Graduate Programs Other Than Master’s Degree Programs
Second Master’s Degree
A student may earn a second master’s degree from Montana State University-Billings. A student seeking the second degree from Montana State University Billings must have earned the first master’s degree at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association.
Whether the first master’s degree was earned at Montana State University Billings or at another accredited institution, students enrolling for a second master’s degree may, where appropriate, count from the first master’s degree a maximum of 12 semester (18 quarter) hour credits towards the Master of Education and Master of Science in Special Education degrees, and a maximum of 21 semester (32 quarter) hour credits towards the Master of Education in School Counseling and the Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Degree.
In reviewing the plan of study for the second master’s degree, the advisor, unit chairperson, and dean will determine if these credits from the first master’s degree are relevant to the program for the second master’s degree.
If a student enrolls at Montana State University Billings for two master’s degrees concurrently, the above paragraphs will be interpreted as follows:
A student enrolling for both the Master of Education Degree and the Master of Science in Special Education Degree will complete all requirements for both degrees, with the provision that up to 9 semester credits of professional core credits may be common to both degrees.
A student enrolling for either the Master of Education Degree or the Master of Science in Special Education Degree together with the Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Degree will complete all requirements for both degrees, with the provision that up to 21 semester (32 quarter) credits may be common to both degrees.
Courses common to multiple degree programs
The professional core courses are common for all degree programs in the College of Education. In addition, many courses are required for more than one degree program. Those students interested in earning a second master’s degree should examine the degree requirements outlined in the “Graduate Degree Programs” section of this catalog to assess courses common to the degrees they are seeking. Students should also consult with their advisor regarding the procedures for earning a second master’s degree.
A post-baccalaureate student who returns to school to seek initial teacher licensure may use either graduate or undergraduate courses to meet requirements. It is often to a student’s advantage to take 500 level courses while seeking initial licensure because those courses may help advance the student on a school district pay scale and may often be used toward a graduate degree. A student taking any 500 level courses toward licensure must apply for Graduate Program Status through the Office of Graduate Studies. Official transcripts from all institutions other than Montana State University Billings must also be submitted.
Conversely, acceptable courses in the plan for licensure may also be used simultaneously or subsequently on a master’s degree plan of study so long as they contribute coherently to the degree option chosen and fit within master’s degree guidelines.
Those entering the graduate degree program and planning to teach, but not yet licensed, or with lapsed licensure, must complete the initial licensure requirements as either part of the master’s degree plan of study or concurrent with it. The same advisor will work with the student on a plan for licensure as well as on the master’s degree plan of study.
All licensure plans should be filed with the Teacher Licensure Officer, (406-657-2336). Students with questions about teacher licensure as well as admission requirements for the teacher education program should visit with the Licensure Officer, who can be helpful concerning licensure requirements of other states as well as those of Montana. Information about Montana licensures and renewals may be found at the Office of Public Instruction web site http://www.opi.state.mt.us
When coursework satisfying the plan for licensure is completed, a copy of the plan, approved by the advisor, Licensure Officer, and Dean of Education, will be sent, along with an official transcript, to the Office of Public Instruction in Helena. Students may request an institutional recommendation to any State Department of Education.
A teaching endorsement is an official notation applied to the Teacher Licensure which defines the areas in which the holder of the Licensure is qualified to teach or to serve in a professional service position in the public schools of Montana. The graduate program at Montana State University Billings includes a Graduate Endorsement in School Counseling and a Teaching Endorsement in Special Education (K-12) or Reading. Supervisory Endorsement programs at the post-master’s level in Reading and Special Education are also available. Application for one of these programs must be made through the Office of Graduate Studies (McM 200).
If any 500-level courses will be included in an endorsement plan, a graduate application must be completed. The procedure for those seeking one of these endorsements is much the same as outlined above for licensure. See the Courses of Study section of this catalog for program details and visit with the Licensure Officer for administrative details.