2010-2012 Graduate Studies Catalog

I. General Information

Montana State University Billings is a comprehensive, regional public University affiliated administratively with Montana State University in Bozeman.  Montana State University Billings offers undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, teacher education, business and economics, counseling, human services, rehabilitation and related services, health promotion, health administration and other professional areas. Graduate programs through the master’s level are offered in teacher education, special education, school counseling, psychology, public relations, rehabilitation counseling, sport/recreation/fitness management, early childhood education, reading and related areas.

Continuous Quality Improvement:  A way of life at Montana State University Billings
Montana State University Billings is a student-centered learning environment that is enhanced by commitment to Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).  This dedication to CQI means that the University faculty and staff continually review programs and services to our students to provide an optimal educational experience.  This persistent pursuit of quality improvement to assure excellence involves our students, staff, faculty, administration and our community.

Urban University

MSU Billings is an urban university serving a diverse constituency with diverse needs and expectations. The greatest distinction and greatest opportunity for MSU Billings literally surrounds us: the city itself. Billings is the largest medical, financial, and retail hub between Spokane, Denver, and St. Paul, Minnesota, and as an urban university, this requires we build strong partnerships to be efficient and effective. Urban adult learners—full-time and part-time—are well served by the University’s commitment to alternative learning modes, online options, child care, tutoring, and other student services that help them juggle work, family, and educational responsibilities. The MSU Billings COT has specific programs with direct relationships to the community (oil refining, energy, health care) that reflect its urban mission.

Student Learning Outcomes

MSU Billings understands that student success and student learning takes place inside and outside the classroom. The ability to assess and measure that success is imperative. The University has embraced the concept of Continuous Quality Improvement. The challenge now and in the future is to refine student learning outcomes, develop a systemic process that is valid and reliable to collect the appropriate data, and then aggregate/disaggregate that data. In response to the 2008 NWCCU accreditation review, MSU Billings continues to review and revise University assessment processes. This review process has resulted in the revision of the general education program, which contains five conceptual areas, designated student outcomes for each, and means to assess those outcomes. Using the in-depth review of general education as a starting point, the focused existing assessment activities in the Colleges of Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Technology, the University expanded assessment throughout the institution. Each program publishes objectives/student learning outcomes in the General Bulletin, the COT Catalog or the Graduate Catalog, as appropriate. Program outcomes are reviewed through Annual Reports. Changes in programs result from review of objectives as they relate to student achievement, program/faculty/student data, and state/national specialty area standards.

Institutional History

Montana State University Billings was established in 1927 as Eastern Montana State Normal School.  At that time all the institutions of higher education were located in western Montana, so the University was designed to serve the needs of eastern Montana, especially with respect to preparing teachers for elementary schools.  In 1966, the institution’s name was changed to Eastern Montana College. In 1994, with the merger of the Billings Vocational Technical Center, the institution became Montana State University Billings.  The University has grown with the city of Billings to become the major higher education center in south-central and eastern Montana.

Today the University is the third largest of the six four-year-plus units of the Montana University System.  The University consists of five academic colleges:  the College of Allied Health Professions, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Technology.

Location and Campus

The Yellowstone Region and the City of Billings: America’s “last, best place” is undoubtedly an appropriate way to describe the region of the Yellowstone.  Stretching from Yellowstone Park to where it joins the Missouri River, the Yellowstone River is the longest un-dammed river in the United States.  Montana State University Billings shares the history, traditions, and quality of life that characterize the Yellowstone Region.

Montana State University Billings is located in the expanding city of Billings in the valley of the Yellowstone between rugged mountains and sweeping plains, with the population base of approximately 100,000.  The city, the largest in Montana, offers all the conveniences of modern urban life, but has retained its cultural and historical Western tradition of friendliness.

Billings, the “Magic City,” serves as a center for agriculture, finance, trade, medical care, education, tourism and energy-related industries for the people of eastern Montana and northern Wyoming.  It is the largest health care and business hub in a four-state region.  A downtown business district, well-planned shopping centers and malls, and a variety of smaller specialty stores provide ample opportunity for browsing and shopping.

MetraPark, Billings’ major indoor complex, provides a number of entertainment opportunities such as major concert productions, trade shows and sporting events.

Historical sites, fishing streams, mountain trails, and downhill ski runs are within easy driving distance from Billings.  World-famous Yellowstone National Park is nearby.

Billings has a number of churches, radio and television stations, movie theaters, a symphony society and a community theater.  Parks, tennis courts and golf courses offer recreational opportunities.  The city is served by excellent transportation facilities.  Among other assets are excellent hotels, motels, restaurants and delightful residential districts.


Montana State University-Billings is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).  In addition, the University is accredited by the following specialized accrediting agencies:  the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for preparing elementary and secondary teachers and school counselors through the Master of Education degree and the Master of Science in Special Education degree, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).


MSU Billings faculty has expertise in many areas and over 90 percent hold the highest degrees in their fields.  They contribute a number of articles each year to academic and professional journals in their fields and participate with their peers nationwide at conferences and seminars.  Each year they receive grants ranging from Fulbrights for study abroad to those for the investigation of human and scientific information.  Because the faculty is involved in research, students may also become involved in research, including the presentation of findings at conferences and the publication of papers in journals.  Also, because the faculty work with their colleagues around the country, they are able to expose MSU Billings students to the latest information in each degree.

Graduate Faculty

Members of the graduate faculty are appointed by their department or program. The graduate faculty, through a shared governance process, has the responsibility for reviewing and recommending graduate programs and changes thereto, and for assisting and maintaining the standards of the graduate program.


MSU Billings supports all members of the University community in their individual growth toward confidence, individual sense of purpose, and acceptance of civic responsibilities. MSU Billings’ actions are ethical and principled to assure dignity and equity for all. MSU Billings seeks to increase staff, faculty and student awareness, understanding, and involvement in the international community. MSU Billings is committed to providing an intellectual and social environment that supports and nurtures diversity awareness and cultural consciousness.

Campus Visits

New Student Services
McMullen First Floor East, 406-657-2888 or
1-800-565-MSUB (ext. 2888)
To schedule an individualized campus visit, call (406) 657-2888 or 1-800-565-6782 ext.2888, email admissions@msubillings.edu, or write to the Office of New Student Services, Montana State University Billings, 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101-0245.

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