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Montana Universities Ranked: The Best Colleges and Universities in Montana

Mehnaz Meem - June 28, 2022

Located on the western coast of the United States, Montana is a perfect study destination for nature lovers. In addition to breathtaking scenery, Montana has a lot to offer in terms of world-class education. To make your search easy, we have listed some of the best universities in Montana.

We provide several lists with Montana universities ranked according to various criteria to help you choose the best school for your situation. We also describe some of the strongest programs you will find at the best colleges in Montana. Keep reading to find the top 10 universities in Montana in this article.

What Are the Best Universities in Montana?

The best universities in Montana include Montana State University, Montana Technological University, The University of Montana–Western, and University of Providence. These Montana universities ranked best because of their high graduation rates and top-quality programs. They also secured spots in the US News & World Report and Times Higher Education.

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How Many Universities Are in Montana?

There are 11 universities and colleges in Montana. Among these schools, eight are public institutions and three are nonprofit institutions. All of them are considered four-year universities and colleges.

What Are the Biggest Universities in Montana?

The biggest universities in Montana are Montana State University, The University of Montana, and Montana State University-Billings. They also include Montana Technological University and The University of Montana-Western. These are considered the largest Montana universities ranked based on high number of student enrollment.

Largest Montana Universities by Enrollment

  1. Montana State University | 16,218
  2. The University of Montana | 9,808
  3. Montana State University-Billings | 4,000
  4. Montana Technological University | 1,650
  5. The University of Montana-Western | 1,334

Montana University Rankings: What Are the Top 10 Universities in Montana?

Ranking School City Graduation Rate
1 Carroll College Helena 67%
2 Salish Kootenai College Pablo 62%
3 Montana Technological University Butte 57%
4 Montana State University Bozeman 55%
5 Rocky Mountain College Billings 52%
6 The University of Montana Missoula 44%
7 The University of Montana-Western Dillon 42%
8 University of Providence Great Falls 39%
9 Montana State University-Northern Havre 31%
10 Montana State University-Billings Billings 28%

How We Defined Montana University Rankings

Our ranking of the 10 best Montana universities is based on the graduation rates of top schools in the state, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In coming up with our list of 10 Montana universities, we also consulted rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education, which you can reference in the expanded list below.

The Best Colleges and Universities in Montana, Explained

In this section, we discuss our list of best colleges and universities in Montana and the best programs they offer. All the information is collected from the university’s official website. Read the details thoroughly to find the best university in Montana that’s suitable for your needs.


Carroll College

Grad Rate: 67%

Carroll College is a Catholic Liberal Arts college located in Helena, Montana. Founded in 1909, it has become popular among students who seek high-quality education at an affordable cost. This college owns classrooms and labs with modern facilities. It offers various degrees in a range of academic fields, including arts, humanities, and natural sciences.

Carroll College Overview

  • Campus Location: Helena
  • Student Population: 1,108
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $57,154
  • US News National Ranking: #31 in Regional Universities Midwest
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 401-500

Best Carroll College Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Students learn programming languages, algorithms, and operating systems in the courses under this program. They are expected to become experts in programming and computing after completing this degree.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Carroll College offers one of the best biology programs in Montana. In this curriculum, students learn topics like bioinformatics, biotechnology, generics, and more. They also get access to modern lab facilities while studying.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business - Management & Marketing. In this academic program, students learn the principles of business and expand their knowledge of tech, innovation, and business ethics. The program aims to produce exceptional students who can be future business leaders known for their business acumen and integrity.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences. This program offers courses in social sciences, philosophy, math, and natural sciences. It is a great choice for students looking for successful careers as physical therapists, doctor's assistants, and healthcare managers, among others.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Carroll College developed this program to assist students in fulfilling licensure requirements of nursing in the state. Nursing licensure in Montana also provides a multi-state license. This means a nursing degree in Carroll College and passing the licensure exam opens opportunities even out of state.


Salish Kootenai College

Grad Rate: 62%

Salish Kootenai College is a land-grant community college established in 1977 in Pablo, Montana. It’s different from other colleges on our list, as it focuses on serving Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles tribes.This college offers over 40 bachelor's and associate degrees and certificates of completion in various fields of study.

