Residency Qualifications

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 completes all of the following actions:     
    • Registers an automobile in Montana
      (should be done immediately upon moving to the state)
    • Obtains a Montana driver's license
    • Registers to vote in Montana
    • Purchases a home in Montana (if applicable) 
    • 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
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.
    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.

If you were classified as a non-resident at the time of admission and you believe you should be classified as a Montana resident please check out this page:

If you feel you have met the critera submit the following to