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The goal of the Advising Center is to assist students in understanding the requirements for their selected program and designing academic plans which enable them to complete their program requirements. All new, transfer, and returning students start with an advisor in the Advising Center. New students will receive information regarding Academic Foundations requirements and worksheets related to their major and minor programs. Students who have not yet selected a major will be advised to begin working on Academic Foundations requirements and to work with the Office of Career Services to explore career interests. Transfer and returning students will be able to have transcript evaluations completed and plans of studies developed. After initial academic planning has been completed with the Advising Center, students will be assigned to a faculty advisor in their major for the planning of upper-division coursework.
All first-time entering students at MSU Billings are required to see an academic advisor before registering for classes. During the initial advising session, students will receive information regarding Academic Foundations requirements and worksheets for major and minor academic programs.
Students who plan to develop a graduation guarantee must contact the Advising Center and complete this agreement prior to the first semester of attendance.
Students are ultimately responsible for meeting graduation requirements, but advisors assist students with selection of courses, academic plans and academically-related questions.
Students who have not selected a major are registered as General Studies majors. In an effort to assist students in completing degree requirements as efficiently as possible, General Studies students are encouraged to focus on Academic Foundations requirements their first semester. Students are also encouraged to visit the Office of Career Services to explore career interests and to clarify how their academic program may support their career goals.
Students transferring to MSU Billings are encouraged to complete a transcript evaluation request form and submit this form with copies of unofficial transcripts from all previously attended institutions to the Advising Center. The student can then receive an unofficial transcript evaluation. The transcript evaluation will reflect how prior credits will apply to the degree/program the student is considering at MSU Billings. An official evaluation is completed once the student is admitted and all official transcripts are received. In order to give an accurate transcript evaluation, transfer students should provide copies of transcripts of all previous college level work. Although we maintain course equivalency guides for all Montana colleges and universities, it is helpful if transfer students can provide catalogs with course descriptions for coursework completed at out-of-state institutions.
Students are encouraged to select and declare a major during their Freshman year. Students should contact Admissions and Records or the Advising Center to declare their major. The student will see the advisor regarding reviewing the requirements for the major selected and receive an updated major/degree work sheet and information on when they will be transferred to a faculty advisor in their selected major.
Students complete the change of major form with an advisor in the Advising Center. The academic advisor will clarify new program requirements, update the student’s advising file with new program worksheets, and let the student know when they will be transferred to a faculty advisor. The changing of an academic major may have significant impact on a student’s long-range academic plan and graduation date. All students are encouraged to keep in close contact with their advisor through the process of changing majors.
MSU Billings has developed a very close relationship with the MSU-Bozeman Nursing Program which enables students to complete pre-nursing requirements as MSU Billings students and then transfer into the MSU-Bozeman program which is offered on the Billings campus. The Advising Center provides advising services through the first two years of the program and provides guidance for making application to upper-division courses.
Students planning to transfer to another college or university to complete a program not available at MSU Billings may choose to enroll in a pre-professional program. There are several important steps to take in order to coordinate a pre-professional program with the school to which one is going to transfer:
Many of the pre-professional programs at MSU Billings have been designed to prepare students to transfer to professional programs offered at other Montana University System units. Programs may be developed to meet the prerequisites for other pre-professional programs.
Academic advising for graduate students is provided by faculty advisors in the College of the student’s graduate program. Initial advising is provided through the Office of Graduate Studies with subsequent assignment to a permanent faculty advisor. The faculty advisor assists the student with the development of a plan of study and guidance in completing the requirements for
MSU Billings has created a Graduation Guarantee for Undergraduates which students may utilize as they begin study. The Guarantee includes a set of conditions that the student needs to fulfill as well as the University; the Guarantee itself is signed by the student as well as the advisor. If the student fulfills his/her conditions and the University fails to do so, postponing graduating, the student may appeal to the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee prior to the beginning of classes for the last term of the signed Guarantee. If the Committee finds the University at fault, appropriate actions will include waiving course requirements, waiving tuition and fees, or a combination of the two.
Copies of this Guarantee are available from the Advising Center. Students are urged to examine this Guarantee to see if it will assist them in facilitating their completion of requirements and graduation. Advisors in the Center can explain the Guarantee and prepare appropriate plans of study for students.
All entering students and transfer students who have not completed their general education requirements in English or Mathematics must take the COMPASS Placement test. Results of the COMPASS Placement tests along with ACT scores are used to advise students into the most appropriate math and English courses. The Compass Placement tests are administered during Student Orientation. For further information, contact the Advising Center (406-657-2240 or 406-247-3020).
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