2010-2012 Graduate Studies Catalog

General Admission Procedures for Graduate Students

An individual who is a graduate of an accredited college or university may apply for admission to Graduate Studies.  The Office of Graduate Studies provides three application options:  an online application available on the Web, a Web-based printable application, and a paper application.  The paper application is available at the Office of Graduate Studies.  All paper application materials must be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.

A Montana State University Billings identification number will be assigned to all applicants at the time of application.

For All Applicants

All applications must include the following:

  1. a completed graduate student application form;
  2. admission test scores when required (a photocopy will suffice to accommodate the evaluation process but applicants must instruct the testing service to supply official copies);
  3. official transcripts reflecting all baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate work including degrees earned;
  4. payment of a non-refundable application fee of $40.00 (no application will be processed without the fee).

Some applicants must supply:

  1. a letter of intent or essay, if required by the program;
  2. three letters of recommendation if required by the program;
  3. a vita or resume if required by the program.

In order for a student’s graduate degree application to be reviewed for admission, all of the required documents must be submitted prior to the semester deadline.

Graduate Application Fee

A $40.00 nonrefundable application fee is assessed each person applying for admission to Montana State University Billings for the first time as a graduate student or to take graduate courses.  The applicant has one calendar year from the semester of initial application to apply for readmission without paying an additional application fee.

Non-Degree Applicants

The applicant must complete an application form available in the Office of Graduate Studies or online.  The completed form must be submitted (with an official transcript showing a bachelor’s degree earned) to the Office of Graduate Studies.  A $40.00 non-refundable application fee is required.  Should a student change to degree seeking, this fee will be applied to your application.

Application Deadlines

The following dates indicate when applications are due in the Office of Graduate Studies for all students:

Fall semesters:  March 12th
Spring semesters:  November 1st
Summer semesters:  February 20th

Admission Test Scores

Although the applicant my submit a copy of his/her admission test scores in the application packet, the applicant must request an official score report from the testing service to be sent directly to MSU Billings.  Registration at MSUB will be withheld until an official test result is received if required by the degree/program.

A photocopy of the applicant’s admission test scores will be accepted from another accredited academic institution in lieu of official exam scores only under all of the following circumstances:

  1. the copy must be reproduced by an official of that institution on the institutions original letterhead stationary;
  2. the copy must bear an original imprint of the institution’s official stamp;
  3. the copy must bear the original signature of a designated officer of the institution.

Minimum test scores for acceptance into specific graduate programs are determined by the individual graduate programs.

General Guidelines

Admission decisions are made for each applicant individually, and applicants may or may not be judged acceptable regardless of the undergraduate record or the institution from which credentials are submitted.  Before admission is granted, each application is reviewed by the Office of Graduate Studies and the appropriate faculty, who determine if the applicant’s academic history and preparation are satisfactory.

Students may be admitted with regular or provisional standing.  Admission is subject to a favorable recommendation by the degree-granting program. Additionally, the program directors reserve the right to grant an admission status other than full admission to any of the graduate degree programs at MSU Billings.  As such, applicants should consider themselves admitted only when official notification has been received from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Regular Admission

The student must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and have demonstrated potential for graduate study and have a 3.0 average (based on a 4 point scale) or better for their undergraduate cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA).

Minimum admission test scores for acceptance into specific graduate programs are determined by each program.

The student must have met all requirements of admission to Montana State University Billings as listed in the catalog.  These include a complete application, transcripts, admission test scores, proof of immunization (if required), and any requirements of a specific program.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission is granted when the program director, chair, or admission committee identifies an academic weakness.  It is not guaranteed to students with low undergraduate GPA’s, and may only be used in defined instances.

  1. Provisional admission may be granted to a student when some type of deficiency is noted in the applicant’s academic work, such as:
    1. the applicant has a less than 3.0 cumulative GPA in undergraduate work;
    2. the last two (2) years of undergraduate work appear weak or the GPA is less than a 3.0;
    3. the applicant has low admission test scores;
    4. the program director, chair, or admission committee identifies other academic weaknesses that may adversely impact the applicants graduate career.
  2. Provisional admission may be granted with up to fifteen (15) credits of deficiency coursework needed.  The following stipulations apply:
    1. The deficiency coursework must be listed in writing on the official acceptance letter from the Office of Graduate Studies.  The acceptance letter will also state that the program may require additional prerequisites or deficiency work;
    2. completion of such coursework the first semester the class is available.
  3. Provisional status will be granted for one academic year.  If deficiencies are not cleared within that time, the student will need to reapply to the program.

Non-Degree Graduate Status

General Criteria

Non-degree graduate students are those who have earned baccalaureate degrees and meet one of the following criteria:

  1. do not wish to pursue graduate programs leading to an advanced degree at MSU Billings but wish to take courses;
  2. have been denied regular or provisional admission;
  3. have non-degree standing through the recommendation of a program;
  4. whose formal degree applications are pending final action;
  5. who applied too late to be admitted for the intended term;
  6. who wish to apply for the post baccalaureate teacher licensure program.

Non-Degree Application Requirements

Non-degree seeking applicants must complete an application form available from the Office of Graduate Studies or online.

Submit completed applications to the Office of Graduate Studies.

All applications must include the following:

  1. The completed application form;
  2. An official transcript showing receipt of a bachelor’s degree;
  3. A $40.00 non-refundable graduate application fee. (This will be applied should the student decide to pursue a graduate degree.)

Non-Degree Registration

New non-degree students will be eligible to register for classes as soon as the completed application is processed.  This is generally 24 to 48 hours after receipt of the completed application.

A non-degree student may register for undergraduate or graduate level courses.

Non-degree graduate students are not eligible for graduate assistantships.

Applicants who have never before attended MSU Billings must submit the following items to the Office of Admissions and Records:

  1. A completed Application for Admission to MSU Billings form (obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records or the Office of Graduate Studies).
  2. A nonrefundable $40.00 admission fee.
  3. For students born after December 31, 1956, proof of MMR immunization that was administered after December 31, 1967. The immunization dates must also be after the student’s first birthday.  Montana state law requires that the documentation proves that two (2) doses of immunizations against measles were given at least 30 days apart, and the one (1) proof of rubella immunization was received. Any immunizations administered after June 11, 1993
    must be an MRMR.  A physician, health agency, or school official must sign the record.  The Student Health Center can give necessary vaccinations for a small fee.

Applicants wishing to pursue a Graduate Degree Program must have completed the application process outlined above before being granted full acceptance to a Graduate Program.  No action will be taken on an application until all requirements have been completed.

NEXT: Special Graduate Admissions

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