Transferring to MSU

Transfer students at MSU have many opportunities and resources available to them. We encourage you to visit our campus, but some of you will have questions before that time and will find it helpful to "read on" for more information.

The information that follows provides you with some useful tools and guidelines as well as the recommended steps to take in order to complete the process of transferring to MSU.

Jump to FAQs


First, it is worthwhile to find out as much as possible about MSU in Bozeman in terms of community information, general university requirements, available programs, specific program requirements, and residential living. You've already initiated this step by checking out our website. 


Apply for Admission: Obtain and submit an application to MSU Office of Admissions by these recommended priority dates:

  • July 1 for any fall term of the year you wish to attend,
  • December 1 for spring term, and
  • May 1 for summer term

ALL official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions, and if you are currently enrolled in another institution, have final transcripts sent as soon as courses are completed (partial transcripts with a posted GPA are used for admission purposes, but final official transcripts are required to complete a formal credit evaluation).

  • A cumulative transferable grade-point average (GPA), as determined by MSU, of 2.0 or C on a four-point scale is required in order to be accepted for admission in good standing.
  • If your average GPA is below 2.0, you may be accepted on "Probationary Status" with the provision that you are required to obtain a minimum 2.0 GPA your first term of attendance at MSU in order to continue as a student at this institution.


All college level, degree applicable credits recorded on official transcripts from institutions that are regionally accredited at the time of your attendance will transfer. Official transcripts must be requested and sent directly from the institution to: MSU Office of Admissions, 201 Strand Union Building (SUB), P.O. Box 172190, Bozeman, MT 59717-2190. Please note that all faxed out-of-state transcripts are considered unofficial. However, those faxed directly from another Montana University System in-state institution with a macrao-fax stamp are accepted as official.


1) An UNOFFICIAL self-evaluation of course work can be accessed through our Transfer Course Equivalency Guide, available online. This information can be printed from the web and is for reference only, but will be a helpful resource when you are being advised. The equivalencies listed are the most current and subject to change. If a course or institution is not listed it does not necessarily mean that the course will not transfer, just that the information is not yet in our database system.

2) OFFICIAL evaluations of transfer credits will be processed by your Admissions Evaluator in the Office of Admissions only after ALL FINAL and OFFICIAL transcripts have been received for each applicant. A final transcript is one that posts ALL graded coursework through your final term of attendance at each institution. Your Admissions Evaluator will determine the equivalency of the transfer course work to MSU in Bozeman. The Office of Admissions also determines which courses fulfill University Core requirements. Catalogs are used to determine course level and content. The transfer course description is compared to the MSU course description. Courses generally matching in credit amount, level, and content are considered equivalent. Courses not matching are granted elective credit or elective credit with core.

PLEASE NOTE: An evaluation will not be done for students who have previously earned a U.S. baccalaureate degree. University Core requirements are complete for these students.

Follow Up

Contact your department. Departments can REVIEW your work and RECOMMEND a schedule for your first term. It is helpful to bring (or send) a copy of your unofficial coursework to the department for review. Colleges/departments also provide advisors who can review coursework and discuss specific degree requirements and credentials with transfer students. Departments should be prepared for substitution inquiries and follow up appointments. The Office of Admissions determines equivalency of courses; departments may substitute transfer course work for degree requirements. Departments should also instruct students on procedures for course substitutions (including providing any forms necessary).

NOTE: The departments/colleges do not have the discretion to substitute within the following categories of University requirements: University Core, upper division requirements or total credit requirements. If you have questions about departmental substitutions, contact your department or advisor and update your course plan after you receive your official evaluation.


As a final step in the process there are two options. You are required to fulfill either a personal orientation by scheduling an individual advising appointment with your department or attend a formal group orientation offered before each term. You need to familiarize yourself with MSU's policies and procedures. Be prepared. Bring the following:

  • a copy of your grade transcript
  • course syllabi and/or catalogs from previous schools to show your academic advisor what course content you have already completed
  • a copy of ACT/SAT scores (only necessary for Math Placement purposes if a student has no previous record of completing some form of college level, non-remedial math)

In addition, the Orientation Office will provide a list of departmental phone number and locations as well as a transfer orientation/registration checklist. The Math department provides assistance with math placement, either through testing or ACT/SAT score interpretation.

