in Sustain Systems

ANSC 222

The role of livestock in balanced sustainable and organic systems will be explored in this 3-credit spring course with a primary focus on incorporating targeted grazing into farming systems. The principles of sustainable animal production and the regulations associated with organic animal production will be presented.


Students at MSU's School of Architecture learn how to design the spaces and structures where people live, work and play. Learn more about the ARCH program and ARCH course offerings.

Issues in Sustainability


Introduction to concepts and practices intended to create more sustainable communities where present generations are accountable for the needs of future generations and the natural environment. The 3-credit on-demand course will explore current multi-disciplinary practices in "ecological design".

Building Construction II

ARCH 340

This 4-credit course covers the development and integration of building materials and assemblies, construction costs and building systems into the construction documents, specifications and design of a small project. Building systems to be investigated include: structural environmental and enclosure, life safety and sustainability. 

Sustainability in Architecture

ARCH 431

This 3-credit spring, autumn, and summer course covers architectural and site strategies for reducing the energy footprint of structures and spaces with an emphasis on the profession's ethical responsibility and techniques that maximize the potential of active and passive design strategies to sustain our natural resources.

Comprehensive Design Studio

ARCH 558

Comprehensive architectural 6-credit, autumn studio which integrated design thinking and investigative skills with site design, accessibility and life safety, sustainability and environmental, and structural systems in the design and presentation of a programmatically complex building.

Business Management

The Professional Certificate in Business Management is a 25 credit certificate that supports current and future business owners and leaders by covering the many important aspects of growing and leading a successful small business. Learn more about the BMGT certificate and BMGT course offerings.

Sustainable Business Practices and the Natural Environment

BMGT 491

Offers a 3-week educational and cultural experience as you explore New Zealand and the commercial center of Sydney, Australia.  The course is open for all majors, led by Montana State University faculty, Martha Joh Reeder, MBA,  from the JJCBE. This 4-credit course includes an introduction workshop toward the end of Spring semester followed by a 3-week study abroad experience. LIMITED SPACE.  Apply by January 15, 2019. Early applicants considered first. This cross-discipline course focuses on sustainable practices - the relationships between people, business and the natural environment. Students will have the chance to visit some extraordinary natural environments, study the sustainable use of local resources, explore perspectives and actions of entrepreneurs, government, and community, and consider the different cultures that make up modern New Zealand and Australia.  For more information, contact Martha Joh Reeder at [email protected].

Chemical Engineering

Our graduate and undergraduate academic programs in chemical engineering and biological engineering prepare the next generation of engineering professionals. Both undergraduate programs are accreditedLearn more about Chemical & Biological Engineering Department and ECHM course offerings.

Energy and Sustainability


Students from all academic backgrounds explore an array of renewable and non-renewable energy sources and energy conversion systems in this 3-credit course. Contemporary and contentious energy related issues are presented, and course participants will formulate strategies to address them.

Sustainable Energy

ECHM 405

Review of energy sources, their extraction, conversion and end-use, focusing on modern technology and materials. This 3-credit course investigates the design, construction and operation of combustion-based energy conversion systems including boilers, engines and gas turbines, in addition to non-combustion-based energy conversion systems including solar-thermal, photovoltaics, wind turbines, fuel cells and batteries.

Community Health

The Department of Health and Human Developmentprepares students for careers that are dedicated to the enrichment of human well-being.  Learn more about the Department of Health & Human Development and CHTH course offerings.

Foundations in Community Health

CHTH 210

This 3-credit introduction to community health discipline outlining the history, evolution, and practice of delivering health information to communities. Principles and practices of community health including multicultural considerations, definitions of health, illness and disease, health education and promotion, demographics, epidemiology and the health of diverse populations throughout the lifespan.

Earth Science

The Earth Science department takes the Montana State University tagline “Mountains and Minds” quite literally.  Their faculty, staff, and students use their minds for learning and discovery in the scenic and rugged mountains of southwest Montana, as well as in mountainous areas and rural landscapes around the nation and worldwide.  Learn more about the Department of Earth Science and ERTH course offerings.

