Curriculum, Enrollment, and Graduation


Catalog and Curriculum

Catalog in Effect

MSU-Bozeman undergraduates may elect to follow the catalog in effect when they first enrolled at MSU, or any subsequent catalog, if there has not been a break of more than one academic year in their attendance and if they fall within the six-year catalog limitation policy. Undergraduate students transferring from any regionally accredited United States college or university may follow the MSU catalog which was in effect when they first entered the institution from which they transferred, or any subsequent catalog in effect prior to graduation, provided there has been no break in attendance. The six-year catalog limitation policy applies to transfer students.

MSU undergraduates who change majors may follow the catalog in effect when they began their freshman year at MSU or any subsequent catalog in effect prior to their graduation, provided there has been no break in attendance of more than one academic year. In these instances, too, the six-year catalog limitation policy will apply. In either case (transferring or changing majors) it may be necessary to make course substitutions within the department curricular requirements, due to changes in tabulations from year to year. Students should consult with their academic advisors about this. The curriculum advisor and department certifying officer make the official check on degree-specific requirements for graduation. The Registrar provides the final check on university requirements: CORE requirements, total credits earned, grade points, cumulative grade point average earned at MSU, as well as University-wide requirements during the last semester prior to graduation.

Six-Year Catalog Limitation Policy

Each MSU-Bozeman catalog covers a specific time period, usually two years, beginning fall semester of the first year and ending summer session two years later. From the time a student enters Montana State University, he or she has six years to fulfill the curricular requirements stated in the catalog in effect when he or she entered. If a student does not complete the requirements in six years, he or she must select a subsequent catalog. This policy applies to all students, including undergraduates who change major/curriculum and transfer students.

Change of Major/Curriculum

A Curriculum Changes from may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office, the college dean’s office, or online. A change of curriculum becomes official when the form is filed with the Registrar’s Office.  Students must be officially registered in their chosen curriculum for at least two semesters prior to graduation to be eligible for a degree in that curriculum.

Second Major

A student may declare a second major by completing the Curriculum Changes form.  A student may earn a second major by fulfilling the curricular requirements of that major in addition to the requirements of their primary major. The student is not required to complete additional core requirements for the second major since these requirements will have been fulfilled in the student's declared primary major.

The department of the second major will assign an adviser to assist the student in meeting all major requirements. The second major will be posted on the student’s transcript at the time of graduation upon verification by the Registrar that all curricular and procedural requirements have been met.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

There are two distinct methods for obtaining more than one bachelor’s degree:

A student who has already completed requirements for one bachelor’s degree must complete a minimum of thirty additional credits (nine of which must be upper division), all curriculum requirements of the second degree, and two semesters in residence at Montana State University after receiving the first degree. All courses listed on the student’s transcript at the time the first degree is granted are considered as required for and/or applied toward the first degree. None of the credits on the student’s transcript at the time the first degree was awarded may count toward the 30 additionally required credits.  A second degree student will not be required to complete additional University Core requirements, with the exception of students who have international degrees.

A student may work concurrently toward receipt of two bachelor’s degrees. These degrees may be awarded at the same time. In this case, the student must complete the courses required in both curricula and at least 30 credits beyond the larger number of credits required for the two degrees he or she is seeking. Fifty-one credits (forty-two credits for the first degree; nine for the second) of the total minimum number of credits required for both degrees must be upper division. A student working under this option must declare their intentions by submitting a completed Curriculum Changes form.

Minors

A student must declare their intentions of seeking a minor(s), by submitting a completed Curriculum Changes form prior to submitting their graduation application. A student must be working toward a major in order to declare a minor(s). The minimum number of credits required for a minor is twenty-one, with nine of those being upper-division credits. There are two categories of minors:

Teaching Minors

Teaching minors must be approved by the certifying officer in the Education Department.

Non-Teaching Minors

Non-teaching minors must be approved by the certifying officer in the related department.

Fresh Start Policy

A former Montana State University undergraduate who returns to the University after a minimum absence of five years will have the opportunity to petition to begin a new cumulative (or Fresh Start) GPA as follows:

  1. After returning to Montana State University, a student must complete thirty credits of academic study with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for the new course work before petitioning for a Fresh Start GPA.
  2. A student who is eligible for a Fresh Start GPA must petition for a new cumulative GPA during the semester following that in which he or she meets the requirements stated in #1.
  3. A student may begin a Fresh Start GPA only once.
  4. Student petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Admission and Graduation Requirements Board. The decisions of the Board will be final.
  5. When the new GPA is started, all previous grades and credits earned at Montana State University are excluded; it is not possible to select some grades and credits to exclude while retaining others. Only Montana State University grades and credits will be excluded.
  6. The new GPA begins the first semester the student is re-enrolled. The transcript will state that a new GPA has been started. The old grades will remain on the transcript. Although old credits will appear on the transcript, they may not be used to fulfill any University requirements.

