Mountains & Minds
Montana State University offers something beyond the conventional college experience for our Montana students. The people who live, work and play at MSU aren't afraid to venture from what they know to find a new place and learn new things. Our researchers are partnering with students to push boundaries in their fields and make cutting-edge discoveries. Our professors are empowering students to solve important real-world problems. And we are making millions of acres of nearby wilderness our classroom, lab, studio and playground. At MSU, you'll create a college experience that's as unique as you are.
Explore the basics of MSU, including facts, stats, admission requirements, scholarships and more below.
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MSU is the largest and fastest growing university in Montana, with 16,249 students, including 7,742 students from across every town in Montana. Students are able to choose from more than 250 academic options ranging from arts and humanities to engineering and technology.
Average High School GPA
Average ACT Score
Average SAT Score
Top Ten Home States
- Montana 7,742
- Washington 1,402
- Colorado 1,263
- California 1,178
- Minnesota 589
- Oregon 417
- Idaho 382
- Alaska 329
- Wyoming 208
- Illinois 196
Top Ten Montana Counties
- Gallatin 2,028
- Yellowstone 1,031
- Flathead 571
- Lewis & Clark 555
- Missoula 549
- Cascade 519
- Park 220
- Ravalli 203
- Jefferson 121
- Silver Bow 103
Academic Colleges by Enrollment
Montana State University has a long and distinguished record of academic excellence — and a commitment to its Land Grant mission of providing access to higher education. MSU is the only university in the country with Carnegie classifications for very high research activity, a very high undergraduate enrollment profile and a commitment to community engagement. MSU is also among the top 3 percent of colleges and universities in the nation for research expenditures and offers unparalleled access to outdoor adventure and discovery.
Montana State University is among the top
colleges and universities
No.1 public university in the state, according to the Forbes list of America's Top Colleges, based on value, post-graduation salary and student experience.
IN THE WEST
Top 3 in the West, after Stanford and Cal Tech, in recipients of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for students in math, science and engineering.
IN THE U.S.
Best college for outdoor sports and recreation, with world-class skiing, hiking, biking, fly fishing and close proximity to Yellowstone National Park.
Montana State University offers something beyond the conventional college experience. MSU students have been the recipients of more than 176 national awards.
In addition to the prestigious and highly competitive Goldwater Scholarships for study in science, math and engineering, MSU students have been the recipients of more than 176 national awards, including:
Applying to Montana State University is easy! MSU functions on rolling admission, which means there's no hard-set application deadline. Explore our requirements and recommendations for freshman and transfer students below.
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Freshman Admission Requirements
To be admitted, a prospective freshman must meet the following requirements:
Must have one of the following:
ACT Composite Score
SAT composite score (M, W/L)
High School GPA
Rank in the top half of graduating class
Recommended College Prep Courses:
Choose from: Foreign Language, Computer Science, Visual & Performing Arts or Vocational Ed
In order to begin a University Academic Plan at Montana State University, students must demonstrate readiness in the areas of math and writing. Typically, students demonstrate their readiness through scores earned on standardized examinations as outlined below:
Math: ACT Math 22+ or SAT Math 27.5+
Writing: ACT English/Language Arts 18+ or SAT Writing/Language 25+*
*Students who do not meet the freshman admission requirements listed above are still encouraged to apply for admission and submit the necessary credentials. MSU is allowed a number of exemptions to the stated requirements and will examine each student’s credentials on a case-by-case basis for admissibility.
Freshman Applicant Requirements
- Application for admission by July 1 for fall semester
- $38 nonrefundable application fee (waived for fall 2021 Montana students)
- Official final high school transcript sent directly from the high school
- Official ACT or SAT scores
- Three-to-four-week admission decision
Transfer Applicant Requirements
- Application for admission by July 1 for fall semester
- $38 nonrefundable application fee (online)
- 2.0 cumulative college GPA average
- 12 attempted college level credits (post High School)
- Official college transcripts sent directly from each institution
Montana State University offers millions of dollars in merit scholarships and waivers to new students with excellent academic records and outstanding promise for student success. Our holistic review of scholarship candidates considers academic achievement, including GPA and class rank (if applicable). Leadership qualities, commitment to service and promise of engagement in the life of Montana State University may also be considered for some awards. Explore some of our opportunities below!
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Want more information about MSU? We're here to help.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! You can email our
staff at [email protected], or call us Monday - Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm MT at 1-888-MSU-CATS.