Weather and Climate

ERTH 303

This 3-credit fall course investigates the climates of the continents, and their classification, characteristics and interrelationships with other factors of the physical and human environment.

Surface Water Resources


This 3-credit on-demand course is a physical analysis of the surface portion of the hydrologic cycle: climate, evapotranspiration, precipitation, runoff, flooding, stream channels, sediment production, sediment transport and drainage basins. The surface-water resource in terms of regional supply and human use and intervention. Laboratory fee required.

Snow Dynamics and Accumulation


This 4-credit course is the senior capstone for the Snow Science Option. The accumulation, redistribution, and metamorphism of snow as related to humans. Avalanche, recreation, agriculture, silviculture, runoff, and the alpine environment. Field studies are conducted on a regular basis under rigorous field conditions.


The Geography subset of the Earth Science department develops a unique understanding of the interaction and spatial relationships between people and their physical, cultural and socioeconomic environments.  Learn more about the MSU Geography andGPHY course offerings.

Human Geography


This 3-credit fall course studies the global geographies of population and economic development; patterns of language and religion; global distributions of agriculture, industry, and urban landscapes; use of human geography to analyze selected world problems.

Urban Geography

GPHY 321

This 3-credit spring (odd years) course investigates the historical evolution and spatial patterns of urban places in the U.S. and the world; human-environment relationship in urban areas; analyses of urban economy and land use in the city; spatial structure of urban system in national and regional background; some important methods and theories in urban geographical research.

Economic Geography

GPHY 322

This 3-credit course covers topical issues and contemporary debates in economic geography with a focus on contemporary economic life and networks and their functions at the global, national, and local scales. Topics include: uneven development, climate change, transnational corporations, migrant labor and ethnic economies as well as the spatial patterns and location of economic activity.

Geography of Energy Resources

GPHY 326

This 3-credit spring course investigates pre-industrial and contemporary energy systems; global distribution of energy resources; implications of energy resource distribution for contemporary geopolitics and development; metrics of energy consumption.

Environment and Society

GPHY 329

This 3-credit fall course introduces students to the study of relationships between people and the environment from a social science perspective. It explores the social causes and consequences of environmental change and examines the different approaches to decision-making about environmental issues.

Geographical Planning

GPHY 365

This 3-credit spring course covers planning history in the U.S., including main factors, elements, organization, and issues of urban and rural planning in a geographical context as well as main principles, methods and tools of geographical planning, and integration of physical and human variables into the planning process.

Water and Society

GPHY 402

This 3-credit course introduces students to the study of relationships between people and the environment from a social science perspective. It explores the social causes and consequences of environmental change and examines the different approaches to decision-making about environmental issues.


GPHY 411

This 3-credit spring (odd years) course investigates factors affecting the geography of plants and animals in space and time.

Mountain Geography


This 4-credit fall (odd years) course covers the local, regional, and global importance of mountains as well as the geomorphology, climatology, and hydrology of mountain environments, and their relationship to human activities.

Tourism Planning

GPHY 461

This 3-credit course looks into the concepts and components of tourism systems; types and geographical patterns of main tourism resources; methods and theories in tourism geography studies; case analyses of tourism planning at site, regional and national scale.


Land Use Planning

GPHY 520

This 3-credit fall (odd year) course covers the history and philosophy of land use planning; application of geographical skills to contemporary land use planning issues. Selected topics include population pressure and land requirement, law, eminent domain, property right, public control over private land use, institution, and economics in land use planning.


Learn more about the Department of History & Philosophy program and HSTA course offerings.

Trans-Mississippi West

HSTA 464

A vast region of stunning beauty and amazing cultural richness, the American West today is undergoing rapid social, environmental, and economic change. Join Dr. Mark Fiege, the Wallace Stegner Chair in Western American Studies, for an unparalleled exploration of the historic forces and events, global, national, and local, that made--and now threaten to unmake--this distinctive land.

Liberal Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program at MSU offers a rigorous and multidisciplinary education that allows students flexibility in designing their own curriculum across a variety of disciplines. Learn more about the LS program and LS course offerings.

