Admission Requirements and Procedures

Helena College Welcome Center

The Welcome Center provides assistance to new and re-admitting students. Prospective students in search of an application, class schedule, information about courses and programs of study, admissions guidance, or who want to check the status of a submitted application may contact the Welcome Center at 406-447-6900. The Welcome Center is located near the main entrance of the Donaldson Campus (room 101).

Application Process

Open admission allows any student who might benefit from a Helena College education the opportunity to enroll in classes. Applications for admission are accepted and processed in the order they are received. The deadline for priority admission consideration is one month prior to the start of each semester and complete applications are due by the initial fee payment/finalization date before the start of each semester. Students are encouraged to apply early, as financial aid is offered and programs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Acceptance for admission to the college does not guarantee acceptance or placement in any particular program. Prospective students should review the Program Offerings section of the catalog for specific program requirements. Falsification or willful suppression by a student of any information called for on an application for admission may be grounds for cancellation or denial of admission.

First-Time and Transfer Admission

Students who plan to earn a degree or certificate, or enroll in seven or more credits in any one semester need to submit the following information:

  1. A completed and signed application for admission.
  2. A $30 nonrefundable application fee.
  3. Proof of immunization if born after December 31, 1956; proof of age if born before January 1, 1957. (See Immunization section)
  4. Official high school transcripts received from an accredited high school with a graduation date posted, a copy of GED, HiSET scores, or COMPASS test scores demonstrating ability to benefit. Home-schooled and non-accredited high school graduates will be required to provide GED or HiSET scores or meet ability to benefit requirements. Students admitted under ability to benefit will not be eligible for financial aid.
  5. Official college transcripts, if applicable.

Non-Degree Admission

Non-Degree admission is designed for students seeking personal enrichment who do not plan to earn a degree or certificate, do not seek financial aid, and who enroll in six credits or fewer in any one semester. The deadline for non-degree admission/registration is the fifth day of classes each semester. The following information needs to be submitted:

  1. A completed and signed application for admission.
  2. A $30 nonrefundable application fee.
  3. Demonstrated completion of any prerequisites or necessary placement testing.

Readmission

Students who have previously attended Helena College as degree-seeking students must reapply for admission if they have been absent from the college for two or more academic semesters (excluding summer). Readmitted students must follow current catalog requirements upon return. The procedure for readmission to Helena College is as follows:

  1. Submit a completed and signed application for readmission.
  2. Submit official transcripts from all college(s) attended since last attending Helena College, if applicable.
  3. If readmission follows academic suspension from Helena College, applicants must submit an academic plan with their application for readmission. Readmission is conditional upon approval of the academic plan by the Admissions Review Committee.

Application Fee

A $30 nonrefundable application fee is required of all first-time applicants to The University of Montana campuses, including The University of Montana, Missoula College, Montana Tech, Highlands College, The University of Montana - Western, and Helena College. If a student does not enroll within one calendar year of application fee payment, the application fee expires. After attending any of the University of Montana institutions, students may submit a Transmittal application and the appropriate fee as an application to any Montana University System. For more information, please seek assistance from either the Admissions or Registrar’s offices.

Orientation

Orientation is held for all new students and students who have been absent from the college for two or more consecutive academic semesters, excluding summer. All orientation sessions are offered prior to beginning of each semester. College policies, procedures, regulations, and financial aid information are explained to students. Orientation information is mailed to all accepted students approximately three weeks prior to the orientation session. All degree-seeking students, new and readmitting, are charged a $15 orientation fee. Orientation is mandatory.

Immunizations

All students enrolling in seven or more credits are subject to the following requirements in accordance with Montana state law (ARM 37.114.711):

  1. Students born in 1957 or later must provide evidence that they have received two measles and two rubella immunizations, with dose one administered at 12 months of age or later and dose two administered at least 28 days after dose one. No measles vaccination before 1967 is valid. No rubella vaccination before 1969 is valid. As an alternative, students may supply a laboratory report from a CLIA approved laboratory indicating that the student is immune to measles and/or rubella.
  2. Student may be conditionally enrolled for an initial term if they have not received the second dose of measles and/or rubella vaccine provided they receive the second dose at least 28 days after the first dose and before the beginning of the succeeding school term.
  3. A student may be exempt from the above requirements for medical reasons (ARM 37.114.715) providing the student supplies a statement from a physician (MD or DO) holding a license to practice in the United States or Canada stating: a) The specific immunization that is contraindicated; b) The time period the immunization is contraindicated; and c) The reasons for the contraindication.
  4. A student may be exempt from the above requirements for religious reasons providing the student supplies a notarized statement that immunizations are contrary to the student’s religious beliefs. This notarized statement must be submitted annually by any student claiming a religious exemption (ARM 37.114.716).

