Montana’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Montana offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Montana’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

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.

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What are Montana’s Colleges & Universities?

Montana’s Best Overall

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There are 3 doctorate-granting universities in Montana, all of which satisfy our criteria. The best graduate schools below are composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.

How do we determine Montana's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

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We’ve identified 3 doctorate-granting colleges and universities in Montana; only the top school satisfies our criteria:

  • Its graduation rate must be above 40%.

Best Graduate Schools in Montana

  1. #1

    Montana State University

    #618 institution's historical influence
    #429 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/24

    Bozeman, MT

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    What is Montana State University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    University of Montana

    #538 institution's historical influence
    #417 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Missoula, MT

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    What is University of Montana known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • History
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Montana Technological University

    #7831 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/23

    Butte, MT

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    What is Montana Technological University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

Montana’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Photo By: Tim Evanson - https://www.flickr.com/photos/23165290@N00/9379017717/, CC BY-SA 2.0