Best Colleges in Montana 2024

Badge for BEST IN MONTANA COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

Here are the best colleges and universities in Montana. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Best Colleges in Montana

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  1. University of Montana
  2. Montana State University
  3. University of Montana Western
  4. Rocky Mountain College
  5. Montana State University Billings
  6. Carroll College
  7. Montana Technological University
  8. University of Providence
  9. Montana State University–Northern
  1. University of Montana
  2. Montana State University
  3. Rocky Mountain College
  4. Montana State University Billings
  5. University of Montana Western
  6. University of Providence
  7. Carroll College
  8. Montana Technological University
  9. Montana State University–Northern
  1. University of Providence 100%
  2. Montana Technological University 90%
  3. Carroll College 84%
  4. University of Montana 82%
  5. Rocky Mountain College 81%
  6. Montana State University 73%
  7. University of Montana Western 33%
  1. University of Montana 18 to 1
  2. Montana State University 17 to 1
  3. Montana State University Billings 15 to 1
  4. University of Montana Western 14 to 1
  5. Montana State University–Northern 14 to 1
  6. Montana Technological University 13 to 1
  7. Carroll College 11 to 1
  8. Rocky Mountain College 11 to 1
  9. University of Providence 8 to 1
  1. Carroll College $38,106
  2. Rocky Mountain College $31,335
  3. University of Providence $26,812
  4. Montana Technological University $5,707
  5. Montana State University $5,654
  6. University of Montana $5,352
  7. University of Montana Western $4,523
  8. Montana State University–Northern $4,496
  9. Montana State University Billings $4,485
  1. Rocky Mountain College $30,258
  2. University of Providence $24,327
  3. Carroll College $18,435
  4. Montana State University Billings $5,878
  5. Montana State University–Northern $5,742
  6. Montana State University $5,089
  7. University of Montana $4,932
  8. Montana Technological University $4,706
  1. Montana State University–Northern
  2. University of Providence
  3. Montana Technological University
  4. Carroll College
  5. Montana State University Billings
  6. Rocky Mountain College
  7. University of Montana Western
  8. Montana State University
  9. University of Montana
  1. Montana State University–Northern
  2. Montana Technological University
  3. Carroll College
  4. University of Providence
  5. University of Montana Western
  6. Montana State University Billings
  7. Rocky Mountain College
  8. Montana State University
  9. University of Montana
  1. University of Montana Western 33%
  2. Montana State University 73%
  3. Rocky Mountain College 81%
  4. University of Montana 82%
  5. Carroll College 84%
  6. Montana Technological University 90%
  7. University of Providence 100%
  1. University of Providence 8 to 1
  2. Carroll College 11 to 1
  3. Rocky Mountain College 11 to 1
  4. Montana Technological University 13 to 1
  5. University of Montana Western 14 to 1
  6. Montana State University–Northern 14 to 1
  7. Montana State University Billings 15 to 1
  8. Montana State University 17 to 1
  9. University of Montana 18 to 1
  1. Montana State University Billings $4,485
  2. Montana State University–Northern $4,496
  3. University of Montana Western $4,523
  4. University of Montana $5,352
  5. Montana State University $5,654
  6. Montana Technological University $5,707
  7. University of Providence $26,812
  8. Rocky Mountain College $31,335
  9. Carroll College $38,106
  1. Montana Technological University $4,706
  2. University of Montana $4,932
  3. Montana State University $5,089
  4. Montana State University–Northern $5,742
  5. Montana State University Billings $5,878
  6. Carroll College $18,435
  7. University of Providence $24,327
  8. Rocky Mountain College $30,258

Colleges and Universities in Montana

Montana has 21 higher learning institutions, including 16 public universities and colleges. The largest is Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman. With an affordable tuition of $7,000, MSU enrolls just over 16,000 students. Students can earn their degree in fields like forestry, wildlife biology, theatre, and creative writing. The state is also home to five private schools, three of which are religiously affiliated.

