The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Arts in History allows students to specialize in the study of the American west, U.S. history, environmental history, and the history of science and technology. The history degree also provides an analytical gateway to areas beyond the United States, with courses of advanced study related to South Asia, East Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the ancient world. Internships at historical societies, museums, and Yellowstone National Park are also an important part of the educational experience and are strongly encouraged by the department.
A degree in history prepares students for teaching, graduate studies, public resource management, government service, law school, journalism, and other career opportunities that require critical thinking and clarity of communication. Students participate in original research projects and student-centered learning activities; they learn to read and analyze primary texts, as well as secondary literature, and to write thoughtfully about them. Students learn to create knowledge by thinking creatively and basing their ideas in the empirical authority inherent in careful examination of historical documents.
At all levels of the curriculum, the history degree provides students with the tools to think rigorously, to research and thereby generate knowledge empirically, and to articulate their thoughts coherently. In consultation with an advisor, students may select from a range of fields of concentration that are consistent with his or her interests and educational objectives.
The department encourages students to engage in the Departmental Honors Option. This option has the following requirements:
- Students must have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average in their major and a 3.0 GPA overall.
- Students must present an acceptable, bound senior thesis and an oral defense of the thesis.
Qualified students may enroll in the honors option through their departmental advisors.
- History Option
- History Teaching Option
- Science, the Environment, Technology, and Society (SETS) Option
- Japan Studies Option
The Department of History and Philosophy is dedicated to providing quality education in History for two graduate degree programs, the MA and the PhD. The Department offers concentrated training in three particular areas: the history of science, technology, and society; environmental history; and the history of the American West and Montana . While the degrees offered by the Department are grounded in American history, the faculty is committed to familiarizing students with World history, critical theoretical concerns, the history of women in a multi-cultural context, and to encouraging students to think about the history of the United States in a global context.