Suggested Transfer Timeline Fall Term Start

August - November

  • Meet with an Advisor to discuss transfer plans.
  • The College of Engineering at MSU currently has articulation agreements in place with Great Falls College and MSU Billings.
  • Explore program offerings and environment.
  • Align coursework with articulation agreements.
  • Focus on setting a firm foundation for study habits, methods, and strategies. Check out good student habits in Thomas Franks’ 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades, available for free download on
  • Identify a folder or location to collect all material related to your academic plans including unofficial transcripts, curriculum maps, transfer details, etc...



  • File FAFSA.


  • Review your transcript. Be sure information is accurate and complete.
  • Participate in a campus visit or Transfer Fair.
  • Research housing options. Affordable housing takes time to find. Start early.
  •  Submit Application for Admission to MSU.
  • Apply for scholarships from MSU, the College of Engineering, and your major department (highly recommended).



  • Watch for Admissions and Transfer materials to arrive from MSU Admissions.
  • Submit application(s) for housing. Stay in contact with management offices of those you apply. Don’t expect them to contact you.
  • If applying for off-campus housing, pre-view housing prior to submitting application.



  • Review Financial Aid package, calculate costs and determine additional financial needs. Meeting with a financial planner might be helpful.
  • Review and select Transfer Advising process to follow.



  • Double-check deadlines for deposits, registration forms, and other materials
  • Plan move date (this might be separate from transfer advising).
  • Contact MSU Admissions and confirm which Transfer Advising process
  • If doing self-guided transfer advising, identify College of Engineering department which houses your major and contact their main office to schedule a transfer advising appointment. Be sure to pick-up checklist from the MSU Orientation Office prior to beginning your self-guided, Transfer Orientation.



  • Confirm housing before moving.
  • Finalize funding, including financial aid.


June - August

  • Move to Bozeman.
  • Connect with new community.
  • Attend Orientation if not done already.
  • Review schedule and find classrooms before 1st day of classes.
  • Purchase materials for classes (books, notebooks, pen, pencil, etc.).
  • Learn about D2L.
  • Set up Student email, find out Net ID, set passwords.
  • Care of any items that will make the start of the semester a smooth transition.


General Engineering Transfer Guide

Our departments have developed flowsheets to assist students in navigating their Engineering or Computer Science major and will be presenting those to you during the Department meeting on Tuesday morning, along with important instruction on how to use them to select courses.

This Transfer Guide has been developed to connect you with information to determine the best courses for your first semester. Please schedule an advising meeting soon with the appropriate advisor. Contact information for each department is provided below to assist you in connecting with the appropriate individuals. If you are General Engineering and already know the Engineering or Computer Science major you wish to follow, please meet with an advisor from your new department to begin that relationship and have your advisor and major changed. Remember, your advisor information is located in the Information section of your DegreeWorks.

How did you rank these for order of interest? Does that same ranking still apply? Have you met with a member of that Department? Refer to major flowsheet which best aligns with your interests in Engineering to select courses for next semester.

Math Requirements


All Engineering and Computer Science majors, require students be prepared to take Calculus I, or Calculus for Technology 1 (Math Level 5) and higher math courses at Montana State University. All students, National and International, should direct their course selection to include math courses that set them up to successfully transition into their chosen engineering and computer science curriculum at Montana State University. Links to College of Engineering major flowsheets are provided above. Students needing foundational math courses will be part of the College of Engineering's, COEX Program until they are in the math courses required by the curriculum of their chosen major.

Using DegreeWorks for Advising Information


Important information about your degree is listed on your MSU DegreeWorks worksheet. This is found by going to the MyInfo section of the MSU Website and logging into your MyInfo secure area. Your DegreeWorks worksheet will be found on the Student Services tab.


Student Info Section

            Your advisor, major, and college are detailed in this section along with your Classification (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.), Overall GPA, Academic Standing (Good, Probation, etc.), and if there are holds on your account to prevent registration.

Student View


Core 2.0 Requirements Section

The 10 core subject areas required by the University are listed here. Check the flowsheet for the major(s) you are interested in to determine how the Core 2.0 requirements fit into your desired major. Remember, you can click on the links (Attribute IA, Attribute IS, etc.) to generate a list of courses offered that satisfy the requirement.

