American Studies Program

The American Studies Graduate Program is designed to train students to think critically, to conduct research effectively, and to write lucidly. Students research and write in seminar settings as well as individually under the guidance of each student’s graduate committee.  The program seeks to expand students’ intellectual horizons and expose students to the variety of roles in academic and public life through seminar discussions, classroom instruction, teaching assistantships, and internships.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in American Studies or closely related field
  • Official undergraduate transcripts from all universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Letter of intent that addresses the applicant’s areas of intended study and the applicant’s qualifications for Master’s level work.
  • Writing sample

Contact Information

For more information about the American Studies Graduate programs, please contact the History and Philosophy Department at or by calling 406-994-4395.


American Studies offers the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, with a special focus on the American West. Major fields include American Arts, American History, American Literature, American Pluralism, and Public History.

Focus Areas

American Arts

Explore how visual and performing arts have shaped and reflected American culture, both past and present.

American History

MSU is internationally recognized for its strength in American history from the colonial period through the present.

American Literature

MSU offers a breadth and depth literary theory of past and present American Literature.

American Pluralism

Explore why American is considered a "nation of nations" by drawing on expertise from faculty in the departments of Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Native American Studies, Religious Studies, and Women's Studies.

Public History

Develop research interests and critical theory dedicated to understanding the roles of museums, historical sites, and heritage tourism in American culture.