Graduate Studies

General Admission

An individual who is a graduate of an accredited college or university may apply for admission to Graduate Studies.


Send all application materials to:
Office of Graduate Studies
Montana State University Billings
1500 University Drive
Billings, MT 59101

Application Options

A Montana State University Billings identification number will be assigned to all applicants at the time of application.


Application Timelines


Most programs do not have set deadlines but rather  continuous  admission. However, be aware that applications which arrive close to the start of the semester may run into problems with Financial Aid, closed courses, and getting full admission.


The best way to avoid these issues is to apply as early as possible. If you would like to be admitted to a program before pre-registration begins for the next semester, you should apply by these dates: Fall — March 12th; Spring — November 1st; Summer — February 12th. Remember these are suggested dates, not deadlines.

Some programs have set deadlines for application
Athletic Training February 1st (for summer admission only)
Psychology April 15th (for fall admission only)

For All Applicants


All applications must include the following:

  • a completed graduate student application form;
  • admission test scores (a photocopy will suffice to accommodate the evaluation process but applicants must instruct the testing service to supply official copies); 
  • official transcripts reflecting all baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate work including degrees earned;
  • payment of a non-refundable application fee of $40.00;
  • a letter of intent or essay, if required by the program (See Degrees & Programs);
  • three letters of recommendation, if required by the program (See Degrees & Programs);
  • a vita or resume, if required by the program (See Degrees & Programs);

Non-Degree Applicants


The applicant must complete an application form available in the Office of Graduate Studies or online.  The completed form must be submitted (with an official transcript showing a bachelor’s degree earned) to the Office of Graduate Studies. A $40.00 non-refundable application fee is required. Should a student change to degree seeking, this fee will be applied to your application.


photo of a pencil and partially completed formAdmission decisions are made for each applicant individually, and applicants may or may not be judged acceptable regardless of the undergraduate record or the institution from which credentials are submitted. Before admission is granted, each application is reviewed by the Office of Graduate Studies and the appropriate faculty, who determine if the applicant’s academic history and preparation are satisfactory.


Students may be admitted with regular or provisional standing. Admission is subject to a favorable recommendation by the degree-granting program. Additionally, the program directors reserve the right to grant an admission status other than full admission to any of the graduate degree programs at MSU Billings. As such, applicants should consider themselves admitted only when official notification has been received from the Office of Graduate Studies.


Admission Denial


Students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA will be denied full regular admission but may qualify for provisional admission. The program may recommend non-degree or undergraduate work for one or two semesters to improve the student’s GPA standing and provide evidence of the applicant’s ability to do well in graduate school.


Provisional Admission


Provisional admission is granted when the program director, chair, or admission committee identifies an academic weakness. It is not guaranteed to students with low undergraduate GPA’s, and may only be used in defined instances. 


Provisional admission may be granted to a student when some type of deficiency is noted in the applicant’s academic work, such as:

  • the applicant has a less than 3.0 cumulative GPA in undergraduate work;
  • the last two (2) years of undergraduate work appear weak or the GPA is less than a 3.0;
  • the applicant has low admission test scores;
  • the program director, chair, or admission committee identifies other academic weaknesses that may adversely impact the applicants graduate career.

Provisional admission may be granted with up to fifteen (15) credits of deficiency coursework needed.  The following stipulations apply:

  • the deficiency coursework must be listed in writing on the official acceptance letter from the Office of Graduate Studies. The acceptance letter will also state that the program may require additional prerequisites or deficiency work;
  • it is up to the program to monitor acceptable progress of deficient coursework and to ensure completion of such coursework the first semester the class is available.

Provisional status will be granted for one academic year. If deficiencies are not cleared  within that time, the student will need to reapply to the program.

Admission Test Scores


Although the applicant may submit a copy of his/her admission test scores in the application packet, the applicant must request an official score report from the testing service to be sent directly to MSU Billings. Registration at MSUB will be withheld until an official test result is received if required by the degree/program.