Students wishing to petition for a Fresh Start GPA should contact the Registrar’s Office to initiate the process.


Registration

Dates for Registration

The dates for registration each semester are published in the Registration Handbook, which is printed prior to registration and is available from the Registrar’s Office. The Registration Handbook is also available online through the MyInfo link on the MSU Homepage. Information on registration and course offerings is also provided in the Registration Handbook and online. A currently enrolled student in good standing will receive registration times and registration PIN from academic departments.

Registration Checklist

  1. Check status and degree progress in DegreeWorks (available online through MyInfo)
  2. Plan your schedule for the following semester (DegreeWorks and upcoming schedule of classes are available through MyInfo).
  3. Set up appointment with academic advisor
  4. Meet with advisor to review academic schedule and receive you’re registration PIN.
  5. Register for classes via MyInfo.  See Registration Handbook or online instructions for details.
  6. All outstanding fees/charges must be paid before registration and students must pay all new fees at the scheduled time of fee payment. (See semester Registration Handbook for fee payment times.)

Academic Advisers

Academic advisers are available to help students plan their programs of study and make informed choices about courses. Although students are fully responsible for their academic decisions, they should recognize the advantages of close cooperation and understanding between themselves and their advisers.
Because academic advisers are usually associated with a students’ major department or field, students should contact their major departmental offices or the offices of their college deans to determine the names and locations of their advisers. In some programs such as University Studies, Native American Studies, University Honors, pre-health professions, or WAMI, special assistance is available from advisers in those areas.

Classification of Students

  • At the end of each semester, students are classified as follows:
  • Freshman: A student who is entitled to regular or conditional admission with less than thirty credits.
  • Sophomore: A student who has earned thirty to fifty-nine credits.
  • Junior: A student who has earned sixty to eighty-nine credits.
  • Senior: A student must have earned ninety or more credits.
  • Second bachelor’s degree candidate: A student who has already earned one or more baccalaureate degrees and is seeking another.
  • Non-degree undergraduate student: A student taking courses for special interest, but not planning on using the credit toward a degree.
  • Non-degree graduate student: A student with at least a baccalaureate degree but not seeking another degree.
  • Graduate degree student: A student who has at least a baccalaureate degree and has been accepted into The Graduate School.

Drop/Add Regulations and Procedures

Add Procedure

Students may add classes online using MyInfo through the 5th day of class. After the 5th day of the semester, all adds require the signatures from the instructor and advisor on the Add/Drop form.  After the 10th day of the semester, all adds require the additional signature of the Assistant Dean of the student’s major curriculum on the Drop/Add form.

Drop Procedure

Students may drop classes online using MyInfo through the 10th day of class. After the 10th day of the semester, all drops require the signatures of the instructor and advisor on the Add/Drop form.  After the 15th day of the semester (although no refund will be issued), students may continue to drop courses with a grade of “W” up through the last day of the official registration period for the following semester, with the approval of the academic advisor and their course instructor.  Add/Drop forms are available online or through the Office of the Registrar.

Note that if the student has paid fees and wishes to drop all courses, a University Withdrawal must be obtained through the Office of Student Success.  Graduate students seeking a complete withdrawal must contact the Graduate School. Each student is responsible for fees upon registration. Contact the Student Accounts Office for partial-refund dates.

Taking Courses for zero Credit

Auditing Course

Registered students may, with the permission of the instructor, enroll in a course as auditors and earn zero credit. A student must decide to audit a course by the tenth class day of the semester. Auditors pay the same fees as students enrolled for credit.

Non-Matriculated (listener)

Any adult not regularly enrolled may, with the permission of the instructor, register for a non-laboratory class. Application forms for non-matriculated enrollment are obtained from the Registrar’s Office, and the Registrar reviews the completed application for compliance. Payment is required upon approval at the rate charged a regularly enrolled in-state student. A listener may not participate in class discussions or take examinations.

Absence from Classes

When students enroll in a course, they enter a contractual agreement with the instructor for the duration of the course, and both the student and the instructor are expected to honor the specified terms of that agreement. It is important, therefore, for the student to understand the attendance requirements in each course. The instructor should communicate these requirements during the first or second class meeting in writing via the course syllabus.

Absences from classes are handled exclusively within the purview of the individual instructor. If a student has an accident, falls ill, or suffers some other emergency over which he or she has no control, the student should gather available documentation (e.g., copies of repair or tow bills, prescriptions, accident reports, or statements from physicians) to show to instructor. In some instances, the student may wish to petition the instructor for I grades.

The provisions for making up missed class work may vary from one instructor to another. Most but not necessarily all instructors provide for some opportunity to make up missed work: for example, if a student is absent from campus to participate in a university-sponsored event. Students involved in such activities should advise their instructors of these events in advance and determine what arrangements are available to make up missed class work.