Salish Kootenai College Overview

  • Campus Location: Pablo
  • Student Population: 716
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $26,447
  • US News National Ranking: N/A
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Salish Kootenai College Programs

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The curriculum includes core coursework and electives in other disciplines, such as Native American policy, conflict resolution, and data management. Apart from taking the coursework, students must also develop a capstone project, which is a deep-dive into a topic in psychology.
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This program is for registered nurses with an associate degree and license already but still want to pursue a nursing bachelor’s degree. It is a good choice for online students, as it’s offered in an online asynchronous format and also requires a capstone project before graduation.
  • Bachelor of Social Work. In this program, students will be trained as leaders of advancing humane and fair social and economic policies. They’ll also learn to promote the practice of maintaining the integrity of the Native American culture.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. The program provides extensive opportunities for students to practice business acumen and critical thinking skills, preparing them for their potential careers in the real world. Students will need 182 credits to earn this degree.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Students will learn to hone their skills in network, systems, and security administration, or even cloud technology. A total of 185 credits is needed to complete this degree.


Montana Technological University

Grad Rate: 57%

Montana Technological University is a public university founded in 1900 in Butte, Montana. The university became affiliated with The University of Montana in 1994. Generally known as Montana Tech, this college offers the top 100 list of best schools offering undergraduate engineering programs, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Montana Technological University Overview

  • Campus Location: Butte
  • Student Population: 1,650
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $49,032
  • US News National Ranking: #35 in Regional Universities West
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Montana Technological University Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. The curriculum covers engineering subjects like grid stability, grid modeling, and power protection. Since Montana Tech is known for its contributions to a smarter grid system, students are also expected to contribute research and innovations that solve real-world problems.
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Montana Tech offers a nursing program that hones students’ skills through practical lab and clinical experiences. It requires 120 credits for students to earn their bachelor’s degree.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Montana Tech’s mechanical engineering bachelor’s program provides students with an excellent education for high-paying careers, such as in aerospace, manufacturing, or semiconductor industries. To graduate from Montana Tech, students must complete 136 credits of coursework.
  • Master’s Degree in Industrial Hygiene. This research-based program offers advanced studies on occupational health hazards and how to mitigate them through industrial hygiene. Montana Tech requires students to complete a total of 37 credits to earn this degree.
  • Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering. This Montana Tech’s master’s degree has three specialization tracks: drilling, production, and reservoir engineering. It also offers thesis (30 semester hours) and non-thesis options (34 semester hours). Attending seminars and passing a qualifying exam are also required to graduate from this program.


Montana State University

Grad Rate: 55%

Montana State University was established in 1893 as Agricultural College and took its current name in 1965. It presently offers over 250 undergraduate and graduate programs. The university has disbursed $193 million in annual research costs, which makes it one of the largest research entities in Montana.

Montana State University Overview

  • Campus Location: Bozeman
  • Student Population: 16,218
  • Acceptance Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $49,066
  • US News National Ranking: #263
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #601-800

Best Montana State University Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. This marketing program takes four years to complete. Its fields of study include marketing strategy, economics, business, and analytics. It requires 120 credit hours for graduation and will prepare you for roles in popular fields.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students learn holistic, patient-centered care through this nursing degree program. They can choose from two tracks: traditional nursing bachelor’s degree and accelerated nursing degree. The degree takes four years to complete.
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. This bachelor’s program requires 128 credit hours for completion. Its curriculum covers not only core mechanical engineering courses but also calculus, graphics communications, and engineering design.
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. With this master’s degree program, students can choose between thesis and non-thesis options. They must complete a total of 30 credit hours for graduation.
  • PhD in Psychological Science. This psychology doctoral program is heavily research-oriented. Students must work closely with their academic advisor to finish a research project, which is one of the final requirements for graduation. They must also complete coursework and write a thesis to earn the degree.


Rocky Mountain College

Grad Rate: 52%

Rocky Mountain College is a private college situated in Billings, Montana. It’s known for its quality education, great research facilities, specialized programs, and world-class faculty. It offers 47 majors in 20 disciplines. Interestingly, 99 percent of students receive scholarships or grants from the university.

Rocky Mountain College Overview

  • Campus Location: Billings
  • Student Population: 1,014
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $46,400
  • US News National Ranking: #55 in Regional Universities West
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Rocky Mountain College Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. In this program, students will learn from faculty with a wide range of expertise, ranging from biochemistry, microbiology, virology, genetics, and molecular biology. They must complete a capstone project to graduate.
  • Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management. Rocky Mountain College is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International to offer aviation programs. In this degree, students acquire leadership and management skills for the aviation industry.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The difference of this degree from other business programs is its liberal arts foundation. It offers three concentration programs: management, managerial accounting, and small business management.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Human Performance. This program has three specialization options: exercise science, sport management, and health and human performance in K-12 education. Graduates of this degree can work in schools, hospitals, sports medicine clinics, wellness centers, and corporate fitness programs.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. With this program, students learn skills for a psychology career in health counseling, social services, marketing, public relations, or law enforcement. To gain practical college experience, students can either take independent research or internship opportunities.


The University of Montana

Grad Rate: 48%

The University of Montana is a public research university situated in Missoula, Montana. It’s known as the flagship entity of the Montana University System. It offers a range of master’s and doctoral degrees across arts and sciences. Along with academic options, it provides various sports, clubs, outdoor programs, and activities for students.

The University of Montana Overview

  • Campus Location: Missoula
  • Student Population: 9,808
  • Acceptance Rate: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $41,194
  • US News National Ranking: #277
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #501-600

Best of The University of Montana Programs

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Social statistics, sociological research methods, law and society are part of the core courses in this program. Students must complete either a seminar, capstone, or writing requirement to earn their degree.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts & Technology. Graduates of this program can become an animator, web designer, or illustrator. Creative coding, media design, and web technologies are some of the core courses under this degree.
  • Master of Science in Resource Conservation. Through this 30-hour program, students will better understand how to conserve and manage the sustainable use of natural resources. Apart from completing the credit-hour requirement, students must also complete a research methods course to graduate.
  • Master of Biochemistry and Biophysics. The curriculum of this master’s degree includes core courses in physical biochemistry and lab rotations. To earn this degree, students must complete 30 credit hours of coursework and write a thesis.
  • Master of Business Administration. This professional program does not require a thesis but an integrated project course. Strategy, ethics, and international business courses are part of its curriculum. It requires 32 credit hours for graduation.


The University of Montana-Western

Grad Rate: 42%

The University of Montana-Western is a public college and a part of the Montana University System. It was founded in 1893 as Montana State Normal School in Dillon. The university offers undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates to its students at low tuition rates.

The University of Montana-Western Overview

  • Campus Location: Dillon
  • Student Population: 1,334
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $39,755
  • US News National Ranking: #22 in Regional Colleges West
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best of The University of Montana-Western Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Equine Studies. This program teaches students about the science of caring and managing horses. After completing 64 credits of coursework, students can pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Horsemanship.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. A total of 120 credits is required to complete this degree in four years. Students in this program learn the principles of management, business, and finance. After completing the program, students can pursue  graduate studies or an entry-level career in business administration.
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. If you’re an aspiring teacher of grades K-8, this is one of the best academic options for you. With this degree, you’ll be trained for classroom management and leadership through integrated and experiential learning. The program requires 128 credits for graduation.
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. The University of Montana offers this program to students who want to specialize in children’s early education. It requires 132 credits with its curriculum including general education and core professional and student teaching courses.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Health K-12. If you want to teach health and physical education to K-12 students, you may want to consider this program. It prepares students for licensure in both physical education and health. The program requires 128 credits for completion.


University of Providence

Grad Rate: 39%

University of Providence is a private university located in Great Falls, Montana. It’s a Catholic liberal arts college established in 1917. It’s accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges for its focus on providing top-notch education.

