Montana University System Admission Policies
In order to be admitted to any of the four-year campuses of the Montana University System, students must meet a combination of admissions standards.
A traditional student is defined as one who enters college within three years of high school graduation or within three years from the date when they would have graduated college.
In order to be fully admitted to a 4-year university in the MUS, entering high school graduates are required to meet the following standards:
Achieve one of the following:
- Earn at least a 2.5 high school GPA; or
- Rank in the top half of the school’s graduating class; or
- Earn an ACT composite score of 22 or higher, or SAT total score of 1120 or higher (exception: MSU‐Northern: ACT score of 20, SAT score of 1050).
Complete either the Regents’ College Preparatory Program or the Rigorous Core College Preparatory Program
Complete the Regents’ College Preparatory program: mathematics (3 years), English (4 years), science (2 years), social studies (3 years), and electives (2 years) – includes languages, computer science, visual/performing arts, speech, or vocational education.
Complete the Rigorous Core College Preparatory Program: mathematics (4 years), English (4 years), lab science (3 years), social studies (3 years), college prep electives (3 years), which include world language, computer science, visual and performing arts, and career/technical education units that meet the office of public instruction guidelines. The Rigorous Core is an advanced alternative to the Minimum Core for math proficiency standards.
High school students who successfully complete the Rigorous Core are eligible for the MUS Honor Scholarship.
For more information on the MUS college preparatory program and rigorous core, click here.
Demonstrate Mathematics Proficiency via one of the following methods:
Earn an ACT math score of 22, SAT math test score of 27.5, or complete the Rigorous Core.
Demonstrate Writing Proficiency via one of the following methods
Earn an ACT ELA score of 18 (average of the English, reading, and writing scores) or score 7 on the ACT essay; or earn an SAT writing and language test score of 25 or higher.
Students who do not demonstrate the ability to meet the mathematics and/or writing proficiency standards may be admitted provisionally to a four-year degree program on any campus of the MUS and without condition to a two-year degree program.
Students who are provisionally admitted can gain full admittance by:
- earning a “C” or better in developmental coursework (must be done within the first three semesters); or
- earning the required score on one or more of the math or writing assessment tests, including the ACT or SAT, required for admissions; or
- completing an associate of arts or associate of science degree; or
- submitting a letter to the admissions office documenting a disability that prevented the student from adequately demonstrating proficiency in a test setting if no accommodation was provided at the time of the test.
Two-year Campuses and Two-year Programs
Two-year campuses in the MUS abide by a non-competitive open enrollment policy that does not require applicants meet the Regents’ four-year admissions criteria. The only requirement is that applicants must have obtained a high school degree or successfully completed an official high school equivalency completion assessment designated by the Board of Public Education (formerly the GED and currently the HiSET*).
Students who have not yet demonstrated the ability to meet the mathematics or writing proficiency standards may be admitted without condition to a two-year college; however, certain programs within the college, such as Nursing, may have higher admission standards.
Two-year Degree Programs
Students whose mathematics scores are below 18 on the ACT or 440 on the SAT may be fully admitted to a two-year degree program of the MUS, but may not be admitted to a four-year degree program of the MUS.