Sustainable Urban Development

LS 411

This course will investigate the theory, politics, ethics, and practice of sustainable urban design. As environmental degradation and urban sprawl continue to affect our cities, our communities, and our health, it is ever more important that responsible citizens be knowledgeable about the intersections of urban development and nature. 

Political Science

Students in the Political Science program learn to analyze, interpret, and explain political phenomena through the lens and using the methods of political scientists. Learn more about the PSCI program and PSCI course offerings.

Montana Energy Policy

PSCI 491 - Special Topics

A 12 week, 1-credit special topics course that integrates perspectives from political science, business, economics, and environmental science to explore the forces that shape Montana’s energy policies. Students will learn about the institutions in place that govern energy policy in the state, as well as regional, national, and international factors that contribute to a shifting energy policy landscape. To evaluate the future of energy policy in the state, it is essential to understand these diverse perspectives and the foundations of policy development in Montana.

Sustainable Food & Bioenergy

The Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems (SFBS) program offers an interdisciplinary, hands-on curriculum focused on the ecological, cultural, economic, and health aspects of food and bioenergy systems from production through consumption. Learn more about the SFBS program, and SFBS course offerings.

Introduction to Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems

SFBS 146

This 3-credit spring course provides an introductory foundation to explore and draw connections between key sustainability issues related to food and bioenergy systems. Interactive lectures, readings, activities, and field trips will provide exposure to a wide range of interdisciplinary topics including agro-ecology, natural resource management, crop production, livestock production, biodiversity, land use, livelihoods, nutrition, food choices, and policy.

Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Summer Field Course

SFBS 346

This 1-credit summer field trip course compares and contrasts large-scale agricultural operations across Montana. Students will gain an appreciation of the choices, opportunities, and challenges facing conventional, diversified, and organic producers. Interdisciplinary and systems level thinking will be practiced.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Food and Health

SFBS 429

This 3-credit autumn course teaches the basic bookkeeping, marketing, and management concepts for owning and operating a successful small business. Students will prepare a modified business plan based on individual interests. Special emphasis on sustainable design and corporate responsibility in food system enterprises.

Sustainable Food Systems


This 3-credit spring course examines the connections among the food industry, agriculture, and the environment and considers the sustainability of food choices. Students gain a systems perspective on current nutrition problems such as hunger, obesity, and disordered eating. Students conduct independent research.

Fish & Wildlife Science & Management

The Fish & Wildlife Management program (WILD) is one of the oldest and most successful natural resource programs in the United States. Faculty, staff and graduate students in the Program conduct research on the ecology and management of diverse mammal, bird, and fish species with special emphasis directed towards applied work. Learn more about the WILD program & WILD course offerings.

Wildlife and Livestock Habitat Restoration

WILD 355

This 3-credit fall course investigates the improvement and rehabilitation of rangeland, forest, and desert habitats used by wildlife and free-ranging livestock in the western United States. Topics include methods used to improve wildlife habitat as well as livestock forage. Design criteria for stock ponds, off-site water development, construction of bird/small mammal guzzlers, use of prescribed fire, mechanical, chemical and biological techniques to rehabilitate and improve rangeland, forest, and desert vegetation communities.

Range & Wildlife Policy and Planning

WILD 420

This 3-credit spring course explores primary rangeland and wildlife policy in North America, how it developed and how it is currently administered. Emphasis will be on the multidisciplinary application of policy for land resource and wildlife management planning. Animal & Range Sciences.

Wild Habitat Management

WILD 426

This 3-credit spring course places emphasis on wildlife habitat management in coordination with other land uses (i.e. agriculture, recreation, and development). Students gain insight into the details of wildlife habitat management by delving into historic and contemporary literature. Students develop proficiency in applied wildlife management through consideration of the three components (animal, habitat, human) common to all successful wildlife management efforts. Real world issues and solutions based on case study examples are emphasized.

Wildlife Habitat Ecology

WILD 438

This 3-credit spring course investigates the principles of habitat importance and management. Habitat requirements within wildlife population constraints will be emphasized with consideration of other natural resource demands. Students will be required to learn the ecological characteristics and gain proficiency in the identification of 40 important woody plants.

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