2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Support, cont'd

College of Arts and Sciences

Northcutt Steele Gallery

The recently remodeled Northcutt-Steele Gallery, the new student gallery, and the Outer Gallery are located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts Building.  The Department of Art sponsors solo and group exhibitions featuring international, national and regional artists.  In addition, student art is exhibited throughout the year in graduating senior exhibitions, end-of-semester shows, and ad hoc shows organized by various student groups.

Presenting both established and emerging artists in a mix of traditional and experimental form, media and subject matter, these exhibits are offered for the benefit of both on and off-campus audiences.  In effect, the exhibits provide everyday access to art—a bridge linking students, the community, and the professional art world.

Exhibits are often accompanied by related events including gallery talks, slide lectures workshops and receptions.  All the exhibits and the majority of related events are free and open to the public.  A changing exhibit of Asian art from the Opal Leonard Collection is also located in the exhibition complex.

Surrounding this exhibition complex are the main Art Department offices, the Visual Resource Center, and the studios for drawing, painting, design, and printmaking.  The photography studio is located in the connected library building.  The Art Annex houses the ceramic and sculpture studio including foundry, welding area and wood shop.  Art history classes meet in various locations.  Art education classes meet in the College of Education building.


Montana State University Billings presents at least two major theatre productions each academic year and various other activities, such as “lunch box” performances, student productions, and touring companies and performers.  Any student may participate as a member of the cast or crew.  Major on-campus theatre productions are given in Petro Theatre, a 530-seat auditorium designed for play production and capable of hosting a variety of other events, from movies and lecture presentations to full performing arts programs.  The theatre has excellent lighting and sound equipment, a backstage production area and dressing rooms.


Students perform in choirs, bands and other musical ensembles each term.  Performances usually are given in Cisel Recital Hall, a 219-seat recital hall with excellent acoustics and the technology to enable recordings to be made of performances.  It is also used for student recitals.


MSU Billings’ Department of Biological and Physical Sciences maintains a greenhouse on campus to grow a variety of plants year-round, even in the deepest of Montana winters.  The greenhouse enables both students and faculty to work on plant projects no matter the season.


MSU Billings’ Department of Biological and Physical Sciences maintains a herbarium on campus that is registered in Index Herbariorum (a Global Directory of Public Herbaria of the world) and is part of a multi-herbarium web-accessible database of the vascular plants from the Missouri Plateau, U.S.A.  The University Herbarium is a collection of preserved plant specimens (some of which date back to early 1900’s) that serve as a tool for basic research in plant systematics, ecology, phytogeography, and evolution.  They are actively used in teaching and research as a resource to provide population localities for studies of a diverse nature, ranging from biological control to rare plants.   The University Herbarium was originally established in 1976 when the collections from the herbaria of Eastern Montana Normal School, Eastern Montana College, Rocky Mountain College, and USDA Forest Service were consolidated.  It has grown steadily to about 16,000 specimens.  The collections include plants of Montana, (emphasis on eastern Montana and Beartooth Plateau), Plants of India, Venezuela, Roberson County, Texas, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Herbarium, W.K. Kellogg Biological Field Station and vascular plants of Wisconsin, Ohio Utah, and many other places.

Research Projects

Montana State University Billings has been approved by the National Science Foundation as an undergraduate research site, in part because of the extent to which undergraduates have been involved in faculty research in the past.  Colleges which involve undergraduates in research efforts seem to have the highest success rates for training future scientists.  At MSU Billings students have presented research papers at various scientific conferences, such as the Montana Academy of Sciences and others out of state, and have had papers published in professional scientific journals.  Recent grants have made such studies possible for even more students.

National Institutes of Health Program in Biomedical Research Excellence (NIH-INBRE)

MSU Billings administers a 1.8 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health program in Biomedical Research Excellence (NIH-INBRE).  The NIH-INBRE grant supports faculty research in the molecular biology of infectious disease, student research opportunities in the biomedical sciences and the construction of new biomedical research laboratories.  The NIH-INBRE grant also involves close collaborations between faculty at MSU Billings and scientists at other universities in Montana.

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