2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog


Montana University System (MUS) Core Curriculum

The Montana Transferable Core Curriculum represents an agreement among community, tribal, and publicly funded colleges and universities in the State of Montana.  It assures the transfer of up to 30 semester credits for those students enrolled in courses prescribed within each of six discipline areas at a participating host institution. 

The six discipline areas are:

  • Natural Sciences (at least one with a laboratory experience) — 6 semester credits
  • Social Sciences/History — 6 semester credits
  • Mathematics — 3 semester credits
  • Communication - written & oral — 6 semester credits
  • Humanities/Fine Arts — 6 semester credits
  • Cultural Diversity — 3 semester credits

Total Semester credits — 30

Transfer students and student advisors should also be familiar with the additional guidelines that have been adopted by the Montana Board of Regents for students who use the Montana University System Core to satisfy their lower division general education requirement. Those guidelines are entitled Operational Rules for the Montana University System Core, and can be found at www.mus.montana.edu/transfer.  They include the following:

  • In order to satisfy the MUS core, students must successfully complete at least one course that includes significant content related to the cultural heritage of American Indians.  (See an academic advisor for assistance in determining which transfer courses satisfy this requirement.)
  • Students must earn the minimum number of credits in each of the six (6) categories of coursework.  Students can only use credit-bearing competency tests or coursework to satisfy the MUS core.
  • Coursework can only be used once to satisfy the requirements of the MUS Core.  It cannot be “double counted” to satisfy the requirements of more than one category.
  • In order to satisfy the requirements of the Communications area, students must successfully complete a combination of courses that includes significant content in both written and oral communications.
  • Students must satisfy the “minimum grade” requirements established by Board of Regents’ Policy 301.5.3, along with any exceptions to that policy that may have been established by their program of study.

The Montana University System is committed to facilitating the ease of undergraduate student transfer to its campuses.  Therefore, all campuses of the Montana University System will recognize the integrity of general education programs offered by units of the Montana University System and the three publicly supported community colleges and the seven tribal colleges in Montana. 

An undergraduate student who has completed courses identified as part of the Montana University System (MUS) Core courses will have general education coursework reviewed for transferability to Montana State University Billings as follows:

  1. If a student has completed less than 20 general education credits, that student will be required to complete the approved General Education program at Montana State University Billings.  All general education transfer credits that are part of the MUS Core will be reviewed for possible application in the approved General Education program.

  2. If a student has completed 20 or more MUS core credits, but does not satisfy the block transfer policy described in the preceding section, that student may choose to complete either the MUS core or the approved General Education program at Montana State University Billings.  The student should make that decision in consultation with an advisor.

  3. An undergraduate student who completes postsecondary coursework in the Montana University System that does not fall within the MUS Core will have his/her classes analyzed on a course- by-course basis to determine how those classes might satisfy the General Education program requirements at Montana State University Billings.

Course by Course Evaluation

Students who have not completed such an approved general education program will have their transcript evaluated for transfer purposes using the Statewide Core Curriculum and Community College Transfer Guide.  Note:  College-level courses shall be defined as those that are applicable to an associate of arts, associate of science or baccalaureate degree.  In advance of a student’s enrollment, Montana State University Billings will determine which courses within an associate of applied science degree program will be credited toward a given associates or baccalaureate degree.  In all cases, such courses shall not include remedial or developmental courses.

Depending upon the major program the student selects, there may still be additional lower division courses required to meet published major program prerequisites.

Minimum Course Grades

Effective Fall Semester 2005, Board of Regents policy 301.5.3 on minimum grades will apply to all students who enter or are readmitted to the Montana University System or the three (3) community colleges that semester or subsequent semesters.  All students in the Montana University System and the three (3) community colleges must earn the following minimum grades in order to demonstrate their competency and preparation:

  1. a “D-” or better in all classes that are used to satisfy so-called free or elective credits in an associate or baccalaureate degree program;

  2. a “C-” or better in all classes that are used to satisfy a general education program;

  3. a “C-” or better in all classes that are used to satisfy the pre-requisites or required courses in a major, minor, option or certificate.

Individual programs may establish grade standards that are higher than the minimums set out in paragraph A above, for some or all of the courses that are used to satisfy the pre-requisites or requirements for a major, minor, option, certificate or general education.  Students will be notified of that expectation.

All Transfers

NOTE:  By action of the Academic Senate of MSU Billings, MSU Billings will accept transfer students with completed AA or AS degrees from other regionally accredited institutions as having fulfilled their MSU Billings General Education requirements if the general education package is comparable in total credits and content. (10/7/04 memo #446 p. 1654)

All college-level courses from regionally accredited institutions of higher education will be received and applied towards the free elective requirements of associate or baccalaureate degrees as applicable.

The Advising Center (McMullen first floor west, 406-657-2240/City College at MSU Billings Jacket Student Central, 406-247-3020) will do an evaluation of transcripts upon the request of the applicant.  The student will be informed as to what transfer courses can be accepted toward the major and what courses must yet be completed for the degree.  This evaluation will be processed only after an application, the admission fee, and official college transcripts are on file with the Office of Admissions and Records.

Students who transfer credit from foreign institutions or from institutions that do not have regional accreditation will have their courses evaluated on an individual basis.  Policy and procedure information may be obtained in the Office of Admissions and Records.

Students transferring from institutions with candidacy status in a regional accrediting association must earn at least 20 credits at MSU Billings with a minimum 2.00 GPA before their credits from the former institution will be considered for acceptance.

Students transferring from community colleges or other two-year colleges may not use the credit transferred in lieu of upper division credits required for graduation at Montana State University Billings.

Students transferring to Montana State University Billings who have previously earned a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education are considered to have their General Education requirements completed.  Only information pertaining to the degree, date, and institution conferring will be noted on the transcript, individual coursework is not transcripted.

Acceptance of credits from other institutions of higher learning does not preclude the necessity of meeting all curricular requirements of a specific program.  Students transferring to MSU Billings may have their credits evaluated on the basis of the current catalog at the time when they first entered Montana State University Billings, or they may elect to enter under the catalog for the year in which they entered any accredited institution of higher education in the United States provided they have maintained continuous, full-time enrollment (excluding summers) in good standing.

Transfer students will begin a new grade point average at MSU Billings, but for graduation with honors all previous transfer work will be calculated into GPA.

NEXT: Course Equivalency Guides

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