Minor in Mountain Studies

Mountain studies is an interdisciplinary field of study focusing on the physical and human dimensions of mountain environments. Coursework in the minor em-phasizes physical geography and mountain-society interactions, including a critical analysis of the processes of change and influence shaping local and regional mountain environments today. The minor in mountain studies takes advantage of existing faculty expertise and an array of courses to provide students with a science-based curriculum and global perspective. Students pursuing the minor in mountain studies will develop knowledge and skills appropriate for graduate study and for working with government and non-government agencies and groups. Field-based and international experiences are strongly encouraged.

The curriculum for the minor is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on courses in geography, geosciences, biology, forestry, and recreation management. The participating faculty members bring significant expertise in glacial processes, watershed hydrology, mountain hazards, alpine ecology, mountain-based livelihood systems, and wilderness politics and policy to this program. Field trips and field courses introduce students to the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Alberta, particularly the Crown of the Continent, and high mountain environments of South and Central Asia. Inquiries about the program should be addressed to one of the two co-advisors Drs. Sarah J. Halvorson; 406-243-2793 or Ulrich Kamp; 406-243-6469.

To download this PDF of requirements for the Minor in Mountain Studies, click here.


In addition to completing the requirements for a major in any discipline, students electing the minor in mountain studies must complete a minimum of 18 additional credits as follows:

1. Six credits must be core courses:

  • GPHY 214 Global Mountain Environments (3 cr.)
  • GPHY 338 Mountains & Society (3 cr.)

2. Six credits must be selected from the following list of region-specific mountain studies courses:

  • BIOO 101N Survey of Montana Wildlife & Habitats (3 cr.)
  • BIOO 335 Rocky Mountain Flora (3 cr.)
  • BIOL 342 Field Ecology (5 cr.) (summer field course at the Flathead Lake Biological Station)
    BIOL 459 Alpine Ecology (3 cr.) (summer field course at the Flathead Lake Biological Station)
    NRSM/GPHY 352 Himalayan Environment and Development (3 cr.)
    NRSM/GPHY 353 Tourism and Sustainability in the Himalaya (3 cr.)
    EVST/PTRM 418 Winter Wilderness Field Studies (3 cr.)
    GPHY 138 Montana's Mountains (3 cr.)
    GEO 231 Geosciences Field Methods (2 cr.)
    GPHY 344 Crown of the Continent (3 cr.)
    EVST/RSCN 382 Biogeography of Northwest Montana (3 cr.)
    GPHY 442 Regionalism and the Rocky Mountain West (3 cr.)
    GPHY 438 Mountain Field Study (3 cr.)
    GPHY 444 High Asia (3 cr.)

3. Six credits must be selected from the following list ofupper-division advanced mountain studies courses:

  • BIOL 451 Landscape Ecology (3 cr.)
    FORS 330 Forest Ecology (3 cr.)
    NRSM 385 Watershed Hydrology (3 cr.)
    GEO 391 Special Topics (3 cr.)
    GEO 433 Global Tectonics (3 cr.)
    PTRM 482 Wilderness and Protected Area Management (3 cr.)
    GEO 488 Snow, Ice and Climate (3 cr.)
    GPHY 317 Geomorphology (3 cr.)
    GPHY 411 Biogeography (3 cr.)
    GPHY 538 Mountain Studies Seminar (3 cr.)
                   - a 3.0 GPA is required