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Course Materials 101
Course Materials Overview

MSU Bookstore is dedicated to helping you make the right textbook choices to meet your educational
and financial needs. Our goal at MSU Bookstore is to offer all Montana State students the lowest
possible prices on course materials.

We offer a variety of course materials options, and each has its place within the “course materials ecosystem”.
The Bookstore works closely with faculty, publishers, wholesalers, and electronic distributors to find a mix
of products that keeps prices low for students, meets the needs of our faculty partners, and provides
a custom learning experience for each classroom.

The course materials ecosystem is made up of new, used, and rental books, as well as access codes,
eBooks, and Inclusive Access titles. Each serves a different purpose for students, professors, and colleges.
Important Dates

How to Order Textbooks Online

How to Get Textbooks In-Store

Rental Information

Renting a textbook is like renting a movie! You pay a much lower cost up front to use the book(s)
for the semester and return them when your class is over. You will need a credit or debit
card as your Cat Card (student ID) to rent your book(s).

Rental books are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to save money on your course materials.
We make every effort to have as many rental books as possible, but we do not determine if a book
is "rentable", the book companies do!

When Are My Rentals Due?

Rented textbooks are due back the last day of finals week or anytime before. Rental books that are not
returned will have the remaining cost and an additional $10 fee charged to the card that was used to rent
your book(s). You don't want that, your parents don't want that, and neither do we!

Can I Buy My Rentals?

Yes! Many students wish to buy their rentals at the end of the semester, especially for major related courses.
All you need to do is bring the book and an ID to the store. We will scan your book and complete your puchase by
charging the remaining cost of the book.

Inclusive Access

Inclusive Access (IA) is the easiest, most affordable course materials option. If you have a class that has
an IA title, the course materials are automatically loaded into D2L, and you will be billed for the material directly
through your student account. Should you already have a copy of the course material or wish to not utilize
the IA program for any reason, you have the option of “opting out” of the IA title during the first 15 days of
the semester. You will need to do this for each IA title you don't wish to use.

To Opt-Out:

Book Returns

There are several options for returning and/or selling your books back to the Bookstore. We want to make
certain that you are only purchasing the books you need, and that you have an exceptional experience.
So, with that in mind, here are a few of the best options relating to returning textbooks:

Full Refund Returns

Returns for a full refund are available for the first 2 weeks after the first day of class for the spring and fall semester.
In the summer, books are returnable during the first week of classes. Please remember that books need to be
in the condition that they were purchased in and with the ORIGINAL receipt to receive a full refund.


Buyback is when you sell back your unwanted or unneeded textbooks. Buyback occurs at the end of the semester
starting the Friday before finals week through the end of finals. If those times still do not work with your schedule,
we also offer a 24/7 online buyback feature through our website. The summer buyback schedule varies, and updates are
made on our social media platforms. We do not set the prices offered for wholesale buyback; rather they are generated by
our used book partners. In order to have a successful buyback experience, your books need to be in good condition, with
normal wear and tear acceptable. Water damaged books or ripped pages are examples of wear and tear that are
NOT accepted, and yes, coffee stains are included as unacceptable damage.

Why aren't you buying back my book?

We only buy books at retail value that are being requested by a faculty member for the upcoming semester. If a book
has not been requested by a professor, we will attempt to buy it on behalf of a used book wholesaler. Sometimes,
neither a professor or a wholesaler is looking for the book, and we cannot buy it back. If your book
isn't being used or it is too damaged for us to return, we cannot accept the book. At that point, you have the
option of selling it yourself online, to a friend, or donating it to a good cause. As a student-owned non-profit, we
make every effort to buy as many books as possible, but sometimes we are unable to offer you a value for your used book.


iClickers are an in-class tool used in many large lecture courses. You only need one iClicker, and it can be
registered to many classes at one time. You will most likely use it for multiple semesters at MSU, so check before
you sell it back at the end of the semester. Your professors will teach you how to use and register your iClicker.

eBooks vs. Access Codes

An eBook is just a digital version of your textbook that can be downloaded on your favorite device. There are
several options for eBook purchasing that will allow you access to the book for varied amounts of time. Please
make sure you are purchasing the eBook for enough time to complete your coursework. If you have any eBook
questions, just let us know and we will be happy to assist you with your purchase. If your ebook is from
RedShelf, please use the following links if you need any assistance.

RedShelf Home Page

For Students: How to Access Materials

Instructor Support

An access code is a code that is entered into the website designated on the code. Once you enter this
code you then have access to your textbook as well as homework, study programs, and other tools (depending
on the publisher of the book/access code). Your professors will help you register and use your access code.

A Few Other Things to Remember