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Graduation Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees

Registration Required the Semester of Graduation

A student must be registered at Montana State University the semester of his or her graduation. If the student is not required to take any courses at Montana State University during the final semester, he or she must process an "in absentia" registration and pay a registration fee of $30 before the end of the third week of the semester he or she expects to earn a degree. Arrangements for this registration must be made by the student with the Registrar. Registration in Extended Studies courses does not fulfill this requirement. Graduate students must have the written permission of the Graduate Dean to register in absentia.

Except for certain pre-professional curricula (e.g., pre-medicine), twenty-three of the last thirty credits earned to meet the graduation requirement must be MSU credits.  Specific majors may have program-specific requirements for courses that must be taken from MSU to meet graduation requirements.  Such requirements are clearly identified in the curriculum description for that department. 

Notification of Degree Eligibility

Students are expected to submit an Application for Baccalaureate Degree form no later than one year prior to the semester they plan to graduate. A $30 degree application fee is assessed at the time the Application for Degree form is filed. Returning former students must file the application during the first week of university instruction of the semester of completion. Application for Degree forms can be moved from one semester to the next within the academic year only. If, however, it is necessary to delay graduation beyond the originally scheduled academic year, one must file a new Application for Degree form.

Satisfaction of Financial Obligation

All candidates for degrees must fully satisfy their financial obligations to the University (or make arrangements with Montana State University for doing so) as a condition for completing their degree programs. Candidates failing to comply with this requirement shall not be eligible for graduation, diplomas, degrees, or any transcripts of their records.

Graduation Grade Point Average

In order to graduate, students must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.00. Further restrictions and graduation requirements may be imposed by the various curricula.

To receive a graduate degree from MSU-Bozeman, students must earn a 3.00 grade point average required in the major and minor for the degree. Students must also earn 3.00 grade point average taken at MSU-Bozeman which are required in the major and minor.

Graduation with Honors

Graduation with honors or highest honors applies only to baccalaureate degrees.

To receive honors, a student must earn a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 through 3.69. To receive highest honors, a student must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.70. Cumulative grade point averages are computed at the end of the semester of graduation.

All MSU credits attempted and grades received will be used in computing graduation with honors or highest honors.

Transfer students must meet the cumulative grade-point average requirements stated above and complete a minimum of sixty semester credits at MSU. The credits earned at MSU must compute to minimum grade point averages of 3.25 or 3.70 for graduating with honors or highest honors respectively.

For second degree or subsequent baccalaureate candidates, the grade-point average of the first or subsequent degrees and any transfer work will be included in the determination of honors or highest honors. Transfer credit and grade-point average requirements apply.


Students must notify the Registrar's Office of their current mailing address. Students will not receive their diplomas during the commencement ceremonies, they will be mailed as follows:

  • Summer graduates will receive their diplomas by the following December.
  • Fall graduates will receive their diplomas by the following May.
  • Spring graduates will receive their diplomas by the following July.

Diplomas are dated the last day of the semester in which the requirements for the degree are completed. Degrees are conferred once a year at May commencement.

Appeals of Graduation Requirements

The Admission and Graduation Requirements Board (GARC) is composed of the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (chairperson), the assistant dean of the college concerned, and the Registrar. This board considers appeals and/or petitions from undergraduate and non-degree students seeking waivers of established requirements in special situations.

Instructions for submitting appeals and petitions are available through the Registrar's Office.

These submissions should be forwarded by letter to the Registrar and should originate with the student in conjunction with the student's adviser.

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View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 6/09/06
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