Application Instructions

Preferred Deadlines

  • July 1 for Fall Semester (starts in late August)
  • November 15 for Spring Semester (starts in early January)
  • March 15 for Summer Term (starts in mid-May- summer session I or mid-June - summer session II)

Applications received after these dates may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applying at least six months before these dates is strongly encouraged. Graduate students should start the application process a year prior to the intended start date.

Application documents must be sent to the following address:

Montana State University- International Admissions
400 Culbertson Hall
P.O.Box 172260
Bozeman, MT 59717 / USA

Notification of Admission

Applicants are reviewed for admission when all required final and official documents have been received at the Office of International Admissions. Successful candidates will promptly be issued a letter of acceptance and an I-20 form necessary for obtaining an F-1 student visa. A packet of information regarding orientation, the registration process, and other important information will follow directly in a separate mailing.

Freshmen & Transfer Students & Special Circumstances

1. International Undergraduate Application for Admissions:

A paper application can be downloaded and printed at: International Undergraduate Application Form

An online application can be submitted at:

2. Application fee (nonrefundable)

US$38 online application or US$30 paper application. The fee must be U.S. currency. Checks should be made payable to Montana State University. The application fee will not be waived, deferred or refunded. The fee must be paid before the application will be processed.

3. Evidence of Financial Support

Two documents must be turned in:

  1. International Student Financial Certificate: It guarantees the required minimum amount of money, in U.S. dollars, will be available to the student during the academic year. It is mandatory for each student and must be signed by the student and the student's sponsor. The financial certificate is included with the paper application or it can be downloaded with the online application and submitted separately.
  2. Bank Statement: this official document issued by the sponsor's bank shows the minimum required funds.

4. English Language Proficiency

There are several ways to proof your English proficiency:

  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language administered by ETS): a minimum score of 71 iBT(525 Pbt)
  2. IELTS (administered by the British Council): a minimum score of 6.0
  3. Completion of Level 6 at the A.C.E. Language Institute at MSU. MSU offers conditional admission to students who are academically qualified but who do not meet the language requirement. Students who are conditionally admitted first attend the A.C.E. Language Institute and complete level 6 before attending MSU. If you are interested in receiving conditional admission, please specify it in a cover letter or on your application form.
  4. Other ESL programs are accepted in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS, please see the English language proficiency page for more details on specific programs and levels.

The students who are citizens of countries where English is an official language proficiency do not need to submit a proof of English proficiency, unless English is not the student's native language.

5. Academic Records

In order for the MSU Office of Admissions to evaluate academic qualifications and placement level:

FRESHMEN must submit official secondary transcripts posting date of completion. Official transcripts (bearing the school seal and signature) should be sent directly from the school to the University and must include an English translation. Certified true copies of original transcripts are acceptable. Any GCE A&AS Level and International Baccalaureate official examination results must be sent to the Office of Admissions and will be considered for transfer credits.

For high school students who are enrolled in a high school that utilizes the British System:

  • IGCSE/O-Level:Montana State University recognizes 5 Cambridge  IGCSE or O-Level exam passes as the equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma. The subjects must include natural science, social studies, foreign language, English, and math with a total GPA above 2.5.
  • IGCSE English: Montana State University accepts an IGCSE/O-Level English result of C and above in lieu of a TOEFL score and IELTS band.
  • AS/A-Level/AICE (reflects current policy): Montana State University recognizes Cambridge AS and A-Levels for admissions and matriculation, as well as credit and placement.  Certain subjects fulfil MSU Core requirements.  AS and A-Level passes of E and above are awarded credit by examination. Chemistry is awarded credit at D and above. Economics is awarded credit at C and above. For more information on how A & AS Levels transfer to MSU, refer to the A & AS Levels equivalency chart.

International Baccalaureate (IB): IB Exams with scores of 4 or higher (Higher Level only) will be granted college credit with a Pass grade for equivalent courses. For more information on how IB courses transfer to MSU, refer to the IB Course Equivalencies website.

TRANSFER STUDENTS must request official transcripts from each international or U.S. post-secondary institution attended, directly from the institution(s) to Montana State University.

6. Translation of academic records

An English translation must be received for all non-English academic credentials.

7. Evaluation of foreign credentials

MSU reserves the right to require a professional evaluation of non-U.S. academic credentials from applicants who have attended colleges/universities outside the United States and Canada (where English is not the language of instruction) unless MSU has a formal agreement with the postsecondary institution.

Physical Examination & Medical Insurance

Physical Examination

All students entering Montana State University are required to have a record of a recent physical examination showing a physician-validated immunization record for two measles, two mumps, two rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and skin testing for tuberculosis.

The Physical Exam and Health History Form must be on file at the MSU Student Health Center before the student will be permitted to register for classes. The physical examination is to be performed by a personal physician in the student's home country (an English translation must be provided) or in the U.S.  Examinations in the U.S. cost approximately $75.  A Health History Form will be sent to you upon receipt of your application.

Download Health History FormThe HEALTH HISTORY FORM is available to download and print in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.  

