Montana WICHE, WWAMI, Minnesota Dental, and
WIMU Regional Veterinary
Professional Student Exchange Programs

Application for Certification Information

AY 2020/2021 Application Cycle Deadline – September 3, 2019 (Veterinary Medicine)
And October 15, 2019 (All Other Fields)

The State of Montana participates in four professional student exchange programs aimed at providing Montana residents affordable access to selected out-of-state professional programs which are not available in Montana.  They include the WICHE Professional Student Exchange (PSEP), the WWAMI Medical Education Program, the Minnesota Dental Program, and the WIMU Regional Veterinary Medicine Program.   Continued state participation in these programs is subject to ongoing approval and appropriation by the Montana Legislature who may, at any time, modify the programs and support levels.

Montana supported WICHE healthcare fields include medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, occupational therapy, and podiatry.  WWAMI is an allopathic medical program through the University of Washington School of Medicine, the Minnesota dental program is a dental student exchange with the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, and WIMU is a regional veterinary medicine program through Washington State University.  The number of Montana students funded through these programs is limited and determined by state legislative appropriation.  If awarded state funding, exchange students pay reduced levels of tuition.  However, state support awards are very competitive and not generally sufficient to support all qualified applicants.  Students who do not receive the state support will not be eligible for the reduced tuition rates.

The certification requirements are the same for all four programs; applicants must meet the Montana University System residency requirements for the programs in order to receive certification; only certified applicants are then eligible to apply to the participating programs as potential program participants.  To obtain certification, students should apply to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education between July 1 and October 15th of the year prior to their anticipated entrance into professional school (between July 1 and September 3rd for veterinary medicine).  Students hoping to begin their professional program fall 2020, should apply for certification during the July 1, 2019 application cycle.  The certification deadline for veterinary medicine applicants is September 3rd and for all other fields of study, the deadline is October 15th.

It is in your best interest to apply for certification early rather than waiting until the application deadline.  Due to individual school application deadlines, it may not be possible to complete residency determinations in time to receive consideration if you wait until late into the application cycle to submit your application; this is especially true in cases involving complex residency situations or in cases where an appeal of a non-residency determination may be necessary.  It is very important for students in the following classes to apply early:

  • Veterinary medicine applicants (Application deadline is September 3, 2019)
  • Students applying to schools with a rolling admission process
  • Students whose Montana residency status may be uncertain

Applications received after the deadline will be eligible to receive alternate certification status only; alternates will receive secondary funding consideration following all certified applicants.  

Certification does not guarantee admission to any professional school, nor does it mean students will receive support from the State of Montana for their attendance if admitted to a participating school; however, in order to receive program consideration, certification is required.  Support awards are very competitive and state funds are not available to support all applicants.  For the WICHE and Minnesota Dental programs, students successful in receiving offers of admission from participating schools by April 1st (March 1st for dental students) are included in a ranking process to determine state funding awards.  For these rankings, the cooperating schools confidentially rank all accepted students from Montana who applied to their program; that information is then compiled in the form of a weighted ranking into one overall ranking list. The highest ranked applicants are the first to be offered the state support.  All remaining students and students who receive acceptance after the rankings are compiled are placed on an alternate funding list.  The admission and selection process for the field of veterinary medicine differs from the other WICHE fields.  For complete details, please read/reference the WICHE veterinary medicine cooperative admission procedure information contained in veterinary medicine application materials.  Students who do not receive state support will not qualify for the reduced program tuition rates if admitted.  

Certification as a Montana resident for purposes of application to professional school is only the first step in the process.  In addition to the certification process, students should apply to the professional schools directly, paying close attention to each school’s application process and deadlines.     It is advisable to apply to professional school early, especially to those schools with a rolling admissions process. 

Students who are already enrolled at WICHE participating schools as non-supported, non-funded students in the WICHE eligible fields of study may continue to recertify each year for alternate certification status as long as they continue to meet the Montana residency requirements; again, funding priority is given to beginning students first and alternate students second.  Deferred admissions from a prior academic period do not receive funding preference and are treated the same as new offers of admission and are subject to the certification and ranking process for the current application cycle. 

Certification is an annual process and is valid for a period of one year only.  If you are not accepted by a participating program or if you plan to defer your admission, you must reapply for certification the next application cycle in order to receive program consideration for the following academic year.  

For additional information regarding the WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine, please visit or contact them via email at

Application materials will be posted mid-June each year.

decorative arrowYou can access the application materials by field of study by clicking the tabs in the left hand column of this webpage.  Please pay close attention to the information contained on the “Application Checklist” when completing and submitting your information.

If you have questions about any of the application materials or the certification process, please contact Laurie Tobol at (406) 449-9153, or Sheila Newlun at (406) 449-9168, Completed applications must be submitted no later than September 3, 2019 for veterinary medicine applicants and October 15, 2019 for applicants in all other fields of study; the mailing address is listed below.  To send your application materials via email, please send them to or using our secure email portal at:

Mailing Address:
Student Assistance Program
Office of Commissioner of Higher Education
PO Box 203201
Helena, MT  59620-3201