Placement Assessment

Students must submit COMPASS test scores to assist with placement. A writing sample may be required from students to assist with placement into the appropriate writing course. ACT and SAT scores, the Montana University Writing Assessment (MUSWA), and transferable college credits will also be considered for math and English placement in accordance with Board of Regents policies. Placement testing results demonstrating a need for developmental coursework necessary to meet program requirements may require lengthening a student’s program of study. Placement test scores older than three years from the time of enrollment are not accepted. Placement testing results are not used to determine a student’s admission status to Helena College except as necessary to determine ability to benefit. There is a $15 fee for COMPASS testing. Please call 406-447-6939 to schedule a COMPASS test session.

Residency Requirements

The Montana University System classifies applicants for admission and current students as either in-state or out-of-state for fee purposes. In general, a person must meet the requirements listed below to qualify for in-state status:

  1. A person must be physically present in Montana 12 or more consecutive months without an absence in excess of a total of 30 days. One must demonstrate by appropriate actions during the twelve-month period the intent to make Montana one’s permanent home. The required twelve-month period does not begin until specific actions are taken to change legal ties to Montana.
  2. An individual must be at least 51% financially self-sufficient during the entire twelve-month period, and that person must not be claimed as an exemption under federal income tax regulations by someone filing an out-of-state federal tax return.
  3. A person must have filed a Montana income tax return or have had Montana income tax withheld as required by state tax laws during the twelve-month period.
  4. If a person drives a motor vehicle in Montana, he or she must obtain a Montana operator’s license within the required legal time limit.
  5. If a person owns or operates a motor vehicle in Montana, he or she must license the vehicle in Montana within the required legal time limit.
  6. An individual must register to vote in Montana if he or she expects to exercise the right to vote.
  7. If an individual chooses to attend any unit of the Montana University System during the twelve-month period of continuous physical presence, he or she must limit enrollment to a maximum of six credits per semester.

There are additional regulations concerning married persons and others with special circumstances. The basic rules for making the classification are found in the Student Guide to Montana’s Residency Policy, which can be obtained from Admissions and Enrollment Services. Contact Admissions and Records at 406-447-6912.

Subject to Board of Regents Policy 940.1, a student may petition for a change in classification status or appeal an initial residency determination. Petitions for reclassification should be directed in writing to the Helena College Admissions Evaluator. The burden of proof, including production of required documentation, is upon the individual seeking reclassification. To be eligible to receive in-state status for a particular term of enrollment, the individual must be eligible for in-state status on or before the 15th instructional day of the term, and the reclassification petition must be submitted by that date. Otherwise, a change in classification is effective on the first official day of enrollment for the first term following the date the petition is received by the admissions office unless the late filing of a Montana individual income tax form is required, in which case the effective date is the date of filing the tax form. An individual may appeal an initial classification decision or a reclassification decision. Any such appeal should be made in writing to the Helena College Registrar and should be accompanied by any written materials the student wishes to submit that are relevant to the classification decision. The final decision by the Registrar may be appealed to the Commissioner of Higher Education, and the Commissioner’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Regents. An appeal shall be submitted to the campus administration for transmittal to the Commissioner and must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the final campus decision.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

Students who are residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming may be eligible to participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program. If selected, students pay reduced fees which are approximately one and one-half times current resident fees. WUE application materials will be sent to students from participating states. Contact Admissions and Enrollment Services with WUE-related questions. Admissions and Enrollment Services will award available WUE waivers on a first-come first-served basis to qualifying applicants. This award extends to the completion of a student’s program or two years, whichever comes first, provided the student: 1) maintains a 2.5 cumulative grade point average; 2) does not change his or her program of study; 3) completes a minimum of 12 credits each semester of enrollment; and 4) does not change his or her state of legal residence. Students who change any of these conditions stated above may lose the WUE award. Appeals will be considered on a case by case basis and should be directed to the Director of Admissions and Records.

