Residency Information

The Montana University System classifies all students as either in-state or out-of-state upon admission. This classification affects admissions decisions and fee determinations. The basic rules for making the classification are found in the Board of Regents' Policy 940.1. It is each student's responsibility to secure and review a copy of the policy, and the MUS Student Guide linked below. Failure to be aware of the rules will not be a cause for granting any exceptions to them. A copy of the policy is available from the Admissions Office or the Registrar's Office. Each residency determination is based on the unique set of facts found in each individual's case.

New students should contact the appropriate admissions office regarding their initial classification for their first semester attending UM: 

Undergraduate Admissions: or directly to your admission evaluator. Please ensure to answer all questions on your admission application regarding residency, including issue dates for all ties with the state (driver license/vehicle registration/voter registration/etc).

Graduate School Admissions (including new Pharmacy students):

Law School Admissions:

Physical Therapy Admissions:

Veterans/Military using VA Educational: Vets Office

The first step in the reclassification process is to review the Board of Regents Policy 940.1 and the Student Guide to Residency. These are linked below:

With certain exceptions in subsections H in the Board of Regents Policy 940.1, in order to be eligible for in-state status, a person must meet a 12-month durational residency test. You will have to demonstrate a bona fide intent to become a Montana resident.

The 12-month continuous period of domicile in Montana does not start until some act indicative of an intent to establish residency is taken, however one act is not definitive of all acts that may be necessary. Mere presence in Montana or enrollment at a unit will not serve to start this period.

While it is your responsibility to read and adhere to the entire policy, some especially applicable subsections follow.

  • C.1 To establish Montana domicile, a person must establish legal ties to Montana as set forth below. These acts must be completed, issued, or dated at least 12 consecutive months before the term for which the person seeks in-state status. Failure to fulfill all three requirements is disqualifying: (a) For individuals who own or operate a vehicle in Montana, registering a motor vehicle in Montana; (b) For someone with a valid out-of-state driver’s license, getting a Montana driver's license. If an individual does not drive or possess an out-of-state driver’s license, the individual must obtain a Montana Identification Card; and (c) Registering to vote in Montana, if previously registered to vote in a former state of residence.
  • C.2 In addition to establishing legal ties to Montana as set forth in subsection C.1, a person seeking in-state status must sever all ties to past places of residence at least 12 months before the term for which the person seeks in-state status. Conduct that is disqualifying for purposes of in-state status includes but is not limited to attending an out-of-state school as a resident of the state in which the school is located, paying taxes in another state as a resident of that state, maintaining an out-of-state driver’s license or identification card, or maintaining voter registration in another states.

For most people, this means that your 12-month starting period is the date of the last action taken/tie with former state severed.

  • D.5 It is presumed that any person who is registered for more than half of a full-time credit load as defined by the program of study, including online credits from any institution of higher education, is present in the state primarily for educational purposes and cannot qualify for residency unless the person can demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence that they moved to Montana primarily for purposes other than education.

For most people, this means that enrolling in more than 7 credits per semester will prevent your 12-month waiting period from beginning.

More information regarding what is required of a person seeking resident classification for tuition can be found in the policy, Student Guide linked above, and on our Residency Pre-Screening + General Info Sheet.

If you are unsure what started your 12-month waiting period, you can review the Residency Pre-Screening form and enter the issue dates of the items listed. The start of the 12-month period is typically the latest/most recent date listed. There are certain actions and presumptions that can delay the beginning of the 12-month waiting period. For a full list of these presumptions, please refer to the BOR 940.1 linked above.

Reclassification is not automatic, and will not occur unless the individual so petitions via the below process. Residency for tuition purposes cannot be determine without a complete application on file. This includes petitioners who were denied for a previous semester but believe they meet the requirements for the current/upcoming semester. If you are submitting a petition for a different semester after being issued a denial, you must submit a new petition by the deadlines listed below for the new semester. This must include updated information for the most recent 12-months (updated Questionnaire, paystub, vehicle registration, etc). Example: You submitted a petition for spring 2023 semester, however you were denied due to not cutting ties with former states until 8/1/2022. You want to submit a petition for autumn 2023. You must submit a new petition that includes updated documentation found on the Pre-Screening Form.

It is the student’s responsibility to meet any filing deadlines or requirements that are imposed by the appropriate unit of the Montana University System. Please see the below for information on the residency reclassification process.

Part 1: Gather Application Materials:

At the end of your 12-month waiting period you must submit a petition by completing the residency questionnaire and attaching copies of your supporting documents. Although you will not submit materials for review until the end of the waiting period, we highly encourage you to start a file to keep copies of your documents as you collect them.Submit everything to the Registrar’s Office for review. 

Residency Questionnaire – REQUIRED for all reclassifications, must be filled out entirely and signed. See below for helpful tips while completing this form:

  • Tax Exemption Affidavit- Required for students under 24 years of age. Students under 24 years old will need to have their legal parent/guardian complete and notarize this. 
  • Employment Affidavit- Typically only required for petitioners who are currently employed in a full time permanent, non-remote position that brought them to Montana. If included, must be completed and notarized by the petitioners employer. Please see BOR Policy 940.1 Section H.
  • Affidavit of Intent to Establish Residency-If no pathway, as defined in the Guide to Montana Residency applies to you and exceptional circumstances exist, you may file an affidavit of intent to establish residency. Exceptional circumstances include, for example, seeking refuge from domestic violence or remaining in Montana as a minor when a parent moves from Montana to establish residency elsewhere. Filing an affidavit of intent does not guarantee resident classification.
  • Supplemental Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (pg 11-13)-If a student was claimed on a parent/guardian’s latest tax return, will be claimed on the tax return for the current year, and/or receives more than 50% of the student’s financial support from the parent/guardian, the parent/guardian must fill out this form.

