Montana State University–Billings: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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MSU–B Online Program
Billings, Montana

Distance Learning Program

Through the Montana State University–Billings (MSU–B) Online University, established in 1998, MSU–Billings is pleased to offer students an opportunity to take college courses via the Internet as a way of overcoming barriers of time and place. The program ensures that students can achieve their personal, professional, and academic goals while not having to sacrifice the other things that are important in their lives. The program currently offers more than 130 individual online courses, including eight fully online degree programs, with more than 6,000 annual student enrollments.

Delivery Media

All MSU–B online classes are delivered entirely via the Internet, using the sophisticated eCollege online course delivery system. This system provides for complete course content hosting whereby all readings, assignments, multimedia tutorials, audio and video streaming media, and instructional documents are provided online. In addition to hosting course content, the delivery system provides access to a variety of cutting-edge online interaction tools, including centralized e-mail, Internet and course search tools, chat rooms, and threaded discussions, in addition to an online journal, calendar, Webliography, document sharing, exam manager, and gradebook features. Minimal hardware, software, and Internet connectivity requirements exist for all online classes.

Programs of Study

The MSU–Billings Online University currently offers eight fully online degree programs. Students may attain the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in accounting technology or customize their own fully online Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree. Bachelor's degrees offered include the Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies (B.S.L.S.) degree, with a concentration in management and communication; a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in communication, with major options in organizational communication and mass communication; a Bachelor of Science in public relations; a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; the B.S.L.S. degree completion program; and a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration. MSU–Billings also offers a Master of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Health Administration degree online.

The B.S.L.S. degree completion program uses the same curriculum as the full four-year B.S.L.S. degree, but it allows students to transfer or substitute prior academic course work into the program while completing the thematic concentration. To complete the B.S.L.S. degree or the B.S.L.S. degree completion program, individuals must earn a minimum of 120 credits with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better. In addition, all students must satisfy the general education requirements at MSU–Billings. MSU–Billings accepts transfer students with completed A.A. or A.S. degrees from other institutions as having fulfilled their MSU–Billings general education requirements, provided the A.A. or A.S. is comparable in total credit hours and content to the MSU–Billings general education requirements. Students should consult with an academic adviser for an evaluation of transfer credits. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits through MSU–Billings.

The B.A. in communication degree program shares much of the same requirements as the B.S.L.S. degree program described in this In-Depth Description, but it allows students to complete a major core of courses in either organizational communication, mass communication, or public relations. The degree is designed to educate students entering the fields of business and social service as managers, public relations personnel, trainers, human resource officers, and corporate communication staff members. The degree also provides students with an excellent preparation for graduate study in communication or law.

For more information on any of the online courses and degree programs, prospective students should visit the MSU–B Online University Web site at

Established in 1927, Montana State University–Billings provides excellent instructional and learning opportunities in the arts and sciences as well as in its professional programs in business, technology, human services, rehabilitation, and education. MSU–Billings is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, and its various degree programs, including teacher education, are accredited by other individual organizations. The University offers a wide variety of preprofessional and certification programs and awards degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels to more than 4,000 students annually. For more information on Montana State University–Billings, prospective students should visit the University Web site.

Special Programs

Through the MSU–B Online University, students can complete the B.S.L.S. degree completion program described in this description, which offers a number of thematic concentrations. In addition, students can complete a variety of courses in general education requirements typically required of undergraduate students.

Student Services

The MSU–B Online University provides online students with access to all student services offered to MSU–Billings on-site students, including admissions, degree planning and advising, financial aid, ordering books and supplies, fee payment, library, 24-hour HelpDesk technical support, and a number of other student support services. In addition, all students enrolling in an online class receive access to an online orientation course that is designed to help students learn how to use the course delivery system and to maximize their success and satisfaction in online learning.


Most of the 120 faculty members who teach classes online for the MSU–B Online University are also full-time faculty members of Montana State University–Billings. In addition to teaching their online classes, these faculty members teach equivalent courses in traditional on-site classes. Eighty-six percent of the University's faculty members hold the highest degrees in their fields.


The requirements for admission to MSU–B are the same as those for individuals taking classes on-site. Online students should apply for admission and register for online courses through the MSU–B Online University Web site at

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for online classes are the same as for taking classes on-site, with an additional $40-per-credit nonrefundable fee that is assessed for all Internet courses. The exact rate of tuition and fees depends upon the number of credits taken and whether the student is a resident or nonresident of Montana. For a current schedule of tuition and fees, prospective students should visit the MSU–B Online University Web site at

Financial Aid

Financial aid is awarded to more than 60 percent of the University population—including students taking courses online—in the form of grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, employment, and loans. For more information or to apply for financial aid, prospective students should visit the MSU–B Online University Web site at


Marlow Ockfen
Coordinator, College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning
Apsaruke Hall 126
Montana State University–Billings
1500 North 30th Street
Billings, MS 59101
Phone: 406-657-2030
800-708-0068 Ext. 2030 (toll-free)
Fax: 406-657-2254
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


All students wishing to enroll in MSU–B Online courses or degree programs should do so by submitting an online application and registration form accessible from the MSU–B Online University Web site at

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Montana State University–Billings: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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