Core 2.0


Use the chart below to identify which Core 2.0 requirements are satisfied with transfer courses.


Seminar (US)

Course Completed


Diversity (D)


Writing (W)


Quantitative Reasoning (Q)


Contemporary Issues in Science (CS)


Ways of Knowing

Arts (IA or RA)


Humanities (IH or RH)


Natural Science (IN or RN)


Social Sciences (IS or RS)


Research & Creative Experience (R, RA, RH, RN, RS)



Major Course Requirements Section

            Next is the section which outlines the requirements for the major selected. Any courses being transferred which satisfy major requirements will be seen here. As you complete required coursework, DegreeWorks will change the color of the item from red (not completed), to blue (in progress), to yellow (completed). Any substituted transfer courses will also be noted here by your advisor.

Major Course Req.


Additional Sections

            Additional sections in DegreeWorks include Electives, Insufficient Courses, Notes regarding meetings with MSU support staff and faculty advisors, and descriptions of substitutions that may have been approved.


Recommended Courses & Descriptions for Introductory Engineering Courses & Descriptions


CSCI 107 – Joy and Beauty of Computing (3 Credits)

Examines the computing field and how it impacts the human condition. Introduces exciting ideas and influential people. Provides a gentle introduction to computational thinking using the Python programming language.


CSCI 127 – Joy and Beauty of Data (4 Credits)

COREQUISITE: M 151Q. Provides a gentle introduction to the exciting world of big data and data science. Students expand their ability to solve problems with Python by learning to deploy lists, files, dictionaries and object-oriented programming. Data science libraries are introduced that enable data to be manipulated and displayed. To succeed in this course, either basic computer literacy or CSCI 107 is recommended.


ECIV 101 – Intro to Civil Engineering (1 Credit) Freshman only

PREREQUISITE: Must be taken within your freshman year. This course is optional for students entering civil engineering but is encouraged for freshmen wanting to learn about the breadth of the discipline. Students choosing to take the course will be introduced to civil engineering, including department programs and areas of specialty, civil engineering career options, professionalism, history, and ethics.


EGEN 105 – Intro to General Engineering (2 Credits)

Provides students an opportunity to explore the fields of engineering, engineering technology, and computer science. Other topics include engineering design, career opportunities, professionalism, and ethics.


EGEN 115 – Engineering Graphics (1 Credit)

Introductory course developing freehand sketching for engineering design graphics. Skills will be developed for sketching and interpreting dimensioned multi-view drawings, pictorials, sections, and assemblies.


ECHM 100 – Intro to Chemical Engineering (2 Credits)

COREQUISITE: M 151Q or above. An introduction to engineering measurements, computations, problem solving, and experimental design. Discussion of the breadth of opportunities in chemical and biological engineering.


EBIO 100 – Intro to Biological Engineering (2 Credits)

COREQUISITE: M 151Q or above. An introduction to engineering measurements, computations, problem solving, and experimental design. Discussion of the breadth of opportunities in chemical and biological engineering.


EELE 101 – Intro to Electrical Fundamentals (3 Credits)

PREREQUISITE: M 151 or equivalent. Lecture/laboratory introduction to electrical fundamentals including Kirchhoff's and Ohm's Laws, using meters and oscilloscopes, time-varying signals in electric circuits, inductors and capacitors, series and parallel circuits, introduction to digital circuits, problem solving including computer applications, technical communications, team work.


EIND 101 – Intro to Industrial & Management Systems (1 Credit)

PREREQUISITE: Must be taken the first year enrolled in IE program. Overview of the industrial engineering profession. Lectures will concentrate on tools and methods of industrial and management system engineering, and their application in manufacturing and service industries.


EMEC 100 – Intro to Mechanical Engineering (1 Credit)

COREQUISITE: M 151Q. The mechanical engineering profession, logical process of problem solving and design, professionalism, ethics.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you're prepared to transfer in the near future, within the next two semesters, you will want to do the following:

  • File a completed application with the Admissions Office
  • Arrange for official academic transcripts to be sent directly to the Admissions Office from all institutions you have attended
  • Make an appointment to meet with the Transfer Advisor in the COE department that offers your chosen degree program
  • Check the MSU calendar pages for important schedules and deadlines

If you plan to transfer at a future date, such as a year or two from now, you should gather information now that will make your transfer as smooth as possible. We recommend that you meet early with a Transfer Advisor from the department of your choice. They'll help you plan your class schedule before transferring to MSU.

