AY 2024/2025 Application Cycle:
Opens July 1, 2024
Deadlines of September 1, 2024 (Veterinary Medicine) and October 15, 2024 (All Other Fields)



General Information


Professional Student Exchange Programs (PSEP) are programs geared toward providing Montana resident students affordable access to select out-of-state programs in specific healthcare fields that are not available within Montana.

The number of Montana students funded through these programs is determined by Legislative appropriation.  Exchange students may receive some preference in admission and if awarded state funding, may receive set support fee amounts to be applied to tuition and fees, or pay reduced levels of tuition; generally resident tuition at public institutions or reduced standard tuition at private schools, depending on the professional program applying for.

Montana currently participates in 5 Professional Student Exchange Programs. 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. 

Support awards are very competitive and state funding levels are generally not sufficient to support all qualified applicants.  Students who do not receive the state support will not qualify for the reduced tuition rates if admitted.

WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP)

  • Currently support WICHE healthcare fields of study include medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, occupational therapy, and podiatry.
  • Students awarded WICHE funding receive a set support fee amount, per field of study, to be applied towards tuitions and fees for the academic year. To view the support fees by field please visit this link.
  • State supported students enrolled in a public professional program through WICHE PSEP or the Minnesota Dental program may pay more than resident tuition in cases where the state support fee does not sufficiently cover the school’s resident/nonresident tuition differential during any academic year.

WWAMI Medical Education Program

  • The WWAMI program is a cooperative program between the University of Washington School of Medicine and Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.  It gives students residing in the Northwestern United States access to high-quality, cost-effective medical education by decentralizing the educational process and sharing existing facilities and personnel in universities and communities in the WWAMI states.
  • The WWAMI program is specific to the field of medicine
  • Funded WWAMI students receive state support from Montana after the first 18 months of the program, conducted at MSU Bozeman, are completed. The state support amount is the calculated difference in cost of out of state tuition and in state tuition, including fees associated with the cost of education.
  • The WWAMI program includes a claw back component, which requires entering students to select a contract type to either commit to returning to the state to practice, or decline to return to practice.

Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • ICOM is dedicated to training high-quality osteopathic physicians prepared to care for people in the Mountain West region and beyond with an emphasis on rural, underserved areas.
  • Funded ICOM students receive a set amount of state support, matching the WICHE osteopathic support fee amount, to be applied to their tuition and fees.
  • The ICOM program includes a claw back component, which requires entering students to select a contract type to either commit to returning to the state to practice, or decline to return to practice.

Minnesota Dental Program

  • The Minnesota Dental program is a dental education program only through the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
  • Funded MN Dental students receive a set amount of state support, matching the WICHE dentistry support fee amount, to be applied to their tuition and fees.

WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine

  • WIMU is a partnership between Montana State University, the University of Idaho, and Utah State University with Washington State University in its Regional Program in Veterinary Medical Education. The WIMU regional program serves students with interests in all facets of the veterinary profession, whether they are interested in companion animals, horses or livestock, in private practice, industry or academia, or whether they are unsure. The opportunities available for DVM education in the WIMU regional program prepares graduates for entry into any of the exciting dimensions of veterinary medicine.
  • The WIMU program is specific to veterinary medicine.
  • Montana funds a select number of students, appropriated by the Legislature, who spend their first year in Bozeman at Montana State University. Classroom and clinical study will continue in years 2 and 3 on WSU’s Pullman campus. In the 4th year, students then have the opportunity to learn in a wide network of clinical placements throughout the four-state region.
  • Funded WIMU students receive a set amount of state support, starting in their 2nd year of the program.
  • For additional information regarding the WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine, please visit their website at http://wimu.montana.edu or email them at wimu@montana.edu.

Certification & Certification Requirements

Residency certification is the first step for the PSEP application process. The certification requirements are the same for all five programs. It is in your best interest to apply for certification early rather than waiting until the certification deadlines.  Due to individual program application/admission deadlines, it may not be possible to make final residency determinations involving complex situations, or in cases where students wish to appeal their non-residency determination, in time for the applicable deadlines should a student choose to wait until late into the application cycle or until the specified deadline to submit his/her initial application; therefore, timely submission is important.

Certification does not guarantee admission to any professional school, and does not mean a student 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. 

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 following application cycle in order to receive certification and program consideration for the following academic year.  

It is especially important for students in the following classes to apply early:

      • Veterinary medicine applicants 
      • Students applying to schools with a rolling admission process
      • Students whose Montana residency status may be uncertain
  • All applicants are required to meet the Montana University System residency requirements to receive certification and only certified applicants are eligible to apply to the participating programs as potential Montana program participants.
  • To obtain certification, students must apply to the Award Montana Portal between July 1 and October 15 of the year prior to their anticipated entrance into professional school. For example, students hoping to begin their professional program Fall 2025, must apply for certification during the July 1, 2024 application cycle.
    • Certification deadline for veterinary medicine Applicants is September 1.
    • Certification deadline for all other fields of study is October 15. 
  • Certification as a Montana resident for purposes of application to professional school is only the first step in the process. Certification only verifies Montana residency which allows the student to continue on, to apply to the various professional programs as a potential participant. Participation is determined at a later time in the 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. 

Rankings & Funding Priority

For the WICHE programs, students who are offered admission into a participating school/program are included in program rankings that determine the state funding award order. 

  • For these rankings, cooperating schools confidentially rank all accepted students from Montana; that information is compiled in the form of a weighted ranking.
  • The highest ranked applicants are the first to be offered the state support. 
  • All remaining students, or 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.

Funding priority is given to beginning students first and alternate students second. 

  • Deferred admissions from a prior academic period do not receive funding preference, are treated the same as new offers of admission, and are subject to the certification and ranking process for the applicable application cycle. 

Already Enrolled Students

Students who are already enrolled at WICHE participating school as non-supported, non-funded students in the WICHE eligible fields of study may continue to recertify annually for already enrolled status as long as they  continue to meet the Montana residency requirements. Already enrolled alternates receive funding consideration following all certified and alternate certified applicants. 

Late Applications

Applications received after the application deadline are eligible to receive alternate certification status only, meaning they receive secondary funding consideration following all regular certified applicants.  




TRUST Booklet

Contact Award Montana

If you have questions about any of the application materials or the certification process, please contact our office. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Phone: 1-800-537-7508

Award Montana