The University of Montana classifies students, including applicants for admission, as either in-state or out-of-state for fee purposes. The following are general guidelines for a person wishing to establish in-state status:
- Except for some exceptions, a person must reside in Montana for 12 continuous months and not be out of the state more than a total of 30 days.
- The 12-month waiting period typically begins when a person takes one of the following actions:
- Registers an automobile in Montana
(should be done immediately upon moving to the state)
- Obtains a Montana driver's license
(should be done within 90 days of the start of the 12-month waiting period)
- Registers to vote in Montana
- Purchases a home in Montana
- Files a resident Montana individual income tax return
(all taxable income earned during the 12-month waiting period and thereafter for as long as in-state status is desired, should be reported on a resident Montana individual income tax return)
During the 12-month waiting period, a person is expected to act in a manner
consistent with Montana residency and do all those things required by law of a
- If attending school during the 12-month waiting period, registering for more than 6 credits per semester (including summer school) creates a strong presumption you are here for educational purposes and will likely disqualify you from achieving in-state status.
Each residency case is based on a unique set of facts. For more information about individual cases, prospective students and applicants should contact the Graduate School Office at (406) 243-2672 or email us with questions about residency requirements.
The Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education has more specific information on residency on their website at