13 Best Colleges in Montana

Want to pursue a college education in Montana? Well, today seems to be your lucky day.

As someone who has spent a lot of time studying the education landscape and amazing colleges in the state, I can tell you a thing or two about what you are about to get into.

I can confidently say that Montana has some of the best colleges in the country. In this article, I’m going to share with you the best colleges in Montana to enable you to make an informed choice in the end.

So whether you are a true blue Montanan, or an out-of-state student seeking university or program suggestions around Montana, this article is definitely for you!

I know how confusing and overwhelming the college selection process can be—that’s why I’m here to make things easier for you!

Let’s dive in and find your perfect match among this list of colleges in Montana!

The Best Colleges in Montana

From public institutions to private universities, Montana offers a wide range of the biggest colleges and academic options for students seeking high-quality education and social excellence.

1. Montana State University

Montana State University
source: montana.edu

Montana State University is the largest university in the state and has an acceptance rate of 73%, making it a hallmark of academia and research in the region.

The university has a pretty diverse population of students from different backgrounds which only enriches the social growth experience that students can get from it.

Montana State University gives its students a wide array of choices with 60 undergraduate fields and 40 graduate fields of study to choose from. 

On top of that, they also provide a wide range of high-quality academic programs.

Boasting a student population of over 14,000 students, the university’s commitment to academic excellence and groundbreaking research opportunities is unwavering.

Montana State University is well known for producing high-caliber graduates in the following fields:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Biological Sciences

Special research opportunities are also offered to students through programs such as:

  • First-Year Research Experience (FYRE)
  • Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC)
  • Montana Empowers Scholars Program

With a student-to-professor ratio of 19:1, this learning institution provides a diverse community of students and faculty members.

The satisfaction of students in the quality of education that they receive through Montana State University is highly evident in their impressive retention rate of 76%.

This rating reflects how students feel valued and supported throughout their academic journey, creating a deep sense of belonging.

Interested to be a part of Montana State University? Check out their website for more information.

2. Rocky Mountain College

Rocky Mountain College in Montana
source: rocky.edu

For Rocky Mountain College, let’s start with what matters most—value, proven by how they offer an exceptional education at a fraction of the cost of larger universities.

But don’t mistake affordability for a lack of quality—this college truly shines in the quality of its programs.

The wide array of courses at Rocky Mountain College is truly impressive. From Business Administration to Veterinary Technology, there’s something for everyone here.

But what sets Rocky Mountain College apart are its graduate options, like the Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs.

And if you’re up for incredible outdoor activities, the university also has access to due to its proximity to Yellowstone National Park:

  • Skiing
  • Rafting
  • Rock Climbing

Rocky Mountain College boasts impressive graduate and career outcomes coupled with a high retention rate. This makes it an ideal choice for students who are committed to their studies and future plans.

The college also has a high enrollment rate for advanced degrees, meaning students are well-equipped for post-graduate success and their chosen career paths.

Ready to try on a new venture with Rocky Mountain College? Click on their website to know more!

3. University of Montana

University of Montana
source: umt.edu

Due to its campus-wide scholarships, the University of Montana is a top choice for students who aim to be part of a distinguished public university.

It has an acceptance rate of 82% with an SAT range between 1070 and 1280. Their ACT range is between 18 and 26 as well.

The University of Montana is known to produce several Udall scholars which are undergraduate students that have dedicated their careers to the environment and related fields.

This actually comes as no surprise since the University’s location is close to nature.

With its emphasis on conservation and environmental integrity, the university serves as a beacon of hope for those who want to make a positive change in the world.

The University of Montana has partnered with several research organizations and companies to enable its students to get quality opportunities for internships and collaborations.

They have top-notch facilities available for research and greatly contribute to the nation in terms of research.

The University of Montana also consistently ranks as one of the top public universities in the region. With academic offerings that are extensive and unparalleled.

While other Montana colleges may specialize in particular areas, the University of Montana has a broad spectrum of programs that cater to the interests of a wide variety of students.

Do you want to be a part of the University of Montana? Take a look at their website for more information!

4. Montana Technological University

Montana Technological University
source: mtech.edu

Montana Technological University, formerly Montana Tech of the University of Montana, offers a diverse range of academic programs, including engineering, computer science, and business.

The university is ranked 43rd among Regional Universities West for providing excellent value and for good reason.

Graduates from Montana Tech also enjoy a high job placement rate and lucrative careers.

