Essential Elements of a Montana State University Education

MSU students engage in learning through the MSU Core and their major areas of study. The Core integrates
education in communication, thinking and problem solving, and local and global citizenship with knowledge and
experiences in the natural sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences. Through the MSU Core students develop
an enhanced understanding of themselves, effectiveness as communicators, thinkers and problem solvers, and an
understanding of their responsibilities as members of a larger community. These CORE qualities deepen the
experience of the undergraduate education, enrich disciplinary pursuits, and establish MSU’s graduates as lifelong

MSU CORE Qualities

MSU Graduates are Communicators who use written, spoken, and visual communication to express ideas, create meaning, build relationships, foster understanding, and persuade. They express their ideas in manners
appropriate for their intended audience and for their intended context. Graduates collaborate with others by openly and constructively giving and receiving feedback, and use that feedback to revise and improve their own communication. They demonstrate facility in analyzing, interpreting, and understanding sources of information and in constructing persuasive arguments in ways that empower their own and other’s thinking.

MSU Graduates are Thinkers and Problem Solvers who reason using relevant evidence, gathered through scholarly and disciplinary methods, properly acknowledging the sources of information. They analyze, construct, or critique arguments taking into consideration their premises, assumptions, contexts, and conclusions. They successfully anticipate counterarguments. Graduates reach sound conclusions based on logical analysis of evidence and an ethical framework. They demonstrate creative and innovative approaches to asking and answering questions, solving problems, and creating new boundary-crossing knowledge.

MSU Graduates are Local and Global Citizens who demonstrate effective strategies to listen and respond to others. They establish respectful relationships and productively manage conflict. Graduates can explain their sources of identity and understand how their identity and the identities of others influence civic values, assumptions, responsibilities and community engagement. They apply knowledge of diverse cultures, histories, values, and conflicts that have shaped the US and other world societies to better understand current events, US democratic and other global political institutions, and social life.