Registration and MyInfo

Accessing Online Courses

Software for Students

Program of Study

Capstone Project

FAQ List

Welcome to the Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) degree program!

The MSSE staff are your primary “point people” on campus.  Visit with us first about any questions or concerns.  We are always happy to help!

After admission to MSSE, there are several MSU requirements to be addressed:

  • Immunization Records are required for all students before coming to campus. Information on what records are required and how to submit them are found on the University Health Partners website. If you are starting the program with only taking online courses, then you can have the Immunization hold lifted by emailing [email protected] and let them know you are taking online courses for the upcoming term and need the hold lifted to register. 
  • Prevention Education modules are required for all new admits to MSU, regardless of graduate-level status. Information on the modules and deadlines to complete them can be found on the Prevention Education website.

MSSE Student Support Video

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Registration and MyInfo

How to Register

Prior to registration, there are a few steps you must take:

  • Claim your NetID and login to your MyInfo. This is a secure platform that is used as your student portal pertaining to registration, billing, transcripts and so on.
    • Explore and familiarize yourself with the platform tabs.
  • Ensure your Immunization Hold is lifted.

In order to register, the MSSE program requires you to schedule a phone or web meeting with the MSSE Academic Advisor, Holly Thompson, to discuss a plan of study. Please email  [email protected] to schedule. To prepare for this meeting:

  • First, explore the MSSE Course Catalog and review the Courses by Semester tool to see the most current course listings for each term.
  • By clicking on the course link itself, the course description and any textbook requirements will be available.
  • An email from the MSSE office was sent after your completed admission to the program, with an advising checklist to get you started.
  • See the sections below for further information and program plan samples.

How to Pay

Your bill will be available in your MyInfo under the Student Services tab, then Electronic Billing and Payment.

Note: Your bill may not be immediately available. Once Student Accounts activates a term’s billing process, bills will become available, and you will be required to Confirm Account/Attendance.  

Payment options:

  • Pay online through MyInfo using the QuickPay feature.
  • If you’re solely using Financial Aid, please connect directly with the MSU Financial Aid Office to confirm your award has been processed. Or check your financial aid status through the MyInfo system. 
  • If you’re using a third-party pay (e.g. your school district is paying upfront), you will want to connect with Student Accounts and Financial Aid on how the payment should be accepted.

Financial Aid

There are various forms of Financial Aid available to graduate students. Please visit the MSU Financial Aid page or the MSU Cat Scholarship page for more information

  • Please note that, in order to utilize Federal Student Loans, you must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits every term.
  • In order to move into a Student Loan Referral status, you must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits every term. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for questions on Proof of Enrollment with your lender.

How to Add/Drop Courses

It is strongly advised to consult with the MSSE Academic Advisor, Holly Thompson, prior to adding or dropping courses.

  • Dropping a course may have an impact on your Financial Aid or Loan Deferment Standing.
  • Dropping a course may impact your Program of Study and timeline to degree completion.
  • It is critical to understand the Add/Drop Deadlines from the Registrar’s Office. Review the Add/Drop Schedule  before you consider adding or dropping.
  • Dropping a course beyond the open drop dates may result in a “W” for the course, which permanently remains on your academic transcript.

How to Withdraw Entirely

It is required to consult with the MSSE Academic Advisor, Holly Thompson, prior to choosing to withdraw entirely. In many cases, alternative options exist before a withdrawal is necessary.

  • It is critical to understand the University Withdrawal schedule as it quickly impacts the refund you are entitled to. Review the University Withdrawal schedule before you consider withdrawing.


An advising tool used by MSU to offer an online overview of degree completion to date. Housed in MyInfo under the Student Services tab, access this tool by clicking the DegreeWorks link.

  • DegreeWorks is updated manually by the Graduate School once the Program of Study is approved.
  • The Graduate School will utilize DegreeWorks to determine eligibility for term of application for graduation.

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Accessing Online Courses


Online learning platform used for all online MSU courses. It is access via the Brightspace link using the same login information for MyInfo.

  • Brightspace/D2L can be accessed 24 hours after initial registration.
  • Confirmed registered courses will not be available in Brightspace/D2L until the day they are scheduled to start each term.

Being a productive online learner can be initially challenging, but there are key aspects to understand.

  • Each course is structured differently, but all are asynchronous and allow flexibility on when to login and complete assignments.
  • It is crucial to immediately review syllabi to obtain a strong sense of course assignment deadlines and expectations.
  • Instructors are able to see how often students login to their course, so regular participation and communication is recommended.

Support for new online learners

  • Basic support questions on the platform itself can be found under Brightspace/D2L Getting Started
  • In short, pay attention to deadlines and maintain organization for multiple courses at a time.
  • Always reach out to instructors first for questions and concerns about the course.

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Software - Free to students!

MSU holds campus-licensed software for students including, but not limited to, the following:

Office 365 which includes:

  • Office for Windows applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Access
  • Office for Mac applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote

Adobe Creative Cloud which includes: Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. 


For a full list of campus-licensed software available to students, please visit the link provided in the UIT Student webpage.

Program of Study

What is a Program of Study?

A Program of Study is a document required by the Graduate School that outlines your timeline to degree completion. This document is due by the end of the second term of enrollment in MSSE and there is a $50 Graduate School filing fee associated with this form.

  • A Program of Study is amendable. If a student chooses to make changes to their Program of Study they should first consult with their academic advisor to make sure they are still on track to graduate.
  • A revision form can be submitted to add or remove courses to a Program of Study if those courseshave not been assigned a grade on the transcriptThere are no fees associated with revisions.
  • If any type of grade is earned, including an “incomplete”, the course must be finished and remain on the Program of Study, barring extraordinary circumstances
  • Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA as well as a grade of “C” or better for each course for a course to count towards program completion.
  • Once the Program of Study is approved by the Graduate School, DegreeWorks will be updated to reflect the plan of study.

