Montana Universities & Colleges

Montana Universities & Colleges

Montana Schools

Montana truly fits its state motto: Big Sky Country. And for prospective students interested in attending college in the state, there will be lots of big sky to examine. A small population (slightly over 1 million) and a very small population density (6.86 people per square mile) mean that this state will most likely attract students who like to learn in the peaceful seclusion that only wide open countryside and small populations can provide. Montana’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains makes the small handful of colleges and universities in the state all situated in a very bucolic setting. If you’re love the outdoors, and spurn the hubbub of major city centers, Montana should certainly be a first choice to examine for academic programs.

montana photo near the college

Despite having relatively few schools to choose from, those that do exist in the state have noteworthy programs and admirable rankings, putting Montana on the map for students interested in rural states.

In 1994, Montana created their Montana University System. This was a response to decreasing state funding, and was an effort to save the state’s public institutions, many of which have long and proud histories. The two public systems in the state are now The University of Montana System and the Montana State University System. The 13 colleges and universities and 3 community colleges within this system are spread out across the state, offering both in-state and out-of-state students a valuable education at remarkably low costs. The 7 institutions within The University of Montana System are: The University of Montana, Missoula College University of Montana, University of Montana Western, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Highlands College of Montana Tech, Helena College University of Montana, and Bitterroot College University of Montana. The 6 institutions within the Montana State University System are: Montana State University, Gallatin College Montana State University, Montana State University Billings, City College at Montana State University Billings, Montana State University-Northern and Great Falls College Montana State University. Each of these schools comes in at or well below the national average for tuition costs, making the schools savings boon for interested students.

As the population of the state is very small, there are unsurprisingly very few private colleges in the state as well. The 3 private colleges in the state are: Carroll College, University of Great Falls, and Rocky Mountain College. Because Montana is home to several Native American tribes, there are several tribal colleges that exist within the state. The 7 tribal colleges in the state are: Aaniiih Nakoda College, Blackfeet Community College, Chief Dull Knife College, Fort Peck Community College, Little Big Horn College, Salish Kootenai College and Stone Child College. Do note that while data abounds on the rankings of the private and public institutions, minimal information is available on tribal schools. As these institutions primarily serve geographically isolated American Indians, data is not kept in the same manner as with institutions that are open to most American citizens.

While none of the colleges and universities in the state rank nationally (neither public nor private institutions), several of the state’s schools are ranked highly regionally among other colleges in the Western region of the United States. Most of the top ranked schools in the state are the public institutions. This is by virtue of the fact that they far outnumber the private schools. However, prospective students will find Carroll College at the top, followed by Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Montana State University, The University of Montana, and Montana State University-Billings. Carroll College has the unique distinction of being #1 for regional colleges rankings (West), according to The U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings. Meanwhile, Montana Tech of the University of Montana is ranked #5. The University

of Great Falls sits at #29 for regional colleges, the University of Montana-Western resides at #20, and Rocky Mountain College finds itself nicely situated at #15.

The U.S. Department of Education currently has data on 22 colleges and universities within the state, including the tribal schools. Unfortunately, none of the schools in the state have very high graduation rates. Among the 22 institutions, the two highest graduation rates can be found at Carroll College (65%) and Dawson Community College (61%). Two more colleges break into the 50% range: Salish Kootenai College (a tribal school, at 50%), and Miles Community College (56%). Also, few of the institutions can boast of high average post-graduation salaries among their former students. Most are below, or well below, the national average, with 7 at or slightly above. The highest can be found at Carroll College, with salary after graduation averaging $44,000.

Traditional Montana Universities

Carroll College

Montana State University

Montana State University-Billings

Montana State University-Northern

Montana Tech

Rocky Mountain College

Community Colleges In Montana

national park near campus - montana

Blackfeet Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – Browning, MT 59417
  • Phone – (406) 338-5441

Dawson Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 300 College Dr, Glendive, MT 59330
  • Phone – (800) 821-8320

Dull Knife Memorial Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1 College Dr, Lame Deer, MT 59043
  • Phone – (406) 477-6215

Flathead Valley Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 777 Grandview Dr, Kalispell, MT 59901
  • Phone – (406) 756-3822

Fort Belknap College

  • Site –
  • Address – 269 Blackfeet Avenue – Agency, Harlem, MT 59523
  • Phone – (406) 353-2607

Little Big Horn College

  • Site –
  • Address – 8645 Weaver Dr, Crow Agency, MT 59022
  • Phone – (406) 638-3100

Miles Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 2715 Dickinson St, Miles City, MT 59301
  • Phone – (406) 874-6100

Montana State University System

  • Site –
  • Address – 2500 E Broadway St, Helena, MT 59601
  • Phone – (406) 444-6570

Billings College of Technology

  • Site –
  • Address – 1500 University Drive Billings, MT 59101
  • Phone – 406.657.2011

College of Technology at Great Falls

  • Site –
  • Address – 2100 16th Avenue South Great Falls, MT 59405
  • Phone – 406.771.4300

Stone Child Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 8294 Upper Box Elder Rd, Box Elder, MT 59521
  • Phone – (406) 395-4875

Missoula College of Technology

  • Site –
  • Address – 909 South Ave W, Missoula, MT 59801
  • Phone – (406) 243-7811

Helena College of Technology

  • Site –
  • Address – 1115 N Roberts St, Helena, MT 59601
  • Phone – (406) 447-6900

Montana Tech College of Technology (Butte)

  • Site –
  • Address – 25 Basin Creek Rd, Butte, MT 59701
  • Phone – (406) 496-3707

Vocational, Career & Trade Schools In Montana

montana mountain range near school

Online Degrees and Programs In Montana

As with most states, Montana’s online college and university scene is much, much smaller than that of its traditional colleges and universities. As has slightly more than 20 traditional institutions of higher learning, its online degree program offerings are understandably small. Currently, there are only 8 schools within the state that offer online degrees or certificates of some kind. These schools are: Montana State University, The University of Montana, Helena College University of Montana, Montana State University-Northern, Highlands College of Montana Tech, Mills Community College, Fort Peck Community College and Dawson Community College. Each of these provide varying amounts of degree options, and none of them are overwhelmingly expensive.

The top-ranked online degree programs can be found at Montana State University-Northern, Montana State University-Billings, The University of Montana, Montana State University and the University of Great Falls. Prospective students will find that the first 4 provide quality online degree programs for under $7,000, while the University of Great Falls, as a private institution, has a much higher tuition at just over $20,000.

Despite having much fewer options to choose from, Montana is indeed home to some well-established online degree programs and systems. The University of Montana has a fully online and partially online program through its UMOnline system. Through the system, students have 5 different Master’s degree programs offered to them (Curriculum Studies, Educational Leadership, Music Education, Public Administration and Public Health), one Bachelor’s degree program (Media Arts), one Associate’s degree program (Energy Technology), and two Minor degrees (Anthropology and Communication Studies). The Montana University System has a much larger offering, as students can take hundreds of courses for dozens of different Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs. These courses can be completed fully online, and are offered through the system’s different public institutions, to include community colleges and 4-year institutions. Students will find that the programs available are in line with what is typically offered in online degree programs. Education, communication, business and nursing programs are extremely prevalent among the programs that are offered through the online system.