Class Rolls

During the third day of University instruction and thereafter, those students who have registered but have not attended class may be required by the instructor to drop the course when space and/or equipment is limited and other students have requested to add that class. Students are not automatically dropped; this action requires a student-initiated drop/add form.

University Withdrawal

If a student must withdraw from all classes after he or she has confirmed attendance or paid fees, he or she must initiate the withdrawal through the Office of Student Success.  Graduate students must initiate the withdrawal through the Graduate School.

Students who withdraw before the end of the fifteenth day of instruction will not receive grades for any registered courses. Thereafter through the last day of instruction a grade of W shall be assigned in all courses for which the student is registered unless the Dean of Students authorizes otherwise.  The Dean of Students Office also indicates the official date of the university withdrawal.

Students who leave the campus without withdrawing through regular channels or who withdraw late without extraordinary reasons will receive F grades in all course work for that semester.

Retroactive University Withdrawal Policy

A retroactive university withdrawal may be an option for students who were unable to complete a standard university withdrawal during the semester of their departure from the university. A retroactive university withdrawal is an extraordinary remedy that is available only for the reasons set forth below. Students who are granted a retroactive university withdrawal receive W grades in all courses for the semester in which they apply for the retroactive withdrawal. Requests for retroactive withdrawals must be submitted no later than three years from the last day of the semester for which the withdrawal is sought.

Students who leave the campus without applying at the Dean of Students Office for a university withdrawal during the semester of departure or who fail to withdraw through regular channels or who fail to withdraw for extraordinary reasons may apply for a retroactive university withdrawal only if they can provide evidence of the following:

  1. The student had a debilitating illness or injury that significantly limited his/her capacity to withdraw in a timely manner; or
  2. The student was forced to leave the University abruptly due to health or safety emergency within his/her immediate family; or
  3. The student has been recommended to apply for a retroactive university withdrawal by the University Scholastic Appeals Board and meets the other criteria for a retroactive university withdrawal.

To apply for a retroactive university withdrawal, students must submit a formal letter of request to the Dean of Students, no later than three years after the last day of the semester for which the withdrawal is sought. The student must include his/her name, and student identification number, dates for the requested retroactive withdrawal, and supporting documentation to verify claims of illness, injury or emergency which precluded the student from applying for a university withdrawal during the semester of departure. The Dean of Students Office will assign the official date of the retroactive university withdrawal.

An Appellate Board will convene to review the request for a retroactive withdrawal upon receipt of appropriate verification of potential eligibility. Requests for a retroactive withdrawal will be considered by the Appellate Board only if sufficient documentation is provided to support claims of extraordinary illness, injury, or emergency. The review process will be limited to a review of documents and student records. The Dean of Students, in his/her capacity as Chair of the Appellate Board, shall inform the student of the Board’s decision with ten working days of the Hearing. The decision of the Appellate Board is final.

Undergraduate Student Petitions for Registration and Reservation of Certain Courses

Generally, courses are applied to the student record associated with the academic level (undergraduate or graduate)of the student at the time the course was taken.  Students may petition to reserve certain classes in certain situation to be applied to an academic level other than their current status.  For example: register for and reserve undergraduate or graduate credits for possible application to a graduate degree, register for a graduate course for use toward an undergraduate degree, register while a graduate student for use toward an undergraduate degree, register for a graduate class as a foreign exchange student with no intent to use the credit toward an MSU degree.

To reserve a course a student must complete the Petition to Reserve/Register for Credits form available through the graduate school.  A successful petition must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The student is of senior or post baccalaureate standing.
  2. The student has a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.25.
  3. All prerequisites for the course(s) have been completed.
  4. Credits reserved for graduate degree may not exceed nine (9) in total.
  5. For reserved credits to be applied to the graduate transcript the student must earn a minimum grade of a B.
  6. The petition may not include any internship or independent study courses for either registration or reservation.
  7. The petition is filed prior to registering for the course.

A graduate-level course approved by petition may be used either for fulfilling undergraduate or graduate program requirements, but not for both. The student must indicate on the petition form the intended use of the registered/reserved course credits.

Undergraduate senior students with financial aid should be aware that credits reserved for future application to a graduate program may affect their current financial aid eligibility.


Examinations

Common Hour Exams

Common hour exams are given during the semester for multi-section courses. Dates and times are posted online at www.montana.edu/registrar/Schedules. These exams take the place of one class meeting and are included in the student’s commitment to the course upon enrolling in it. For the complete Common Hour Exam Policy, please go to the Code of Conduct, Policies, Regulations, & Reports section of the catalog.