For future students, the middle 50% SAT ranges from 1090 to 1290, while the ACT range is between 22 and 27.

With an enrollment of roughly 2,700 students and an acceptance rate of 97%, Montana Tech is the perfect size for those seeking a more intimate learning environment.

The university’s Petroleum Engineering Program has been repeatedly ranked among the top three in the nation, and the campus also houses the renowned Mineral Museum.

Additionally, Montana Technological University prides itself on its sustainability efforts, having received multiple awards and grants for its ambitious efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

If you are interested in being the next prodigy of Montana Technological University, check out their website to know more!

5. University of Montana Western

University of Montana Western
source: umwestern.edu

UMW stands out among other colleges in Montana for its innovative approach to scheduling, exceptional set of academic offerings, and an unparalleled sense of community.

The university uses a unique block-scheduling system over a span of 18 days where students complete a single course one at a time.

Such an approach encourages concentrated learning to take place and gives the students a chance to fully immerse in each course without the distraction of other classes.

Apart from their unique scheduling system, the University also excels in teaching the following courses:

  • Elementary Education
  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Natural Science
  • Business and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Environmental Science

They offer a total of 40 majors and minors across 4 schools.

However, the University of Montana Western’s appeal goes beyond its academic offerings. The campus offers unique features, such as an Outdoor Education program, which includes rock climbing, wilderness skills, and other activities in the surrounding mountains.

The University’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park also presents an abundance of opportunities for outdoor exploration.

All of these exceptional features have not gone unnoticed. UMW ranks 8th out of 102 Regional Colleges West, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings.

This places the University in a prime position for students seeking a quality education within Montana.

Get ready to start the next school year with The University of Montana Western by checking out their website!

6. University of Providence

University of Providence in Montana
source: uprovidence.edu

Despite its Catholic foundations, the University of Providence is dedicated to welcoming all backgrounds and walks of life.

The university’s commitment to Catholic intellectual tradition is indeed admirable, but it also boasts a diversity that makes it unique among similar institutions.

The University of Providence has a collection of 11 undergraduate majors including:

  • Addiction Counseling
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Science

This diversity of subject matter provides ample opportunities for students to pursue their passions and find fulfilling careers upon graduation. But academic and educational programs are not all they have to offer.

Due to its strategic location between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the University of Providence also offers outdoor activities ranging from hiking and fishing to bird-watching and more.

The university’s campus, which is almost idyllic, heightens this natural beauty, providing a welcoming atmosphere for students and faculty alike.

Pack your bags and get to know more about the University of Providence by clicking their website!

7. Salish Kootenai College

Salish Kootenai College in Montana
source: skc.edu

Nestled in the heart of Montana is a private Native American institution called Salish Kootenai College.

Paving the way to success for students with Native American roots, this college stands out with its dedication to offering some of the highest quality educational opportunities around.

Salish Kootenai College offers a range of top degree programs including:

  • Nursing
  • Dental Assisting
  • Psychology
  • Business    
  • Elementary Education

With a retention rate of 61%, this learning institution provides a supportive community for students who are passionate about their studies.

But what sets Salish Kootenai College apart from other schools is its educational experience grounded in the cultures of the Séliš, Ksanka, and QÍispé people of the Flathead Nation.

The school has taken strides to improve the quality of life for Indian families and communities through research and guidance.

This dedication to keeping the tradition alive shows not only in the curriculum but also in the facilities, which feature unique Native American art pieces, steeping the college in cultural significance.

Dig deeper into more facts about Salish Kootenai College by checking out their website!

8. Montana State University Billings

Montana State University Billings
source: msubillings.edu

The range of majors in Montana State University Billings (MSUB) is impressive, from Environmental Science to Medical Lab Science to Radiologic Technology. 

Not to mention the student-to-professor ratio of 15:1, which ensures that each student gets the individual attention they need to succeed.

What really sets MSUB apart from other colleges in Montana are its standout features. For one, the campus is located in the heart of Billings, with easy access to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

And speaking of parks, MSUB offers a unique degree program in Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management, ensuring perfect activities for students who love the great outdoors.

But that’s not all—MSUB also has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity, with a range of programs and initiatives designed to support every student.

Additionally, the Career Center offers a wide range of resources and services to help students excel in their chosen fields, from resume workshops to networking events.

Unleash your inner explorer and unravel more information about Montana State University Billings by delving into its website!

