New First-Time Students: Admission Requirements
General Policies: Student Responsibilities
Students must have graduated from a high school accredited by the state accrediting agency, OR have a GED to be admitted to any campus of the Montana University System. At the discretion of the institution, for students who complete their secondary education through home schooling or at unaccredited secondary schools, this requirement may be met by “satisfactory performance” on the ACT, SAT, or a recognized testing instrument defined in the Federal Register as indicative of a student’s “ability to benefit.”
Students in credit-bearing continuing education courses must meet the same admission requirements and academic standards as students in regular academic courses.
First-time Students Who Graduated from High School Within the Last Three Years
New students in this category need to follow the “All New Students: How to Apply” section. First-time students who graduated from high school within the last three years are also required to do the following:
All first-time applicants who enter college within three years from the date of their high school graduation or from the date when they would have graduated from high school are required to take either the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). One of these tests should be taken prior to making application for admission and official results sent to Montana State University Billings. The SAT or the ACT test must be taken no later than by the end of the first term of attendance at MSU Billings.
Students who enter college within three years from the date of their high school graduation need to complete the High School Self-Report Form (listing admission requirements and college preparatory requirements) or submit a high school transcript (reflecting graduation date) with the application for admission. This form is available from Montana high school counselors or from the Office of Admissions and Records at MSU Billings.
Students who have graduated from high school within the last three years must meet one of the three following Admission Requirements:
- Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5
- A composite score of 22 on the American College Test (ACT) or a combined score of 1540 on the SAT
- Rank in the upper one-half of the student’s graduating class
Students must also meet the following Regent’s Preparatory Requirements:
- Four years of English— in each year the content of the courses should have an emphasis upon the development of written and oral communication skills and study of literature.
- Three years of mathematics, including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II (students are encouraged to take a math course their senior year in high school).
- Three years of social studies, including global studies (such as world history or world geography); American history; and government, economics, Native American history, or other third-year course.
- Two years of laboratory science. One year must be earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics; the other year can be one of those sciences or another approved college preparatory laboratory science course.
- Two years chosen from the following: foreign language (preferably two years of one language), computer science, visual and performing arts, or career/technical education units that meet the Office of Public Instruction guidelines.
Any student seeking admission to a four-year program must also satisfy the mathematics proficiency standard set out in Board of Regents Policy 301.1:
- A score of 22 or above on ACT mathematics; or
- A score of 520 or above on SAT mathematics; or
- A score of 3 or above on the AP calculus AB or BC subject examination or a score of 4 on the IB calculus test; or
- A score of 50 or above on the CLEP subject examinations in selected topics [college algebra, college algebra-trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, or trigonometry]; or
- Completion of a rigorous high school core including four years of mathematics in high school (Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry & a course beyond Algebra II) and three years of laboratory science; or three years of mathematics including a course beyond Algebra II and four years of laboratory science, in addition to English, social studies, and electives as described in the regents’ college preparatory program, with grades of C or better in all courses.
Any student seeking admission to a four-year program must also satisfy the writing proficiency standard set out in Board of Regent Policy 301.1:
- A score of 7 or above on the essay or 18 on the combined English/writing section of the optional writing test of the ACT; or
- A score of 7 or above on the essay or 440 on the writing section of the SAT; or
- A score of 3.5 or above on the Montana university system (MUS) writing assessment; or
- A score of 3 or above on the AP English language or English literature examination; or
- A score of 4 or above on the IB language A1 exam; or
- A score of 50 or above on the (CLEP) subject examinations in composition.
Students who do not enter college within three years from the date of their high school graduation or from the date when they would have graduated from high school. (See “First-time Students Out of High School More than Three Years” section.)
Part-time students taking seven credits or less.
Summer only students.
Enroll part-time during a summer session to make up any deficiency.
Enroll as a part-time student for seven credits or less. (To receive part-time financial aid, most students must enroll for six or more credits.)
Enroll as a full-time student accepted under an exemption allowed by Board of Regent Policy.
Enroll as a student at City College at MSU Billings.
A student who has not yet demonstrated the ability to meet the mathematics and/or writing proficiency standards may be admitted (without condition) to a two-year degree program or admitted provisionally to a four-year degree program on any campus of the Montana University System.
NOTE: Admission, college preparatory curriculum requirements, and math and writing proficiency standards do not apply to the following students:
Re-take one or more of the listed assessments to earn the required score
Earn a C- grade or better in a college course that is the prerequisite to the course that satisfies the general education program requirements (See Advising Center for assistance in selecting such a course).
City College at MSU Billings, 3803 Central Avenue, requires students to have earned either a high school diploma from an accredited institution, a GED, or HiSET. Please contact Jacket Student Central (247-3000) for additional admission information. In an effort to meet individual needs, City College at MSU Billings has established special admission procedures for students seeking admission to certain programs. Contact the City College at MSU Billings for this information at (406) 247-3000, ext. 3005. The Admission application fee is $30.00 for City College at MSU Billings.
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