Final Exams

Final examinations in one-credit courses are given during regular class periods. Final examinations for all other courses are scheduled by the Registrar and published online, and may not be rescheduled or given prior to the start of the final examination period. According to University policy, the examination period is instructional time, and it is expected that some instructional use is made of this period if a final examination is not given. When a final examination is given it must be given at the time shown in the examination schedule. Exception: no formal laboratory classes are held during final examination days.

A student who has three or more final examinations on any one day should first contact the instructors of the courses to see if one exam can be rescheduled. If this rescheduling cannot be resolved, then the student should contact the assistant dean of his or her college at least one week before the beginning of final examination week to assist in resolving the conflict.


Credits and Grades

Definitions

  • Course. A course is a unit of instruction in a subject-matter area offered in a single university semester. Resident courses (courses for which resident credit is granted) are those listed in the Schedule of Classes. Continuing education courses are arranged through Extended University.
  • Credit. A credit is the unit used in computing the amount of work required for graduation. One credit is equivalent to three hours of work each week for one semester. One lecture hour assumes two hours of work outside of class. In the case of laboratories, library work, or studio classes, the entire time may be spent under the supervision of the instructor.
  • Credit Load. Undergraduate students who are enrolled for twelve or more credits and graduate students for nine or more credits, will be certified and reported as full-time students. Completion of a 120-credit undergraduate curriculum in four years requires students to complete an average of fifteen credits each semester.
  • Curriculum. A curriculum is a combination of courses that constitutes a program of study leading to the completion of an academic program.
  • Semester. Montana State University operates on a semester system consisting of two semesters and a summer session. The Term Calendar gives the dates of each semester.
  • Grades. The quality of the student’s work in each course is denoted by a letter grade according to the following tabulation. In computing scholastic averages, each letter grade is assigned a specific number of grade points for each credit. Final grades are due within forty-eight hours after the final examination in each course and are generally posted to the student record by the end of the week following finals. No grade or credit will be given to students in courses for which they are not properly registered.

Minimum Competency Requirements

The Montana Board of Regents has established a common policy on minimum course grades across all campuses in the system. According to the policy, a grade of C-or better is required to satisfy requirements for pre-requisite and required courses in majors, minors, and certificate programs and for all core requirements. Further, a grade of C- or better is required in all courses that will be counted toward the 42 upper-division credits required in all degrees. Courses with a passing grade of D-, D, or D+ may only be counted toward the overall 120 credit requirement. This policy creates a minimum requirement, which may be superseded by more stringent requirements within specific majors. Any such requirements are explained within the descriptions of those curricula.

Passing Grades

Grade Quality of Work Grade Points for Each Credit
AExcellent4.0
A-3.7
B+3.3
BGood3.0
B-2.7
C+2.3
CFair2.0
C-1.7
D+1.3
D1.0
D-Passing0.7
NContinuing (Math only)0
PPass0
SSatisfactory (CEU only)0
WWithdraw0
AuAudit0
NRMissing Grade0

Non-passing Grades

Grade Quality of Work Grade Points for Each Credit
FFailure0
IIncomplete0

Grade-Point Average

The general quality of a student’s work is expressed in terms of a grade point average (GPA). Only credits taken at MSU are used to compute the cumulative grade point average. GPA is used to determine academic standing including: University probation, suspend warning, or suspended. The grade-point average is computed by dividing the sum of grade points earned by the sum of credits carried, except that neither the credits nor the grade points shall be counted for courses passed on a pass/fail basis.

For repeated courses, only the credits and grades received the last time the course was taken will be used in the calculation of the cumulative grade-point average, and only the credits received the last time the course was taken will be included in the credits counted for graduation. However, all grades received will be listed on the transcript. Repeated courses will be noted on the transcript with an "E" (when the course grade is excluded from GPA calculation).  The most recent attempt at the course will be noted with an "I" and included in GPA calculation.  Excluding a grade from a previous semester does NOT affect the calculation of academic standing for that semester.  Academic standing remains as it was originally earned.

W Grade Eligibility

After the 15th day of the semester, students may drop courses and receive a grade of W (withdrawal) only if approved by the academic advisor and course instructor. Approval is not guaranteed, and no refund is given. Until the last day of the official registration period for the following semester, students use a Drop/Add form to drop courses with a W. The W grade is non-punitive; it counts in credits attempted but not in earned credits or in quality points toward the GPA. If a student repeats the course in a subsequent semester, the new grade will count in the GPA but the original W grade will remain on the transcript.

I Grade (Incomplete)

Instructors may assign a grade of "I" (Incomplete) when students have been unable to complete their academic obligations because of circumstances beyond their control.  The University takes the position that when students register, they commit themselves to completing their academic obligations as their primary responsibility. Therefore, the instructor may assign an I grade only in cases when students have suffered extreme personal hardship or unusual academic situations.

