Policy 301.7 - College preparatory program
Effective July 1, 2001; Issued July 30, 2001


Board Policy 

1.         In order to improve students' preparation for college-level work, the Board of Regents of Higher Education requires the following College Preparatory Program for students who wish to enter a campus of the Montana University System beginning with the fall term, 1990 except as indicated in Section 2 below.

a.  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 literature. 

b.  Three years of mathematics which shall include 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. 

c.  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. 

d.  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. 

e.  Two years chosen from the following:

  • foreign language (preferably two years)
  • computer science
  • visual and performing arts, or
  • vocational education units which meet the Office ofPublic Instruction guidelines.

2.         The following categories of students are exempt from the requirements in Section 1 above: 

a.         non-traditional students (those who do not enter college for a period of at least three years from the date of high school graduation or from the date when they would have graduated from high school),

b.         summer only students, and

c.         part-time students taking seven or fewer college-level semester credits. 

3.         Out-of-state students are required to have completed the college preparatory program outlined in Section 1, or to have completed a similar program required by their home state.  In either case, the student's high school shall certify completion of such a program.  The categorical exemptions identified in Section 2 also apply to out-of-state students. 

4.         Out-of-state students graduating from accredited high schools in states that do not have a college preparatory program, have several different college preparatory programs, or have a college preparatory program that is dissimilar to Montana's, must meet any two of the three criteria listed below:


(1)        has obtained a score of at least 20 on the Enhanced (Composite) American College Testing (ACT) test or a score of at least 960 on the total verbal/math exam of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for admission to Northern Montana College and The University of Montana-Western, 

(2)        has obtained a score of at least 22 on the Enhanced (Composite) American College Testing (ACT) test or a score of at least 1030 on the total verbal/math exam of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), for admission to Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, Eastern Montana College, Montana State University, and University of Montana.  The colleges identified in 4.a.(1) above may request permission from the Board of Regents to raise the Enhanced (Composite) American College Testing (ACT) test score or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) total verbal/math exam score to those specified for University of Montana, Montana State University, Eastern Montana College, and Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology,


b.         At least a 2.5 high school grade point average,


c.         Class standing in the upper half of the graduating class. 

5.         These requirements do not apply to the public community colleges in Montana nor to the colleges of technology. 


To implement the College Preparatory Program, and to encourage a high level of academic preparation for students who wish to continue on to higher education, the Board of Regents of Higher Education hereby adopts the following procedures: 

1.  Only persons who have completed the College Preparatory Program shall be eligible for 

a.         Regents High School Honor Scholarships

b.         Other state-supported scholarships, fee waivers, or grants-in-aid awarded on the basis of academic achievement.  In unusual circumstances this provision may be waived for students who have been graduated from high school for more than three years. 

2.  In awarding scholarships based on academic achievement, special consideration should be given to persons who have completed available academic solids beyond those specified in the College Preparatory Program.  Honors and advanced placement courses should be given extra weighting. 

3.  Students who enter campuses of the Montana University System without sufficient academic background may find it necessary to enroll in remedial courses which will add time and expense to the students' educational experience.

4.  Beginning in Fall 1990, students that do not meet the college preparatory requirements may eliminate their deficiency by taking courses that satisfy the requirements in summer school or as a part-time student at one of the six campuses of the University System, or by attending a community college and transferring credit to a University System campus. 

5.  To ensure reasonably smooth transition to full implementation of the College Preparatory Program, each of the six campuses of the Montana University System is granted discretionary exemptions for in-state applicants who have not completed the College Preparatory Program not to exceed 5 percent of the in-state enrollment of first-time, full-time first-year students.  

Institutions will be obligated to provide appropriate annual reports indicating numbers of students enrolled as exemptions and their academic progress in comparison to those students regularly admitted.  At the conclusion of the period of exemptions, the Commissioner of Higher Education's Office will present a report to the Board of Regents summarizing these data with appropriate analysis and interpretation.  The Commissioner's Office will also make recommendations to the Regents regarding continuation, discontinuation, or modification of the discretionary exemption program.  


1.  For the purpose of this section, GPA (and Pass) credits mean those college-level credits for which grade points apply toward graduation. 

2.  For the purpose of this section, college-level work means those courses that are applicable toward an associate of arts, associate of science or baccalaureate degree at their respective institution.  Such courses shall include neither remedial nor developmental courses.