9. Montana State University-Northern

Montana State University-Northern
source: msun.edu

Montana State University-Northern is known for its exceptional value, ranking among the best-value colleges in Montana and the best regional colleges in the West.

Students can obtain a world-class education without breaking the bank, thanks to the university’s affordable tuition rates and scholarship opportunities.

Whether you’re interested in Diesel Technology, Nursing, Business, Agricultural Mechanics and Machinery, or Criminal Justice and Corrections, MSU-Northern offers a diverse range of degree programs to suit your interests and goals.

In fact, the university has produced the most graduates in Diesel Technology, with Nursing and Business following closely behind.

MSU-Northern also provides numerous research opportunities for students, both in the curriculum and in the community. From research labs to field studies, students have the chance to participate in cutting-edge research and gain hands-on experience in their field of study.

At the heart of MSU-Northern’s mission is the university’s dedication to providing excellent learning opportunities, personal growth, and responsibility skills to their students.

The university takes pride in creating a supportive environment where students can thrive both academically and personally.

Discover more about Montana State University-Northern by exploring their website and uncovering additional information!

10. Carroll College

Carroll College in Montana
source: carroll.edu

With an impressive acceptance rate of 84% and a graduation rate of 67%, Carroll College offers access to education at an affordable net price.

Additionally, with a total enrollment of just over 1,100 students and a 63-acre campus, Carroll College strikes the perfect balance between personalized attention and a lively, inclusive, and welcoming student community.

Some of the top majors offered at Carroll College include Nursing, Business, and Biology, and the college also boasts notable programs in Ethics, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability.

One of the standout features of Carroll College is the student-faculty ratio, which is an impressive 11:1.

This means that students have ample opportunity for one-on-one interaction with their professors, fostering a stronger and more supportive learning environment.

Campus life at Carroll College is equally enriching, with vibrant student organizations ranging from Student Government to the Outdoor Adventure Club.

Nestled in the quaint and charming town of Helena in Montana, Carroll College is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park.

This ideal location provides endless opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and rock climbing.

It’s no wonder that Carroll College has received numerous accolades and rankings in recent years, including being named a “Best Value College” by The Princeton Review and a “Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars” by the U.S. Department of State.

For more information about Carroll College, please visit their website and explore additional resources.

11. Stone Child College

Stone Child College in Montana
source: stonechild.edu

Established in 1894, Stone Child College’s academic offerings have grown with it through the years. Some degrees offered at the university are:

  • Elementary Education
  • Office Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Natural Resource Studies

The college’s commitment to providing a range of academic offerings ensures that students are well-equipped to succeed in their chosen fields upon graduation.

What sets Stone Child College apart, however, is its dedication to the Chippewa Cree language, culture, and history. They are one of the few colleges in the country with a focus on Native American studies.

Stone Child College not only provides students with a comprehensive education but also fosters a strong sense of community and cultural awareness.

After completing their associate degree, students have options to transfer to a four-year college to continue their educational journey or start a fulfilling career armed with the knowledge and skills they acquired at Stone Child College.

Discover all there is to know about Stone Child College by exploring the endless resources available on their website!

12. Blackfeet Community College

Blackfeet Community College in Montana
source: bfcc.edu

This college is an institution of Native Americans dedicated to providing high-quality and beneficial education to its students,

Blackfeet Community College offers associate degrees in various areas, including:

  • General Construction Trades
  • Business
  • Human Development
  • Nursing
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
  • Information Science

What truly sets Blackfeet Community College apart is its goal to teach students about Blackfeet tribal heritage and culture.

As students earn their associate degrees, they have the opportunity to learn more about their ancestral roots and gain valuable knowledge that extends far beyond their academic pursuits.

With a curriculum that balances professional development and cultural awareness, Blackfeet Community College is dedicated to helping students achieve their desired careers while maintaining a connection to their tribal heritage.

Explore the numerous resources on Blackfeet Community College‘s website to gain comprehensive knowledge about the institution!

13. Dawson Community College

Dawson Community College in Montana
source: dawson.edu

Founded in 1940 and originally known as Glendive Junior College, this community college has definitely stood the test of time.

Through the years, Dawson Community College has continued to grow and expand, evolving into a leading institution in the state.

It provides hands-on learning opportunities and one-of-a-kind apprenticeships in Montana, constantly thinking of ways to cater to students’ diverse interests and career goals such as:

  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Welding
  • Business

Dawson has programs designed to equip students with the skills and experience they need to thrive in their chosen field.

