Undergraduate Degree

The Department of Ecology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, which may be earned in one of four options:

placeholder image

The Department of Ecology does not offer online degrees at this time.

Read about other biology-related undergraduate degrees offered at MSU in the undergraduate catalog.

Admissions Basics

Any student who is admitted to Montana State University may choose to earn their degree in the Department of Ecology. There are no additional departmental requirements to begin your program of study for our major in Biological Sciences. Check out the most current MSU Admissions information on their website or in the undergraduate catalog. If you're ready, Apply for Admission online.

Prospective Student Visits

Students may set up visits to campus through the Admissions Office. Follow instructions on their visit page to set up a campus visit, and Admissions will contact us to let us know you are coming. Admissions will set up a day of tours and meetings for students and families based on interests. During the Ecology Department meeting, students will meet with a faculty member or advisor who can go over the major option that the student has interest in, and can answer questions about the major and courses we offer.

Entering Freshmen

Students who have not completed a full semester or quarter at a college or university are generally considered to be entering freshmen.

Freshmen entering in the Fall Semester are invited to attend one of several MSU Freshmen Orientation/Registration Sessions before their first semester in attendance. There are several three day sessions offered during June and July. The final freshmen Orientation for each semester is scheduled close to the start of the semester. Details about orientation are provided by the Office of Admissions when you accept your admission to MSU.

During these sessions you will meet with university and department leaders about choosing courses for your first year in the program and register online for that semester of classes. After you begin attending classes, you will be assigned a faculty advisor from the department who will be available to meet with you until you have completed your degree requirements. See more information about department advising on our undergraduate advising page. You may view more information and sample orientation schedules on the Admissions Orientation page

It is not unusual for freshmen to transfer AP credits into their program of study in the department. In addition, specific scores on an ACT or SAT test may qualify you for an exemption from a specific English or Math course or to substitute one at a more advanced level. Please check with the Office of Admissions if you have questions on how your test scores transfer into MSU.

Transfer Students

When you accept admission to MSU as a transfer student, you will be given a choice for how to attend orientation. Some transfer students prefer to meet with an advisor in our department some time during the registration period for continuing students. You are requested to contact us to set up an appointment. Or you may choose to come to group Orientation just before the semester starts. During orientation, you learn about the department, MSU processes, and register for courses for the upcoming semester. You may view more information and sample orientation schedules on the Admissions Orientation page.

Transfer students frequently ask whether all of their credits will "transfer." Yes, all credits from an accredited college or university are accepted by MSU and the department. The grades from transferred courses will not be included in your cumulative GPA, but all credits will count toward the total credits earned.

The more important question is whether all of the transferred credits will be equivalent to a specific course that the department or university requires for graduation. This answer is not a simple, "yes" or "no." Some courses transferred into your program will be evaluated as equivalent to a specific and/or required course. Other courses you have completed may be evaluated as an "elective" course. Elective courses will not necessarily fit into our department's required program of study. Some examples: An equivalent designated course in business management will not meet any department requirement for graduation with a degree in Biological Sciences though it may count toward the university requirements. An elective designated course in biology designated "ELEC 200" will need to be reviewed by your assigned faculty advisor to determine how it may or may not fit into the program of study for your chosen major option.

Students who have completed an Associates of Arts or Science degree from a Montana college before admission have the advantage of having met all of the university CORE requirements when they are admitted.


Students entering our program who have already received a bachelor's degree in any major are considered to be post-baccalaureate students. In order to graduate with an additional Bachelor of Science degree from the ecology department, you must meet all department course requirements. In addition, the university requires that a minimum of 30 additional credit hours beyond the first degree are completed, that twenty-three of the last thirty credits are earned at MSU, and that at least nine of the additional credits are upper division.

Quick Links: