MSU Billings Catalog

Academic Affairs

Accreditation Statement

MSU Billings is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. As such, all college-level coursework from institutions accredited by the following list of agencies will be received and applied toward associate or baccalaureate degrees as applicable to general education, major, minor, and elective requirements.

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission

Students who transfer credit from institutions not accredited by the agencies in the above list (excluding foreign institutions) will not be accepted for transfer. Policy and procedure information may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

Students transferring from institutions in pre-approval status must earn at least 20 credits at MSU Billings with a minimum 2.0 institutional GPA before their credits from the former institution will be considered for acceptance.

International coursework (except from institutions where English is the language of instruction) may require evaluation by a foreign credential evaluation company.

Scholastic Requirements

Grading System

Letter Grade Description
A Excellent
B Good
C Average
D Minimally Passing
I Incomplete Work (not included in GPA). Work must be completed within one calendar year or the “I” grade will be converted to an “F” grade. The faculty who awards the “I” will assign all necessary academic work to convert the “I” to a letter grade. The student does NOT re-register and pay for the class. Access to D2L to finish incomplete work is arranged through the Registrar's Office.
F Failure, grade below passing (included in GPA).
W Withdrawal from class without penalty (not included in GPA).
N No credit/Audit
P Passing (not included in GPA but credits count toward graduation).
X No Pass

Incomplete “I” Grade

An Incomplete is given only when a student has been in attendance for at least three-fourths of the semester but has been prevented by circumstances beyond his/her control from completing all of the requirements of the course.  A student must provide adequate evidence to the instructor as to the reason why he/she was unable to complete the requirements for the course.  If a grade of “I” Incomplete has been given, the instructor shall advise the Registrar's Office in writing what the student must do to remove the deficiency.

An Incomplete must be made up within one calendar year.  An “I” grade is not included in the computation of the GPA.  An “I” grade not made up in the prescribed length of time automatically becomes an “F” grade.  Once the “I” grade has been converted to an “F” grade, the course must be repeated in order for the grade to be changed.

Access to D2L to finish incomplete work is arranged through the Registrar's Office.

Change of Grade

A change of grade may be made for error only.  A change of grade may not be made to allow additional time or for additional work once the semester is completed.  A change of grade is not meant to substitute for an Incomplete grade when an Incomplete cannot be justified.  No grade may be changed after one full year unless approved by the instructor’s Academic Dean and the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee.  Once a grade has been submitted to the Registrar's Office, it may not be changed to a lower grade without the written approval of the Dean of the respective college.

Pass/No Pass Grading Mode

Pass/No Pass is offered as an opportunity for undergraduate students to explore courses outside their major, minor, or option curricula and outside the Professional Core Requirements for Teacher Education or Pre-Admission Requirements for Business.

Under the grading mode, the grade of “P” is given if the students’ work is judged to be the equivalent of “A,” “B,” or “C.” The grade of “No Pass" (symbolized by “X”) is awarded if the work is equivalent to “D” or “F.” The students’ Pass/No Pass grades do not affect overall GPA.  However, “P” grades may be counted as credits earned toward a degree.  Other policies concerning Pass/No Pass are as follows:

  1. Courses designated by the departments are available Pass/No Pass.  Certain courses are taught only with this grading mode; other courses may be excluded from Pass/No Pass grading.  Therefore, students should check with their advisor for details.
  2. Students may enroll in courses as Pass/No Pass up to a limit of 20 semester credit hours to be counted towards graduation.  Credits earned by challenge, experiential learning assessment such as military credits, student teaching, cooperative education, or internships do not count toward this 20-credit limit.
  3. Students declare this grading mode at the time of registration.  Students may change their grading mode to Pass/No Pass up through the last day to add at the beginning of each semester or term.  After the last day to add, any request to change grading mode (Pass/No Pass to letter grade or vice versa) must be petitioned by the student to the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee.
  4. Courses taken under Pass/No Pass may be repeated for a letter grade.  A course taken for a letter grade may not be repeated as Pass/No Pass.

Grade Points (Grade Point Average)

All classes required for Certificates of Applied Science and AAS degrees must be completed with a grade of “C” or better for the class to satisfy the requirement for the awarding of a degree or certificate.  All required courses in which a student received a “C-”, “D” or “F” must be retaken.  (Please review program summaries and plans of study for any additional grade requirements.)

A grade of “C” or better in core program courses for defined plans of study in Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees is required.  To review grade requirements for AA or AS degrees please refer to page 52.

Repeated classes earn the second or subsequent grade and credit replacing the former course grade and credit in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average; however, all courses taken and grades received remain listed on the transcript, which is a complete and unabridged permanent school record.  The student must file a repeat card with the Registrar's Office in order for the process to proceed.  Students may wish to visit with an academic advisor in Student Services for assistance.

Grade Reports

Students’ grades are available on the web at  Students who wish to have their grades mailed may request a transcript.

Mid-term Grade Reports

Mid-term grades will be issued to all freshmen students.  Instructors of classes with freshmen will be required to notify each freshman student, in writing, of the student’s mid-term grade before the official last day to drop classes (7th week, 35th class day).

How to Calculate the Grade Point Average

Each grade is worth a predetermined number of grade points as indicated below.  Total grade points are established by multiplying the number of credits of a course times the number of grade points of the grade received.

The grade point average is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of course credits attempted.  In computing the number of grade points earned, each letter grade is assigned a certain grade point value per credit hour as follows:

Letter Grade GPA
Each credit hour of A 4 points
Each credit hour of B 3 points
Each credit hour of C 2 points
Each credit hour of D 1 point
Each credit hour of F 0 points

Effective Fall 2005 for all transfer, re-admitted, and continuing students, in accordance with Board of Regents policy, all campuses of the Montana University System will use the following values when determining grade point averages.  Faculty may choose to use plain letter grades (no plus/minus).

Letter Grade GPA
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0

Grade point averages calculated before Fall Semester 2005, using the values noted above, will not be recalculated, using the new weights or values.

The new values should not be applied retroactively to grade point averages already calculated for students in the Montana University System.  Decisions about those students’ academic performance, including satisfactory progress, admission to limited enrollment programs, graduation and financial aid eligibility, have been made, using the grading scale in place at the time of those decisions.  The decisions should not be invalidated because of a subsequent change in grade point average calculations.


WRIT 122 is a 3 credit course.  If a grade of “B” was received, multiply 3 credits times 3 grade points for a total of 9 grade points (3 credits x 3 grade points = 9 grade points).

COMX 106 is a 3 credit course.  If a grade of “C” was received, it would produce an additional 6 grade points (3 credits x 2 grade points = 6 grade points).

Add the 9 grade points from WRIT 122 and the 6 grade points from COMX 106 for a total of 15 grade points. Then, divide the total grade points (15) by the total number of credits (6) to determine the grade point average for the two courses. In this case, the grade point average is 2.50 (15/6 = 2.50). Remember, the total grade points divided by the total credits attempted equals the grade point average (GPA).

Academic Honors

In recognition of scholastic achievement, the University makes public at the close of each semester an honor roll of undergraduate students who earn 12 or more credits which are not of a Pass/No Pass nature and who earn a grade point average of 3.50 or better.

Minimal Academic Progress

Students are in good standing at City College at Montana State University Billings as long as they have a 2.00 grade point average (GPA) although additional requirements may have to be met in specific fields.

Academic Probation

Full-Time Students (12 or more credits attempted)

Students are placed on academic probation the first time their cumulative institutional GPA falls below the required 2.00.  If they later meet the required 2.00 cumulative institutional GPA, they are removed from academic probation.  Students who are on academic probation and fail to earn at least a 2.00 GPA during the next semester or have a 2.00 cumulative institutional GPA are suspended for one semester, excluding the Summer Session.  However, students on academic probation or continued probation who do not meet the required 2.00 cumulative institutional GPA are allowed to continue in college as long as they have a 2.00 GPA for each succeeding semester.  Students on probation should not carry more than 16 credits in the probationary period.  All students on academic probation should meet with their academic advisors to review their respective course schedules.

Part-Time Students (Less than 12 credits attempted)

Part-time students are placed on academic probation whenever they have attempted a total of 10 overall (transfer and institutional) cumulative semester credits and do not have a 2.00 cumulative institutional GPA or a 2.0 institutional term GPA.  Part-time students are suspended whenever they have attempted a total of 30 overall (transfer and institutional) cumulative semester credits and do not have a 2.00 cumulative institutional GPA or a 2.00 institutional term GPA.  Part-time students on academic probation are allowed to continue in college as long as they earn a 2.00 GPA in each succeeding semester.

Academic Suspension

Any full-time student who has been on academic probation one semester and who did not make a 2.00 GPA during the last semester is suspended for one semester, excluding the Summer Session.  A student who is suspended may, however, attend Montana State University Billings during the Summer Session by meeting the requirements stated below.

Students suspended from Montana State University Billings may register for no more than a total of 16 semester credits during the Summer Session without reinstatement.  Students must register for a minimum of nine semester credits after consultation with their advisors, for either one or all three Summer Sessions.  Students who at the end of Summer Session have earned at least a 2.00 GPA in nine or more semester credits are re-admitted Fall Semester on continued probation.  However, students who attend the Summer Session and fail to earn the 2.00 GPA will be suspended for an additional two semesters.

Students who are reinstated after a period of suspension must submit an application for re-admission to the Registrar's Office.  Upon re-admission, students are placed on continued probation and must maintain a 2.00 GPA for each successive semester of work and meet any other pertinent conditions imposed by the Academic and Scholastic Standing Committee.  Students who do not meet the stipulations set by the Committee incur automatic suspension.  Upon action by the Administration, a student may also be suspended for nonacademic reasons.  Such a notation will be placed in the student's file.

A student who has been suspended from Montana State University Billings may apply for re-admission after one semester has elapsed.  A student who has two or more suspensions is suspended for two semesters excluding summer term.  The student may, however, petition the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee for reinstatement after one semester.

Exceptions to this regulation may be made for students who provide evidence to the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee that their reinstatement can be justified.  Only extreme cases of extenuating circumstances may be considered by the Committee for re-admitting a student who has been suspended, or if there is evidence that the student has taken some reasonable action to correct the cause(s) for suspension.  The student must have approval from his/her major department chairperson before the Academic Standards and Scholastic Committee will consider the student for reinstatement.

Veterans Receiving Educational Benefits

Veterans or other individuals who receive educational benefits from the Veterans’ Administration remain eligible for those benefits as long as they remain in good academic standing at City College at Montana State University Billings and are permitted to continue in college.  All veterans eligible to receive benefits should report to the coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs upon arrival on campus.

Academic Dishonesty

Students at City College at Montana State University Billings are expected to do their own work in their own words and with their own ideas.  If they quote or paraphrase the words of others, they are expected to indicate whom it is they are quoting or paraphrasing.  An instructor who believes that a student has claimed the work of someone else as his or her own may take what steps he or she wishes up to failing the student and referring the student to others on campus for further discipline.  The online Student Handbook contains more detailed information about the policy on Academic Dishonesty, available on the web:

Fresh Start Option
(Academic Bankruptcy)

The Fresh Start option is available to undergraduate students.  It is a one- time opportunity for MSU Billings students and those who transfer to MSU Billings.

Students may bankrupt up to two consecutive semesters of previous coursework in which they received poor grades.  Students must not have been enrolled in any institution for a minimum of three calendar years.  To be eligible for the Fresh Start option students must have completed 15 semester credits (30 semester credits for students seeking a bachelor’s degree) in residence since entering or returning to MSU Billings earning a 2.65 grade point average (GPA) or higher.  The bankrupted coursework will remain on the student’s academic record.  The student has the option to save “A” and “B” grades or bankrupt all courses.  Bankrupted credits and grades will not be carried forward into the student’s cumulative GPA.

Eligibility for Intercollegiate Athletics and Other Activities

To be eligible for intercollegiate athletics, students must meet the specific requirements of the N.C.A.A. Division II.  Students should consult with the Athletic Administrator regarding these requirements.  Students are eligible during a semester to represent MSU Billings in an University sponsored activity off-campus or to participate in co-curricular activities as long as the students are officially enrolled (this applies only to the activities that are not sanctioned by the N.C.A.A.  Division II).  Certain activities may have additional eligibility requirements that students must meet.

Student Records

Academic Records

Official academic records of each student’s scholastic achievement are kept on file in the Registrar's Office, and include the following:

  1. A signed “Official Class Roll and Final Grade Report” from the instructor of each class in which the student is enrolled each semester.
  2. An “Official Academic Record” for each student officially enrolled.
  3. Directory information of a student currently enrolled.  (See the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Revised.)


A transcript is a copy of the complete, unabridged educational record of a student who has been or is currently enrolled.  It is issued only to the student upon the student’s written request.  An official transcript is distinguished from an unofficial copy of the student’s record in that the official transcript carries the signature of the Registrar and bears the seal of Montana State University Billings.

As often as possible, transcripts are issued within five days following receipt of the transcript request and payment of the fee.  During periods of registration, changes in registration, grading periods, and Commencement, the Registrar's staff has to devote full time to such activities.  The records are necessarily incomplete, and the status of students is pending; consequently, a longer time than usual is required for the issuance of transcripts.

All current and former City College at MSU Billings students are entitled to one free official transcript; thereafter, each official transcript request is processed only upon the receipt of the transcript fee.  The student’s signature and/or personal request is required for the release of any transcript except when the transcript is released to those individuals who are considered to have a legitimate educational reason to have access to the student’s transcript.

Misuse of Electronic Devices

Cellular phones, pagers, and other electronic devices shall not be used in a manner that causes disruption in the classroom, library, or within any college-owned or college-operated facility.  Abuse of cellular devices with photographic capabilities, use of devices for purposes of photographing test questions or other notes and materials is prohibited.  Photographing individuals in secured areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms, or other areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, and/or taking photographs of any person without expressed permission is strictly prohibited.

Appeals and Petitions for Exceptions to University Regulations

Appeal by a Student on Academic Matters

The student should confer with the faculty member against whom the alleged problem exists.  The student must confer with the department chairperson or, in the event the problem involves a department chairperson, with the appropriate dean before resorting to the formal grievance process.  The student should consult the Student Resolution Officer for proper procedures.

Petition for Exception to University Regulations

Certain problems encountered by a student may result in a request to have an exception considered to an academic standard or to an academic regulation of the University.  A student may request an exception to an City College at MSU Billings regulation by filing a special petition with the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee.  The petition form may be obtained from the Registrar's Office and it is to be returned there after the student has completed the form.  The Registrar's Office will present the petition to the committee.  The student is encouraged to appear before the committee to respond to questions about the student’s petition.  The student will be notified in writing of the decision as soon as it is determined.

Grade Appeal Procedure

Montana State University Billings has a set of procedures for contesting a grade which must be followed for appropriate resolution.  A grade appeal must be initiated by a student within fifteen (15) days from the official release date of those grades.  All documentation must be in writing and submitted to the instructor and Student Resolution Officer (SRO).  Please refer to the Student Handbook for a complete explanation of this process.

Step I     You must meet with or attempt to make appropriate contact (email, phone, office hours, etc.) with your instructor to discuss your reasons for the grade appeal within fifteen (15) days from the the official release date of the grades.  Documentation supporting your claim should be made available at this meeting.  The University would like to have both you and the instructor discuss the details, in a reasonable, open manner, and formulate an agreeable resolution.

Step II      If the initial meeting (or attempt to meet) with your instructor did not provide an agreeable resolution, you must then contact the ASMSU Billings Student Resolution Officer and schedule a time for you and the SRO to meet and discuss the reasons for the appeal.  The SRO can then help schedule a meeting between you and the instructor of the course you are contesting or, if Step I was not successful, can help move the appeal to Step III.  You must submit any documentation supporting your claim and a copy of the course syllabus to the SRO.  This information should be presented at the meeting with the instructor.  The instructor will submit a formal decision to the student, in writing, within fifteen (15) University business days.  A copy of the letter must be sent to the SRO.

Step III   If no resolution is achieved at Step I or II, the dispute may be brought to the Department Chair of the relevant department (if the dispute is with the Department Chair, then refer to Step IV).  All documentation and a letter of appeal must be submitted to the Department Chair within ten (10) University business days after receipt of the formal decision by the instructor.  The SRO can assist with this process.  A meeting will then be scheduled between you and the Department Chair.  The Chair will submit a formal decision to the student, in writing, within fifteen (15) University business days.  A copy of the letter must be sent to the SRO and Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA).

Step IV     If no resolution is achieved at Step III, the dispute may be brought to the Dean of the relevant College.  All documentation and a letter of appeal must be submitted to the Dean within ten (10) University business days after receipt of the formal decision by the Chair.  The SRO can assist with this process.  A meeting will then be scheduled between you and the Dean with the SRO present.  The Dean, as the representative of the relevant College, has the authority to review all documentation, discuss the matter with the instructor and Department Chair, and formulate a resolution.  The Dean will submit a formal decision to the student, in writing, within fifteen (15) University business days.  A copy of the letter must be sent to the SRO and Provost/VCAA.

Step V      If no resolution is achieved at Step IV and the student wish to appeal further, the dispute may be brought before the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) All documentation and a letter of appeal must be submitted to the VCAA within ten (10) University business days after receipt of the formal decision by the Dean.  The SRO can assist with this process.  The VCAA will review all grade appeal materials, and determine if the appeal needs to be heard by a Campus Hearing Committee.  The Campus Hearing Committee is comprised of a maximum of three students, chosen by the Associated Students of Montana State University Billings (ASMSUB); three faculty members, chosen by the VCAA from a pool of faculty members who serve on the Academic Senate Academic Standards Committee; and the VCAA, who shall serve as the Hearing Officer.  The Hearing Officer will not vote during the proceedings except in the case of a tie vote.  The Campus Hearing Committee will follow prescribed hearing procedures and make a recommendation directly to the Chancellor, who makes the final decision.  The Chancellor will then have fifteen (15) University business days to send a formal and final decision to the student.

City College Graduation Requirements

Catalog Time Limit

Students have four years to fulfill the curricular requirements stated in the catalog in effect when they enter.  If students do not complete the requirements in four years, they must select a subsequent catalog.  If students have a break in enrollment of a semester or more, they must switch to the catalog in effect at the time of re-admission.

Students can request an exception to this policy under extenuating circumstances.  Requests for extensions of time must be approved in writing by the appropriate Director, Department Chair, and Dean.  If not approved, students may appeal to the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee.

Degree Offerings

Certificate of Technical Study

  • Requires 16 to 29 credits
  • Certifies the holder in a specific knowledge or talent
  • Requires no general education credits

Certificate of Applied Science (CAS)

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

  • Requires 30 to 45 credits
  • Requires 60 to 72 credits
  • Can be completed in two years as a full-time student
  • Requires 12 credits of general education (see Related Instruction Requirements)

Associate of Science or Associate of Arts (AS or AA)

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts (BS or BA)

Associate of Applied Science and Certificate of Applied Science Requirements

Students who have earned a “C” (2.0) or better in all required courses and electives for an AAS degree or Certificate of Applied Science program of study in which they are enrolled are eligible for graduation.  Fifty-one percent of core program requirements must be completed at City College at MSU Billings in order to graduate from MSU Billings.  Associate of Science in Nursing students are required to complete at least 21 credits of core program requirements at City College to graduate from MSU Billings and must also earn a “C” or better in all courses.

Please note that a single course may not be used to meet more than one certificate or degree requirement.  Petitions for exceptions to this policy should be addressed to the Registrar to be reviewed by an academic review board.

Related Instruction Requirements for Associate of Applied Science Degrees and Certificates of Applied Science

Related instruction credits are required to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or Certificate of Applied Science (CAS).  According to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), related instruction is a body of knowledge which supports programs of study for which applied or specialized associate degrees are granted or programs for which certificates are granted.  This body of knowledge must contain instruction in program-related areas of communication, computation, and human relations.

The objectives of related instruction include the following:

  • Apply writing strategies to produce original work.
  • Analyze workplace situations and select appropriate communication strategies.
  • Demonstrate professional verbal and nonverbal communication skills.
  • Solve problems quantitatively in specific disciplines.

Please note that the Certificate of Applied Science in Practical Nursing follows an approved statewide plan that differs from the traditional related instruction menu.  Please also note that some related instruction courses are also part of the General Education coursework.

The following list outlines the courses that fulfill related instruction requirements for CAS and AAS degrees:

Human Relations3
Comm in a Dynamic Workplace
Intro to Public Speaking
Workplace Communications *
Intro to Technical Writing
Intro to Business Writing
Contemporary Mathematics
Business Mathematics *
Technical Mathematics *
Extended Technical Mathematics
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Introduction to Computers

CAS and AAS students must see an advisor to determine which related instruction courses are required for graduation in their program.  Students planning to earn a bachelor’s degree should immediately consult their academic advisor to develop a plan of study.

Some related instruction courses also fulfill general education requirements.  Some, but not all, related instruction courses for the AAS degrees and CAS programs will transfer to other colleges or universities.

Second Associate of Applied Science Degree

Students may earn a second AAS degree at City College by taking a minimum of 15 additional credits beyond the total required for the first AAS degree.  Once the first AAS degree is awarded, students must earn 15 additional credits regardless of the number of credits earned for the first degree.  Students must meet all other requirements for the second degree.  For AAS degrees that require electives, degree requirements from one degree may not be used to satisfy electives for the other degree.  Electives from one degree may not be used to satisfy electives for the second degree.

Certificate of Applied Science and Associate of Applied Science Degree in the Same Subject

Students may earn a certificate and an AAS degree in the same subject.  However, a certificate and an AAS degree in the same subject cannot be earned concurrently.  Students may complete a certificate and an AAS degree in the same subject provided the application for graduation for the CAS is a minimum of one semester prior to the completion of the AAS degree.  A certificate can be an exit point and is not required to earn an AAS degree.

Associate of Arts or Associate of Science Degree Requirements

In addition to AAS degrees, City College also awards Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees.

AA and AS degrees can have a special focus or no particular disciplinary affiliation.  These degrees require that students meet general education requirements as specified below.  Students earning an associate degree with no disciplinary affiliation should work with their advisor on a plan of study but are not subject to any additional requirements other than those listed next.

  1. Students must earn a minimum of 60 semester credits must be earned with a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for all coursework.
  2. Students must earn a minimum of 20 semester credits with 40 grade points (2.0 grade point average) must be earned at Montana State University Billings.
  3. Students must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in (a) all college work to be applied toward the degree for which credits and grades have been received, and in (b) all courses completed with credits and grades at Montana State University Billings and applied toward the degree.
  4. Students may elect a maximum of 16 semester credits on the Pass/No Pass option in lieu of regular course grades.
  5. Students seeking an associate degree must satisfy the following general education requirements:

General Education Category

I. Global Academic Skills
A. Mathematics3
B. English3
C. Communication & Information Literacy3
II. Natural Sciences (7 credits total)
A. Life Sciences3
B. Physical Sciences3
Laboratory experience in Life Sciences or Physical Sciences1
III. Social Sciences and History
A. Social Sciences3
B. History3
IV. Cultural Diversity3
V. Arts & Humanities
A. Fine Arts3
B. Humanities3
Selected in consultation with advisor29
Total Minimum Credits60

Early College (Dual Enrollment) Student Graduation

In accordance with Board of Regents Admission Policy 301, 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.  Early college/dual enrollment students to MSU Billings and City College at MSU Billings are not fully admitted in accordance with this policy until these credentials are presented.

