Freshmen (First-Time Undergraduates)

Freshmen students are those who have completed high school, or its equivalent, and have never attended a college or university. Students that have attempted less than 12 quarter or semester college-level credits at another regionally accredited college or university after high school graduation are considered an incoming freshman. Students who have earned college-level course credit, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate credits while still attending high school are also considered incoming freshmen.

Academic Eligibility

Students who do not meet all freshman admission requirements listed below are still encouraged to apply for admissions and submit the necessary credentials. MSU-Northern is allowed a number of exemptions to the stated requirements and will examine each student's credentials on a case-by-case basis for admissibility.

Admission Requirements (Resident and Non-Resident)

  1. Students must have graduated from a high school accredited by the state accrediting agency, OR have a high school equivalency completion assessment designated by the Montana Board of Public Education to be admitted to any campus of the Montana University System. Students who complete their secondary education through home schooling or at unaccredited secondary schools, this requirement may be met by “satisfactory performance” on the ACT, SAT, HiSet or a recognized testing instrument defined in the Federal Register as indicative of a student’s “ability to benefit.” 

Full Admission

To be fully admitted as first-time, full-time undergraduates into a four-year degree program (without conditions or provisions), students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of the Regents’ College Preparatory Program:

Four years of English: in each year the content of the courses should have an emphasis upon the development of written and oral communication skills and study of literature.

Three years of mathematics including Algebra I, geometry and Algebra II (or the sequential content equivalent of these courses). Students are encouraged to take a math course in their senior year.

Three years of social studies which shall include global studies (such as world history or world geography); American history; and government, economics, Indian history or other third year courses.

Two years of laboratory science: one year must be earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics; the other year can be one of those sciences or another approved college preparatory laboratory science.

Two years chosen from the following:

(a) foreign language (preferably two years)

(b) computer science

(c) visual and performing arts, or

(d) career/technical education units which meet the office of public instruction guidelines.

  1. Demonstration of Mathematics Proficiency:
    1. A score of 22 or above on ACT mathematics; or
    2. A score of 27.5 or above on SAT mathematics test; or
    3. A score of 3 or above on the AP calculus AB or BC subject examination or a score of 4 on the IB calculus test; or
    4. A score of 50 or above on the CLEP subject examinations in selected topics [college algebra, college algebra-trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, or trigonometry]; or
    5. Completion of a rigorous high school core including four years of mathematics in high school (Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry & a course beyond Algebra II) and three years of laboratory science; or three years of mathematics including a course beyond Algebra II and four years of laboratory science, in addition to English, social studies, and electives as described in the regents’ college preparatory program, with grades of C or better in all courses. (See Appendix I.)
    6. A cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher; or
    7. A cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or higher AND an Algebra II (or the sequential content equivalent) course grade of C or better.
  2. Demonstration of Writing Proficiency:
    1. A score of 7 or above on the writing test or 18 or above on the ELA (weighted composite based on the English, reading, and writing scores) of the optional writing test of the ACT; or
    2. A score of 25 or above on the writing and language test of the SAT; or
    3. A score of 3 or above on the AP English language or English literature examination; or
    4. A score of 4 or above on the IB language A1 exam; or
    5. A score of 50 or above on the (CLEP) subject examinations in composition.
    6. A cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher; or
    7. A cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or higher AND a course grade of C or better in an 11th grade English course
  3. General preparation as demonstrated through at least one of the following:
    1. A composite score of at least 20 on the ACT or a score of at least 1050 on the total of mathematics, evidence-based reading, and writing scores on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) for admission to Montana State University-Northern;
    2. A high school grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5; or
    3. A ranking in the upper half of the school's graduating class

Provisional Admission:

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.

Operational rules pertaining to provisionally admitted students are:

  1. Students must be informed of their admission status by letters that include the following points:
    1. The minimum mathematics and/or writing score(s) required compared to their score(s) that did not satisfy this requirement;
    2. An explanation of what they must do to attain full admission status
    3. Academic support services available to students, such as tutoring centers.
  2. Provisionally admitted students must attain full admission status by completing at least one college level mathematics and college-level composition course with grades of C- or better before completing 32 credits or 3 semesters, whichever comes last.
  3. Provisionally admitted students may declare a major.
  4. The term “provisional admission” has particular meaning in the Montana University System, under Board of Regents’ Policy. It cannot be used to describe any other admissions status or situation in the System.
  5. Provisional admission does not change existing rules within the Montana University System concerning financial scholarship eligibility, satisfactory academic progress, academic probation or suspension rules.

Montana State University-Northern seeks to offer admission into a two-year program to the following group of students:

  • Students who seek admission into a four-year program who do not meet general preparation requirements will be admitted into MSU-Northern’s equivalent two-year program. Once the student has completed the two-year program they will be admitted into the equivalent four-year program.