An instructor may assign an I grade in cases of personal hardship when students have been unable to fulfill their commitments because of illness, death or illness in the immediate family, family emergencies, or military orders. The Dean of Students will verify personal hardship cases at the instructor’s request. The instructor may assign an I grade to a student for personal hardship, provided the student has completed three-fourths of the work of the course with a passing grade. If the student has not satisfactorily completed three-fourths of the course work the instructor must provide written justification for assigning an I grade.

An instructor may also assign an I grade, subject to the department head’s approval, in cases when a student has been unable to complete course requirements for reasons such as apparatus or equipment failure, death or disease in experimental animals, delays in material shipments from suppliers, or in other unusual academic circumstances which are clearly beyond the student’s control. In these situations, the student must have completed three-fourths of the work of the course with a passing grade. If the student has not satisfactorily completed three-fourths of the course work the instructor must provide written justification for assigning an I grade.

In each instance qualifying for an I grade, the instructor must prepare an I-Grade Authorization form. On this form, the instructor will list the makeup requirements and the date beyond which the I will revert to a F grade.

To change the I grade after the make-up work has been completed, the instructor will obtain the Grade Change from the Registrar’s Office, place the grade on the form, and return it to the Registrar’s Office. Unless an alternate time is specified by the instructor, an I grade shall be made up no later than the end of the following semester (excluding summer session). An instructor may extend the specified completion time by submitting the required documentation to the Registrar’s Office before the reversion grade takes effect. An I grade may not be extended beyond one calendar year. An I grade not made up in the prescribed length of time or within one calendar year lapses to a failure (F).

Make-Up of I Grades

An I Grade make-up is reported to the Registrar on a Grade Change Form. No fee is charged. These grades are not included on the next semester grades.
During the time allowed for the completion of the unfinished work leading to the I grade, the student may have access to university resources (e.g., library) necessary to complete the work.

N Grade

An N grade may be assigned to students enrolled in sequential learning courses only. This grade indicates that, though students have not completed the course, they have made satisfactory progress. These students must re-enroll in the course immediately in order to continue with the course work and complete the course.

Pass/Fail

Undergraduate students may take some of their University elective courses on a pass/fail basis subject to the following restrictions:

  1. Students can elect the pass/fail option only for courses that are outside their departments and are not required for graduation. Pass/fail courses may not be applied toward completion of Core requirements. This restriction does not apply to (ACT) activity courses.
  2. A student may not register for more than one pass/fail elective course per semester, excluding one-credit (ACT) activity courses.
  3. Undergraduate students may take a maximum of twelve credits of pass/fail elective courses. This maximum does not include courses that are offered only on a pass/fail basis.
  4. Students register for pass/fail courses in the same manner as for other courses, but they must have written permission from their advisers, college deans, and the instructors of the course. The Registrar has forms for this purpose.
  5. The instructor’s requirement to obtain a grade of P in the course must be submitted with the Request for Pass/Fail form.
  6. Students may only change a pass/fail registration to a regular registration, or a regular registration to a pass/fail registration, prior to the end of the tenth day of instruction. Students will follow the regular drop-add procedures, except that students changing to a pass/fail registration must also secure the written permission of the instructor and adviser (see 4 above).
  7. Prerequisites apply for all courses taken on a pass/fail basis.

Pass/Fail Grading

As a general policy, courses at Montana State University are graded by the letter grades, A, A-, B+, B, etc. However, in certain courses, pass/fail grading may be more appropriate. Courses may be offered on a pass/fail basis for all students registered in the course, with the approval of the department head and college dean. Courses offered on a pass/fail basis will be identified in the Schedule of Classes. Permission to offer a course on a pass/fail basis is limited to one academic year; if the permission is not renewed, the course reverts to a letter-grade basis.

In pass/fail grading, passing work will receive a P grade on the student’s transcript, but it will not count in the grade point average. However, the course credit will count toward the number of credits required for graduation. Failing work will receive an F grade and will count in the grade-point average.

Grade Changes

Once a grade has been reported by the instructor to the Registrar, it cannot be changed except in case of clerical error or unless it was fraudulently obtained. All grades and credits will stand as recorded in the Registrar’s official record if changes are not reported in writing to the Registrar within five years of the last day of the semester in which the course was taken.

A change of final grade does not mean allowing additional time to complete the work of a course or allowing the student to submit work or to take or to retake examinations after the conclusion of the semester. A change of grade is not a substitute for an I grade when an I grade cannot be justified.

A change of grade may be made only with the approval of the department head. If the grade being changed was given more than one academic year previously, the college dean must also approve the change.


Dean's List and President's List

Any undergraduate student who passes twelve or more college-level credits and attains a 3.50 grade-point average or better for any one semester is placed on the Dean’s List. A student who receives a 4.00 grade-point average and is taking twelve college-level credits or more is placed on the President’s List. Developmental courses do not count towards the twelve credits required. The names of the students making the Dean’s List and President’s List are announced by the Registrar at the end of each semester. These lists apply only to undergraduate students.


