#3 Best Colleges in Montana

MSU Admission Requirements

Bozeman, Montana

 1 Reviews

Your chances of getting into Montana State University

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

Admission Difficulty for Montana State University
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Challenging 
Applicant Competition Low 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at MSU is 73%.  Its admission rate is the 2nd lowest in Montana.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into MSU and can you get accepted?

MSU is a moderately competitive school to get into. You have a strong chance of acceptance if you meet the criteria. Last year, 19,522 out of the 26,741 who applied were admitted.

The school has challenging admission requirements, generally admitting students who can score in the top 48 percent on standardized admission tests. Montana State University typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.5. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top half of their high school class. 20% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

Can you get into MSU?

73% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to Montana State University you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.5 or better
  • Earn B+ grades in high school
  • Score 1190 on the SAT
  • Score 23 on the ACT
  • Graduate in the top half of your high school class


GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 


Typical High School Grades 


What GPA do you need to get into Montana State University?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into MSU are to have around a 3.5 high school GPA. You are required to have very good grades in high school.

If your high school GPA meets these requirements, there is a good chance you will be accepted as MSU accepts 73% of students who apply.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at MSU is 3.5 on the 4.0 scale. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn B+ letter grades and regularly score around 87-89 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #3 in Montana for highest average GPA.

Importance of GPA

Since MSU is a test optional college, extra focus will be placed on your GPA when the school considers your application. As a result, it is very important that you meet the GPA requirements.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 3.5 GPA range.

Competitiveness by GPA Ranges

The table below outlines the number of admitted freshmen by GPA range as well as how competitive your GPA will be as compared with other applicants.

High School GPA's for admitted Montana State University students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 18.97% Good
3.75 to 3.99 23.39% Avg +
3.50 to 3.74 18.58% Avg -
3.25 to 3.49 12.4% Avg -
3.00 to 3.24 9.72% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 12.5% Reach
2.00 to 2.49 3.64% Reach
1.00 to 1.99 0.78% Reach
less than 1.00 0.78% Low

 What do these chances mean?

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2022

Calculate My Chances 

MSU SAT Scores

Test Optional

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required for admission to Montana State University. If you submit test scores, they will be considered with your application, but they are not mandatory. 26% of students submitted SAT scores and 42% submitted ACT scores for admission for the most recent academic year..

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 


Applicants Submitting SAT 

SAT Scores for Montana State University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 540
Math 25th Percentile 530
Composite 25th Percentile 1070
SAT Scores for Montana State University
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 650
Math 75th Percentile 650
Composite 75th Percentile 1300
Average SAT Score 1190

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to Montana State University?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at MSU is 1190 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1070-1300. Students who get into Montana State University score in the top 47 percent of all SAT test takers..  MSU ranks #4 in the state of Montana for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1190 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. MSU regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1070 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1070, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 950, but scores this low are outside the normal range.

Score Submission Requirements

Montana State University is a test optional school meaning do not have to submit SAT scores with your application. The position on SAT scores from the college is "considered but not required".

View other colleges which accept students in the 1190 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1185, you have around a 73% chance of being admitted. A 1300 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 84% chance of getting in.

Montana State University admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1300 and Above Good >84%
1185 to 1300 Avg + 73%-84%
1070 to 1185 Avg - 59%-73%
955 to 1070 Reach 43%-59%
Less than 955 Low <43%
Calculate My Chances 

MSU ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 


Applicants Submitting ACT 

ACT Scores for Montana State University
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 19
Math 25th Percentile 19
Composite 25th Percentile 20
ACT Scores for Montana State University
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 26
Math 75th Percentile 27
Composite 75th Percentile 27
Average ACT Score 23

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into MSU?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to MSU is 23, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 20 and 27.  The school ranks #3 in Montana for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 23. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 20 and score in the score in the top 49 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 16.

42 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Montana State University.

Score Submission Requirements

You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as Montana State University is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "considered but not required".

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into MSU for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 23 score has around 73% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 85% with a 27 ACT score.

Montana State University admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
27 and Above Good >85%
23 to 27 Avg + 73%-85%
20 to 23 Avg - 61%-73%
17 to 20 Reach 47%-61%
Less than 17 Low <47%
Calculate My Chances 

High School Class Rank

74% of Montana State University freshman are in the top half of their high school graduating class and 44% are in the top quarter.

High School Class Rank for admitted Montana State University students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 19.82%
Top 25% of class 44.4%
Top 50% of class 74%
Data Source, Peterson's Data


Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

Montana State University admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 15,287 11,454 26,741
Accepted 10,531 8,991 19,522
Acceptance Rate 69% 78% 73%
Enrolled 1,749 2,125 3,874
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 17% 24% 20%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Montana State University is $38.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Montana State University and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Montana State University Application Requirements
Test Scores Considered but not required
High School GPA Required
High School Class Rank Considered but not required
Completion of College Preparatory Program Considered but not required
Recommendations Neither required nor recommended
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Montana State University
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences No

Admission Requirements Summary

Because MSU is moderately competitive, you have a strong chance of acceptance with the right GPA and test scores. If you have a 3.5 GPA, you have a very good likelihood of getting in. A 1190 on the SAT and 23 on the ACT will further lock in your application.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to Montana State University often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=180461 IPEDS survey data for Montana State University.


Does Montana State University prefer SAT or ACT?

26% of students submit their SAT scores to MSU. 42% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Montana State University?

73% of those who apply are granted admission to MSU. Admission competition is low and the college has challenging admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Montana State University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1070 and 1300. The average SAT score is 1185. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Montana State University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 20 and 27. The average ACT score is 23. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.