The 6 Best Universities in Montana

Will Beck
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

The Treasure State is not just a popular tourist destination with vibrant, small towns and unspoiled natural beauty but a center of learning with diverse opportunities for higher education with colleges and universities in Montana offering many options.

Whether students are looking for a graduate or undergraduate program, Montana offers a wide range of high-ranking colleges and universities to choose from.

Students who choose to study in Montana not only excel in their academic careers but also get to benefit from Montana’s higher education system based on rigorous research, experiential learning, and service-learning projects, all of which combine to give you an inclusive academic environment and learning culture.

There are many wonderful things about studying in Montana:

  • Being the fourth largest state in the US, there are 11 colleges and universities in Montana offering an array of courses, degrees, majors, graduate, and undergraduate programs.
  • Whether you wish to join a less expensive public university or a more expensive private institution, Montana offers a range of top-notch yet affordable degree programs.
  • Montana feels like a small and cozy place to live, which makes most students comfortable to move and study.
  • The campus life at most of the universities in Montana is happening and yet conducive for student learning. There are numerous opportunities for outdoor sports, student clubs, research facilities, and job placements.

6 Top-Ranked Universities in Montana

Whether you are looking for a place to study Law, Business, Agriculture, Natural Sciences, or Communication Arts, you are promised the best education and academic rigor along with discount-tuition programs for students who need financial aid.

1. Montana State University, Bozeman

montana state university
Image: Tim Evanson

Montana State University, Bozeman MT, is one of the top universities in the state. Established in 1893, the institution enrolls 14,240 students in its undergraduate program every year. It has a semester-based education system and offers more than 60 fields for undergraduate students.

MSU is also one of the top universities in the country for Masters and offers no less than forty master’s programs including nursing, education, and engineering. The campus life at MSU, on the other hand, is equally rigorous and exciting. The college houses 30 greenhouses, research facilities, and a museum of dinosaur fossils.

In addition, student organizations and sororities are an integral part of campus life at MSU. In fact, the students take an active interest in all kinds of sports such as football and skiing.

If you choose to enroll in Montana State University, you will have the chance to go hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting, and backcountry exploring on your days off.

2. Carroll College, Helena

carroll college
Image: Carroll College

Carroll College is one of the prestigious universities in Montana today. Situated in the city of Helena and established in 1909, the college enrolls 1,099 undergraduate students yearly with a gender distribution of 61% female and 39% male students, approximately.

Ranked as #1 in the ‘Best College in Regional Colleges West’ ranking, Carroll College is recognized as the best in academics, athletics, values, and the success of its alumni.

Spread over 63 acres with 21 buildings and 35 academic majors, the institution offers degree programs, volunteer programs, internships, and an authentic American lifestyle to both local and international students alike.

If you were to enroll in Carroll College, you would not only get an excellent education in a private institute but also take advantage of 35 active student clubs and student groups and more than 350 annual events.

Many outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and fishing are common in the city. Helena is also placed between two national parks: Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, which can be a great weekend getaway for students.

3. Rocky Mountain College, Billings

rocky mountain college
Image: Rocky Mountain College

Rocky Mountain College in Billings is one of the oldest universities in Montana which was established in 1878. It is a small, private institute that only enrolls 839 students in the undergraduate program.

The Rocky Mountain College or RMC is an excellent place to study Liberal Arts, but the institution also offers 50 other majors in 24 disciplines, including Business, Management, Marketing, Biological, and Biomedical Sciences, as well as Aeronautical and Aviation Management.

The college actively promotes academics as well as co-curricular activities like dancing, bowling nights, concerts, and many outdoor sports such as football, skiing, rafting, and kayaking.

RMC provides the perfect learning opportunities for its students through the career services office, which guides them on perfecting their resumes and applying for internships to explore different fields.

Rocky Mountain College is located in one of the most beautiful cities in Montana, Billings. It is not only home to many mountain ranges but also many museums, theatres, and zoos. Furthermore, the campus at Rocky Mountain College is only a 90-minute drive from one of the biggest national parks: Yellowstone National Park, which has many scenic views to offer.

4. Montana Technological University, Butte

montana technological university
Image: James St. John

Out of all the universities in Montana, the Montana Technological University is the top university in the state to study engineering, science, health care, information sciences, and technology.

Established in the 1900s and located in rural Montana, Montana Tech enrolls 2,110 students every year in its exemplary academic programs with access to cutting-edge research, innovation, and job placement.

Despite having a small-town setting, Montana Technological University enjoys a reputation of being one of the finest science and engineering colleges in Montana. The students also enjoy the rich history of the campus and the campus life.

More than 70 clubs and sports are offered at MTU including football, golf, volleyball, and basketball.

5. University of Montana Western, Dillon

university of montana western
Image: University of Montana Western

The University of Montana Western is a well-known public university in Montana with the honor of being #277 on the list of Best National Universities. It was established in 1893 in the city of Dillon and enrolls 6,975 students every year in their undergraduate program.

There are various fields of study offered at the University of Montana Western including Education, Human Sciences, Business, Biology, Environmental Sciences, English, Equine Studies, and Law.

Perhaps the best thing about studying at the University of Montana Western is that for some extra credit, the students are encouraged to intern at the school’s exclusive Program in Ecological Agriculture Society (PEAS), where they get to work at the university’s farm. This 10-acre farm is dedicated to the university campus and produces crops for food shelters.

The university campus not only offers a distinct academic culture but has a wide variety of clubs and societies that the students can join. Among these, Greek Life and Club Sports teams are the most popular among the student body.

The university provides a wholesome experience of learning from the natural world and instills compassion and responsibility in the students and staff members alike. Everyone here enjoys a tightly-knit community environment where they have the opportunity to learn from the best in the field.

6. The University of Providence, Great Falls

the university of providence
Image: CollegeDegrees360

The University of Providence is a non-profit private Roman Catholic college based in Great Falls, Montana. It was established in 1932 and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The institution provides Pre-Bachelor’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in various fields including Business, Marketing, Biology, Social Sciences, Education, Psychology, and Literature. The student body at the University of Providence consists of 1,100 students from the undergraduate program and 200 students from the graduate sector.

The University of Providence not only offers excellent academic programs but also encourages the students to take part in co-curricular activities and games such as basketball, golf, rodeo, hockey, track and field, cross country, wrestling, soccer, and volleyball.

The university also provides numerous facilities and services to students like access to the library, student housing, sports facilities, scholarships, study abroad programs, and student exchange programs to facilitate further learning and academic growth.

The university campus of the University of Providence provides you with unique opportunities to learn from the natural world and experience scenic views no other university campus does in Montana and beyond.

The city of Great Falls, where the campus is located, is also extremely rich in history and hosts around 10 museums, which is again a great reason to enroll in the University of Providence.

Final Thoughts

Big Sky County is at the center of learning and education. Most universities here offer graduate and undergraduate programs in multiple disciplines and fields, and each comes with its own learning and collaborative environment and support systems.

If you are looking for colleges to apply to in the coming months, then Montana has one of the largest and the choicest selections of universities that cater to the academic as well as personal growth of the students.

With 10 national forests, 7 Indian reservations, and more than 20 national wildlife refugees, Montana is not only a haven for nature lovers and tourists but also the #1 choice of students who are looking for solid academic programs and exceptional learning and development. Montana is undoubtedly a great place to live, work, and study.

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with travel a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than hitting the road in his self-build campervan and visiting off-the-beaten-path places, away from popular tourist destinations.

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