Residency Pre-Screening + General Info Sheet – A checklist for the most commonly required documents. While a completed copy of the checklist does not have to be submitted, copies of all applicable documents listed on the form that pertain to the person seeking in-state residency must be submitted. 

Documentation can be submitted to the Registrar's Office up to 30 days in advance of the petitioner’s start date, and no later than the fifth instructional day of the semester for which the status is sought. When a student petitions or meets the requirements after the 15th instructional day, a change in classification, if granted, will not be retroactive and will become effective for the next term.

Part 2: Submit Petition Materials: 

Please note the deadlines below for when reclassification petitions are due.

Materials can be submitted via one of the methods below (preferred method is via email):

  1. Email to Scans, attachments, or photos are fine as long as they are clear; or
  2. Mail to: Registrar’s Office Aber Hall 623 32 Campus Drive Missoula, MT 59812; or
  3. In Person: Registrar's Office Dropbox is located on the first floor of Aber Hall by the elevators.

After receiving a complete petition, the Registrar’s Office will review all documents supplied. The person seeking in-state status will be notified via their UM email if the request has been approved or denied.

If more documentation is required, the person seeking in-state reclassification will receive an email to their student email address detailing what supplemental items are required.


The 12-month period must be completed by the 15th instructional day to qualify for that term.

Requests for residency reclassification changes will be accepted no earlier than the 11th month of the 12-month waiting period.The deadline to submit materials for review is the fifth day of classes for that term.

Example #1: You moved to Montana January 1, 2023 and registered to vote on April 1, 2023.  You never had a vehicle or driver’s license/ID registered in a prior state. You can submit your request on or after March 1, 2024 for reclassification beginning summer semester 2024.

Example #2: You moved to Montana January 1, 2023, registered to vote on April 1, 2023, but you cut your final legal ties by transferring your vehicle registration and getting your Montana driver’s license on August 30, 2023.  You can submit your request on or after July 30, 2024 for reclassification beginning autumn semester 2024.

Petitions submitted with all required documentation will be reviewed first.  Incomplete petitions will be delayed.  Please view pre-screening form for the required application materials.

Please plan accordingly.

Upcoming Dates:

Deadlines to sever ties to your former state to qualify for the upcoming semester:

Semester Seeking Residency Date to complete severing ties to former state
Autumn 2023 September 18, 2022
Spring 2024 February 7, 2023
Summer 2024 August 1, 2023
Autumn 2024 September 16, 2023**
Spring 2025 February 6, 2024 **
Summer 2025 August 1, 2024

Semester Seeking Residency

12-Month Period Complete By

Deadline to Submit Materials*

Autumn 2023

September 18, 2023

September 1, 2023

Spring 2024

February 7, 2024

January 24, 2024

Summer 2024

August 1, 2024

July 1, 2024

Autumn 2024

September 16, 2024**

August 30, 2024**

Spring 2025

February 6, 2025**

January 23, 2025**

Summer 2025

August 1, 2025

July 1, 2025

*Petitions are due by the fifth class day of the semester a student is petitioning for. Petitions submitted after this date will be considered for the following semester. Earlier submission is encouraged (no earlier than your eleventh month of your 12-month waiting period) to allow time for review and correction or to turn in missing documents. Residency reclassifications may affect tuition and fee assessment.  See Business Services – Student Accounts for bill payment deadlines.

**DISCLAIMER: These dates are tentative pending approval of the 2024-2025 academic calendar. It is highly advised to cut ties in advance of these deadlines. 

For questions regarding reclassification, please email to

If a student is denied in-state classification for tuition purposes, the student may appeal the decision to the Residency Classification Committee.  The decision of this committee constitutes the final campus decision, and further appeals shall be referred to the Commissioner of Higher Education. Please see the below process for submitting an appeal. 

  • To appeal an initial classification decision (brand new students who have not attended UM yet OR are in their first semester of their attendance), the applicant must submit a letter addressed to the Residency Classification Committee, and any other supporting documentation within 14 calendar days of their initial decision to the admitting office (see above emails under first drop down). It is recommended to email your appeal documents. 
  • To appeal the Registrar’s Office’s decision, the student must submit a letter addressed to the Residency Classification Committee, and any other supporting documentation, within 14 calendar days of the Registrar’s Office’s written decision.  An appeal may be accompanied by any additional written materials the student wishes to submit that are relevant to the classification decision.  The appeal letter and any additional materials must be submitted to
  • To appeal a decision of the Residency Classification Committee, the student must submit a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) within 14 calendar days of the committee’s decision.  An appeal may be accompanied by any additional written materials the student wishes to submit that are relevant to the classification decision.  These materials should be submitted to  to, who will transmit the entire packet to the Commissioner’s office in Helena. The Commissioner’s office will communicate the Commissioner’s decision to both the student and the University of MOntana at the same time. Decisions regarding residency appeals from OCHE can take approximately 30 business days. Please plan accordingly. 

Further appeal procedures are outlined in Section II. C. of the Board of Regents Policy 940.1.