MSU's Suspension Policy

Students who develop a pattern of low academic achievement risk being suspended from MSU. After a first suspension, you may not enroll in classes for the next semester; with Spring suspensions, this means both Summer and Fall. Following a second suspension, you may not enroll for a full academic year. Details of MSU's suspension policy are found in the undergraduate catalog.

The Impact of Being Suspended

Being suspended from MSU may be both traumatic and problematic for you. However, by no means does a suspension necessarily indicate that you will not be successful in college. Many MSU students have difficulty establishing good academic habits. A suspension period out of school often provides students motivation to focus appropriately on their academic life. In addition, the money saved by working during this time can help with the cost of college.

Extraordinary Circumstances Around Your Suspension

Sometimes a student is suspended for low academic performance in a given semester during which there were extraordinary circumstances beyond their control: a significant illness near the end of the semester, a traumatic event from which the student was unable to recover, an ongoing medical condition, etc. If you believe your academic performance in the semester for which you were suspended was due to circumstances like this, you can appeal your suspension. (Note that circumstances such as too many morning classes, needing to go to a friend's wedding, noisy roommates, not going to class, working too many hours, brief illnesses, not being motivated, too much skiing/ snowboarding or partying, etc., do not qualify as extraordinary circumstances.)

Appealing a suspension by no means assures being reinstated. The hearing board will weigh all the factors and make a determination.

How to Appeal a Suspension

Appeals are considered when students can document that extraordinary circumstances beyond their control impacted their studies. If you plan to appeal, we recommend that you first review the appeal guidelines and requirements found here on the Provost's Website: Suspension Appeal.

To appeal a suspension, students must:

  • Set-up an appointment with your Assistant Dean to discuss the circumstances of your suspension, your appeal, and an academic plan to ensure your future success. Your Assistant Dean might expect you to come to your meeting with the next steps completed. Be sure to ask if this is expected prior to your meeting.
    • University Studies: 406-994-3532
    • Pre-University Studies: 406-994-3537
    • Pre-Med: 406-994-4288
    • COEX: 406-994-7836
  • Complete the Suspension Appeals Cover Sheet, which is found at link above. Please note: "GID" means your MSU Student ID.
  • Review, gather, and complete all required paperwork and documentation listed on the second page of the Suspension Appeals Cover Sheet. Your Assistant Dean can also help if you have questions about the required documentation:
    • Statement of Academic Purpose
    • Academic Plan
    • Reference
    • Information about and documentation regarding your Extraordinary Circumstances
    • Student Conduct Information (if this applies to your appeal)
  • Gather documentation that will support your appeal, e.g., memo from a doctor, disability test results, medical or psychological evaluation, etc. Include only essential materials, please. If you plan to include documentation of a disability, you can go to the disability services page for information.
  • Deliver, mail, or fax your appeal package (Suspension Appeal Form and any supporting documentation) to your appropriate College. Students in University Studies should send their materials to: University Studies, PO Box 173000, 130 Gaines Hall, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3000, fax: 406-994-6049. Deadlines change every semester and can be determined by contacting the MSU Provost's Office at 406-994-4371.

Returning to MSU After Completing a Suspension

Once your suspension period is over, you are automatically reinstated at MSU; however, you must complete the following items prior to registering for courses. It is strongly recommended that these items be taken care of at least three weeks before the beginning of the semester in which you plan to take classes.

1. All students must submit an "Intent to Register" form to the Registrar's Office. This form should have been included in the suspension notice you received from the Office of the Provost. It can also be found at this link and can also be done through MyInfo.

2. Students are required to schedule a "Must See' appointment with their Assistant Dean prior to registering. During this appointment, you will discuss the ramifications of your suspension on your academic standing, ways to improve your GPA, and the resources available to help you succeed. University Studies students must schedule an appointment in advance for this meeting. When you are making the appointment, please specify that you are returning to MSU following a suspension period, to ensure we schedule your meeting with the Assistant Dean. University Studies students can call 406-994-3532. Students in other majors should contact their departments to determine the proper procedure for registration.

Note to Pre-University Studies students: First-time suspension rules are more stringent for you because your admission was provisional; if your GPA after your first semester is below 2.0, you are automatically suspended. To find out if you are a Pre-US student, check the "Major and Department" listing on your online transcript. If you are a Pre-US student, you may still appeal your suspension if you have extraordinary circumstances. Please contact University Studies and ask to speak with your advisor or the Assistant Dean to discuss your appeal: 406-994-3532.