Welcome to MSU

Montana State University is as remarkable and inviting as its setting. Created as a land-grant institution, it consists of an adventurous community of students, faculty and staff who are committed to addressing the world’s greatest challenges. MSU empowers individuals to discover and pursue their aspirations, inspiring them to improve the human prospect through excellence in education, research, creativity and civic responsibility. Learn more about MSU: montana.edu/about

MSU At-A-Glance

Year founded: 1893

Enrollment: 16,688 (fall 2022)

Degrees offered: MSU offers degree options for a variety of career goals. Degrees include associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, including 250+ undergraduate programs and more than 115 programs from The Graduate School.

Accreditation: MSU is regionally accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Professional schools and departments are approved by specialized accrediting organizations.

Our surroundings: Located in Bozeman, Montana and situated just 89 miles from Yellowstone National Park, MSU is at the center of an adventurer’s paradise. With access to three rivers, five mountain ranges, two ski areas, and millions of acres of wilderness, MSU students have endless opportunities to ski, hike, fish, kayak and more. Bozeman is also home to a plethora of cultural amenities, including concert venues, festivals and locally owned shops, restaurants and galleries that make downtown Bozeman vibrant. 

Academic year: MSU offers fall and spring semesters and summer sessions.

Entering frist-time students: Average High School GPA: 3.54;  Average ACT: 26;  Average SAT: 1173.

Athletics: Montana State is home to 13 NCAA Division I teams and more than 25 club sports. MSU competes in the Big Sky Conference and the FCS Football Championship Subdivision.

Varsity sports:

Men: football, basketball, cross country, Alpine and Nordic skiing, tennis, track and field, NIRA rodeo, spirit squad.

Women: basketball, cross country, Alpine and Nordic skiing, tennis, track and field, golf, volleyball, NIRA rodeo, spirit squad.

Mascot: The Bobcat was selected as MSU's mascot in 1916 for its cunning intelligence, athletic prowess and independent spirit.

School colors: MSU’s colors are blue and gold—or, more specifically, “Ether Blue” and “Sunlight Gold.” Ether Blue symbolizes the sky, while Sunlight Gold is for the sunshine that graces Bozeman 300 days a year and the rich earth that is the Gallatin Valley.

MSU Highlights

  • MSU is among the top 10 colleges and universities in the country for its number of Goldwater Scholarship recipients, the nation’s premier award for excellence in math, science or engineering.
  • The best and brightest Montana high school graduates choose MSU. Of the graduating high-school seniors who received the Montana University System Honors Scholarship in 2022, 69 percent chose to enroll at MSU.
  • Many of MSU’s programs are recognized among the best in the country, including its programs in business, filmmaking, animal and range sciences and engineering.
  • MSU is the largest university in Montana and the largest research and development entity of any kind in the state, which translates into many opportunities for students to be a part of meaningful hands-on research and creative projects and economic prosperity for the area.
  • MSU students are engaged, consistently giving back to their communities through service-learning projects. Recently, architecture students partnered with local and state agencies to build tiny home prototypes to house rural educators and the homeless.
  • MSU research has led to significant discoveries that are changing the world. With more than 297 active technology licenses, 58 active issued patents and 46 active plant variety certificates in 2022, MSU provides particular expertise in the fields of agriculture and natural resources, energy, materials and manufacturing, health and biomedical sciences, as well as big data and cybersecurity.

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. MSU students help research the ecology of our stunning natural environment, along with the microbes of the park’s hot pools and the science behind avalanches.

Undergraduate Excellence

The Carnegie Foundation classifies MSU as an institution with a very 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.


MSU prepares students to graduate equipped for careers and further education. 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, including the Goldwater, Rhodes and Gates Cambridge scholarships.


Montana State is the largest research entity in the state of Montana and is among the top 3 percent of public colleges and universities in the nation for research spending. MSU consistently breaks new university records for research activity, surpassing $200 million in annual research expenditures in 2022. Areas of expertise include biomedical sciences, energy, optics, solar physics, agriculture, the environment, snow science, Yellowstone studies, paleontology and more.


MSU consistently earns the Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which recognizes MSU’s commitment to teaching that encourages volunteer service and the spreading of knowledge that benefits the public. Through student clubs, class projects and outreach activities, MSU students help people and communities around the globe.

Statewide Research, Educational Outreach and Service

As a land-grant institution, MSU is committed to state-focused activities with global impacts, sharing its research and discoveries to benefit local Montana communities. Below are just a few of the ways that MSU is providing services and knowledge that benefit Montanans.

Montana Agricultural Experiment Station

Through a network of seven research centers across Montana and scientists at the MSU campus in Bozeman, the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station serves local agricultural and natural resource industries by providing meaningful and applied research.

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. The program additionally promotes the conservation and utilization of Montana resources and encourages the development of new business activities in Montana.

MSU Extension

MSU Extension provides knowledge to strengthen the economic, social, and environmental well-being of Montana families, communities and agricultural industries.

The focal point of MSU Extension is its 56 offices across the state, which serve all of Montana’s 56 counties and seven tribal reservations. These offices provide programming in the general areas of agriculture, family living, community and economic development, and youth development. One of Extension’s best-known programs is the Montana 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.

Montana Public Television - KUSM

Montana Public Television is the primary public television provider for the state of Montana and is a service of Montana State University and the University of Montana.

Museum of the Rockies

MSU’s Museum of the Rockies is home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world. The museum’s dedicated staff strives to understand and preserve the natural and cultural history of the Northern Rocky Mountain region. The museum accomplishes this mission through research, collections, exhibits and programs for the education and entertainment of people of all ages.

Connect with MSU

Connect with Montana State University online to keep up with the latest news.

  • fb.com/groups/montanastate2027 -  Join MSU’s Class of 2027 Facebook group to connect with other new MSU students.
  • fb.com/montanastate - Keep informed about projects, events, speakers and achievements at MSU on the university’s main Facebook page.
  • fbcom/montanastatebobcats -  Follow Bobcat Athletics on Facebook to find out about upcoming games and see the latest scores. Go Cats!
  • @montanastateuniversity - Get MSU news, events, and updates on Instagram.
  • @admissionsmsu – Follow the Admissions crew on Instagram to learn more about visiting MSU and student life.
  • Check out the #MontanaState hashtag 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.
  • @montanastate – Follow Montana State on Twitter.

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 communications, and scholarship fundraising.