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Carroll College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college with just over 1,000 students in attendance. The tuition runs about $35,000, the most expensive in the state, and it is located on a hilltop in Helena. Students can choose from 18 schools in Montana with tuitions of $7,000 or less, making Montana an affordable state to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The state also offers loan repayment programs, including the Montana NHSC Student Loan Repayment Program, which grants up to $15,000 per year for two years for those in health-related fields.

Hiking through Glacier National Park, exploring the Northern Great Plains, and fishing from one of its many lakes and rivers are just some of the ways to enjoy the natural bounty that Montana has to offer. Visitors and locals can also drive Going-to-the-Sun-Road, a 52-mile highway that ventures through the National Park and crosses into Canada. No matter the outdoor hobby, prospective students are sure to love the scenic backdrop of The Treasure State as they earn their degree.

Check out the best programs Montana has to offer while enjoying the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country.


What are Montana’s Colleges & Universities?

Montana’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

Montana' Best Colleges and Universities Badge
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We’ve identified 9 colleges and universities in Montana that meet our criteria. This list of the top colleges in Montana below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in Montana.

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Best Colleges in Montana 2023

  1. #1

    University of Montana

    Missoula , MT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/23

    Career Outlook for degree at University of Montana

    Cost of Degree: $7,719
    Expenses: $17,640
    Starting Salary: $39,987
    Salary after 4 years: $47,585
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    University of Montana’s Online Degrees

    BA in Art
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Media Arts
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communicative Sciences And Disorders
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1205/24

    Career Outlook for degree at Montana State University

    Cost of Degree: $7,727
    Expenses: $16,800
    Starting Salary: $45,209
    Salary after 4 years: $52,302
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    Montana State University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Quaternity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    33%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/18

    Career Outlook for degree at University of Montana Western

    Cost of Degree: $5,874
    Expenses: $14,111
    Starting Salary: $35,344
    Salary after 4 years: $46,680
    Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is University of Montana Western known for?

    University of Montana Western’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Montana Western’s Online Degrees

    BS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Rocky Mountain College

    Billings , MT

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1028/21

    Career Outlook for degree at Rocky Mountain College

    Cost of Degree: $32,252
    Expenses: $13,790
    Starting Salary: $51,785
    Salary after 4 years: $90,905
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Rocky Mountain College known for?

    Rocky Mountain College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    3K

    Career Outlook for degree at Montana State University Billings

    Cost of Degree: $6,198
    Expenses: $15,188
    Starting Salary: $45,449
    Salary after 4 years: $50,757
    Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Montana State University Billings known for?

    Montana State University Billings’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Montana State University Billings’s Online Degrees

    BSBA in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • General Business
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    Degree Concentrations
    • Organization
    • Media Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSLS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSHA in Health Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Carroll College

    Helena , MT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1190/24

    Career Outlook for degree at Carroll College

    Cost of Degree: $39,028
    Expenses: $15,184
    Starting Salary: $36,672
    Salary after 4 years: $49,760
    Cost Recoup Time: 17 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Carroll College known for?

    Carroll College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1202/24

    Career Outlook for degree at Montana Technological University

    Cost of Degree: $7,527
    Expenses: $16,091
    Starting Salary: $70,171
    Salary after 4 years: $71,909
    Cost Recoup Time: 8 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Montana Technological University known for?

    Montana Technological University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Montana Technological University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    University of Providence

    Great Falls , MT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    920/19

    Career Outlook for degree at University of Providence

    Cost of Degree: $27,606
    Expenses: $15,233
    Starting Salary: $82,083
    Cost Recoup Time: 17 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is University of Providence known for?

    University of Providence’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Providence’s Online Degrees

    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing: RN To BSN
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    Career Outlook for degree at Montana State University–Northern

    Cost of Degree: $5,955
    Expenses: $11,070
    Starting Salary: $38,662
    Salary after 4 years: $56,076
    Cost Recoup Time: 7 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Montana State University–Northern known for?

    Montana State University–Northern’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Montana State University–Northern’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Business Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Trades Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Community Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Montana’s Best Colleges in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Montana State University
  2. University of Montana Western
  3. Carroll College
  4. University of Montana
  5. Montana State University–Northern
  6. Montana State University Billings
  7. Montana Technological University
  8. Rocky Mountain College
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