Residency Information

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
      • (within 60 days of moving to the state)
    • Obtains a Montana driver's license
      • (should be done within 60 days of the start of the 12-month waiting period)
    • Registers to vote in Montana
      • voting in another state (in person or absentee ballot) is contradictory to a claim of Montana residency
    • 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
    • Only in the event that none of the above indicators are appropriate, the person seeking in-state status may file an affidavit of intent to establish residency.
  • 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
    Montana resident.
  • 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.
  • To be eligible to receive in-state status for a particular term the 12-month waiting period start date must be 12 months prior to the 15th instructional day of the term that you are applying for. 

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 e-mail us with questions about residency requirements.

The Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education has more specific information on residency.