A photocopy of the applicant’s admission test scores will be accepted from another accredited academic institution in lieu of official exam scores only under all of the following circumstances:

  • the copy must be reproduced by an official of that institution on the institutions original letterhead stationary;
  • the copy must bear an original imprint of the institution’s official stamp;
  • the copy must bear the original signature of a designated officer of the institution.

Minimum test scores for acceptance into specific graduate programs are determined by the individual graduate programs.


Non-Degree Graduate Status

General Criteria

Non-degree graduate students are those who have earned baccalaureate degrees and meet one of the following criteria:

  • do not wish to pursue graduate programs leading to an advanced degree at MSU Billings but wish to take courses;
  • have been denied regular or provisional admission;
  • have non-degree standing through the recommendation of a program;
  • whose formal degree applications are pending final action;
  • who applied too late to be admitted for the intended term;
  • who wish to apply for the post baccalaureate teacher licensure program.

Non-Degree Application Requirements

Non-degree seeking applicants must complete an application form available from the Office of Graduate Studies or online.

Submit completed applications to the Office of Graduate Studies.

All applications must include the following:

  • The completed application form;
  • A $40.00 non-refundable graduate application fee. (This will be applied should the student decide to pursue a graduate degree.)

Non-Degree Registration

New non-degree students will be eligible to register for classes as soon as the completed application is processed. This is generally 24 to 48 hours after receipt of the completed application.


A non-degree student may register for undergraduate or graduate level courses.


Non-degree graduate students are not eligible for graduate assistantships.

Applicants who have never before attended MSU Billings must submit the following items to the Office of Admissions and Records:

  • A completed Application for Admission to MSU Billings form (obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records or the Office of Graduate Studies).
  • A nonrefundable $40.00 admission fee.

International Admissions


International students must meet all admission requirements of Montana State University Billings in addition to the following:

  1. Complete the International Graduate Student Application

  2. Application Fee ($40.00): Graduate applicants are required to send $40 by money order, check, or wire transfer (cash is not encouraged). Please note that the application fee is non-refundable. Applicants will not be considered without the application fee.

  3. English Proficiency Proof: Students from non-English speaking countries must provide evidence of proficiency in English by submitting an approved score from one of MSUB’s approved English Proficiency tests, the TOEFL or IELTS. MSUB TOEFL institution code is 4298.

    Minimum TOEFL internet-based test score: 90
    Minimum IELTS test score: 7.5

    • Official results can be sent to the Office of Admissions and Records and the Office of Graduate Studies, Montana State University Billings, 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101-0298.

    • Requests for information on test procedures can be found or can be directed to the following address: Test of English as a Foreign Language , PO Box 899, Princeton, NJ 08540

 * Provisional Admission: Applicants who do not have the required English language proficiency test score 
for full admission to MSU Billings but are academically qualified, may be considered for admission through  
required attendance in the Intensive English Language Program.

  1. Certified copies of all certificates, degrees, and diplomas with a certified translation of the records
  2. An evaluated transcript from a credit evaluation service (i.e. AACRAO or ECE): All records of academic work completed outside of the U.S. or in non-English speaking countries must be submitted for a course by course evaluation to one of the following services:

  3. photo of mortarboards thrown into the airLetter of Intent: Statement of degree objectives related to degree of choice. Some programs require specific letters of intent, check Degrees and Programs for any additional requirements.

  4. Resume

  5. Standardized Exam Test Scores (i.e. GRE or GMAT)

  6. Three Letters of Recommendation

  7. Copy of Passport

For I-20 purposes also submit:

  1. Financial Statement: Please complete the financial statement form and have it signed by a parent or sponsor. All future international students must attest that funds are available for full-time study at Montana State University Billings. The U.S. government requires international students to show proof of funds to at least cover the first year of study. An official letter from a banking institution showing the amount of funds available for the first year must accompany this form. The official letter must be in English.

  2. Health History Form: All students are required to complete this health questionnaire and have it signed by your physician to verify your immunization history.

Please mail everything to:

Admissions & Records
Montana State University Billings
1500 University Drive
Billings, MT 59101-0298 U.S.A.


Or scanned copies can be emailed to:


International Application Due Dates:


Fall semesters: June 1st

Spring semesters: October 1st

Summer semesters: February 1st