Welcome to MSU

Montana State University inspires big ideas and bold adventures. At MSU, we believe in transforming lives through education and empowerment. Students learn through hands-on research and creative experiences, engage with community and service learning projects and make discoveries with the guidance of expert professors.

As Montana’s land-grant institution, Montana State University is dedicated to providing high quality education in a broad range of subjects from technical to liberal arts. In fulfilling its land-grant mission, the Bozeman campus provides educational opportunities to more than 16,000 students from associate degrees and certificate programs to doctoral degrees.

MSU is Montana’s premier university with seven academic colleges and more than 225 academic options.

MSU Mission

Montana State University, the state's first land-grant institution, educates students, creates knowledge and art, and serves communities by integrating learning, discovery and engagement.

MSU Vision

Montana State University is as remarkable as its setting. Created as a land-grant institution, it is a welcoming, adventurous community of students, faculty and staff distinguished by its commitment to address the world's greatest challenges. The university energizes individuals to discover and pursue their aspirations. It inspires people to engage with the university to improve the human prospect through excellence in education, research, creativity and civic responsibility.

MSU At-A-Glance

  • Degrees offered: Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral
  • Accreditation: Regionally accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU); professional schools and departments approved by specialized accrediting organizations
  • Student/Faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Established: 1893
  • Location: Bozeman, Montana
  • Academic year: fall and spring semesters, summer sessions
  • Average High School GPA: 3.53;  Average ACT: 25.2;  Average SAT: 1213
  • Athletic conference: Big Sky Conference, NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision–FCS)
  • Varsity sports:
    • Men: football, basketball, NIRA rodeo, track, cross-country, Alpine and Nordic skiing, tennis and Spirit Squad
    • Women: volleyball, basketball, track, cross-country, tennis, NIRA rodeo, golf, Alpine and Nordic skiing and Spirit Squad
  • Mascot: Bobcat
  • School colors: Blue & Gold
  • Geographic surroundings: 90 miles from Yellowstone National Park; 2.1 million acres of national forest and wilderness areas in the Gallatin National Forest, five mountain ranges, three rivers.
  • Classroom to chairlift: 20 minutes to Bridger Bowl; 55 minutes to Big Sky; campus to camping: 25 minutes to Hyalite Canyon

Brief MSU History

  • February 16, 1893: Montana State University was established as the Agricultural College of the State of Montana at Bozeman by an act of the State Legislature. The first term of instruction began on April 17 of that year.
  • 1913: the name of the institution was changed to the State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
  • 1920: the name was changed to Montana State College
  • July 1, 1965: name became Montana State University
  • February 16, 2018: MSU celebrates 125 years of excellence


MSU prepares students to graduate equipped for careers and further education. MSU’s low student to faculty ratio means accessible professors and hands-on learning opportunities. Working alongside world-class faculty mentors, students discover new knowledge that helps to improve the quality of life around the globe. This supportive and collaborative learning environment helps students succeed in competing for national and international scholarships and awards. MSU students have received prestigious awards including:

  • Goldwater scholarships (math, science & engineering)
  • Rhodes Scholarship (to study at Oxford University)
  • Marshall Scholarship (grad school in the United Kingdom)
  • Udall Scholarship (to pursue careers in the environment)
  • Newman Civic Fellow (public leadership)
  • Truman Scholarship (Leadership and public service)


MSU is recognized nationally for its prominence in research among leading public research universities.  MSU is among the top 3 percent of colleges and universities in the nation for research expenditures. This prolific research has led to many significant discoveries that are changing the world. MSU holds more than 264 active technology licenses. In addition, 75 patents and 34 plant variety certificates have been issued for MSU discoveries with many more pending.

Research expenditures at MSU typically exceed $100 million annually and top research departments include microbiology and immunology, chemistry and biochemistry, transportation, physics, and land resources and environmental sciences; with much of the research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Departments of Energy, Defense and Agriculture, and private sources. MSU is Montana’s largest research enterprise. 


Students, professors and staff at MSU work together with community partners to exchange and apply knowledge and resources that improve the world. MSU recently earned The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's engagement classification. The designation recognizes commitment to teaching that encourages volunteer service in communities and spreading of knowledge that benefits the public. In addition, through courses, clubs and organized events, students participate in many local, national and international service-learning projects that enable them to apply their education while strengthening communities. By integrating learning, discovery and engagement, and by working across disciplines, MSU is making great strides to improve the world.

Undergraduate Excellence

The Carnegie Foundation classifies MSU as an institution with a high undergraduate profile. Combined with its status as one of the top research universities in the nation, this gives MSU’s undergraduate students opportunities to do research of national importance on a variety of topics, opportunities that would typically be reserved for graduate students at other universities. That’s one reason why MSU is a national leader in producing winners of the Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s premier award for undergraduates in math and science fields. MSU ranks in the top 10 in the nation for producing Goldwater Scholars, tied with Johns Hopkins and ahead of Yale.