While each degree program has its own listing of specific course requirements, there are some requirements that are common to all or most of the COE degree programs. Following are suggested links to help make your transfer as smooth as possible and your academic plan efficient:

General education requirement, Core 2.0 – To earn a B.S. degree at MSU, you will complete a set of general education, or core, classes. It's best to complete half or more of these courses at your home institution before transferring to MSU. But, you don't need to complete all core classes before transferring. It might be easier to schedule your remaining core classes with your required engineering courses.

 Common technical courses – Each B.S. engineering degree program offered by the COE requires all of the courses listed below (exceptions: CET and MET programs). Ideally, students planning to transfer at the end of the second year in an engineering program would complete all of these courses at the home institution before transferring. There are exceptions, however, where students transfer at other times in their program. By following a modified schedule, they also successfully complete degree requirements at MSU.

Courses required by each B.S. engineering degree program at MSU:

  • Chemistry CHMY 141, College Chemistry I, 4 cr (includes 1 cr lab.); (or equivalent course)
    • Mathematics
      • M 171Q, Calculus I, 4 cr; (or equivalent course)
      • M 172Q, Calculus II, 4 cr; (or equivalent course)
      • M 273Q, Multivariable Calculus, 4 cr; (or equivalent course)
      • M 274, Intro to Differential Equations, 4 cr; (or equivalent course)
    • Physics
      • PHSX 220, Physics I, 4 cr (includes 1 cr lab.); (or equivalent course)
      • PHSX 222, Physics II, 4 cr (includes 1 cr lab.)*; (or equivalent course)
      • Civil Engineering-Bio-resources option requires either PHYX 222 or an alternate specified course; see degree requirements

Course equivalents are listed between MSU and many other institutions for academic institutions, both in-state and out-of-state. This listing is very useful when finding equivalents among non-engineering courses and for determining the level of engineering courses. However, due to the nature of technical courses in engineering curricula, most engineering and other technical courses must be evaluated on a course-by-course basis by the Transfer Student Advisor in each engineering department.

For further information, use the following links for complete curriculum requirements for each degree program, suggested semester-by-semester academic planning of courses, and contacts for departmental Transfer Advisor.

Curriculum requirements for the B.S. degree you choose can help you decide which classes to complete at your home institution before transferring. Careful planning, with the help of the Transfer Advisor, can help minimize the time it takes you to graduate.

Transferring after 1 to 4 semesters tends to work best, after completing most of the required mathematics courses in your chosen major.

No, sometimes transferring after only 1 or 2 semesters is best, in case required courses for your chosen degree are not available at your home institution. Check with a Transfer Advisor.

In general, starting in the fall has some advantages due to course scheduling; however, students do transfer successfully by starting in the spring semester. Also, for some degree programs, there can be an advantage to starting at MSU in the summer, to take mathematics courses or other required courses (the number of COE courses are limited in the summer; check for the specific program of interest.)

As soon as you decide you may want to transfer to MSU in the future, you can contact a Transfer Advisor to help with planning your coursework before transferring. Contact information is available on the Department Advisors page.

Yes, please contact an academic advisor at your home institution as soon as you decide you might later transfer to MSU to complete your degree. This can be very helpful for assisting with your current course plans as well as for deciding when it is best for you to transfer to MSU.

Bring transcripts of all courses taken at other schools, and course syllabi for any courses specifically in your major, such as engineering courses you've completed at another school.

MSU administers a Math Placement Exam that identifies the level of math course in which to start.

Yes, you can contact the department of your choice to request an informal evaluation of your transcripts. Although this unofficial evaulation can have minor differences from the official evaluation, it can be very useful as you plan for a future transfer to complete your bachelor's degree. You should contact the Transfer Advisor in the selected department for this evaluation.

MSU Office of Admissions conducts official evaluations after all final and official transcripts have been received, as part of the admissions process. Departments evaluate technical courses required by the major.