Montana State University

College of Letters and Science

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172360
Bozeman, MT 59717-2360

Tel: (406) 994-4288
Fax: (406) 994-7580
Location: 2-205 Wilson Hall


Nicol C. Rae

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About the College of Letters and Science at MSU

College Office
  • The College of Letters and Science is the largest and most diverse college at Montana State University, offering 50 majors, 30 minors and over 35 graduate degree options.
  • L&S is home to approximately 3,150 undergraduate students and 475 graduate students, or 24 percent of MSU students.
  • In 2013, L&S awarded 31 percent of all bachelor's degrees at MSU and 31 percent of all graduate degrees.
  • L&S teaches 31.4 percent of all upper division student credit hours and 56.5 percent of all lower division student credit hours.

  • L&S is home to 190, or approximately 40 percent, of MSU’s tenure-track faculty.

  • Of the 61 MSU students who have received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships over the past 18 years, 40 have been L&S students (66 percent). The scholarship is the nation's premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering since the Goldwater Foundation was established in 1986. The scholarship gives each recipient up to $7,500 a year for tuition, fees, books, and room and board.
  • Participants in 2013 Student Research Celebration: The College of Letters and Sciences encourages all students to complete a scholarly research or creative project. In 2013, more than half of the students participating in the MSU Student Research Celebration were Letters and Science students, representing all of our departments.
  • During the 2013-2014 academic year, 465 out of 1,166 (40 percent) students in the Honor's College were L&S majors.
  • Of the seven colleges at the university, L&S was the leader in research expenditures in fiscal year 2013 at approximately $22.8 million—24 percent of the campus total—which creates research opportunities for students. Further, two departments in the college were in the top three among academic departments for research expenditures—Chemistry and Biochemistry at $8 million was first and Physics at $6 million was third.
  • MSU graduates had a 5-year average acceptance rate of 63 percent to medical school (MD and DO). By comparison, the national 5-year average matriculation rate to medical school is 42 percent.
  • 2013 average MCAT score for MSU students/alumni: 27.9. Average MCAT score nationwide: 25.3.
  • The new 73,000 square foot Chemistry and Biochemistry Research Building provides cutting-edge laboratory space for research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

  • The renovated Gaines Hall (completed in 2010) provides state-of-the art teaching laboratories for modern languages, chemistry, earth sciences, physics and biology.
  • In September 2012, a $17 million renovation of MSU’s Cooley Lab was completed. This project, which transformed the 52-year-old building into a state-of-the-art research facility, will help advance one of the university’s major strengths: biomedical research. Of the $100 million MSU wins annually in competitive grants for research, roughly $40 million of that goes to studying everything from influenza, to heart disease, to using parts of viruses for pinpoint delivery of drugs, to preventing infectious diseases, to developing safeguards against bioterrorist attacks. Researchers from the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and the Department of Microbiology are working in Cooley Lab.

  • The Department of Native American Studies offers an interdisciplinary M.A. degree, one of only a handful in the U.S. and the only one in the Rocky Mountain region. It also offers an online graduate certificate program that is believed to be the only of its kind in the country.

  • The undergraduate programs in snow science and paleontology, offered by the Department of Earth Sciences, are the only of their kind in the U.S.

  • Montana State University leads the country in the number of research projects in Yellowstone National Park. In recent years, MSU received nearly five times the number of National Science Foundation grants for Yellowstone studies than its nearest competition.