A Unique Learning Environment

MSU is the only university with easy access to Yellowstone National Park. For MSU students, Yellowstone is a 20 million-acre classroom, lab and adventure hub featuring hot springs, rivers, peaks and wildlife. Known as The University of the YellowstoneTM, MSU is located just 90 miles from the park. MSU students help research the ecology of our stunning natural environment, plus the microbes of the Park’s hot pools and the science behind avalanches. Our setting makes it possible to study things that would be impossible to examine anywhere else in the world. 

Bozeman, MT - MSU’s Backyard

Bozeman is a small town with big energy. Perhaps best known for outdoor recreation, Bozeman also has the cultural amenities of a much larger city including concert venues, festivals, and theatre and ballet companies, as well as many locally-owned shops, restaurants and galleries that make downtown Bozeman vibrant. 
Skiing, hiking, camping, biking, climbing and fishing options are endless because Bozeman is surrounded by five mountain ranges including the Bridger, Tobacco Root, Big Belt, Gallatin and Madison ranges; and the Gallatin, Madison and Yellowstone Rivers are all within a half hour of campus. There is plenty of National Forest land to explore, and Yellowstone National Park is just 90 miles away.

Connect with MSU

Connect with Montana State University online to keep up with the latest news. Our MSU social media guide has a general list of all things MSU so tune in with the Bobcat Bulletin, Facebook, Twitter, and MSUTube.

  • @AdmissionsMSU - Get tweets from the Admissions crew.
  • @montanastate - MSU news, events, and updates tweeted
  • Check out the #MontanaState hashtag on Twitter to see what people are saying about MSU.
  • MSUTube - Subscribe to MSU's YouTube Channel to see recently uploaded videos.
  • Subscribe to the Bobcat Bulletin, a weekly e-newsletter with upcoming events and news from campus.

MSU Bobcat Parent and Family Program


All parents and family members of MSU students are given automatic membership in the Bobcat Parent and Family Program. The program offers several resources and events designed to encourage a strong relationship between families and the university. They include a Parent and Family Fall Weekend, Parent Handbook, scholarship fundraising and an Advisory Board.

Statewide Research, Educational Outreach and Service

As a land-grant institution, MSU is committed to state-focused activities with global impacts, while sharing its research discoveries with Montanans through educational outreach and service. These discoveries enhance communities and enterprises throughout Montana

Agricultural Experiment Station


The Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) conducts research in agricultural and natural resource systems addressing state, regional and national needs from multiple Montana locations:  the main station (Bozeman), 7 research centers (Conrad, Corvallis, Creston, Havre, Huntley, Moccasin, Sidney), allied properties and on farms/ranches. The Agricultural Experiment Station is funded cooperatively through a legal partnership between federal and state governments.  The Montana Agricultural Experiment Station is a unit of the Montana University System and is administered by the MSU campus.

Engineering Experiment Station


The Engineering Experiment Station at Montana State University was created by the State Board of Education in 1924 to improve the economy, efficiency, and safety of engineering activity in Montana; to promote the conservation and utilization of Montana resources, and to encourage the development of new business activities in Montana.



Montana State University Extension provides research-based knowledge to strengthen the economic, social, and environmental well-being of Montana families, communities, and agricultural enterprises. Educational programs of MSU Extension are conducted on an informal, non-credit basis.

The focal point for MSU Extension programs is the local Extension office. In Montana, these offices serve 56 counties and seven tribal reservations. Local county and reservation agents are backed by a staff of campus-based faculty who provide direct linkage with current research and a close working relationship with the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station. One of the functions of Extension is to provide input to the University on current Montana problems that are in need of research for their resolution.

Programs of MSU Extension address societal needs in the general areas of agriculture, family living, community and economic development, and youth development. One of Extension’s best-known programs is the 4-H youth development program. Another unit of MSU Extension is the Montana Fire Services Training School, which provides training for paid and volunteer firefighters throughout the state.

MSU Extension is a unit of the Montana University System and is administered by the MSU campus.

Extended University


Extended University administers and coordinates on-and off-campus instruction in the form of distance-delivered and face-to-face courses, programs, institutes, and conferences that supplement the formal academic curriculum at MSU. Extended University services are organized into three main categories:  Montana State Online, Office of Continuing Education, and Burns Technology Center.

Montana Public Television - KUSM


Montana Public Television is the primary public television provider for the state of Montana. PBS services, instructional and outreach activities are provided to viewers throughout Montana through over-the-air broadcast and cable distribution. Montana Public TV is a service of Montana State University and the University of Montana.

Museum of the Rockies


The Museum of the Rockies is home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world.  The museum's primary objectives are to understand, preserve and interpret the natural and cultural history of the Northern Rocky Mountain region. It accomplishes its mission through research, collections, exhibits and programs for the education and entertainment of people of all ages.