A number of the following FAQs are based on 2021's Parent Family Weekend. Check out our Future Dates page for information on upcoming Parent Family Weekends. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Parent & Family Weekend?

Parent & Family weekend will be held October 1st-3rd, 2021. This is a great time to visit your student’s college home. Many fun and educational activities are prepared for the weekend so your family can have a great time together while learning more about Montana State University.

Who should attend Parent & Family Weekend and why?

Historically, parents of freshman are our biggest group of attendees. However, we would encourage all family members to consider joining the fun. One of the biggest goals at MSU is to increase retention and there is a lot of evidence that family support is crucial. By visiting campus annually (or more), having a personal recognition of the buildings where your student takes classes and the places that they eat and hang out, meeting their friends and faculty, spending time in the community—really feeling what it is like to be an MSU student – we are confident that you will have the tools to advocate to and for your student should something happen that shakes their resolve. The weekend is a great way to meet the families of your student’s friends and to make new friends yourself. And if you still need convincing, you should attend because it’s a whole lot of fun!

I live in Montana and already know the campus, so why should I come?

Even though many resident students and their families are familiar with the campus, the transition to MSU can still be very large. Going to classes, making new friends, and finding their way can be a bit daunting. By mid-semester, students have been here long enough to have a good sense of what they’re in for, and it’s a great time to reconnect and reassess what kind of support they might need. It’s a chance to meet the roommate and other people who have become very important in their lives, and to find out if there is some undetected homesickness or need. You can get a sense for how your student is “really” doing, and you can do it without “imposing” or being the nosy family! Even though students may not ask you to come, they are almost always very glad that you did!

How much is registration? How do I register for Parent & Family Weekend?

Early bird registration (before September 1) is $140.00 for families or is $70.00 for solo parties. Registration fees after September 1 are $160.00 and $80.00, respectively. In order to register for our Parent & Family weekend please visit our homepage. 

Why do you charge a registration fee?

We work very hard to keep the costs down as much as possible. The flat rate registration fee pays for the costs of renting venues for events, catering, parking, exclusive commemorative pint glass and t-shirt, printing, web design, etc. See below for a more comprehensive fee breakdown. 


What are the benefits of registering for the Parent and Family Weekend?

Here are all of the exclusive events and perks you will receive when you register for the weekend:

  • One campus parking pass
  • Parent & Family Reception, including heavy appetizers, an opportunity to meet other parents, families, faculty and staff. A cash bar will also be available.
  • Family photos taken with MSU’s Bobcat statue, Spirit
  • Free family admission to the Museum of the Rockies, including Taylor Planetarium, all weekend long
  • A special lecture presented by author of The Upswing, Robert Putman
  • Parent & Family Tailgate and brunch at Bobcat Stadium before the game. A cash bar will also be available. (Tickets to the game are not required to attend the tailgate party.)
  • Parent & Family Dessert Reception at Museum of the Rockies, including an array of handmade desserts by a local baker, an opportunity to tour Museum of the Rockies and planetarium. 
  • 2 Parent & Family pint glasses and t-shirts available at check-in
  • The fee is a flat rate and covers all family members in attendance.
  • Your MSU student is invited to all PFW events!


How can I purchase tickets to the Parent and Family Weekend football game?

Tickets to the Bobcat football game on October 2nd must be purchased separately and in advance. Use the promo code Parent on TicketsWest to purchase tickets in the Parent and Family section. Seats are limited and families are encouraged to buy their tickets early. If the Parent and Family section is sold out, you can purchase general admission tickets by removing the promo code. If you would like to sit with your student during the game, you will need to purchase a separate ticket for them.  


Are clear bags required at the football game?

MSU has implemented a clear bag policy as a safety and security measure at all Bobcat home football games. The clear bag policy allows transparent bags no larger than 12 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 12 inches deep, as well as 1-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bags. Select non-clear bags will be allowed into Bobcat Stadium, including small clutch bags (no larger than 4.5-by-6.5 inches), seat cushions without pockets or zippers, and medical and diaper bags. Fans can each bring in one approved bag and one of the smaller clutch-style bags. They can also bring coats and blankets into the stadium that do not fit in an approved bag. Items prohibited under the policy, whether opaque or clear, include backpacks, large purses, oversized tote bags, mesh bags, drawstring bags, camera bags, binocular cases and fanny packs. Visit the MSU Bobcat website for more information on the clear bag policy.

You may purchase approved clear bags at the MSU Bookstore, open until 5:30 pm on Friday and 10:00 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday.


What events can my student attend?

Students are encouraged to attend all weekend events with their families. Please note, if you would like to sit with your student during the game, you will need to purchase a separate ticket for them. 


Should I bring my younger children (MSU student’s siblings)?
Yes! Our Parent and Family Weekend is open to all family members, even the Bobkittens! Many families bring siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles…everyone!

When should we plan to arrive and depart?

Plan to check in anytime between 9am and 3pm on Friday. Families are encouraged to arrive prior to Friday’s activities so that they may more fully enjoy the activities we have planned for them. We also encourage families to stay for the entire weekend and really get a feel for our campus. 


We will be arriving after 4pm on Friday. Can I check in late?

Check-in will be available 9am to 3pm on Friday, October 1st at the Museum of the Rockies. However, if you will be arriving after 4pm, a late check-in will be available from 5 pm to 6 pm during the Parent & Family Reception at the Norm Asbjornson Hall. You are also welcome to send your student to the check-in at Museum of the Rockies.

If you are unable to check in on Friday, please contact us at [email protected] to make special arrangements.


Where can I park during Parent & Family Weekend?

Parent & Family Weekend parking is free for registered families! A parking pass will be provided at check-in which is valid for all Bobcat lots (lots 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 18). See the MSU Parking Map for details. Parking passes for the weekend will allow families to park in any of the listed lots Friday through Sunday.


We have a family member in a wheelchair. Can we get around to all the events?

All events during the Parent & Family Weekend are handicapped accessible, including the football game. If you need special accommodations for seating, please e-mail us at [email protected].


How should we dress for the weekend activities?
Everything on the schedule is casual, so no formal attire is needed. As always in Montana, layers are a good idea!


I can no longer attend. Are refunds available?

Refunds will be given until September 21st, at which time no more refunds will be available. For a refund, email [email protected].  Please allow up to two weeks to process these refunds.


What are the Bookstore hours during Parent and Family Weekend?

Please take a trip to our MSU Bookstore to find some amazing Bobcat gear. The store is open from 7:45 am-5:30 pm Monday through Friday and from 10:00 am-4:30 pm on Saturday. The Bookstore is not open on Sunday, so be sure to stop by before then!


Where should I stay in Bozeman?

Bozeman offers many options of families traveling to the area, but rooms fill up quickly, so book them as soon as possible. Take a look at the Travel Information page to find lodging options, directions to campus, and other travel information.


What other activities are available during the weekend?

In addition to our exclusive Parent and Family Weekend events, we have added a number of public campus and community events to the schedule of events. For a full list of campus events, visit the MSU Calendar. A list of Bozeman community events can be found on the Bozone.