Important Student Policies and Annual Notifications

The U.S. Department of Education, under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) and other statutes, requires that the University notify all students annually of some especially important University policies having to do with student safety and security on campus and in the greater university community.  Each policy is briefly described below, accompanied by a link to the policy on the MSU website.  We recommend that students and their families are familiar with each policy.

Any questions you may have after reading the policies can be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students. Additionally, paper copies of any of the information provided online can be requested by calling the Office of the Dean of Students.


Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs Policy

This policy sets forth the rules governing the possession and use of alcohol and other drugs (including medical marijuana) on University property and at University sponsored events.  It also describes the penalties for misuse and provides references and contacts for University and private education, prevention and even treatment resources for those who may find those resources beneficial.  The policy may be found online at http://www.montana.edu/policy/campus_alcohol_drug/index.html .

Safety Questionnaire Review Committee

The purpose of the Safety Questionnaire Review Committee is to implement this Policy at Montana State University. The Committee is responsible for reviewing and evaluating new and returning applicants for admission to Montana State University who, in accordance with the university admissions policy, disclose a criminal or other specified behavioral history of a nature that may adversely affect their own or others’ safety and success at Montana State University, and for determining whether they should be accepted into the university community in accordance with this Board of Regents Policy.

Persons applying for admission to Montana State University or returning to the university following a break in attendance are required to disclose whether they have been convicted of a felony crime, have been institutionalized for threatening or causing injury to persons or property, and/or have been dismissed and/or suspended from a college for disciplinary reasons. An affirmative response to one or more of these questions generates a requirement for further review by the Committee. The entire policy can be reviewd here.

Campus Security Report

This report includes a variety of important safety and security information.  The entire report may be found online at http://www.montana.edu/reports/security.pdf .  The most important elements of this report are provided below. 

Campus Crime Statistics

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, more commonly known as the Clery Act, requires that colleges and universities inform prospective and enrolled students of campus security policies and that crime data are collected, reported and disseminated to provide students and their families with accurate, complete and timely information about safety on campus.  This very important information may be found on the MSU website at http://www.montana.edu/police/crime-statistics.html .  Even though MSU is one of the safest public campuses you’ll find, we urge you to familiarize yourself with this report and consider the recommendations for the safety of your persons and property you’ll find there, and how to report unlawful and unsafe situations. 

Copyright/Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing Policy

The HEOA requires that MSU provide information to students concerning illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.  As you probably know, what has become the all too common practice  of downloading and distributing copyrighted digital media through P2P file sharing application, including video and sound (music) files, is illegal.   And, there are serious criminal penalties for violators.  More detailed information about this illegal practice and its consequences may be found online at http://www.montana.edu/studentsuccess/notices/copyrightdisclosure.php .  Illegal P2P file sharing is also a violation of the Student Conduct Code, which you will find athttp://www.montana.edu/policy/student_conduct/index.html .  Finally, MSU has a general policy to combat illegal distribution of copyrighted materials and that policy can be found athttp://www.montana.edu/policy/enterprise_it/copyright_infringement.html .

Drug Convictions and Financial Aid Eligability

Please be advised that a student who is convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance while enrolled in an institution of higher education and receiving any federal financial aid (e.g. grant, loan, or work study) will lose his/her eligibility for such federal assistance according to the following schedule:

If convicted of an offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, the ineligibility period is:

First Offense 1 year from date of conviction
Second Offense 2 years from date of conviction
Third Offense Indefinite


If convicted of an offense involving the sale of a controlled substance, the ineligibility period is:

First Offense 2 years from date of conviction
Second Offense Indefinite

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (Updated 9/16/11)

MSU’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy has been revised for Fall 2011 due to changes in federal regulations.

Students must now have a 2.0 cumulative gpa at the end of their sophomore year (60 earned credits) to remain on financial aid.

MSU is now required to measure  pass rate and maximum credits at the close of each semester.  

MSU has implemented a one semester “warning” period for students who fail to meet the standards for the first time.   Students on warning will have one additional semester to meet the standards before they are placed on financial aid suspension.

The full policy can be found here.    

Fire Safety Report

Fire safety is essential in protecting a campus community from injuries, deaths, business interruption, and property damage resulting from fires.  In an effort to standardize the information that an institution publishes in regards to their own fire safety, HEOA requires a reasonable and consistent notification of fire related incidents to Montana State University administered housing units.  The Fire Safety Report includes statistics about the number and causes of any fires on campus during the previous year as well as any damage or injuries caused by fires.  The Fire Safety Report can be found online at http://www.montana.edu/reports/security.pdf.

Fraternity and Sorority Life Relationship Statement With MSU

The relationship between Montana State University and its fraternities and sororities is more than recognition or registration; it is a close relationship based upon mutual interests, common goals and reciprocal support. Recognizing that membership in a fraternity or sorority can be a positive and educational experience, the University supports the belief that membership offers additional opportunities for today’s students.

The policy outlines the relationship between Montana State University and its fraternities and sororities. Click here for the statement.

Missing Student Policy

Students should be familiar with MSU’s Missing Student Policy found at http://www.montana.edu/policy/missing_student/index.html .  The policy includes information to students about who they should report to in case they know of a student who may be missing.   Suspected missing students living on campus should be reported to MSU housing officials such as Residence Hall Directors, and suspected missing students living off campus should be reported directly to the MSU Campus Police at telephone (406) 994-2121 or online athttp://www.montana.edu/police/ .  The policy also allows all students to confidentially identify a contact  person to be notified in the event that they are found to be missing.

Posthumous Degrees (pending approval)

In exceptional circumstances, the President may award degrees posthumously.  The appropriate degree may be awarded on the recommendation of the student’s major department chair, support from the appropriate college dean and approval by the Provost.  The recommendation will be considered if the student was enrolled at the time of death, was in good academic standing with senior status, had substantially completed the requirements for the degree to be awarded, or was otherwise subject to special consideration.

Upon the President’s approval, the Office of the Registrar will be notified and the degree will be awarded at the next Commencement ceremony or presented to the student’s family in an appropriate setting.  Diplomas for posthumous degrees will be identical to other degrees awarded in the same colleges and majors.

Privacy Policy

The federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) and Montana statutes protect your personal privacy and prohibit release of your education records to any third party without your prior written approval.  However, there are some exceptions such as “life/safety” and when you transfer to another college or university, so you might want to have a look at http://www.montana.edu/policy/family_ed_privacy_act/index.htmlwhich gives a complete description of your rights concerning your educational records.

Student Electronic Communication Policy

There is an expanding reliance on electronic communication among students, faculty, staff, and administrators at Montana State University.  This is motivated by the convenience, speed, cost-effectiveness, and environmental advantages of using electronic communications rather than printed communication. Further, MSU has experienced a wider geographic dispersion of students resulting in a direct need to communicate reliably and consistently via email as well as electronic messaging.  Because of this increasing reliance on and acceptance of electronic communication, it is considered an official means for communication within MSU.

You may view the policy here.

Timely Warning and Emergency Notification Policy

Federal law requires that the University establish policy and procedure for notifying all students and employees of any situation that arises on or off-campus that poses an immediate or continuing safety threat.  The threat could be natural (blizzard, earthquake) or man-made (criminal activity).  The policy, which you can find online here includes the general circumstances in which a warning might be issued, who issues the alert, and how the alert is disseminated.  This policy ties in with student email and “MSU Alert” in which you can enroll for free text message alerts and situation updates.

Tobacco Free Policy

Please visit the University's policy page for more information on the Tobacco Free Policy.