Safety and Security Considerations

Pursuant to Board of Regents Policy 301, Helena College may deny or condition admission, readmission, or continuing enrollment of any individual who, in the judgment of the campus, presents an unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of the campus and persons thereon. In making such judgment, the campus may, among other things, take into account the individual’s history and experience relative to (1) violence and destructive tendencies, (2) behavior at other educational institutions, and (3) any rehabilitative therapy the individual may have undergone. A decision to utilize the authority conferred by this paragraph shall be communicated to the individual in writing. Any such decision may be appealed in writing to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.

CLEP/AP/CBE Credit

Students may be awarded credits by examination through the following three options:

  • CLEP (College Level Examination Program)
    Required scores on the respective CLEP exams will warrant full course credit in the equivalent Helena College University of Montana course. Official results must be sent directly from the CLEP Testing Center to Admissions and Enrollment Services.

  • AP (Advanced Placement)
    A score of 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam for any equivalent Helena College University of Montana course will warrant the award of full course credit. Official results must be sent directly from the AP testing center to Admissions and Enrollment Services.

  • Credit By Exam
    Students may receive credit through nationally recognized professional licenses or certificates gained through examinations. Students must be able to provide the original certification document and examples of the curriculum for the certification. The student must verify the certification through his or her advisor and the Registrar’s office. If curriculum and certification cannot be verified, the student may be able to show competencies through the challenge process. Students should refer to the Challenge Policy for more information.

A student will receive a grade of “EC” for any credits awarded through CLEP/AP/CBE. The total credits awarded for CLEP/AP/CBE for a student cannot exceed 25% of the credits required for his or her degree.

Transfer of Credit

Students who have previously attended a regionally accredited technical school, college, or university may be eligible to receive transfer credits. Upon receipt of an official transcript, Helena College will cooperate with students to make a fair decision with regard to their transfer credits. Students should be aware of the following transfer credit guidelines:

  • Courses must be college level, defined as those courses that are applicable toward a certificate, an associate of applied science, associate of arts, associate of science, or baccalaureate degree at their respective institution. In all cases, such courses shall not include remedial or developmental courses.
  • Montana Board of Regents Policy 301.5.2 guarantees that coursework completed in the last five years will be reviewed for possible use in a student’s specific program of study, and coursework completed in the last fifteen years will be reviewed for possible use to satisfy general education requirements or as elective coursework. The guarantee provides only that courses falling into the relevant time periods will be analyzed for possible use in a student’s degree program. It does not guarantee that the courses will be automatically accepted. Further, the policy allows individual Montana University System campuses discretion with regard to consideration of outdated coursework; however, since it is a discretionary decision, it cannot be challenged. The provisions of this policy also govern the evaluation of “outdated” classes that have been completed at Helena College. Students with outdated coursework are encouraged to contact Admissions and Enrollment Services or the appropriate academic department.
  • Courses must have been completed with a letter grade of C- or higher, or a Pass from a Pass/No Pass grading method only if the course would apply to the student’s intended program of study. (Students should refer to the Academic Information section for limits on pass/no pass credits.)
  • All programs of study require that one-half of the academic credit hours be earned at Helena College.
  • Courses accepted for transfer credit will appear on a student’s transcript. The credits will be calculated into the total credits earned, but grades earned for accepted transfer credits will not be included in the grade point average (GPA).
  • Completion of a student’s admission file by the priority deadline, which is one month prior to the first day of classes of the term for which a student has applied, will facilitate the processing of evaluation of transcripts for transfer credit.

Students will be notified in writing of the admission decision, the total number of credits accepted for transfer to Helena College, and the transferability of general education and/or elective credits within ten working days of the receipt of a completed transfer application on or before the priority deadline. Students seeking transfer of credits to satisfy degree and/or certificate requirements must have their official transcripts reviewed by faculty from the appropriate academic program. Students completing their transfer application before the priority deadline will be notified of the transferability of credits towards specific degree and/or certificate requirements no later than the last day to add classes for the intended term of entry.

