Department of Native American Studies

P.O. Box 172340
239 American Indian Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717-2340
406- 994-3881  Email:

Montana State University has an American Indian enrollment of approximately 820 students. There is an active American Indian Student Council (AIC) as well as chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) and the Society of American Indian Graduate Students (SAIGS). NAS houses the American Indian Student Center and the American Indian and Alaska Native Student Support Services office, with staff providing Native students with academic advising, counseling, and mentoring. The Student Center offers tutorial assistance, telephone and fax access, and a computer lab.


The closing date for receipt of completed applications for admission is May 15 for Summer, August 15 for Fall, and December 15 for Spring, although we encourage an earlier submission.

A bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission to the master's program in Native American Studies. The Graduate School recommends that prospective applicants reach out to the Native American Studies Department by email or phone call in order to ascertain the suitability of the program for the applicant.

Each applicant must submit the following during the online application process:

  1. Application to MSU-Bozeman (link above): application process includes a non-refundable $70 application fee.
  2. Official transcripts of all university/college degree(s) conferred: applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 for the last two years of undergraduate study. If the applicant received their degree from MSU; transcripts are not necessary.
  3. A 2-5 page statement of purpose and goals: this paper includes the applicant's experience and knowledge of historical and contemporary American Indian issues, work background, how the M.A. in NAS will help the applicant reach long range goals, and benefit American Indian peoples/communities.
  4. Two academic writing samples (demonstrating the applicant's research and writing capabilities).
  5. Three letters of recommendation: each recommender will address the applicant's potential as a graduate student. The letters, preferably from previous faculty, must be signed and sealed in envelopes or emailed by the faculty member (once prompted during the online process).
  6. A current curriculum vita or resumé.
  7. International Students Only: English proficiency scores are required for applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language. This requirement is waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S. Minimum scores are as follows: TOEFL [80], IELTS [level 6.5] or PTE [54].

Limited slots are available, and admissions are competitive.


For applicants also applying for graduate teaching assistantships, the deadline is April 15 for the following academic year. 

Applicants must be formally accepted by The Graduate School with departmental endorsement from Native American Studies. 

Financial Assistance

Graduate Teaching Assistantships, awarded on a competitive basis, are available in NAS to formally admitted graduate students. The GTA includes a 6 credit tuition waiver and stipend. Selected graduate students will teach two recitation sections of Introduction to Native American Studies and/or other NAS courses. See the Graduate Assistantships sections on the Graduate School website for detailed information on appointment criteria.

Graduate classes in Native American Studies

The Following upper division and graduate level courses are offered in Native American Studies:

NASX 405Gender Issues in Native American Studies3
NASX 415Native Food Systems3
NASX 430American Indian Education3
NASX 440Montana Indian Literature3
NASX 450History of American Indians3
NASX 470Indigenous Planning: Strategic Economic and Human Development Approaches3
NASX 471Native Grantsmanship3
NASX 476American Indian Policy and Law3
NASX 490RUndergraduate Research1-6
NASX 490ZUndergraduate Research1-6
NASX 491Special Topics1-4
NASX 492Independent Study1-3
NASX 494Seminar1
NASX 498Internship/Cooperative Educ2-12
NASX 505Proseminar Native Amer Studies3
NASX 515Native Food Systems3
NASX 520Fem/Gender Theories IN NAS3
NASX 521Tribal Government: Yesterday & Today3
NASX 523Am Indians/Minority in High Ed3
NASX 524Contemporary Issues in American Indian Studies3
NASX 525Indigenous Philosophies/Sacred Ecologies3
NASX 530Federal Law and Indian Policy3
NASX 542Research Praxis in Native American Studies6
NASX 550Native Americans: Dispelling the Myths3
NASX 551Native North America: Art, Agency, Activism3
NASX 552Indigenous Nations of Montana3
NASX 553Indigenous Literature and the West3
NASX 560Native American Lit Tradition3
NASX 570Indigenous Planning: Strategic Economic and Human Development Approaches3
NASX 571Native Grantsmanship3
NASX 575Professional Paper1-6
NASX 589Graduate Consultation1-3
NASX 590Master's Thesis1-10
NASX 591Special Topics1-4
NASX 592Independent Study1-3
NASX 594Seminar1-4
NASX 598Internship1-6

Further Information

For further information regarding the program, contact Native American Studies at (406) 994-3881 or e-mail  In addition, applicants may refer questions to The Graduate School or find the graduate catalog and policies on-line. All applicants are expected to be familiar with the degree requirements of both the department and The Graduate School. Also see the MSU University home page or the home page for Native American Studies.