Scholastic Probation and Suspension

When a student’s semester or cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.0, the record of the student’s performance is reviewed by the University Scholastic Appeals Board, which is composed of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, and the dean or assistant dean of the college concerned. The board meets between semesters and at other times as needed to act upon individual cases recommended for either suspension or transfer out of a curriculum. This board has the authority:

  1. to suspend a student from the University for scholastic reasons,
  2. to reinstate a student who has been suspended for scholastic reasons, and
  3. to require a student to transfer out of a curriculum with the consent of both colleges involved.

The chairperson of this board will notify students in writing of the action. (The designation probation, suspension warning, or suspension will be entered on the student’s permanent record.) Semester grade reports indicate the status of students, and it is the individual student’s responsibility to review his or her grade report each semester.

Appeal of Suspension

A student who has been suspended may appeal the suspension if he or she believes there were extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control of which the University Scholastic Appeals Board was unaware when it reached its decision. Appeal forms are available from the offices of academic deans.

Reinstatement

A student who was suspended for the first time is automatically reinstated after one semester has elapsed (exclusive of Summer Session). In order to enroll again at MSU, however, a suspended student must submit an Intent to Register form to the Registrar’s Office. After a second suspension, one academic year must elapse before the student will be reinstated, again with submission of an Intent to Register. Students may complete their intent to register online through there MyInfo account.  Completed Intent to Register submissions must be received by the following approximate deadline dates (check with the Registrar’s Office for current deadline dates).

For Reinstatement Deadline
Fall SemesterAugust 1
Spring SemesterJanuary 1
Summer SessionMay 1

Students who have received more than two suspensions must petition for reinstatement through their academic dean to the University Scholastic Appeals Board. Petitions are available from the academic deans and must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines listed above.

Reinstated students will be on “probation” when they re-enroll. When students achieve a term and cumulative GPA of 2.00 and above, the “probation” designation is removed. Students must have a 2.00 term and cumulative GPA to graduate.

Guidelines Used by the University Scholastic Appeals Board

Grade Point Average (TGPA = Term GPA, CGPA = Cumulative GPA)

Previous Status0 ≤ TGPA < 11 ≤ TGPA <22 ≤ TGPA ≤ 4 and 0 ≤ CGPA < 22 ≤ TGPA ≤ 4 and 2 ≤ CGPA ≤ 4
Good StandingUniversity Probation*College ProbationN/AGood Standing
College ProbationSuspension*Suspension Warning*Continuing College ProbationGood Standing
Continuing College ProbationSuspension*Suspension Warning*University Probation*Good Standing
University ProbationSuspension*Suspension Warning*University Probation*Good Standing
Suspension WarningSuspension*Suspension*University Probation*Good Standing
Suspension (Re-instated)Suspension*Suspension Warning*University Probation*Good Standing
*

These academic actions appear on the student’s transcript

Good StandingA student has both a term GPA and cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 or better or is a new student (transfer students may be admitted on university probation).
College ProbationA student in “good” standing has received the first term GPA between 1.00 and 1.99.
Continuing College ProbationA student previously on College Probation has raised the term GPA above 2.00 but the cumulative GPA is not above 2.00.
University ProbationA student previously on University Probation has raised the term GPA above 2.00 but the cumulative GPA is not above 2.00, or has received a term GPA between 0.00 and 0.99 after being in “Good” standing.
Suspension WarningA student has received a term GPA less than 2.00 for the past two terms. One more term with a GPA less than 2.00 will result in suspension.
SuspensionStudents will be required to sit out one term on their first suspension and one year on their second suspension. Third suspensions will be handled on an appeal basis only.

All students in either College Probation, University Probation, or Suspension Warning status remain in some form of probationary status until both their most recent term GPA and their cumulative GPA are above 2.0.


Credits for Degree Completion

Credits

A candidate for the bachelor’s degree must complete the minimum number of credits required for the degree selected. The minimum number of credits must be composed of credits earned for graduation. The required number of credits varies among the four-year curricula leading to the bachelor’s degree.

Credits Earned for Graduation

Credits earned for graduation shall mean the total number of credits for which passing grades (A through C-, and P) have been received in courses numbered 100 or above. If students repeat courses in which they have passing grades, the most recent grade will be the effective grade for graduation. A course taken by an undergraduate or a non-degree student may not later be repeated and applied toward requirements for a graduate degree. For further credit-use restrictions, see Special Topics and Individual Problems, or refer to the Course Descriptions for maximum allowable credit limits placed on certain courses. All courses taken prior to degree completion are used toward fulfillment of the specific degree requirements, and the permanent record is closed as of the completion date.