Students who complete their transfer application after the priority deadline will receive a complete evaluation of their credits for transfer and will be notified of the results prior to registration for the following academic term.

Students wishing to appeal decisions made regarding their transfer credits must submit a signed written request to the admissions office. Appeals with regard to the transferability of credits to satisfy degree and/or certificate requirements will be reviewed by the appropriate program faculty and/or division chair as needed. Appeals with regard to the transferability of general education and/or elective credits will also be reviewed by the appropriate faculty and/or division chair as needed. Students who have submitted their appeal in a timely manner will receive a response and final decision prior to registration for the following academic term.

Students wishing to transfer Helena College credits to another college or university should contact the admissions office at the receiving institution for information and policies concerning the evaluation and acceptance of transfer credits.

Students with questions or who need further information about transfer policies should contact Admissions and Records at 406-447-6912.

Montana University System Transfer Initiative

To help students plan their transfer within the Montana University System, a transfer initiative was implemented in 2007. The initiative incorporates common course name and numbering to make the transition from institution to institution easier for students. For more information see the MUS Common Course Numbering Transfer Guide online at www.mus.edu. Students wishing to transfer Helena College credits to another college or university should contact the Admissions office at the receiving institution for information and policies concerning the evaluation and acceptance of transfer credits.

Policy of Nondiscrimination

Helena College is committed to providing all persons an equal opportunity for education, employment, and participation in activities as provided by law. It is unlawful:

  1. To exclude, expel, limit, or otherwise discriminate against an individual seeking admission as a student or an individual enrolled as a student in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the institution because of race, creed, religion, sex, marital status, color, age, physical handicap, national origin, service in federally or state defined uniform service, veteran status, political ideas, genetic information, gender identity, gender expressions, sexual orientation or physical or mental handicap, unless based on reasonable grounds;To exclude, expel, limit, or otherwise discriminate against an individual seeking admission as a student or an individual enrolled as a student in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the institution because of race, creed, religion, sex, marital status, color, age, physical handicap, national origin, service in federally or state defined uniform service, veteran status, political ideas, genetic information, gender identity, gender expressions, sexual orientation or physical or mental handicap, unless based on reasonable grounds;
  2. To make or use a written or oral inquiry or form of application for admission that elicits or attempts to elicit information or to make or keep a record concerning the race, color, sex, marital status, age, creed, religion, service in federally or state defined uniform service, veteran status, political ideas, genetic information, gender identity, gender expressions, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicap, or national origin of an applicant for admission;
  3. To print, publish, or cause to be printed or published a catalog or other notice or advertisement indicating a limitation, specification, or discrimination based on the race, color, creed, religion, age, physical or mental handicap, sex, marital status, or national origin of an applicant for admission; or,
  4. To announce or follow a policy of denial or limitation of educational opportunities of a group of its members through a quota or otherwise, because of race, color, sex, marital status, age, creed, religion, service in federally or state defined uniform service, veteran status, political ideas, genetic information, gender identity, gender expressions, sexual orientation or physical or mental handicap, or national origin.

In addition, this facility may not be used in the furtherance of any discriminatory practice, nor become a party to an agreement, arrangement, or plan which has the effect of sanctioning discriminatory practices. Racial or sexual harassment of students or faculty is unlawful.

This policy is in compliance with the requirements of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Titles VII and VIII of the Public Health Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Montana Human Rights Act and the Montana Governmental Code of Fair Practices. Helena College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The catalog, advertisements, and recruitment material will present programs and information in a way to discourage sexual stereotyping.

Helena College shall ensure that the non-discrimination policy, as it affects applicants and students, is published and disseminated. Students who have disabilities should contact Disability Services if accommodations are needed or if obstacles are encountered at Helena College. Students should follow the complaint procedure outlined in the Helena College Student Handbook if they believe this policy of nondiscrimination is not being followed.

Any person wishing more information regarding Helena College’s policy and process as they relate to Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and Retaliation, may do so through contacting the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504/Title II Coordinator.

Phone: 406.447.6903

Email: e.stearnssims@umhelena.edu