Best Universities & Colleges in Montana for 2021

These are the 9 top schools, both online and traditional, located in the state of Montana. Scroll through the list below and get all the information you need about each institution.

Online Colleges in Montana

Compare all of the best distance education colleges located in Montana to pursue an online bachelors degree, associates, or online masters program degree. Including cost of tuition, degrees they offer, enrollment rates, faculty, famous alumni, and more.

  • Montana State University Seal

    Montana State University

    Bozeman, Montana

    Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana
    • 15,236 Total Students
    • 83% Acceptance Rate
    • 25% Enrollment Rate
    • 19 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • 14,816 Total Applicants
    • Yes Online Programs

    MSU is a public higher education institute that goes back to year 1893 when it was founded as Agricultural College of the State of Montana. It began with less than 10 students in its first class. Although a rough start, the college soon progressed quickly expanding into other academic disciplines as well as its physically adding to its campus. By 1920s, it had become a state college.

    The college was authorized by the state legislature and granted university status in 1965, hence taking on its present name as Montana State University. It is based in Bozeman, Montana and being the land grant institute in the state is highly focused on creating knowledge, and promoting inquiry and free thought.

    The Bozeman life is all about development of the students at all levels: academic, professional, personal as well as social. There is well developed Student Government present on campus that looks after all the activities being sponsored on campus and also helps remove student grievances. This along with over 200 student led clubs and organisations help students develop interests outside of classroom, pick up leadership skills and form social connections. The campus also has sustainability as an important theme and engages students in volunteering, raising awareness and building partnerships to develop initiatives. One interesting program at the campus is the ChampChange. An incentive program, it is focused on engaging students in a learning process by offering workshops, lectures, sessions, learning centers and others. This serves as a good motivator to be actively engaged in learning. For Physical development, the campus offers outdoor recreation through trips and programs. There are also the athletic teams, ‘Bobcats’ competing at NCAA division I. The campus colors are Gold and Blue and the mascot is the ‘Champ’.

    The academic programs offered are five Associate degree programs, 60 Bachelors degree programs, 55+ Masters programs and 30+ Doctoral programs. There are also certificate, graduate certificate, and pre professional programs. Its notable departments/facilities are Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship, Gallatin College, Romney Gym, Hamilton Hall, Cobleigh Hall, Brick Breeden Fieldhouse and more.

    MSU School Facts

    • Years Estd.1893
    • NicknameBobcats
    • MascotChamp
    • MottoMountains & Minds
    • ColorsBlue and Gold
    • LocationMontana
    • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

    Famous MSU Alumni

    • John W. Bonner

      Politics & Law

      13th Governor of Montana

    • John Dahl

      Entertainment & Arts

      Director and screenwriter

    • Kevin Michael Connolly

      Entertainment & Arts

      Author, Photographer and a Filmmaker

    • Maurice Ralph Hilleman

      Science & Medicine

      Microbiologist and Vaccinologist

    • Carol Judge

      Politics & Law

      First Lady of Montana from 1973 to 1980 and healthcare advocate

    • Duane Nellis

      Education & Advocacy

      President of Texas Tech University as well as former president of the University of Idaho

    • Sarah Vowell

      Entertainment & Arts

      Writer, Journalist, and a Voice Actor

    • Lincoln Chafee

      Politics & Law

      Governor of Rhode Island

    • Elouise Cobell

      Business & Industry

      Business Woman and Native American Activist; had an Honorary Degree in 2002

    • Doug Coombs

      Professional Sports

      Winner of the World Extreme Skiing Championship, in 1991 and 1993


  • Montana State University-Billings

    Billings, Montana

    Montana State University-Billings in Billings, Montana
    • 4,425 Total Students
    • 15 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • Yes Online Programs

    MSU Billings is a public university that traces its history to the year 1927 when it was initially founded as a teacher training institute in the region called, Eastern Montana Normal School.  As the academic curriculum improved at the school, the normal school took shape as Eastern Montana College of Education by 1949. As it became a four year college it turned into Eastern Montana College in 1965.

    Its present name and form came when in 1994 the college faced a merger with the Montana State University and hence adopted its present name. Based in Billings, Montana, it is counted among the largest of campuses in the Montana State University System. It is also known for its academic excellence, student centered environment and an all rounded development of its students.

    The campus life at Montana State University-Billings is vibrant and full of opportunities. It brings diversity for its students in all forms. The student population is diverse but so are the activities and the programs offered which helps students develop unique perspectives. With relationships, social networking and team building is considered a valuable resource, the students at the university go one step ahead and use these to be actively involved with their communities, outside of campus. The students take part in civic engagement through Service Learning, or through programs and activities such as the Service Saturdays, MSUB “Night on the Van”, Service Sting Program, Student United Way and also volunteering initiatives. The university adding to student activities also offers athletic programs. Students also take part in athletic teams which are called ‘Yellow Jackets’ and which compete at the NCAA Division II. The university’s mascot is the ‘Yellow Jackets’ and its official colors are Blue and Gold.

    As for the academic programs, MSU Billings offers over 40 Bachelors degree majors, and over 50 minors, and also more than 30 Associate programs. There are also certificate programs available. The prominent facilities at the campus are Rimrock Hall, Petro Hall, McMullen Hall, Apsaruke Hall, Cisel Hall and few more.

    MSU Billings School Facts

    • Years Estd.1927
    • MascotYellowjackets
    • MottoAccess and Excellence
    • ColorsBlue and gold
    • LocationMontana
    • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

    Famous MSU Billings Alumni

    • James Franklin Battin

      Politics & Law

      US Representative and federal judge

    • Chet Blaylock

      Politics & Law

      State Senator, delegate to Montana constitutional convention and also Montana gubernatorial candidate

    • Melony G. Griffith

      Politics & Law

      Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

    • Monica Lindeen

      Politics & Law

      Montana House District 43, US Congress candidate '06 and also Montana State Auditor

    • Judy Martz

      Politics & Law

      22nd Governor of Montana

    • Chris Nelson

      Business & Industry

      Founder and CEO of Zoot Enterprises

    • Kevin Red Star

      Entertainment & Arts

      Native American artist

    • Bently Spang

      Entertainment & Arts

      Northern Cheyenne multidisciplinary artist

    • Mikel Kosich

      Professional Sports

      Current NCAA College Men's Basketball Coach


  • Montana State University-Northern

    Havre, Montana

    • 1,234 Total Students
    • 100% Acceptance Rate
    • 48% Enrollment Rate
    • 14 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • 473 Total Applicants
    • Yes Online Programs

    MSU Northern is a public higher education institute and is one of the campuses of the Montana State University System. It had its beginning when it was founded as the Northern Montana Agricultural and Manual Training School by Thirteenth Legislative Assembly of Montana in year 1913. With funds not available, the institute had a rough start and so held its first classes in year 1929. It remained at a temporary location until in 1932 when it shifted to its present campus.

    It became part of the Montana State University in year 1994 and was renamed from Northern Montana College to Montana State University-Northern. It is based in Havre, Montana. The university,with its liberal arts education is where the students are equipped technical, professional as well as practical knowledge and skills to make the best of future opportunities.

    With a diverse student population and a range of activities at the campus, students never fall short of development and growth at any level. The Office of Student Activities looks after the campus life, arranging and supporting student activities for education, entertainment as well as relationship building. There are 17 student led groups and organisations on campus serving as primary units for pursuing interests as well as engaging in extracurricular activities outside classroom. There is also the Student Senate and this along with ambassadors program at the campus serve as chances to develop leadership skills as well as be effective in their display through practical experience. The Senate at the campus works for student life improvement and welfare, while the ambassadors represent the university to the potential students and the whole of off campus community. The campus also holds recreation and outdoor activities, in the form of trips and adventures. There are also athletic teams, ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Northern Skylights’ taking part at the NAIA. The campus colors are Maroon and Gold.

    The academic programs at the college include Associate degree programs and Bachelors program with more than 40 major and 18 minors. It also offers two Masters degree programs. Its prominent facility is the Vande Bogart Library.

    MSU Northern School Facts

    • Years Estd.1929
    • NicknameMen's: Northern LightsWomen's: Northern Skylights
    • MascotPolar Bears (Aurora & Boris)
    • ColorsMaroon and Gold
    • LocationMontana
    • AthleticsNAIA – Frontier Conference
    • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

    Famous MSU Northern Alumni

    • Garrison Courtney

      Politics & Law

      Former Chief of Public Affairs for the Drug Enforcement Administration

    • Jesse Juarez

      Professional Sports

      Mixed martial artist

    • Kingsley Ogwudire

      Professional Sports

      Formerly with the Harlem Globetrotters and longtime member of the Nigeria national basketball team

    • Michael Rao

      Education & Advocacy

      Current president of Virginia Commonwealth University

    • Flint Rasmussen

      Professional Sports

      Served as the Public Address announcer for the Lights and Skylights basketball teams

    • Lawrence Romo

      Business & Industry

      Former director of the Selective Service System

    • Sherry Winn

      Professional Sports

      An Olympian, college basketball coach, current author and motivational speaker


  • Montana Tech of the University of Montana Seal

    Montana Tech of the University of Montana

    Butte, Montana

    • 2,130 Total Students
    • 89% Acceptance Rate
    • 47% Enrollment Rate
    • 15 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • 687 Total Applicants
    • Yes Online Programs

    Montana Tech of the University of Montana, or simply Montana Tech, is a public higher educational institute located in Butte, Montana. It was established in 1889 when the Enabling Act which allowed the state to join the Union and dedicated 100,000 acres to establish a state school of mines. Construction of the first building on campus started in 1897. The first classes were held at the school in 1900 under the name of Montana State School of Mines. In 1943 during the World War II, the institute became a Naval College and started offering the V-12 program. In 1965, the name of the college was changed to the Montana School of Mines. In 1994, Montana Tech joined the affiliation with the University of Montana during the restructuring of the Montana University System. In 2010, the Natural Resources Building was opened which currently hosts the largest department of the college. The Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Center was opened two years later. Construction of the center was completely funded by private donations. In the same year, the two-year campus of the college was renamed Highlands College of Montana Tech.

    Montana Tech campus offers several distinctive buildings and facilities including Mill Building, HPER complex, Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Center, Centennial Hall and Highlands College. The official colors of the university are green and copper while its mascot is Charlie Oredigger. The university athletic teams compete in NAIA as members of the Frontier Conference.

    Montana Tech is divided into 4 colleges and schools including Highlands College and the graduate school. It offers 50 undergraduate programs, 11 certificate programs, 10 pre-professional programs, 13 master’s degree programs and a doctoral degree program. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Montana Tech has research partnership agreement with NASA.

    Montana Tech School Facts

    • Years Estd.1889
    • NicknameOrediggers
    • MascotCharlie Oredigger
    • MottoDe Re Metallica Literal translation: “Of The Metals”. This was the title of a book published by Georg Agricola (a.k.a. Georg Bauer) in 1556.
    • ColorsGreen and Copper
    • LocationMontana
    • AthleticsThe "Orediggers"
    • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

  • The University of Montana Seal

    The University of Montana

    Missoula, Montana

    The University of Montana in Missoula, Montana
    • 13,044 Total Students
    • 91% Acceptance Rate
    • 34% Enrollment Rate
    • 17 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • 5,600 Total Applicants
    • Yes Online Programs

    UM is part of the University of Montana System and its flagship campus. It traces its roots to year 1881 when land was set aside by the congress for an educational institute in the region. In 1889 Montana became part of the union and it wasn’t until in 1893 that the vote was passed and the university officially began in 1895.

    The University of Montana is based in Missoula, Montana and as of yet has produced 11 Truman Scholars, 40 Udall Scholars and 14 Goldwater Scholars. With its thriving intellectual culture, the university attracts global attention and has contributed towards making of a more diverse and engaged individuals.

    At the campus students find a range of activities to be part of. The university operates more than 200 student clubs and organisations offering a variety of interest such as arts, cultural, sports, professional and many others. There is also the campus fraternity and sorority life. For further activities and opportunities, there is university Center which serves as a student union and having plenty of space is used by the students for both entertainment as well as study. It also has the Student Involvement Network which is the activity organising committee sponsoring programs such as workshops, lectures, guest speakers and also comedy shows, concerts etc. There is also the student government which is called Associated Students of The University of Montana (ASUM) and is the student representation at campus. Recreation and outdoor activities form a huge part of the campus life and students enjoy wall climbing, Golf course, outdoor trips such as Bike-Ski workshops, Orientation trips and others. There are also the campus athletic teams called ‘Grizzlies and Lady Griz’ which compete at NCAA Division I. The campus mascot is ‘Monte’ and the colors are Maroon and Silver.

    Academic programs offered are 30 Associate, more than 120 Bachelors, over 100 Masters, and over 50 Doctorate/specialist programs. Its notable facilities/departments are Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, Davidson Honors College, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum.

    UM School Facts

    • Years Estd.1893
    • NicknameGrizzlies and Lady Griz
    • MascotMonte
    • MottoLux et Veritas
    • Motto Eng.Light and Truth
    • ColorsMaroon and Silver
    • LocationMontana
    • AthleticsNCAA Division I – Big Sky ConferenceUSCSA
    • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

    Famous UM Alumni

    • Josh Barnett

      Professional Sports

      Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current mixed martial artist

    • Carroll O'Connor

      Entertainment & Arts

      Actor who is best known for his role as Archie Bunker in All in the Family

    • J. K. Simmons

      Entertainment & Arts

      Actor; known for roles in Law & Order, The Closer, and Oz, Spider-Man (film), Juno and others.

    • Forrest H. Anderson

      Politics & Law

      17th Governor of Montana

    • Duncan Hunter

      Politics & Law

      Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives; also former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.[43]

    • Hank Green

      Entertainment & Arts

      Editor in chief of EcoGeek.org

    • Daryl Baldwin

      Education & Advocacy

      Linguist and cultural preservationist; also a MacArthur Fellow, 2016

    • A.B. Guthrie, Jr.

      Entertainment & Arts

      Pulitzer Prize–winning author, screenwriter and historian

    • Dan Flores

      Education & Advocacy

      Historian of the American West, holds A.B. Hammond Chair at University of Montana


  • The University of Montana-Western Seal

    The University of Montana-Western

    Dillon, Montana

    The University of Montana-Western in Dillon, Montana
    • 1,403 Total Students
    • 17 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • Yes Online Programs

    UMW is a public higher education institute which is part campus of the University of Montana. The institute is also a member of the Montana University System. It originally began small as a teacher training school, called Montana State Normal School in year 1893. The school eventually expanded its academic focus becoming Western Montana College.

    It joined the Montana University System in year 2000 and is based in Dillon, Montana. The University of Montana-Western offers value to its students through education which focuses on student development, experiential learning and innovation when looking for solutions.

    For the students, in helping them along their academic journey and to prepare them for the real world, the campus offers Academic Assistance and Career Services. The students are assisted with setting academic as well as career goals and are also provided with counselling to achieve those goals. The mentors help students build skills for time management and studying. Career Services further help students’ secure potential jobs. In spite of a rigorous academic routine at the campus, the students find many opportunities at the campus that allow them to make connections on a personal level. The most important is the student senate, the student representation body called Associated Students of the University of Montana Western (ASUMW). It regulates student activity on campus and also looks after the student grievances. Besides there are also other student groups, over 35 present on campus ranging from recreation, honor society to special interest clubs. These along with the senate provide the chance for the students to build leadership skills. Students also take part in university athletics. The teams are called ‘Bulldogs’ and compete at NAIA. The campus colors are Red, White and Black.

    Academic programs at UMW are undergraduate degrees including Associate and Bachelors degree programs in nine disciplines of study. Its notable facilities are Beir Auditorium, Mathews Residence Hall, Roe House, The Lewis and Clark Room, Carson Library, Jordan Residence hall, Keltz Arena and Straugh Gymnasium, La Cense Center of Equine studies and Emerick Art Studio.

    UMW School Facts

    • LocationMontana
    • Religious AffiliationNot applicable


All Top Colleges in Montana

  • Carroll College Seal

    Carroll College

    Helena, Montana

    Carroll College in Helena, Montana
    • 1,469 Total Students
    • 64% Acceptance Rate
    • 17% Enrollment Rate
    • 13 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • 3,513 Total Applicants
    • No Online Programs

    A private liberal arts college, Carroll was founded by the Catholic Diocese of Helena and traces its journey to 1883 when the idea for a Catholic institute was first put forward by John Baptist Brondel. It was in 1909 that his vision was realized and the college was founded by John Patrick Carroll, after the death of Brondel. Upon its founding, it was named as Mount St. Charles College and began as an all male college.

    In 1932 the college was renamed after its founder and came to be known as Carroll College. It is based in Helena, Montana and follows the Roman Catholic belief system. At Carroll, the educational journey isn’t about just preparing its students for a great career start but also for lives that will contribute positively to their communities and the world.

    Student experience at Carroll is made up of all such activities and moments that will develop its students on a wider level through social activities, entertainment, community work, prayer and others. The campus has students clubs such as gaming, religion, business, astronomy, military, dance and many others. There is college theatre which brings arts performances. Recreational opportunities are offered through CAMP, student organization for outdoor activities and sports, which include intramurals as well as athletic teams, called Fighting Saints that participate at NAIA. Besides fun, life at Carroll is also dedicated so that each individual is able to reflect and find themselves. There is campus ministry which provides group activities and service opportunities for students and also enjoins students through prayer and Mass collectively. Community service also encourages students to volunteer for causes, not just locally but also around the country and throughout the world.

    The college offers a variety of undergraduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, offering more than 40 majors and more than 35 choices for choosing minors. It also offers an Associates program. The distinctive facilities at the college are Borromeo Hall, Guadalupe Hall, and St. Charles Hall, Nelson Stadium and Hunthausen Activity Center (HAC).

    Carroll School Facts

    • LocationMontana
    • Religious AffiliationRoman Catholic

    Famous Carroll Alumni

    • Joseph P. Monaghan

      Politics & Law

      United States Representative, Montana

    • George Leo Thomas

      Social Advocacy & Service

      Currently serving Bishop of Helena

    • Marc Racicot

      Politics & Law

      Formerly held office as the Republican governor of Montana

    • Norman "Jeff" Holter

      Science & Medicine

      Biophysicist

    • Casey FitzSimmons

      Professional Sports

      Former member of the Detroit Lions (NFL), from 2003 to 2009

    • Bernard Joseph Topel

      Social Advocacy & Service

      Former Catholic Bishop of Spokane from 1955 to 1978

    • Bobby Petrino

      Professional Sports

      Head coach of the Louisville Cardinals football team

    • Jerry J. O'Connell

      Politics & Law

      Former member of the United States House of Representatives from Montana

    • Raymond Hunthausen

      Social Advocacy & Service

      Former Archbishop of Seattle


  • Montana Bible College

    Bozeman, Montana

    • 100% Acceptance Rate
    • 51% Enrollment Rate
    • 35 Total Applicants
    • No Online Programs

    Montana Bible College (MBC) is a Christian private college located in Bozeman, Montana. The first classes started at the college in 1987. The college application to get accreditation is still under process by the Association of Biblical Higher Education.

    The college states that its mission is to glorify god by preparing students to participate in a dynamic life and service based on Christian education.

    The college offers 6 bachelor degree programs in biblical studies in addition to a 1-year certificate program. There are several scholarship programs offered by the college that aim at providing financial support to enrolled students.

    MBC School Facts

    • LocationMontana
    • Religious AffiliationInterdenominational

  • Rocky Mountain College Seal

    Rocky Mountain College

    Billings, Montana

    • 1,035 Total Students
    • 70% Acceptance Rate
    • 24% Enrollment Rate
    • 11 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio
    • 1,423 Total Applicants
    • No Online Programs

    RMC is a private liberal arts college that traces its earliest roots to the Montana Collegiate Institute founded in 1878 in Deer Lodge. It wasn’t long before another college was founded called Wesleyan College, based in Helena. Simultaneously, another institute sprang up in the state as Billings Polytechnic Institute (BPI); it was the merger of these three institutes in 1947 that gave birth to the present day college.

    Rocky Mountain College came to be based in Billings in Montana, the former campus of BPI with the name change being suggested by the students. The college has traditionally been affiliated with three churches and has committed itself to producing high on intellect and morally sound leaders and productive members for the communities.

    At the campus of RMC student life is all about garnering new experiences, entering into new avenues and developing fresh ideas. Spiritual life is also prevalent on campus with students being allowed to explore spirituality through service to the people and communities. There is chapel and Bible studies but also community engagement through donations, creating awareness, going for service trips, or volunteering hours for various causes and work. Students also find plenty of opportunity to work as leaders as they take work either as Student Ambassadors or as Orientation Leaders, representing the college to the public, besides taking part in over 42 student run clubs and organisations. For student enjoyment and social mobility, ‘Rockivities’ the event organising committee puts up events such as Hogwarts Banquet, Pottery Night, Gingerbread House Competition and more. Students also enjoy taking part in outdoor recreation such as taking a trip around the town, having backpacking trip, climbing etc. There is also the athletic participation by campus teams called ‘Battlin’ Bears’ at NAIA. The official campus colors are Forest Green and Vegas Gold.

    The academic programs at the college consist of undergraduate programs with 52 majors and 35 minors, three Masters degree programs, and 10 Pre professional programs. Its notable facilities are Fortin Fitness Center, DeRosier Educational Resource Center and Paul M. Adams Library.

    RMC School Facts

    • Years Estd.1878
    • NicknameBattlin' Bears
    • ColorsForest Green and Vegas Gold
    • LocationMontana
    • Athletics14 sports
    • Religious AffiliationUnited Church of Christ

    Famous RMC Alumni

    • Valeen Tippetts Avery

      Education & Advocacy

      Biographer and a historian

    • Jason Earles

      Entertainment & Arts

      Actor; popular on television series Hannah Montana

    • Todd Reed

      Education & Advocacy

      Author, a consultant and a professional speaker

    • J. Timothy Hunt

      Education & Advocacy

      Journalist and an author

    • Larry R. Heather

      Social Advocacy & Service

      Christian Heritage Party of Canada candidate

    • John Letasky

      Professional Sports

      Sportswriter

    • Michal Wisniowski

      Entertainment & Arts

      Artist

    • Bob Bees

      Professional Sports

      American football player

    • Chris Horn

      Professional Sports

      Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver


You Could Save Thousands Of Dollars Toward College.

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify schools you like, and potential ways to save on your degree or certification program with courses, offers, and much more!

Create Your SmartPlan