University of Providence Overview

  • Campus Location: Great Falls
  • Student Population: 1,005
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $39,417
  • US News National Ranking: #23 in Regional Colleges West
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best University of Providence Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Microbiologist, biochemist, and research scientist are only some of the careers that graduates of this program can pursue. Students need a total of 120 credits to earn this degree.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. This degree is offered both on campus and online. Students learn business practices, management, and marketing skills through this program. A total of 120 credits of coursework must be completed to earn this degree.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Students can take this degree full-time and finish in about four years. The program requires completion of student teaching courses and 120 credit hours for graduation.
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science. The program syllabus prepares students for various professions, including criminalist, arson investigator, and DNA analyst. Its four-year curriculum covers biology, anthropology, and chemistry courses.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Students of this program get training for high-paying and respectable psychology careers, such as neuropsychologist, counselor, or family therapist. Its curriculum offers six specialization areas: generalist, helping skills, social services, forensic psychology, physiological psychology, and sports psychology.


Montana State University-Northern

Grad Rate: 31%

Montana State University-Northern (MSU-Northern) is a public university situated in Havre, Montana founded in 1929. The school is also a part of the Montana University System. It’s known for being one of the top research universities in the country because of its high-quality academic and undergraduate research.

Montana State University-Northern Overview

  • Campus Location: Havre
  • Student Population: 1,024
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $42,403
  • US News National Ranking: #37-48 in Regional Colleges West
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Montana State University-Northern Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology. In this associate degree, students learn practical skills in diesel engine diagnosis and repair, welding, and electronic systems. They would need to take 66-68 credits in two years to complete the program.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Graduates of this bachelor’s degree are known to secure positions in Fortune 500 companies, accounting firms, and educational institutions. To ensure on-time program completion, students must take at least 15 credit hours per semester.
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. This 120-credit program is for students who aspire to be a professional in law enforcement, criminology, and related sectors. Its curriculum consists of general education and core courses in juvenile justice, criminal law, and victimology.
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Registered nurses (RN) who already took their nursing associate degree can enroll in this 120-credit program. The curriculum covers nursing leadership, case management, and high acuity nursing, which are only a few courses that enhance RNs’ professional skills.
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. This bachelor’s program takes four years to complete and caters to students who want a career in the education and teaching sectors. Its curriculum includes a mix of math, science, humanities and tech courses. To graduate, students are also required to take practicum courses.


Montana State University-Billings

Grad Rate: 28%

Montana State University-Billings is a public university in Billings, Montana. This university was incorporated into the Montana University System in 1994. It presently offers over 100 bachelor's and master's programs as well as certificates and associate degrees.

Montana State University-Billings Overview

  • Campus Location: Billings
  • Student Population: 4,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $40,043
  • US News National Ranking: #94-122 in Regional Universities West
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #800 (US College Rankings)

Best Montana State University-Billings Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. It offers five concentration options: accounting, general business, finance, management, and marketing. This program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. Students can choose to take this program either online or on campus.
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Administration. Students learn healthcare economics, policy, and management through this program. They must satisfy 120 credits and complete an internship and a capstone project to earn this bachelor’s degree.
  • Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies. This bachelor’s program is offered online and has concentrations in different areas, such as health communication, organizational communication, and public relations. Students need a minimum of 120 credits to complete this degree.
  • Master of Science in Psychology. Graduate students get advanced professional training in clinical research and psychotherapy through this master’s program. To earn their degree, they must complete 42 credits of coursework and either a thesis or a clinical internship.
  • Master of Science in Special Education - Generalist Option. Teaching professionals who have an undergraduate degree but want to focus their career on special education are perfect for this master’s degree. This academic study is offered online and requires 39 credits for completion in two to three years.

Best College and University Entry-Test Prep Books

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Montana University Admission Requirements

The admission requirements to attend a university in Montana are a high-school diploma, at least a 2.5 GPA, and standardized ACT/SAT scores. You may need to comply with additional admission requirements, depending on the program you choose. Also, international students will need specific IELTS or TOEFL scores following the university’s admission policies.

Admission Requirements for Universities in Montana

  • High school diploma
  • At least 2.5 GPA
  • Letters of recommendation
  • ACT/SAT scores (depending on university score standards)
  • IELTS/TOEFL score (for international students)

How to Apply to Montana Universities

To apply to Montana universities, you need to submit your application online and academic transcripts through the online submission system. You may also need to submit your letter of proposal and recommendation letter if your chosen university requires. You’ll also need to pay the application fee, which varies from $25 to $50.

Montana Universities Admissions Process

  1. Fill out your application through the online admissions portal.
  2. Submit your school transcripts.
  3. Submit your purpose statement and a recommendation letter as needed.
  4. Pay the required application fee.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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Why Study in Montana?

You should study in Montana because it offers an excellent learning environment through its state, private, and public universities. Education in Montana is more affordable than other states in America. You will also love the living environment in Montana. The state is known for its scenic beauty and student employment opportunities.

Educational Opportunities

With various state, public, and private universities and colleges for higher education in Montana, you’ll have a range of schools to choose from. They also offer a wide scope of disciplines with theoretical and practical college experiences. Education in Montana is generally accessible due to its affordability, which is a great benefit for resident, nonresident, and international students.

Affordable Cost of Living

According to, the average monthly expense in Montana is around $1,645 . This is 1.15 times less expensive than the average national monthly expense in America. A student may have less expenses than the average, so studying and living in Montana can be easier for most students whether they stay on campus or off campus.

Job Opportunities

Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report, 7.8 percent of all jobs in Montana remain unfilled . Students can therefore find part-time jobs easily. The average hourly salary in Montana is about $18 , so you can afford student housing and finance your studies when you apply for part-time jobs.

Natural Environment

If you love natural landscapes, you can visit Montana’s wildlife sanctuaries, lakes, and beautiful mountain landscapes. Whenever you get free time, you may roam around Montana’s top national parks. It’s home to Yellowstone National Park, which attracts millions of people throughout the year, making this the ideal college environment for nature-lovers.

Hassle-Free Living

Although Montana is the fourth-largest American state, it only has a population of one million. Less population means fewer hassles and pollution. Combining this with the scenic beauty and affordable living, you will find Montana as a good place for comfortable living while pursuing your dream degree.

More Montana University Rankings: What Other Universities Are the Best in Montana?

Following the Montana university ranking results, we have already described the ten overall best universities in Montana. In this section, we introduce more specific categories ranking the best Montana’s state, public, private, and online universities.


Best Montana State Universities

  1. Montana State University. It has an excellent learning environment, which reflects through its 55 percent graduation rate. It’s also one of the oldest universities in Montana, with its foundation in 1893. It’s considered Montana's largest university with over 16,000 students. It ranks in both US News National Ranking and Times Higher Education.
  2. Montana Technological University. With a 57 percent graduation rate, this university offers affordable quality education to students. Montana Tech also has superior lab facilities that keep the students updated with technological advancements. It ranks #35 in the list of best Regional Universities West based on the US News & World Report.
  3. University of Montana-Western. This university has an approximately 42 percent graduation rate. Its inclusive learning environment, generous financial aids, and vibrant culture make it a great option for students.


Best Public Universities in Montana

  1. Montana State University. US News & World Report ranks it #263 in the national university rankings. Its extensive research opportunities and a broad range of subjects in various academic fields makes it one of the best in America. It holds the largest student body in Montana for a great cultural exchange and campus life.
  2. Montana Technological University. If you want to pursue a degree in engineering or technology, this public institution deserves to be on your priority list. It was founded in 1889, making it the oldest university in Montana.
  3. University of Montana-Western. It ranks number 22 in the US News & World Report’s Regional Colleges West ranking. It offers an inclusive learning environment with superior facilities and research labs for learners.


Best Private Universities in Montana

  1. Carroll College. According to US News & World Report, Carroll College is the top private institution in Montana and ranks #1 in its list of the best Regional Colleges West. The private university enrolls about 1,200 students and is home to excellent faculty members.
  2. Salish Kootenai College. The college is built to cater to the educational needs of Bitterroot Salish, Pend d'Oreilles, and Kootenai tribes. It has three satellite teaching locations for better educational flexibility.
  3. Rocky Mountain College. It has less than 1,000 students with a student-faculty ratio of 11 to one. This makes the learning process inclusive with great attention for every student and small class sizes.


