MSU to offer non-credit course on Robert Pirsig and his book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’

Montana State University’s Continuing, Professional and Lifelong Learning program will offer a non-credit summer course on former MSU professor Robert Pirsig and his book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

The course will be taught by visiting scholar Peter B. Olson from Mississippi State University and will meet from 3 to 6 p.m. on July 9, 16 and 23. It is open to the public.

Students will explore how Pirsig’s philosophies can help people find balance in an increasingly fast-paced world. The course aims to provide a context where students can reflect on their own cultural concerns and reconsider ways to find a more harmonious relationship to their world.

Students will also have the opportunity to learn more about Pirsig and his literary contributions by visiting MSU’s Special Collections and Archive and examine the Robert Pirsig collection. Pirsig taught at MSU in the late 1950s. The author returned to Bozeman later in his life, where his hikes in the Gallatin range influenced his novel’s holistic view of nature that he associates with a Zen perspective. 

Registration for the course costs $169. For more information or to enroll, visit and click on Personal Enrichment or call 406-994-6550.