Recent Graduate School Announcements
Last updated 3/1/21
March 2021 Grad School Help Desk Newsletter
The March Grad School Help Desk Newsletter is now out! It has events and annoucements that may be of interest to graduate students.
Virtual Graduate School Recruitment Fair March 1 - 5
MSU Graduate School is excited to host a Virtual Graduate Fair for all interested students during the week of March 1 - 5.
MSU Graduate School is excited to host a Virtual Graduate Fair for all interested students. This free and virtual event is taking place over the entire week of March 1-5, 2021. The fair will feature most of the graduate programs at MSU in individualized, live, WebEx Meeting rooms.
Each event is a live WebEx of faculty and staff representing that particular field. You will be listening to their research and have opportunities to engage in the discussion and ask questions. The platform is one that most of you have navigated for courses which shifted to online instruction, so you should be familiar with the chat and breakout room options.
Additionally, please note that we have both a special session for International students, as well as a unique General Session geared to general Graduate School questions, such as how to write a statement of purpose, securing the best reference writers, or asking questions about residency or financial aid. Dean Ogilvie and the entire admissions staff will be ready to help answer all questions during this session.
Register and view the schedule on the Virtual Graduate Fair webpage.
Health Insurance Navigator: Open Enrollment Feb 15 - May 15
The enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act health insurance will open again Feb 15 to May 15.
Dear Graduate Students,
The enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act health insurance will open again Feb 15 to May 15. The state of Montana has a non-profit agency, the ACA Navigator, who can help any person living in Montana find affordable health insurance. This non-profit has a federal grant to provide free navigation services.
Graduate students may be eligible for subsidies that may assist in paying monthly premiums. If you or a family member have questions about coverage options or financial assistance you can contact a Montana Navigator at (406) 430-0005 or visit them online at www.acanavigator.com.
Kindness in Graduate Education Week: Feb 15-24
During Feb 15-24, we invite students, faculty, and staff to submit acts of kindness that you’ve experienced, observed or expressed, using the form on Kindness in Graduate Education Week webpage, which will be anonymously shared on our Kindness page and social media.
Join the Graduate School and your Graduate Wellness Champions in celebrating all the small acts of kindness that occur in the lives of those in graduate education.
During the week of February 15, we invite students, faculty, and staff to submit acts of kindness that you’ve experienced, observed or expressed, using the form on Kindness in Graduate Education Week webpage.
Each day, some of the acts of kindness will be anonymously shared on our Kindness page and social media.
We hope that you will join us in acknowledging and giving space to those that are kind in their everyday lives.
GTA & GRA Bi-Weekly Payroll Project Information
The paycycle will switch from monthly to bi-monthly this spring, with the target transition date being Feb 26, 2021.
Dear GTA and GRAs,
We want to make sure you are aware that MSU will transition to a bi-weekly pay cycle this spring. The target transition date is Feb 26, 2021. You will receive two monthly paychecks for your spring semester GTA or GRA appointment – Feb 11 (for work done in Jan) and Mar 11 (for work done in Feb). After that, instead of being paid on the 11th of the month, you will be paid bi-weekly on every other Wednesday starting Mar 24, 2021.
GTA and GRA appointments are still for full month periods (Jan 1 through May 31 for Spring).
If you are not set up for Direct Deposit, please consider signing up in order to receive the timeliest method for payroll deposit. Direct Deposit setup is accessible via MyInfo (>Employee Services > Pay Information> Update Direct Deposit).
Follow the link for more information on the Bi-Weekly Payroll Project, including an FAQ, videos, and calendars.
SUNY career development program and leadership opportunity
The Graduate School is seeking two students to participate in a career development program and leadership opportunity with SUNY-SB.
The Graduate School is looking for two students to participate during Spring 2021 in the PCLP program, a virtual 7-session career development program run by graduate student peers at SUNY-SB. The PCLP program is for graduate students pursuing any career pathway.