Best Online Universities in Montana

  1. Montana State University. Montana State University offers and manages their online degree programs directly. The courses include liberal arts, environmental science, among others.
  2. The University of Montana. Its online degree programs are regarded as the best for critical thinking and ethical living. The courses prepare students for 21st-century challenges. The university is accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  3. University of Providence. It has one of the widest online degree programs available for students. Its online courses include healthcare, criminal justice, organizational leadership, and financial management. The programs are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous classes.


Best Universities in Montana for International Students

  1. Montana Technological University. Montana Tech offers various financial aids for international learners with affordable student housing.
  2. Montana State University. This university’s diverse culture and student-friendly ambience help both international learners and non-traditional students feel at home.
  3. The University of Montana. The university authority looks after the international student community with close observation. You’ll find various undergraduate students from Japan, China, India, and Saudi Arabia in different programs at the university.

Best Bachelor’s Degrees

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Top Montana Universities by Major

The top Montana universities according to different concentrations and majors are listed below. You’ll find the best schools in computer science, nursing, engineering, business, and liberal arts programs.


Best Computer Science Universities in Montana


Best Computer Science Universities in Montana

  1. Montana State University. The largest university in Montana offers computer science bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In 2020, it offered graduation degrees to 109 computer science students.
  2. The University of Montana. You may get a bachelor's or Master's Degree in Computer Science in this university. It also offers CS-Math major and programming certificates for professionals who want to develop their skills further. Master's degree students can avail of research and teaching assistantships to finance their studies.
  3. Carroll College. The private college offers a bachelor's degree for aspiring computer science professionals. You can complete either a Bachelor's Degree In Computer Science or Computer System Analysis.


Best Nursing Universities in Montana

  1. Montana State University. You can choose between regular and accelerated nursing degrees. Its Bachelor of Science in Nursing is Montana's only generic BSN degree and has impressive passing rates in National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX). You can also take a master's and doctoral nursing degree from this university.
  2. Montana Technological University. Nursing students can take their degree online or in person. You can choose from their traditional BSN degree, RN-BSN degree post-licensure, and online RN-BSN. The online program is for those who want to complete their BSN degree in less than one year.
  3. Carroll College. Carroll College holds the record of 100 percent passing rate in the NCLEX exam from 2018 to 2020. Students from high school may get direct access to the bachelor's program here. If you already hold a bachelor's degree , you can also choose an accelerated degree option.


Best Engineering Universities in Montana

  1. Montana State University. You can choose from its 33 programs for engineering bachelor’s, master's, or doctoral degree. It also offers associate degrees in different engineering subjects.
  2. The University of Montana. It has the widest range of course offerings for engineering students. It includes certificate programs and associate, bachelor’s, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university granted 117 engineering degrees during graduation in 2020.
  3. Montana Technological University. Although the state university is small, it offers 19 programs for engineering students. However, it offers various engineering programs across degree levels, except associate and certificate programs.


Best Business Universities in Montana

  1. The University of Montana. It offers 27 programs for business students. The University of Montana ranks among the top 300 business schools and universities in America, according to US News National Rankings. Every year, around 350 students get different business degrees from this university.
  2. Montana State University. This school offers 10 business degree programs. It’s also a suitable business degree option for international students looking for financial aid.
  3. Rocky Mountain College. The private college has limited seats for business students. Every year, around 25 to 30 students graduate from its business school. It focuses on finance, marketing, and accounting majors mainly.


Best Liberal Arts Universities in Montana

  1. University of Montana Western. You can get your BA or BSS degree in Anthropology, Sociology, or English Literature. The university has a 52 percent acceptance rate.
  2. Rocky Mountain College. The top Christian college in Montana offers liberal arts degrees in education, sociology, political science, English, and environmental science.
  3. Montana State University Billings. It offers the best graduate degrees for arts and fine arts students. The university also offers a few programs online, such as public relations, English, media studies, among others.