Medical Insurance

All MSU students are required to carry medical insurance and will be charged for the MSU student group policy upon registration. (Students may receive a refund if, prior to registration, they show proof of equal coverage from another current policy.) The cost for individual student insurance on the MSU student group policy is approximately $3,000 per calendar year. Coverage for Spring semester automatically continues through the Summer session for insured students and dependents.

I-20 Form or DS-2019 Form & Visa Application

I-20 Form or DS-2019 Form

Upon final acceptance for admission to Montana State University, an I-20 form will be sent to the applicant. The I-20 is necessary for obtaining an F-1 student visa or for legal transfer from another institution in the U.S.. Exchange Visitor Program participants need an DS-2019 form to obtain a J-1 visa. For students who will enroll in a later term, a new I-20 will be sent by MSU to the student upon final acceptance to the new term.

Students must attend the school named on the certificate of eligibility presented at the United States port of entry. The I-20 is an important document that must be retained by the student for later endorsement by the Foreign Student Advisor and for future reentries into the U.S. For J-1 visa students the form DS-2019 must be endorsed for reentry into the U.S. Students who will leave the U.S. and return to MSU need to have the endorsement of the Foreign Student Advisor in order to show that they are students in good standing and, therefore, permitted to continue their studies at the University.

Students present their passport, Form I-20 or DS-2019 and entry permit (I-94 card) at the Office of InternationalPrograms upon arrival at Montana State University. Copies of documents must be kept on file according to immigration regulations.

Visa Application

International students must appear before a United States Consulate in order to secure an F-1 student visa. In order to set a visa appointment the SEVIS fee must first be paid. The following items must be presented: Form I-20 (certificate of eligibility issued by Montana State University), a valid passport, proof of sufficient financial support and proof of payment of SEVIS fee. Form I-20 is also used to obtain F-2 visas for dependents and proof of marriage is necessary in order to obtain a visa for the dependent spouse. Students are encouraged to apply for a visa as early as possible in the 90 day period prior to the study program start date.

Exchange Visitor Program participants entering the United States on the J-1 visa should follow the above procedures, but must submit the Form DS-2019, issued by the sponsor, instead of the Form I-20.

Students with F-1 status who are transferring from an educational institution in the United States should consult with the international student advisor at their present school for instructions on the Immigration Service's transfer process. This should be done as early as possible to avoid any difficulties.

Here are 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa.

Financial Capability & Fees

Financial Capability

All students with non-immigrant visas must provide certification of financial support for the time period that they will be enrolled at Montana State University. Admission cannot be considered until the International Student Financial Certificate on the Application form is signed by the student's sponsor along with a bank statement. The Financial Certificate guarantees that the required minimum funds, in U.S. dollars, will be available to the student during the academic year. Applicants must also plan to meet expenses for subsequent years of study.

Financial assistance to international undergraduate students is not generally available. Students are eligible to compete for SAT-based or Office of International Programs scholarships based on need and academic performance. Entering freshmen may apply for the extremely competitive MSU Presidential Scholarship (20 awarded annually to superior students, mandatory personal interview). The deadline for this academic scholarship is in early January for the following fall semester. Contact: The Honors College, 108 Quad D, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA, for an application and details.

Successful applicants will need approximately $18,000 at the beginning of each semester for registration and payment of fees, room and board payments, insurance, and book purchases. Married students who plan to bring their spouse and children should plan on additional yearly expenses of at least $8,000 for a spouse and $5,000 per child.

Holders of the F-1 student visa may work at jobs on campus providing their employment does not displace a U.S. citizen. This work generally pays minimum wage and is limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session (40 hours during vacation periods and summer). Employment of this type is not guaranteed. F-2 visa holders (spouses) may not work under any circumstances. Off-campus employment is limited to practical training in a position that relates closely to the student's program of study. Practical training cannot start until after the first nine months of an academic program and many regulations apply. For clarification of employment regulations, contact the Foreign Student Advisor upon arrival.

 Departmental Contact Information

MSU on the Web at:

A.C.E. Language Institute
330 Culbertson Hall / P.O. Box 170550, Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 585-9832, fax: (406) 585-9838, e-mail:

Family Housing (On-campus houses and apartments)
1502 Garfield, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA,
(406) 994-3730, e-mail:

Graduate Admissions
108 Montana Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-4145, e-mail:

International Programs (Foreign Student Advisor)
400 Culbertson Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-4031, fax: (406) 994-1619,

The Office of Admissions
120 Hamilton Hall, P.O. Box 172190, Bozeman, MT 59717-2190
(406) 994-2452, US toll-free 888-MSU-CATS
fax: (406) 994-1923

Residence Life and Food Services (Residence halls)
31 Hedges Complex, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-2661, fax: (406) 994-1918
(Faxed housing contracts are not accepted.)

College of Agriculture
202 Linfield Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-3681, e-mail:

College of Arts and Architecture
217 Cheever Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-4405, e-mail:

College of Business
412 Reid Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-4681, e-mail:

Office of Student Services - College of Business
338 Reid Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-4681

College of Education, Health and Human Development
250 Reid Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-4731, e-mail:

College of Engineering
212 Roberts Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-2272, e-mail:

College of Letters and Science
2-205 Wilson Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-4288, e-mail:

College of Nursing
101 Sherrick Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
(406) 994-3783, e-mail: