2010-2012 Graduate Studies Catalog

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) credits.

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.

A student enrolling for two master’s degrees simultaneously 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.

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.

Teacher Licensure

A post-baccalaureate student who returns to school to seek initial teacher licensure only 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.

Students with questions about teacher licensure as well as admission requirements for the teacher education program should visit with the Licensure Officer (406-657-2293), 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://opi.mt.gov/

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 License which defines the areas in which the holder of the License 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 (P-12).  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.

NEXT: General Admission Procedures for Graduate Students

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