Best Online Colleges in Montana 2022

Best Online Colleges in Montana 2022

Find the best online colleges in Montana ranked by the academic success of faculty and alumni associated with the colleges and universities and their online degree programs.

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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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

Online education has grown dramatically in quality, credibility, and popularity over the last two decades. Today, more than a quarter of all college students are taking at least one online course. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are more than 5 million college students who are pursuing their undergraduate degree fully online. And the number of online college and graduate students continues to grow as online technology and instructional methods improve.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to remote learning has proven an essential part of the educational ecosystem. Schools that offer primarily online degree programs saw an increase of 7% enrollment just between Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. The number of traditional institutions offering online courses and degrees is growing as well. This all paints a promising picture for the future of online education. But it also produces a dizzying array of options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Online Colleges 2022

Asynchronous learning means classes don’t meet at set times. This is the most flexible online learning experience, making when you cover your course material up to you. Most asynchronous online courses will still have deadlines throughout the semester for various assignments and tests. Some asynchronous classes may still ask for an occasional meeting, such as initial meet-and-greets, and in some cases there may be scheduled test times. The idea of asynchronous learning is to allow the student to manage their schedules as needed.

Synchronous learning means you will have scheduled meeting times for your online classes. Synchronous learning gives online students the flexiblity of location while also giving students a chance to engage with each other and their professors. For many online students, the structured class schedules and ability to see and hear from peers in real-time helps create the learning experience they want.

Back to Top

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

Back to Top

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

Back to Top

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

Back to Top

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Back to Top
Best Online Colleges in Montana
Download Badge

How do we determine the best online colleges for undergrads?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, 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.

Back to Top

Best Online Colleges in Montana 2022

  1. #1

    University of Montana

    Missoula , MT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Online Degrees

    BA in Anthropology

    Concentrations

    • Archaeology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Art
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communicative Sciences And Disorders
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Media Arts
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Multidisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA/BM in Music
    • Required Credits: 120-128-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120-128-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Montana State University

    Bozeman , MT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/24

    Online Degree Completion Program

    BA in Liberal Studies

    Concentrations

    • Quaternity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    University of Providence

    Great Falls , MT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing: RN To BSN
    • Program type: Degree completion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/23

    Online Degree Completion Program

    BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Degrees

    Bachelor’s in Applied Science

    Concentrations

    • Business
    • Health Administration
    • Management and Organization Communication
    • Management and Public Relations
    • Management and Mass Communication
    • Mass Communication and Public Relations
    • Organizational Communication and Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • General Business
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication

    Concentrations

    • Organization
    • Media Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in English
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BSHA in Health Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BSLS in Liberal Studies

    Concentrations

    • Management and Organizational Communication
    • Management and Public Relations
    • Management and Mass Communications
    • Mass Communication and Public Relations
    • Organizational Communication and Public Relations
    • Organizational Communication and Accounting Technology
    • Organizational Communication and Human Resource Management
    • Health Administration and Organizational Communication
    • Health Administration and Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    <1K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Business Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Community Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Trades Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online

Resources for College-Bound Students