Students who are earning credits while still in high school are encouraged to submit a graduation application and participate in ceremonies if they have earned enough college level credits to do so.  However, conferral of a certificate of technical studies, certificate of applied science, associate of applied science, associate, or bachelor’s degree(s) will only be posted to a student’s transcript after receipt of these official credentials required for full admission.

Graduating with Honors

The designation of honors and high honors is awarded to associate degree or certificate recipients.  Honors recognizes students with a total academic grade point average of 3.50 to 3.74; high honors recognizes students with a total academic grade point average of 3.75 to 4.00.  Again, this designation is for associate degree or certificate recipients and based on their total cumulative grade point average which includes transfer work as well as academic work done at MSU Billings.

Graduation with honors will apply to students who earn their first and/or second bachelor's degree at MSU Billings.  Students who earn a second bachelor's degree at MSU Billings will have all of the grades earned in their first degree included in the determination of the recognition of academic honors.  In all cases and for all degrees or certificates, transfer credits earned elsewhere to this University must be calculated with the credits earned at MSU Billings in order to qualify for academic honors.


Commencement is held once each year at the end of the Spring term.  All diplomas are officially awarded at the end of each term.  The date of graduation and the degree a student is to receive will be posted on the student’s Official Academic Record at the end of the semester in which the student meets all requirements.  Students should acquaint themselves with their specific majors’ academic requirements.  An advisor is assigned to every student; however, it is the student’s responsibility to know and meet the requirements for graduation.

A student who intends to graduate with a master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, associate degree or certificate will be permitted to participate in the Spring Semester Commencement Ceremony only if the student complies with the following procedure:

Students are to file their Application for Graduation the semester before the semester of graduation.  Application forms are available from Jacket Student Central, City College Tech Building, first floor or online.   All applications for graduation must be on file with the Registrar no later than the end of the 10th week of the semester prior to the semester of completion. The fee should be paid at the Cashier’s Window and the application needs to be filed with Jacket Student Central, City College Tech Building, first floor.  This application is good for one year from the date of information supplied by the student on the Application for Graduation in the blank labeled “Semester/Year Graduating.”  After one calendar year from that date, the Application will be destroyed and the student will need to re-apply and re-pay the fee.

  • The Application for Graduation is required in order to prepare and forward the Final Evaluation for Graduation to the necessary offices for approval.  A student who submits an Application for Graduation after the fourth week of the semester may have the final evaluation for graduation processed the following semester and will graduate at the end of that particular semester.
  • The Final Evaluation will be circulated during the student’s final semester.  The Final Evaluation must be completed, must have all the required signatures, and must be returned to the Office of Admissions and Records before notification of the student’s graduation is posted on the student’s Official Academic Record.
  • Student must meet, by the end of the Summer Session, all of the graded requirements for graduation or be enrolled in Pass/No Pass coursework the following Fall Semester and meet all the requirements for graduation by the end of that Fall Semester.

Diplomas are generally mailed near the end of the next academic term (i.e., Fall graduates will receive diplomas in early June, Spring graduates in January).

Please note:  Certain departments may have additional academic requirements that must be met before students will be permitted to graduate and/or participate in the commencement ceremony.  Students should check with their major department for any additional departmental requirements.

The determination for honors for students who will graduate at the end of the Spring Semester or Summer Session will be calculated on the most recent semester completed.  Should a student’s cumulative grade point average (including any transfer work) at the end of the Spring Semester or Summer Session entitle the student to an honors designation, this recognition will be recorded on the student’s Montana State University Billings academic record.

Release of Information

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Office of Admissions and Records at City College at Montana State University Billings may disclose directory information from the educational records of a student who is in attendance at the University.  If the student wishes to have all directory information excluded as public information, the student must notify Jacket Student Central, City College Tech Building first floor, within the first two weeks of the current academic year.  This notice is good until revoked in writing.

A complete copy of the MSU Billings’ FERPA policy is available upon request at the Registrar's Office or online at