With a state motto of “oro y plata,” (Spanish for gold and silver), and the official nickname “The Treasure State,” Montana offers along with its agricultural, mining, and scenic enterprises, many higher educational opportunities. Montana is home to an expansive higher education system consisting of universities, Native American tribal colleges, private colleges, and online education.
The Montana University System consists of 16 public universities and colleges, and is divided into three parts: The University of Montana the Montana State University, and community colleges.
|The University of Montana||Missoula||Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral, and professional practice degrees||12,058|
|Missoula College University of Montana||Missoula||1 year certificates, Associate’s||2,467|
|University of Montana Western||Dillion||1 year certificates, Associate’s, Bachelor’s||1,391|
|Montana Tech of the University of Montana||Butte||Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s||2,010|
|Highlands College of Montana Tech||Butte||1 year certificates, Associate’s||913|
|Helena College University of Montana||Helena||1 year certificates, Associate’s||1,506|
|Bitterroot College University of Montana||Hamilton||1 year certificates, Associate’s||–|
The University of Montana is comprised of seven campuses including Missoula College University of Montana, University of Montana – Missoula, and University of Montana Western. Its programs for creative writing, organismal biology & ecology, and wildlife biology were named Programs of National Distinction. The University of Montana’s creative writing program is among the oldest and most prestigious in the United States. Beyond these three programs, the University of Montana and its affiliated institutions, offer many other degree and certification programs with an emphasis on research and the blending of hands-on learning and traditional academics.
The University of Montana Western offers the unique program called Experience One, which is the only program in the country that allows students to take one course at a time. It utilizes a block schedule in which students complete three hours of the class, for 18 days, before moving on to the next course. The program is designed this way to help students fully immerse themselves in the subject and better retain what they learn.
|Montana State University – Bozeman||Bozeman||Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral||14, 970|
|Gallatin College Montana State University||Bozeman||1 year certificates, Associate’s||324|
|Montana State University Billings||Billings||Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s||3,661|
|City College of Montana State University Billings||Billings||1 year certificates, Associate’s Degree||1,308|
|Montana State University – Northern||Havre||1 year certificates, Associate’s, Bachelors, Master’s Degrees||1,334|
|Great Falls College Montana State University||Great Falls||1 year certificates, Associate’s||1,875|
The Montana State University system consists of six institutions including Montana State University – Bozeman, Montana State University – Billings, and Great Falls College Montana State University. MSU is classified as a top tier U.S. research university by the Carnegie Association for the Advancement of Teaching, and the majority of the research grants given to Montana State University are for agriculture, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and engineering. Montana State University is acclaimed for its programs in history, architecture, theater and art, and Native American studies.
Montana State University, and its affiliate institutions, offer bachelor’s degrees in 60 fields, Master’s degrees in 45 fields, and Doctoral degrees in 20 fields. In addition, Montana State University offers post-master’s Nurse Practitioner certificates and a specialist degree in Education.
Montana State University’s Extended University offers online courses, online degrees, online certificates, as well as non-credit classes and day programs.
Popular degree programs in Montana include:
Montana has three community colleges as part of its higher education system:
|Dawson Community College||Glendive||1 year certificates, Associate’s||377|
|Flathead Valley Community College||Kalispell||1 year certificates, Associate’s||2,216|
|Miles Community College||Miles City||1 year certificates, Associate’s||422|
There are three private colleges in Montana:
|Name||Location||Student population||Religious denomination|
|Carroll College||Helena||1,464||Roman Catholic|
|University of Great Falls||Great Falls||974||Roman Catholic|
|Rocky Mountain College||Billings||1,007||United Church of Christ, Methodist, and Presbyterian|
In Montana, Native Americans account for six percent of the state’s population. Montana’s Constitution is unique in the United States as it is the only State Constitution to specifically mandate recognition and preservation of Native American culture and integrity, requiring schools to teach Native American history and culture. The state has seven tribal colleges. Each is a Land Grant Institution, and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. There are various arrangements made between the tribal colleges and the state’s public and private universities. It is estimated that fifty percent of Native Americans currently enrolled in the Montana University System and private institutions began their education in a tribal college before transferring to a college within the Montana University System.
Below is a list of the seven tribal colleges in Montana:
Each semester, a number of Montana University System institutions offer over 700 courses and nearly 100 degree and certificate programs. The Montana University System offers all general education requirements through online education. Many bachelor’s, master’s, and graduate certificate programs are also available online, including Graduate Certificates for Native American Studies and Addiction Counseling. The Montana University System also emphasizes its online education and professional development for teachers, offering master’s degrees in science education and math education, as well as graduate certificates in the teaching of science.
Private and tribal institutions also offer distance learning options. The University of Great Falls, for example, utilizes Microsoft Lync as well as course management system Moodle to offer online courses and degrees. The tribal college Salish Kootenai also has a number of online learning options.
Through UMOnline, the University of Montana offers more than 220 courses as well as associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs and professional certificates and endorsements. Distance students can enroll in a two-year online associate applied science degree in energy technology, a bachelor’s of arts in integrated digital media, or master’s degree programs in public health, music education, public administration, and educational leadership. Online certificate programs prepare working adults for advancement in their field. Students can choose among certificates in customer relations, forensic studies, network and information security, public health, and non-profit administration.
UMOnline courses are delivered through the Moodle course management system and students can take advantage of numerous support services designed to meet their unique online learning needs.
For more information and a list of current online programs and courses, visit http://umonline.umt.edu/default.php.
Montana State University offers degree programs, professional certificates, and continuing education courses through its Extended University. MSU is a member of the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN), one of the longest-established networks of online graduate science courses. Online courses run fall, spring, and summer semesters. The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies completion program is designed for students with two years of previous college credit who want to complete a bachelor’s degree online. Nine graduate degree programs are offered in disciplines such as agricultural education, education curriculum and instruction, financial planning, mathematics education, nursing, engineering, and science education. Professionals can earn online graduate certificates in addiction counseling, architecture, nursing education, science and engineering management, and Native American studies.
Some online courses require test proctoring, where exams are taken in the presence of an approved proctor. Students near the main campus may have the option of completing exams at the Online Test Proctoring Center.
Visit http://eu.montana.edu/online/ to read more about online education at Montana State University.
According to the Montana Department of Agriculture, the state’s largest industry is cattle. Along with cattle, the economy of Montana also consists of such commodities as wheat, barley, hay, and sugar beets. The mining of petroleum, coal, and talc, as well as the manufacturing of lumber, agricultural machinery, and silicon constitute a portion of the state economy. A top employer within the state is Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives, which is a logistics and transportation company specializing in energy products, fertilizers, grains, and food ingredients. Beyond manufacturing and livestock, some of Montana’s top industries are health care and health professions, with companies such as A Plus Health Care, Benefits Healthcare, the Billings Clinic Health System, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield as some of the top employers. In addition, some other top industries are commercial banks (First Interstate Bank, Stockman Bank), real estate, and securities (Davidson Companies, Avitus Group). Tourism is also a contributor to the state economy.
A breakdown of the state’s higher education systems, as well as available programs, extracurricular opportunities, and links to individual college websites.
The University of MontanaMissoula, Montana
Montana State UniversityBozeman, Montana
Montana State University-BillingsBillings, Montana
Flathead Valley Community CollegeKalispell, Montana
Great Falls College Montana State University (GFC MSU)Great Falls, Montana
Montana Tech of the University of MontanaButte, Montana
University of Montana-Helena College of TechnologyHelena, Montana
The University of Montana-WesternDillon, Montana
Montana State University-NorthernHavre, Montana
Carroll CollegeHelena, Montana