Montana State University

The Graduate School

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172580
Bozeman, MT 59717-2580

Tel: (406) 994-4145
Toll Free: 1-800-255-7962
Fax: (406) 994-4733
Location: 108 Montana Hall


Dr. Karlene A. Hoo, Dean

The Graduate School - Policies and Procedures

Grades, Course Loads, and Special Courses

    Incomplete Grades
    Course Removal
    Pass/Fail Courses
    Special Topics Course (591)
    Professional Development (588)
    Graduate Consultation Course (589)
    Individual Problem Course (592)
    Reading and Research (689)
    Courses Not Approved For Use

    Grade Point Average (GPA) standards: A student must maintain a minimum 3.0 semester GPA, a minimum 3.0 GPA in the entire Program of Study and a cumulative 3.0 GPA overall. Any student who’s cumulative or Program of Study grade point average is less than 3.0 at the end of any semester may be placed on probation or suspended from their degree program. (Refer to the section on Academic Probation and Suspension.)

    A course in which the student receives any grade lower than a "C-" and is not offered for either of the two subsequent semesters may be substituted by another course to fulfill the degree requirement. The original course will remain on the program of study but will be noted by The Graduate School as a substituted course.
    The original course must be retaken if offered in either of the following two semesters, regardless of intended semester of graduation. A memo from the department head will be sufficient to clarify the intent of the additional course work.

    Incomplete Grades: Unless a specified earlier time is given by the instructor, an “I” grade shall be made up no later than the end of the following semester (excluding summer session). The instructor may extend the time given to fulfill an “I” grade; however an “I” grade may not be extended beyond one calendar year. An “I” grade not made up in the prescribed length of time or within one calendar year lapses to a failure (F). For more information regarding an “I” grade, refer to the current catalog.

    Course removal: A course listed on the Program of Study may not be removed once a grade has been posted.

    Pass/Fail grades: In all pass/fail grading, passing work receives a "P" grade on a student's transcript but does not count in the grade point average. However, the course credit may count toward the number of credits required for degree completion.
    Please Note: Failing work will receive an “F” grade and will count in the grade point average.

    Special Topics Course (591)
    Special Topics (591) courses may be included in a master's or doctoral Program of Study. The total number of Special Topics courses that may be taken during a graduate student's tenure varies by degree program.

    Professional Development (588)
    Professional Development (588) courses are not applicable to degree programs and may not be used toward graduate degree requirements.

    Graduate Consultation Course (589)
    This course is permitted only for master's degree students who have completed all of their coursework and the thesis or the professional paper, but who need additional faculty or staff time. This course may not be used for degree credit requirements.

    Individual Problems Course (592)
    Individual Problems (592) courses may be included in the Program of Study. The allowable number of 592 credit hours is limited as follows:
    • Master’s Plan A (thesis) four (4) credits total.
    • Master’s Plan B (non-thesis) six (6) credits total.
    • Doctoral, no more than six (6) credits total.

    Reading and Research (689)
    Reading and Research (689) courses may be included in a doctoral program of study.  This course may be used by doctoral students who are reading research publications in the field in preparation for doctoral thesis research.

    Course NOT approved for use on a graduate Program of Study
    490 (Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity Instruction) 
    492 (Undergraduate Independent Study) 
    494 (Undergraduate seminars)
    498 (Undergraduate Internship)

    Back to Graduate Catalog of Policies and Procedures

Back to Graduate Catalog of Policies and Procedures