Preparing the Program of Study

In partnership with the MSSE Academic Advisor, Holly Thompson, a Program of Study can be developed by reviewing the MSSE Course Catalog. The Courses by Semester drop down tool located at the top of the course catalog can be useful to see what is typically taught each semester. You can use the MSSE Program of Study Worksheet to draft a plan to share with your Academic Advisor. 

The 30 credit MSSE degree program requires the following:

  • Fourteen (14) credits of core education classes (listed below). Core courses must be taken sequentially*
  • Sixteen (16) credits of elective courses, including at least two credits from a campus-based summer field or lab course. No more than four (4) elective credits may come from education elective courses. 

Core Education Classes:


      • MSSE 501 Inquiry through Science & Engineering Practices (2 credits) (fall, spring, summer)
      • MSSE 504 Assessment and Evaluation (3 credits) (fall or spring)
      • MSSE 505 Foundations in Action Research (3 credits) (spring only)
      • MSSE 509 Implementing Action Research (3 credits) (fall only)
      • MSSE 575 Capstone Forum (2 credits) (spring only)


      • MSSE 575 Capstone Project/Symposium in Science Education (1 credit) (summer only)

Summer Field and Lab Courses

      • Immersive courses held during the summer months at MSU. Courses vary, but most are held over the course of one week and offer 2 credits. One-day, one-credit courses are also available.
      • The next summer’s field/lab course schedule is posted by end of January.
      • Housing options are available on campus (see information in FAQ).
*MSSE 501 is the only core course not required to be taken sequentially; however, it must be taken prior to MSSE 509. MSSE 504, 505, 509, 575 are designed to be taken sequentially, without breaks, and scheduled so that you end with MSSE 575 Capstone Symposium in your final summer of the program.
Recommended Elective Course (online)
      •  MSSE 508 Statistics Bootcamp for Capstone Projects (1 cr.) is recommended to be taken in the final spring semester of the program to help students with the data wrangling portion of their capstone projects. If students take this course, then it will count towards their elective credits. 

Faculty Graduate Committee

The MSSE Faculty Graduate Committee consists of three individuals: the MSSE Director, a Capstone Project Advisor and a Science Reader.

MSSE Core Education Instructors

      • There are three MSSE Core Education faculty members to choose from, beginning with MSSE 504. One of these instructors ultimately becomes your Capstone Project Advisor.
      • The MSSE Academic Advisor can assist with the selection of instructor(s) for MSSE 504 and the remaining MSSE courses going forward.

Science Reader

      • The Science Reader is typically a faculty member selected as a sounding-board for the science component related to Capstone Projects.
      • Between MSSE 505 and MSSE 509, the role of the Science Reader is explained further, with selection support provided by the MSSE Core instructor.

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Capstone Project


The MSSE Program does not require a thesis, but students must complete a Capstone Project and Professional Paper. This project is designed to provide experience and information that aids understanding of science teaching-learning or science curriculum.

      • The Capstone Project idea is identified throughout the course of MSSE 504 to MSSE 509.
      • In MSSE 509, the formal idea proposal is submitted to the MSSE Core Instructor (Project Advisor) for approval.
      • The Capstone Project Advisor will assist with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process.

Spring Capstone Forum

      • The Forum is held online in the spring prior to the intended summer of the capstone presentation.
      • The Forum is a 2-credit course intended to serve as a prequel to the MSSE 575 Capstone Symposium. Resources and regular communication with the Project Advisor aid in completion of the Professional Paper, Poster and Symposium Presentation.

Summer Capstone Symposium

      • The MSSE 575 Capstone Symposium is a 1-credit campus experience in the final summer session of a student's graduate program.  
      • The Capstone Symposium is a 3-4 day campus event where students will present their capstone projects to their committee and peers. 
      • An oral comprehensive meeting immediately follows each student's presentation, which is an academic conversation between the student and the committee. The Symposium grade is pass/fail.

MSSE Capstone papers from our graduates can be found here: MSSE Capstone Projects (MSU Library)

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FAQ List

If any textbooks are required for a MSSE course, it will be listed in red at the bottom of the course description. Textbooks are not ordered through the MSU Bookstore and can obtained from wherever is preferred or affordable. 

For information regarding ordering an official transcript, go to the Registrar’s Transcript webpage at http://www.montana.edu/registrar/transcript

Resources for travel to Bozeman and campus maps can be found under Maps, Directions and Parking.

Yes, Dorm Housing is available for registered MSSE students. The dorms have a computer lab, laundry facilities and are located close to dining options. This is a good residence option for you and the best option if you are attending for three weeks or less. Rates may vary summer to summer, so visit MSU Summer Accommodations.

As of October 15th, 2014 the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education has mandated all new, incoming students to Montana State University (regardless of age) are required to complete an authorized program in alcohol education, sexual assault awareness and prevention, and financial literacy. Participation in this program is not an elective; if the modules are not completed in the time allotted, a hold will be placed on your ability to register for the following term.

Individual term add/drops can be found at the Add/Drop Schedule page. The full semester withdrawal schedule can be found on the University Withdrawal page.

Start by reviewing the Education Core Faculty bios to consider background and current instructional interests that might be a good match. Consult the MSSE Academic Advisor for assistance, if needed.

DegreeWorks is an advising tool located in MyInfo. It is meant to serve as an updated degree completion overview; however, it is not automatically updated when deviation from Program of Study takes place. Prior to term of application to graduate, a Revision Form can be submitted to update DegreeWorks so it accurately reflects degree progress. See the MSSE Academic Advisor for further explanation.

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