University Programs

University Programs offers several important academic programs to students, regardless of major. Undergraduate research and creative activity, thematic research seminars, and major/career exploration are just a few of the many opportunities available. Special programs for academic enrichment include the Undergraduate Scholars Program and McNair Scholars Program. University Programs also includes the MSU Advising Center and the National Student Exchange which are housed in University Studies.

Academic Advising Center

Academic Advising

University Studies is the home of the MSU Academic Advising Center (AAC). Advising professionals, who are well-acquainted with the curricula in all of MSU's colleges, aid students in their exploration of courses, majors, and career objectives. Advisors work with students to match their individual interests and goals with college coursework. The advisors construct personalized programs of academic study that incorporate Core requirements and other courses that will apply to a wide range of curricula. The University Studies Academic Advising Center is open Monday-Friday and advisors are available for drop-in advising as well as in-person, phone, and video conference appointments.  

The advisors and resources of the AAC are available to all undergraduate students. AAC advisors help students

  • Explore their academic strengths and interests
  • Review Core requirements
  • Select a degree program suited to their personal and career goals
  • Identify ways to add value to their degree
  • Connect with focused major advising contacts and resources that aid in student success

Health Professions Advising (HPA)

HPA helps both current and previous MSU students explore numerous health professions, navigate educational and professional requirements, and application process for health profession schools. Health Profession Advisors meet with students one-on-one at least once a semester, in small groups for topic discussion, and large groups for workshops and seminars. HPA works with students of all majors who are pursuing a health profession and works closely with the students’ academic advisor. Services HPA provides:

  • Courses:
  • Free Workshops:
    • How to Be A Competitive Applicant
    • Prep2Apply
  • Professional Advising
  • Post-bacc Pre-med Certificate Program

To learn more or make an appointment visit the HPA website.

McNair Scholars Program

The TRIO Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program, MSP) is a nationally recognized graduate school preparatory program funded by the U.S. Department of Education that prepares eligible students who aspire to attain doctoral degrees through paid undergraduate research/project internships and other academic services.  Students from all disciplines who have completed at least 60 credits, are first generation students and have low-income status, or are from an underrepresented ethnic/racial background are encouraged to apply. 

This program prepares undergraduate students for future graduate school success by offering key sequence of services. Some of the examples of the MSP services include: graduate school academic advising, undergraduate research, presentation experiences, financial support for room/board during the summer, 3-credit summer tuition waiver, personalized research faculty/mentor-matching, graduate school application process workshops and seminars, funding to present your research at conferences and/or visit prospective graduate schools, and graduate school application waivers.  

For more information about the McNair Scholars Program, visit our website at, e-mail:, or call (406) 994-5072.

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National Student Exchange

Montana State University participates in the National Student Exchange (NSE), a consortium of over 170 state-supported universities and private institutions offering students the opportunity to study for up to one year at a university in another part of the United States; the U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands; and several English and French-speaking institutions in Canada.

By bringing together students from different areas of the country, NSE encourages participants to broaden their academic, social, and cultural awareness. Through a straightforward admissions process, students are able to enroll at a host institution under the same financial benefits as their home institution (MSU) or pay the in-state tuition rate of the school to which they exchange. Credits and grades are recorded at MSU-Bozeman as a part of the student's regular transcript. For more information, follow this link to the NSE homepage:

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Pre-Law Advising

Many students at MSU are interested in exploring possible careers in law. Every year MSU students are accepted at excellent law schools across the country. MSU offers a variety of resources and advising to students who wish to pursue a career in law after their undergraduate degree. These resources include:

  • One-on-one law school advising
  • Personal assistance with the application process, writing personal statements, law school selection, and planning for LSAT prep
  • Law school information sessions and events scheduled several times during the academic year
  • US 140 Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession – a one credit exploratory course
  • Pre-Law Club

For more information about pre-law advising, please visit the Pre-Law website:

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Pre-Med Intake Major

MSU offers a Pre-Med Intake major for students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions, including medical, dental, pharmacy, and physical therapy. The Pre-Med intake major does not include nursing. Pre-Med is not a major from which students will graduate. It is a two-semester program designed to encourage students to explore the academic environment at MSU, to understand the breadth of career opportunities in the health professions, and to help students select courses from the science curriculum associated with professional school pre-requisites. 

Pre-Med Intake Major students benefit from:

  • Individualized advising with a dedicated Pre-Med advisor during the first-year
  • Assistance with course and major selection
  • Workshops on academics, professionalism, and the health professions application process
  • The course "HMED 140," Introduction to Health Professions (offered spring semesters)

For more information about the Pre-Med Intake Major, please Visit the College Of Letters and Science Pre-Med Intake Major. 

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Pre-Veterinary Options 

MSU offers pre-veterinary coursework and advising for students interested in pursuing admission into any school or college of veterinary medicine. MSU's pre-veterinary curriculum is not a major from which students will graduate, and 'pre-vet' is not a degree-granting option on the MSU campus. Rather, it is an advising program and a series of required undergraduate classes that prepare students for admission into schools of veterinary medicine. The Pre-Veterinary intake major is supported through the College of Agriculture, and we offer several resources to students who are interested in attending a veterinary medical program after their MSU baccalaureate careers. Pre-vet advisors are available to work with students as they prepare to apply for admission to schools of veterinary medicine.

Click here for details. 

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Undergraduate Scholars Program

The Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP) promotes and facilitates undergraduate research in collaboration with faculty mentors. Projects range from scientific research and humanistic scholarship to the creation of original artistic works. Projects may stem from ongoing faculty research or be developed from a student's novel idea. USP funds student research through grants and also provides training and logistical support. Students can earn academic credit for research projects.

The wide scope of USP research is showcased in recent projects including an investigation of underground coal beds, exploring the microscopic structure of biofilms, examining stereotypes in the nursing profession, bio-prospecting for novel organisms in Yellowstone National Park, a travel-inspired musical composition, diverse photography exhibits, and the creation of a life-sized educational pterosaur puppet.  USP funds projects in all disciplines of study across the university.

For more information about the Undergraduate Scholars Program, visit the USP website at, e-mail, or call (406) 994-3561.

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University Studies Program

University Studies is the initial academic program for first-year students who want to explore their options before declaring a major field of study -- approximately 10-15% of entering students at MSU. Through its programs of individualized academic advising and first-year seminar, University Studies plays a key role in preparing MSU students for study in a chosen major. Undergraduate students may take up to 30 semester credits (typically 2 semesters) in University Studies before declaring a major, but students may declare at any time. Students who start in a declared major and want to explore other options are encouraged to visit with the advisors in University Studies should they have questions about their initial choice of major.

This program also serves students who plan to pursue specialized degrees at other institutions but wish to take courses at MSU for one or two years before transferring. Transfer students may enter University Studies to fulfill requirements and explore MSU degree programs before declaring a major. For more information about University Studies, please visit the University Studies website:

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First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminar, US 101US, is a 3-credit course, open to students of all majors, that fulfills the University Seminar requirement of CORE 2.0. The seminar is a focused, student-directed classroom experience that explores questions of place and identity through a range of texts in a discussion format. Students enter into a community of co-learners with the support of an invested instructor and a Peer Mentor to help ease the transition to college.

Students explore their role as engaged citizens in their education and in society, questions of morality and justice, and their responsibilities to themselves and each other. The seminar focuses on helping students reach their academic and intellectual potential through a concentration on critical thinking, verbal and written communication, academic research, and intellectual exploration. 

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