Tuition Costs for Montana Universities

In general, the in-state tuition fee in public universities in Montana is around $16,732, according to NCES. For private universities, it’s about $41,541. We have kept this information in mind and listed Montana’s top five affordable universities below.

Most Affordable Universities in Montana

  1. University of Montana-Western | Tuition: $5,726/semester. In-state students need to play less than $6,000/semester in tuition fees. Out-of-state tuition fees cost around $8,195/semester.
  2. Montana State University-Billings | Tuition: $6,260/semester. Montana residents must prepare $6,260/semester if they’ll enroll 12 credits or more. Nonresidents of Montana need to pay a tuition of $19,980/semester for also 12 credits and up.
  3. Salish Kootenai College | Tuition: $141/credit. In-state students enjoy this low tuition cost as well as out-of-state students at $285/credit. Native Americans and their descendants can pay for lower tuition rates at a minimum of $83-$101/credit.
  4. Montana Technological University | Tuition: $7,580/semester. Montana residents can get this tuition cost if they enroll at least 12 credits, while out-of-state students will pay $23,210/semester.
  5. The University of Montana | Tuition: $22,258/year. Montana residents can take advantage of this low tuition rate per year. Nonresidents are required to pay $42,784 tuition fees per year.

How to Pay for Chosen School Path

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Financial Aid Options for the Best Universities in Montana

The different financial aid options for students in Montana include federal and state grants, scholarships, work and study programs, and student loans. You can choose one or multiple financial aids depending on your eligibility.

Financial Aid for Montana Universities: A Summary

  • Federal and State Grants. The state of Montana and federal authority offer multiple grants to help students complete their higher education. These grants include Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Montana Governors Grant, and The Montana US Senate Youth Program.
  • Scholarships. Different private and government organizations offer scholarships for students in Montana. Some of Montana’s top higher education scholarships include Billings Clinic Health Care Scholarship, Montana University System Honor Scholarship, and Treacy Foundation Scholarship.
  • Work and Study Programs. To help you pay your tuition fees, this aid allows you to work part-time in a different organization or commercial institution. It’s mostly suitable for international students who won’t get the regular public scholarship or federal grants immediately.
  • Student Loans. All students can use student loans to complete their education at universities in Montana. Once you complete the degree, you’ll need to repay the loan with interest.

Montana University Eligibility Requirements: Who Qualifies for Financial Aid at Montana Universities?

  • Financial need
  • US citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Enrolled or accepted in an eligible program
  • Certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • High school diploma or GED Certificate

Private Montana Universities With Good Financial Aid

  1. Rocky Mountain College. This college’s top financial aids include Founder’s Merit Award, Trustee Merit Award, and RMC Merit Award Plus. You may also avail yourself of federal and state financial grants to meet your educational expenses.
  2. Carroll College. Although Carroll College has a relatively high tuition fee, it offers different financial aids and scholarships to 99 percent of its enrolled students. You may fill out their FAFSA form and get financial help.
  3. University of Providence. You may get merit-based, income-based, and federal financial aid from this university.

Universities in Montana That Provide Financial Aid to Out-of-State Students

  1. University of Montana. Some of the financial aid programs available for out-of-state students include presidential leadership scholarships, campus-wide scholarships, and departmental scholarships.
  2. Montana State University. If you’re a nonresident of Montana, you may still make use of this university’s merit-based scholarships and other financial aid programs.
  3. Rocky Mountain College. This college’s funding support is also open to out-of-state students, such as trustee, dean, and RMC merit awards.

How to Apply For Financial Aid and Scholarships for Montana State Universities

  1. Review the programs available from your university
  2. Check your financial aid eligibility.
  3. Fill up the FAFSA form for grants and scholarships.
  4. Submit all the academic records and financial papers as needed.
  5. Prepare for an interview if there is one.

Demographics of Universities in Montana

The demographics of universities in Montana consists of a mainly white community at 81.1 percent. This is followed by American Indian students at seven percent. The rest of the population is shared among Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, and students from other origins.