After participating in this career program during the Spring, our MSU graduate students will work with the Graduate School to host one of these programs for MSU graduating students in Fall 2021. It is not yet decided what we will call the MSU implementation and are considering “Graduate Career Ladder Program” or “Peer Career Ladder Program” – both reflect an intent that it is a program for all graduate students, not just PhD students.
In exchange for your time facilitating the 7-session program at MSU during the Fall 2021 semester, we will provide a $250 fellowship.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please email the Graduate Dean, Craig Ogilvie, at [email protected] with a short paragraph stating your interest.
Graduate Assistantships in the Graduate School
From 1/4/21: The Graduate School has two opportunities to learn more about the Graduate Student Affairs at MSU. If you are a degree seeking graduate student and are interested in an assistantship to help fund your schooling costs, please check out the following positions:
- Assistantship working with the Graduate Student Affairs Director on a variety of topics: position description. Preferential deadline passed, but position is open until filled.
- Assistantship in Graduate Wellbeing to lead the graduate wellbeing initiative: position description. Deadline for full consideration: Jan 22.
Completing your FAFSA
From 1/4/21: If you are a US citizen and have not filed either a 2020/2021 or a 2021/2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA, www.fafsa.gov), please consider doing so. In order to be considered for student assistance from the federal stimulus (CARES Act funding), you need to have submitted a FAFSA. Filing a FAFSA does not commit you in any way to funds, but is used for eligibility for resources.
Childcare Assistance Graduate Scholarships Available
From 1/4/21: If you have a child (or children) and are incurring childcare costs, please consider applying for a childcare assistance graduate scholarship. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, Jan 20 at 5pm.
Updated Spring 2021 dates and deadlines
The Graduate School's Dates & Deadlines for the Spring 2021 have ben adjusted due to the change in the academic timeline. The Spring semester starts on Jan 11 and ends Apr 30.
Graduate Admissions Review Considering COVID-19 Disruptions
A statement on how graduate admissions committees recognize and will consider disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This information is also found on the Graduate Admissions Review Considering COVID-10 Disruptions page.
As the state’s land-grant university, Montana State University’s (MSU) mission is to integrate education, create knowledge and art, and serve communities in order to transform lives and communities. Since graduate education is central to these missions, our faculty are committed to enhance the quality of MSU’s graduate programs. We encourage graduate students who come from diverse backgrounds, have diverse perspectives and possess intellectual curiosity and resilience to apply.
With the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that potential graduate students now and into the future may be concerned about how their application may be viewed in light of shifts that have occurred throughout the higher education enterprise, particularly the undergraduate experience. We acknowledge that the normal arc of preparation for graduate school may have been upset. As a result, MSU admissions committees will be flexible and take the interruptions and/or anomalies into account when reviewing applications. Admission committees recognize that students may have had more limited opportunities to fully participate in studios, internships, research experiences, field work, human studies, and other experiential learning opportunities, and that for some of these, students may have been accepted only to see the opportunities cancelled. Thus, we invite applying students to use the statement of purpose in their applications to describe their individual experiences during the pandemic, especially as they relate to difficulties and/or limitations you may have experienced. This is optional, you are not required to include these details in your statement of purpose.
We also understand that many universities (including MSU) created and allowed variances to their grading systems during the COVID-19 pandemic; including expanded options for Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory among others. Our admissions committees will respect the adoption of those options due to pandemic disruptions. We recognize that the impacts from the COVID-19 disruptions may last multiple years, so these policies will be in effect for multiple admissions cycles, not just one.
In addition, many departments have changed their requirements for standardized testing, e.g. some are no longer requiring GRE scores. Please contact the department you are applying to for specific requirements.
We would like to acknowledge Cornell University and the University of California - Los Angeles for providing their thoughts and approaches to managing graduate applications during this time.
For a list of older announcements, please visit the Announcements Archive page.