What is more impressive is the student-faculty ratio of 12:1 in the college, giving students who are passionate about their studies a very supportive community to thrive in.

From career fairs and workshops to one-on-one advising and mentoring, Dawson Community College goes above and beyond to ensure that students are well-prepared for life and careers after graduation.

Visit Dawson Community College‘s website to access a wide range of resources and gain a thorough understanding of the institution!

How Many Colleges Are in Montana?

A Map of Montana

There are a total of 21 higher learning institutions in Montana, which means that you’re spoiled for choice! These institutions include 16 public schools, universities, and colleges, as well as 5 private schools.

It would be good news to hear that not only are your choices in Montana diverse, but they are also affordable.

In fact, Montana is known to have one of the most affordable and lowest tuition costs as compared to other states in the country often coming in below the nation’s average.

And as if that’s not enough, many of these schools offer financial aid programs, loan repayment, and assistance programs that help students achieve success without financial stress.

Each of these institutions brings its unique offerings for students, from small, tight-knit classrooms to larger universities with a diverse range of undergraduate academic majors.

With so many options to choose from, including those that are not on the list, such as Flathead Valley Community College, Aaniiih Nakoda College, Helena College, and more, it’s no wonder why Montana colleges stand out as some of the best in the country.

Additionally, the best schools in Montana extend beyond the state’s top colleges to include highly-rated school districts as well.

What Sets These Colleges Apart From the Others?

A Group of Students Studying in Montana

With a range of public and private institutions to choose from, each of these schools boasts unique features and academic offerings that set them apart from the others.

These colleges in Montana all offer unique features and amazing education offerings that set them apart from the others.

From personalized learning experiences to a commitment to academic excellence to culturally rich campus cultures, each of these institutions has something special to offer prospective students.

Best Colleges in Montana Final Thoughts

A Person in a Graduation Gown Holding a Diploma in Montana

With the list of top universities in Montana that we have provided, there is definitely a university for everybody.

Each with a unique feature, facility, and stellar ranking, you will never run out of options!

But because each student’s situation is different, they will ultimately need to decide based on their personal preferences, their academic goals, and their financial situation.

Apart from having a great educational system with a wide array of degrees to choose from, tuition rates also play an important role, along with research opportunities, and the university environment and culture.

These are things that you might want to ponder upon before making a decision.

The best colleges in Montana will appeal to students for different reasons, but all of these colleges have one thing in common—they offer a top-notch learning experience that will surely benefit the student in the long run.

Best Colleges in Montana FAQs

1. What Are the Most Popular Bachelor’s Degrees Offered in Montana?

Bachelor’s degrees that are popular in Montana include the following:

  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Criminal Justice
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Education
  • Communications, and Marketing

2. Is Montana State University a Good Engineering and Environmental College?

Yes, Montana State University is a great choice for Engineering and Environmental Studies. In fact, it ranks high as one of the top universities in the nation for its degree programs in Engineering.

3. What Are Some of the Best Colleges in Montana for Athlete Students?

Some of the best colleges for athlete students in Montana include:

  • Montana State University – offers excellent coaching and training facilities as well as a range of competitive sports teams.
  • The University of Montana – provides both NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 athletic programs.
  • Rocky Mountain College – offers competitive NAIA athletics at the college level.
  • Carroll College – an NAIA member school that offers a wide variety of varsity sports teams.

4. Where Does Montana Rank in Education Among the Whole United States?

Montana grabs the 25th spot as the best in education in the United States. It ranks 20th both in higher education and Pre-K-12. This is according to the U.S. news and world report.

5. What Colleges in Montana Are Faith or Religion-Based?

Some of the colleges in Montana that are faith or religion-based include Rocky Mountain College, the University of Providence, Stone Child College, Blackfeet Community College, and Dawson Community College.

These colleges offer degree programs based on Christian teachings and values.

Ready to dig deeper into more interesting facts about Montana? Try these other articles:

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Written by:

Elizabeth Hawley
Hey, fellow travelers! I'm Elizabeth Hawley, stepping into the world in the hues of fall. For me, Montana is more than just a state; it's a muse. The golden aspen trees and russet landscapes in the fall have always fueled my creativity. Co-founding PocketMontana.com was a no-brainer, blending my love for art, photography, and Montana's ever-changing palette.

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