2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Affairs, cont'd

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Guarantee

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 at the Advising Center (McMullen Hall first floor west).  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.

Time Limit for Degree

A student is expected to complete requirements for graduation within six years after original entrance to MSU Billings, during which time the graduation requirements are those of the catalog in effect at the time of entrance to MSU Billings, or a subsequent catalog.  After six years, students are expected to meet the graduation requirements of the catalog current at that time, or the requirements of any Montana State University Billings catalog under which they have been enrolled during the six years prior to graduation.  Any request for an extension of time beyond the six-year limit must be approved in writing by the Provost/ Academic Vice Chancellor.

General Education requirements and the first major must be under the same catalog within the six-year period; the minor and/or second major may be under any catalog within that six- year period.  The University reserves the right to make substitutions for requirements or changes in course offerings.

Students who transfer to MSU Billings from a regionally accredited institution may have their credits evaluated on the basis of the current catalog at the initial time of entry to Montana State University Billings; or students may elect to enter under the catalog that was in effect during the year in which they entered any regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States within the six year time limit, provided they have maintained continuous, full-time enrollment (excluding summers) in good standing.

Certificate or Associate of Applied Science Degree

City College at MSU Billings offers certificates in a number of trades, for practical nurses, and in areas of office and accounting technology.  In addition it offers associate of applied science degrees in many of these same areas.  Please see the City College at MSU Billings catalog for details about these programs and for additional information about City College at MSU Billings.

Associate of Arts or Science Degree Requirements

In addition to the AAS degree awarded through City College at MSU Billings, MSU Billings awards the associate of arts and science degrees.

There are two types of associate degrees:  those with no particular disciplinary affiliation and those with a special focus.  The requirements for programs with a special focus are listed in this General Bulletin in the Associate of Arts Degrees and Associate of Science Degrees, page 82, among the baccalaureate degree programs and include programs of study in business, education, psychology, allied health, fire science, environmental science, and rehabilitation and related services.

These degrees require that a student meet General Education requirements as specified next.  Students being awarded a general associates degrees with no disciplinary affiliation should work with their advisor in planning courses, but are subject to no additional requirements other than those listed next:

  1. A minimum of 60 semester credits must be earned with a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for all coursework.
  2. A minimum of 20 semester credits with 40 grade points (2.00 grade point average) must be earned at Montana State University Billings.
  3. Minimum grade point average of 2.00 must be earned in (a) all college work to be applied toward the degree for which credits and grades have been received, and in (b) all courses completed with credits and grades at Montana State University Billings and applied toward the degree.
  4. The candidate may elect a maximum of 16 semester credits on the Pass/No Pass option in lieu of regular course grades.
  5. Associate degree students must satisfy the following General Education requirements:
General Education Category Credits
I.  Global Academic Skills
A.  Mathematics 3
B.  English 3
C.  Communication & Information Literacy 3
II.  Natural Sciences (7 credits total)
A.  Life Sciences 3-4
B.  Physical Sciences 3-4
III.  Social Sciences and History
A.  Social Sciences 3
B.  History 3
IV.  Cultural Diversity 3
V.  Arts & Humanities
A.  Fine Arts 3
B.  Humanities 3
Total 31
Selected in consultation with advisor
Total minimum credits required 60

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Major and Minor Requirements
Each student in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Rehabilitation, degree program must complete a subject field major of at least 30 semester credits.  Certain subject field majors require more than 30 semester credits.  A subject field minor of at least 20 semester credits is required in selected degree programs.  Subject to the approval of the appropriate department chairperson, certain courses may fulfill both major and minor course requirements, but the credits may be counted only once.  Therefore, substitutions must be made to meet at least the minimum credits of both the major and the minor.  Students should consult the appropriate section of this catalog to determine the specific requirements for the various majors and minors and should review their programs with their advisors.

In programs that include minors, a student may, with permission of the chairperson concerned, elect to complete an extended major instead of a minor.  Specific details of the extended major program may be obtained from the academic advisor or chairperson of the academic department concerned.

Special Major and Minor Options

  1. Any major or minor in the College of Arts and Sciences may be added to a required degree program offered in the College of Business.
  2. Selected majors and/or minors in the College of Arts and Sciences may be added to certain degree programs in the College of Education.  Prior approval is required from the Dean of the College of Education.
  3. Selected minors in the College of Education (Special Education, Health Education, and Rehabilitation and Related Services) and selected minors in the College of Business (Economics and Business Administration) may be added to or may take the place of the required minor for degree programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  4. Students who plan to meet the requirements for two majors concurrently and who plan to apply the two majors to one degree must have the approval of the respective department chairpersons and deans.

To avoid any misunderstanding, students should seek the required approval of their advisors and of their respective deans prior to enrolling in any required courses for a specific major or minor.

Credits Earned for Graduation

Credits earned for graduation shall mean the total number of credits for which passing grades (A, B, C, D, P) have been received in courses applicable toward graduation.  If a student repeats a course in which a passing grade is earned, the last grade will be the effective grade for graduation and in no case are the credits to be counted more than once toward fulfilling the credit requirements for graduation.

For bachelor’s degrees, a minimum of 120 semester credits must be earned, and a prescribed degree curriculum must be completed at Montana State University Billings.  A minimum of 30 semester credits and satisfactory completion of all degree requirements in a prescribed bachelor’s degree program must be earned at Montana State University Billings.  This may include up to 10 semester credits of residency in the major area of study and up to six semester credits of residency in the minor area of study as determined by individual departments.  Students should contact their major and/or minor department advisors to determine the major and/or minor requirements.

At least 36 semester credits must be in upper division courses (numbered 300 or above), and at least 12 semester credits of these upper division credits must be in the subject major program.

A transfer student may not use community college or other two-year college credits for or in lieu of upper division credits required at MSU Billings.

Except when used to satisfy the requirements of a specified teaching major or minor, not more than a total of eight semester credits in any combination of the following may be counted in the minimum of 120 semester credits required for graduation:  music performance groups, drama and ensemble music credits, and physical education activity credits.

Not more than 20 semester credits of courses taken on a Pass/No Pass basis may be counted toward graduation.

Second Degree

A student may earn a second bachelor’s degree at Montana State University Billings by taking a minimum of an additional 30 semester credits in residence beyond the 120 semester credits required for the first bachelor’s degree.  Once the first bachelor’s degree has been awarded, the student must earn an additional 30 semester credits regardless of the total number of credits earned within the first degree.  Students at Montana State University Billings may earn the two degrees concurrently.  In order to earn two bachelor’s degrees concurrently, a student must earn a minimum of 150 semester credits.  The student must meet all other requirements for the second degree.  Students transferring to MSU Billings for the second degree must have earned the first degree at an institution accredited by its regional accrediting association.  Montana State University Billings will not grant a student a second degree if the second degree is the same degree and from the same Montana State University Billings College that awarded the first degree.

Students who have previously earned a master’s degree or a more advanced degree may be eligible to earn a bachelor’s degree.  The bachelor’s degree must be outside of the major concentration of the advanced degree, and the student must earn no less than 30 additional semester credits at Montana State University Billings while meeting all the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

NEXT: Graduating With Honors

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