Diversity Statistics for Universities in Montana

  • White: 81.1%
  • Black: 0.9%
  • Hispanic: 4.4%
  • Asian: 2.2%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.2%
  • American Indian: 7.0%
  • Two or More Races: 4.2%

Montana Employment Outlook for University Students

Montana’s unemployment rate is only at 2.4 percent , according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Professionals in Montana earn an average salary of $49,340 per year . Majority of Montana’s workforce is in administration, food, sales, transportation, and construction sectors.

5 In-Demand Montana Jobs

This section gives an overview of five in-demand jobs in Montana that you can land after attending learning institutions in the state. Below, we detail the job’s salary, employment outlook, and the best Montana university program fit for the role.


Healthcare Practitioners

Average Salary: $90,900

Healthcare practitioners are in high demand as they offer a great value in Montana's healthcare sector. The best school in Montana that offers medical academic programs is Carroll College, but there are a few amazing college options that can prepare you for this role.

  • Average Salary in Montana: $90,900
  • Employment in Montana: 29,890
  • Overall Job Growth: 16%
  • Best Montana University Program: Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences by Carroll College


Educational Instruction Occupations

Average Salary: $51,060

With an outlook for student enrollments to increase, teachers in preschool, elementary, and secondary schools are needed to meet this high demand. To pursue the teaching profession, you can look into the range of education programs by University of Montana-Western.

  • Average Salary in Montana: $51,060
  • Employment in Montana: 27,970
  • Overall Job Growth: 10%
  • Best Montana University Program: Bachelor of Science in Education by University of Montana-Western


Registered Nurses

Average Salary: $73,610

Nursing is a respected and nicely paid job in Montana. To become a registered nurse, you can enroll in the best nursing program in Montana offered by Montana State University.

  • Average Salary in Montana: $73,610
  • Employment in Montana: 9,640
  • Overall Job Growth: 9%
  • Best Montana University Program: Bachelor of Science in Nursing by Montana State University


Management Occupations

Average Salary: $92,480

Montana needs a skilled workforce to place on management occupations in different companies. Management occupations are in high demand in Montana. To start your career in this field, you can choose the business and management programs by The University of Montana-Western.

  • Average Salary in Montana: $92,480
  • Employment in Montana: 22,390
  • Overall Job Growth: 9%
  • Best Montana University Program: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration by The University of Montana-Western


Architecture and Engineering Occupations

Average Salary: $74,880

Architecture and engineering roles are also highly in-demand in Montana. Going to an engineering college, you can earn a high-paying salary while maintaining a respectable career. You will find Montana’s best architecture and engineering program in Montana State University.

  • Average Salary in Montana: $74,880
  • Employment in Montana: 8,230
  • Overall Job Growth: 4%
  • Best Montana University Program: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering by Montana State University, Bozeman

Is a University in Montana Right for You?

Yes, attending a university in Montana is right for you if you want to study in a nature-filled environment while getting quality and affordable education. Montana is home to some of the best universities and colleges in the US. This state also has a low unemployment rate and lots of job opportunities. So, choosing a university in Montana to pursue your dream profession would be a good decision.

How to Get Into the Best Colleges and Universities

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Best Universities in Montana FAQ

What is the biggest college in Montana?

Montana State University (MSU) is the largest university in Montana in terms of land area, with 1,170 acres of campus. It is a public land-grant research university nestled on the south side of Bozeman, Montana.

Are Montana schools good?

Yes, Montana schools are good. Some Montana schools excel simultaneously in research and academic excellence. There are also schools that rank best in the list of the nation’s top universities.

What rank is Montana State University in the best college in the US?

Montana State University’s ranks #263 in the 2022 edition of Best National Universities, according to the US News & World Report.

What is it like living in Montana?

Living in Montana is a rewarding experience for those who enjoy nature, wildlife, and wide-open spaces. The region is all about beautiful scenery, such as the Glacier National Park. The weather can be very cold, which can be challenging at times. Due to its low population, Montana is mostly a peaceful and quiet place to live.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Mehnaz Meem

About the author: Mehnaz is a content writer and social media manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Dhaka International University. She also completed a writing and editing course from the University of Michigan and Coursera.

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