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

Admission Policies

General Guidelines

Admission decisions are made on an individual basis. Before admission is granted, each application is reviewed by the appropriate departmental faculty and The Graduate School to determine if the applicant's academic history and preparation is satisfactory. Enrollment in a graduate program may be limited by the availability of faculty, staff, facilities, area of interest, or financial resources. In such cases, it may not be possible to admit all students who are otherwise qualified

Students may be admitted into full or provisional status.  A student’s admission status may also include a condition specified in the letter of acceptance.  An admission decision is based upon the department’s recommendation and the final approval by The Graduate School. Applicants should consider themselves admitted only when official notification has been received from The Graduate School.  Please note that admission is permitted for only one degree program at a time.

The Graduate School will designate a specific term for which the student is accepted. Applicants may request a change in that term for up to one year.  When a student does not register for the term admitted the application materials submitted will be retained for one year.  If a student decides to reapply after this one year time frame, the student will be required to resubmit all the application materials as well as the application fee. When a student is denied admission the application materials submitted are immediately destroyed.

Full Admission

In order to receive full admission, the student must demonstrate potential for success in graduate study.  The Graduate School requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for both undergraduate and post-baccalaureate work.  Some departments have higher admissions standards; please contact the department for their minimum GPA and entrance exam requirements.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission is granted when the department or The Graduate School determines the student has not met the requirements for full admission.

Students admitted provisionally may be suspended without a probationary period if the provisions placed on their admission have not been met.

Provisional admission may be granted to a student when some type of deficiency is noted in the student's academic work, such as:

  • the student has less than 3.0 but greater than 2.75 cumulative GPA in undergraduate work;
  • the student’s last two years of undergraduate or post-baccalaureate work does not appear to be of sufficient rigor;
  • the student has made a major change in his/her area of specialization but has demonstrated potential for graduate study;
  • the student has low entrance exam scores;
  • the department or The Graduate School identifies other academic weaknesses that may adversely impact the student’s graduate career.

The Graduate School may grant provisional admission with up to fifteen (15) credits of deficiency coursework needed. The following stipulations apply:

  • the deficiency coursework must be listed in writing on the official acceptance letter from The Graduate School. The acceptance letter will also state when the department requires additional prerequisites or deficiency work;
  • the department must list additional deficiency courses in writing on either its acceptance letter or in a memo to the student on or before the first day of the term the student begins his/her graduate career;
  • it is up to the department to monitor acceptable progress of deficient course work and to ensure completion of such coursework in a timely manner;
  • provisions stated in the acceptance letter from the Dean for Graduate Education must be satisfied as required prior to completion of degree.

Admission with Condition

A student admitted into either full or provisional status may also have a condition placed on his/her admission. A condition is typically placed on a student's admission when The Graduate School is missing an official document, such as transcripts or exam scores. When a condition is placed on a studen's admission, a corresponding hold is placed on the student's record that will prevent registration until the hold is removed.

Admission Denial

Students may be denied admission based on academic qualifications as well as the availability of faculty, facilities, and/or financial resources.

The department or The Graduate School may recommend enrollment as a non-degree graduate student or completion of additional undergraduate coursework to improve the student's GPA standing and provide evidence of the student's ability to do well in graduate school.

The falsification, omission, or willful suppression by the applicant of any information requested, whether on the application forms or in the application packet, is grounds for either denial of admission or dismissal from Montana State University.

Dual Degrees

See Dual Degree Policy

Back to Graduate Catalog of Policies and Procedures