Online courses offer a flexible alternative to attending the traditional classroom by delivering a variety of educational resources via the Internet. Whether you're working a summer job, leaving Bozeman for a few months, or just trying to fit an extra class into your schedule, you can still begin or continue your MSU education by enrolling in one or more online courses.

Is Online Learning Right for Me?

Take the Quiz

About Online Courses

Summer 2019 Online Course Offerings


How Do Online Courses Work?

Online courses—also known as distance delivery courses—use a personal computer to connect participants from across the country and around the world via the Internet. Distance courses at MSU are offered on Desire2Learn, an online course delivery tool that allows students and instructors to interact with each other as a learning community on the Web.

Generally speaking, in an online course, you can expect to:

  • connect via the Internet with a personal username and password
  • participate in a course with set start and end dates (many classes have been developed with a structure similar to traditional on-campus courses with due dates tied to assignments, readings, and other course-related activities)
  • proceed through course requirements together with your class, but be able to access the course at a time of day that is convenient to you
  • make a time commitment that is about the same as for an on-campus course

Is Online Learning Right for Me?

Learning at a distance requires a different set of resources than traditional face-to-face learning. If you're thinking about taking an online course but are not quite sure if you're ready to make the commitment, take the interactive quiz to help you decide.

Whether it's face-to-face or online, a typical three-credit course offered over six weeks requires approximately 20 hours of time per week (in the classroom and outside of class). Such a course is equivalent to a half-time load.

Online instruction provides a level of flexibility that students find attractive. Also, with appropriate effort, the level of student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction can exceed that of a face-to-face class. However, success in this environment requires a personal commitment and responsibility that is often much greater than that required in a face-to-face class. Before registering for an online course, think carefully about whether or not you have what it takes to be successful.

Learning to Use Desire2Learn

Information on how to use Desire2Learn is available via the Desire2Learn login page.

Required Equipment

At a minimum, online courses require:

  • A computer running either Windows XP or higher or Mac OS 10.X.X
  • A current browser
  • Internet access

To ensure that you are using a supported browser and your settings are optimized for the best possible online learning experience, go to the Desire2Learn login page.

How to Register

  • Registrar Courses
    You must be admitted to MSU in order to enroll in online courses offered through the Registrar; refer to the Admissions page for more information. Registration for online courses is done in the same manner as that for on-campus courses.  Refer to the Registration page for more information.  Online courses and on-campus courses are listed together, along with Course Reference Numbers (CRN), in the Summer Class Schedule.


  • Registrar Courses
    Fees for online courses are the same as those charged for on-campus courses.  Please refer to the summer fee schedule page.

Getting Started

  • MSU-Bozeman participants may use either their first.last Desire2Learn username or their NetID to login to Desire2Learn (D2L). Important: With either ID, D2L requires participants to use the password associated with their NetID to log in to D2L. Find out your first.last D2L username and/or your NetID via the Secure Area of MyInfo.
  • Set your NetID password at MSU's Password Help Page.
  • Once you know your first.last D2L username or NetID, you can login to Desire2Learn; use either Username coupled with your NetID password.

Summer courses will be made active by the first day of class.

For More Information

For more information about online learning, visit the Distance Learning Resources page. You'll find links to information about Desire2Learn as well as a full range of student services, library resources, and a comprehensive FAQ page.

2019 Summer Session Dates

Session Dates

First 4-week session

May 14-June 8

Second 4-week session

June 11-July 6

Third 4-week session

July 9-August 3

Fourth 4-week session

July 26-August 21

First half session (6 weeks)

May 14-June 22

Second half session (6 weeks)

June 25-August 3

Full semester (12 weeks)

May 14-August 3

Intersession Dates vary; see individual courses
Combined May 14-August 3

The following courses will be offered fully online during Summer Session 2019.

Undergraduate Courses

Summer Courses-online courses are indicated by an asterisk (*)

Enroll through Registrar

Course descriptions available here.

Course schedule available here (select Term, Subject, and Search Class).