Upper-Division Credit Requirement

A minimum of forty-two credits for the first degree and at least nine additional credits for the second degree must be earned in courses numbered 300 and above (upper-division courses). As required by the Minimum Competency Requirements, a grade of C- or better is required in all courses to be counted toward the upper division credits required in all degrees.

Note: The curricula for specific majors may have more stringent requirements.

Special Topics and Individual Problems Courses

No more than twelve credits of Special Topics 291 or 491 combined in each rubric will count toward graduation. No more than six credits of 492 Independent Study in each rubric will count toward graduation. Some departments have established lower limits than these, and students are responsible for checking course listings to ensure that they do not exceed the allowable number of credits in each category.

Transfer Student Credit Requirements at MSU-Bozeman

To graduate from Montana State University, transfer students must earn not less than thirty MSU credits and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, as well as meet the curriculum requirements for a degree. Furthermore, twenty-three of the last thirty credits earned to meet graduation requirements must be MSU credits.

Correspondence Credits and Extension Courses

No more than thirty semester credits earned by correspondence, extension, or continuing education from accredited colleges or universities may be counted toward graduation. However, special circumstances may warrant consideration, and approval of such courses is on a case-by-case basis.

Advanced Standing

Under certain circumstances, if students can demonstrate mastery of course work not taken at the University, they may receive advanced standing and University credit for the course. Two mechanisms are available for obtaining advanced standing:

  1. College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Montana State University awards credit toward graduation for successful performance in certain Subject Examinations of the College Level Examination Program conducted by the College Entrance Examination Board. Students may arrange to take these examinations on campus or at designated centers throughout the country. Passing grades are determined by Montana State University. These students receive credit and a P grade on the transcript for scores above the passing level; scores below the passing level are not entered on the transcript. CLEP examinations do not apply as a grade waiver for a course previously taken. University Core requirements cannot be satisfied by the CLEP procedures. In general, a department will not give a challenge examination if a CLEP examination is available for the same course.
  2. Advanced Standing by Challenge. Challenge provides the opportunity to earn college credits and grade points without formal course enrollment. A student who has completed the work of a college course on his or her own initiatives and time, may, with the approval of the student’s academic advisor, the instructor, the department heads, and the college deans, take a comprehensive examination in the subject matter of the course. Performance in the examination will become the basis for a grade in the course, and the results will be recorded on the student’s permanent academic record at the end of the term which the challenge exam is taken. Official permission forms should be secured in advance from the Registrar’s Office. Students must be registered at MSU when they take the challenge examination, and they must have passed ten credits of regular course work at Montana State University before the challenge grade will be recorded on their permanent records.

The challenge examination for credit in a course which is a prerequisite to a second course must be taken before completion of the second course. Students who have enrolled in a regular or an extension course and received a grade other than W or have taken a regular or an extension course for zero credit may not challenge that course. Challenges are not permitted in any 290, 291, 292, 490, 491, 492 and 498 courses.

A fee of $30 per credit is assessed and must be paid prior to taking the challenged exam.

The following list gives the names of the CLEP examinations and the course for which credit is given:

NRSM 101Nat Resource ConservationNatural Resource Consevation
BIOB 170INPrincipls of Biological DiversityGen Biology
BIOB 160Principles of Living SystemsGen Biology
ECNS 101ISEcon Way of ThinkingIntro Microecon
ECNS 202Prin of MacroeconomicsIntro Microecon
EDU 222ISEduc Psych & Child DevelopmentSch Age Educ Psych
LIT 110IHIntro to LitAnalysis & Interp of Lit
HSTR 101IHWestern Civilization IWestern Civilization I with essay
HSTR 102IHWestern Civilization IIWestern Civilization II with essay
HSTA 101IHAmerican History IAm Hist I with essay
HSTA 102IHAmerican History IIAmerican History II with essay
M 151QPrecalculusPrecalculus
M 171QCalculus ICalc with Elem Fncts
FRCH 101Elementary French ICol French I
FRCH 102DElementary French IICol French I & II
FRCH 201DIntermediate French ICol French I & II
GRMN 101Elementary German ICol German I
GRMN 102DElementary German IICol German I & II
GRMN 201DIntermediate German ICol German I & II
SPNS 101Elementary Spanish ICol Spanish I
SPNS 102DElementary Spanish IICol Spanish I & II
SPNS 201DIntermediate Spanish ICol Spanish I & II
PSCI 210ISIntro to American GovernmentAm Govt
BIOB 110CSIntoduction to Plant BiologyPlant Science, Resource & Environment
PSYX 100ISIntro to PsychologyIntro Psy
SOCI 101ISIntroduction to SociologyIntro Soc

In general, a department will not give a challenge examination if a CLEP examination is available for the same course.

Deficiencies, I, and F Grades

All deficiencies, make-up grades, transfer work, advanced standing, and challenge examinations must be completed and transcripts filed in the Registrar’s Office at least one month before the end of the semester of expected graduation.


Graduation Registration Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees

Graduation Registration Requirements

A student must be registered at Montana State University the semester of his or her graduation. If the student is not required to take any courses at Montana State University during the final semester, he or she must process an “in absentia” registration and pay a registration fee of $30 before the end of the third week of the semester he or she expects to earn a degree. Arrangements for this registration must be made by the student with the Registrar. Graduate students must have the written permission of the Graduate Dean to register in absentia.

Students must be officially registered in their chosen curriculum for at least two semesters prior to graduation to be eligible for a degree in that curriculum.

Except for certain pre-professional curricula (e.g., pre-medicine), twenty three of the last thirty credits earned to meet the graduation requirement must be MSU credits. Specific majors may have program-specific requirements for courses that must be taken from MSU to meet graduation requirements. Such requirements are clearly identified in the curriculum description for that department.


Graduation Procedures

Notification of Degree Eligibility

Students are expected to submit an Application for Baccalaureate Degree form by October 1st for spring semester graduation and March 1st for summer or fall semester graduation. A $30 degree application fee is assessed at the time the Application for Degree form is filed. Returning former students must file the application during the first week of university instruction of the semester of completion. Application for Degree forms can be moved from one semester to the next within one academic year. Changing graduation terms after initial filing results in an additional $30 processing fee.  If, however, it is necessary to delay graduation beyond one academic year, the student must file a new Application for Degree form.

Satisfaction of Financial Obligation

All candidates for degrees must fully satisfy their financial obligations to the University (or make arrangements with Montana State University for doing so) as a condition for completing their degree programs. Candidates failing to comply with this requirement shall not be eligible for graduation, diplomas, degrees, or any transcripts of their records.

Graduation Grade Point Average

In order to graduate, students must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.00. Further restrictions and graduation requirements may be imposed by the various curricula. To receive a graduate degree from MSU-Bozeman, students must earn a 3.00 grade point average required in the major and minor for the degree. Students must also earn 3.00 grade point average taken at MSU-Bozeman which are required in the major and minor.

Graduation with Honors

Graduation with honors or highest honors applies only to baccalaureate degrees.

To receive honors, a student must earn a cumulative grade-point average between 3.25 and 3.69. To receive highest honors, a student must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.70. Cumulative grade point averages are computed at the end of the semester of graduation.

All MSU credits attempted and grades received will be used in computing graduation with honors or highest honors.

Transfer students receiving their first baccalaureate degree must meet the cumulative grade-point average requirements stated above and complete a minimum of sixty semester credits at MSU. The credits earned at MSU must compute to minimum grade point averages of 3.25 or 3.70 for graduating with honors or highest honors respectively.

For second degree or subsequent baccalaureate candidates, the grade point average of the first or subsequent degrees and any transfer work will be included in the determination of honors or highest honors. Transfer credit and grade point average requirements apply.

Diplomas

Diplomas are dated the last day of the semester in which the requirements for the degree are completed. Diplomas are mailed to graduates the semester following degree completion after final degree verification is complete.

Appeals of Graduation Requirements

The Admission and Graduation Requirements Committee (GARC) is composed of the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (chairperson), the assistant dean of the college concerned, and the Registrar. This board considers appeals and/or petitions from undergraduate and non-degree students seeking waivers of established requirements in special situations.

Instructions for submitting appeals and petitions are available through the Registrar’s Office.

These submissions should be forwarded by letter to the Registrar and should originate with the student in conjunction with the student’s adviser.


Student Records

Access to student records is restricted according to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA). For more information see www2.montana.edu/policy/family_ed_privacy_act/. Questions regarding privacy of student records should be directed to the Registrar.


Name Change

Notice of legal change of name, resulting from marriage, divorce, or other reason, must be promptly filed with the Registrar. Name change forms are available from the Registrar’s Office and must be submitted with copies of a legal court document, driver’s license and Social Security card with new name before academic records can reflect any name change.


Transcript of Record

For every transcript request, a fee is charged. Transcript requests must be made to the Registrar’s Office. Transcripts are sent only at the signed or authenticated request of the student.

All requests for transcripts will be checked through the Student Accounts Office for University bill clearance. If the student requesting a transcript has an outstanding debt with the University, the request will not be processed until the bill has been paid and the Student Accounts Office has notified the Registrar of payment.

Under normal conditions requests for transcripts will be processed within five working days after they are received in the Registrar’s Office. Requests received during the first or last weeks of a semester may be delayed an additional few days.

Transcripts may be requested online at www.montana.edu/registrar or may be requested in person at:

Registrar’s Office
Montana State University
101 Montana Hall
PO Box 172660
Bozeman, MT 59717-2660