Nursing--Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

Undergraduate Resources

Graduate Resources

Enroll through Registrar

Course descriptions available here.

Course schedule available here (select Term, "NRSG" for Subject, and Search Class).


Education--Graduate Courses

Summer Courses

Enroll through Registrar

Course descriptions available here

Course schedule available here (select Term, "EDCI," "EDLD," or "TE" for Subject, and Search Class).


Summer Master's Degree Programs

Note:  The following programs include both online and on-campus courses.  Only the Summer 2019 online offerings are listed below.  For complete program details and course listings, please see the Summer Master's Degree Programs page.

Master of Science in Mathematics (Mathematics Education option)

Enroll through Registrar

Summer Courses

For more information on the Master of Science in Mathematics - Mathematics Education option consult the Web page or contact:

Jennifer Luebeck, Dept of Mathematical Sciences Montana State University Bozeman, MT 59717-2400, (406) 994-5341,


Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE)

Courses are restricted entry. For more information and registration details, contact or (406) 994-5679.

Summer Courses

Course descriptions available here.

Course schedule available here.


National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN)

About NTEN

The National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) is one of the country's most-established online professional development programs for teachers. Courses are designed to help elementary, secondary and community college teachers develop a deeper understanding of science concepts while interacting with and learning new techniques from other teachers and researchers around the globe.

NTEN faculty are university scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and science educators, all experienced in online teaching. Through NTEN, educators can also access professional resources and discuss issues with other educators online. NTEN was created by Montana State University and originally funded by the National Science Foundation. NTEN is part of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Institute, and members receive a discount on some courses.

How is NTEN different from other online science programs?

  • NTEN strives to teach science concepts, not just educational methods
  • NTEN faculty practice a hands-on, inquiry-based style that mirrors the classroom and sparks new ideas
  • NTEN facilitates connections among participants, so that teachers learn best practices from colleagues around the world
  • NTEN credits come from Montana State University, a top-tier public research institution

For general information and registration:
(406) 994-6812
(800) 282-6062

Registration for Summer will open in March!


School Library Media Certification Program

The online School Library Media Certification Program is housed in the Dept. of Education in the College of Education, Health & Human Development.

If you are interested in acquiring certification to become a school library media specialist or taking recertification credits, please consider joining us.  The Library Media website contains most of the information you need in order to plan your route to certification and to select courses.

We have received official approval from accreditation officials in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Many other states accept our program as well. Our education programs are accredited by the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Board of Public Education, and we participate in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification's (NASDTEC) Interstate Contract.

Library Media Program website:  

Summer 2018 Courses

For additional information about admission contact:

Library Media Program
Montana State University
P.O. Box 172880 
Bozeman, MT  59717-2880
Tel: (406) 994-3120
Fax: (406) 994-3261
Location: 222 Reid Hall


Family Financial Planning

MSU offers a Master of Science Degree in Health & Human Development with an option in Family Financial Planning through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance.  The entire program is delivered online through Extended University and a consortium of eight state universities, including MSU.  Students enrolled in the degree program have first priority to enroll in the courses.  Students not enrolled in the program may register if room is available.

Summer Courses

To learn more about the program, contact:

Janine Hansen
(406) 994-5240

Or visit the

Family Financial Planning website. 


  Addiction Counselor Certificate Program

The Addiction Counseling Certificate Program provides all of the required coursework for the state of Montana licensure requirements.

The program is administered by the Dept. of Health & Human Development and is offered completely online.  You must be admitted into the program to take these courses.

Summer Courses

Courses to be announced.

For more information, contact:

        Sarah Hendrikx
        Extended University
        (406) 994-7441

Or visit the website: 


Educational Leadership -- Superintendent Certification

The Superintendent Certification Program provides the required coursework for current principals to receive their superintendent endorsement by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

The program is administered by the Dept. of Education and is offered completely online by MSU Extended University.

Summer Courses

Courses to be announced.

For more information, contact:

Tena Versland
Montana State University
(406) 994-6799

Or visit the website: