Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in Montana.
- School Search
- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in Montana. Keep in mind that these agencies only offer institution-wide accreditation, not program-specific accreditation. For more information on particular programs, see our subject pages.
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ACICS)
- Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Higher Education Links
To continue exploring higher education in Montana, see the state’s Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. You can also use the agencies below to further research educational legislation or general information about accredited schools.
Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific area. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.
Montana has a strong public university system, with schools spread across the large state. Learn about a few key schools below.
The University of Montana
The state’s largest school, the University of Montana, enrolled 14,496 students during the fall of 2013. The school offers a host of unconventional perks, including close proximity to outdoor activities like kayaking, backpacking, and rafting, making the school a mecca for learners who also happen to be lovers of the great outdoors. In addition, the school’s 10-acre farm, which grows food for emergency shelters, offers students a unique opportunity to earn credits in the Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society (PEAS). Notable alumni include the first woman elected to U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin.
Montana State University, Bozeman
MSU enrolled 14,269 students during the fall of 2013, offering those enrollees a high-quality array of research facilities and undergraduate study programs. The school is noted for its Plant Growth Center and Center for Bison and Wildlife Health. Included in its roster of distinguished alumni is Maurice Hillman, who developed eight different vaccines against childhood diseases.
Montana Tech of the University of Montana
Offering a much smaller university experience, Montana Tech of the University of Montana enrolled 2,030 students in the fall of 2013. The school specializes in undergraduate degrees not found at many other schools. For example, students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in fields such as geophysical engineering, metallurgical engineering, or mining engineering. Beyond the classroom walls, students can venture to Yellowstone or Glacier National Park, as the campus in Butte is situated between the two.
Montana is home to five small private colleges, all of them offering a slightly different undergraduate experience. Learn more about the three top schools below.
Montana’s largest private school enrolled 1,463 students in the 2013-2014 school year. All students benefit from an individualized, liberal arts education. The campus’ location in the state’s capital also means that students in the political programs have the opportunity to find relevant internships. In addition, the school’s forensic team, the Talking Saints, has won the northwest forensics championships for 24 years in a row.
Rocky Mountain College
Another small school, Rocky Mountain College had 1,087 students enrolled during the 2013-2014 school year. It’s the oldest college in Montana, and it integrates academics with the state’s reputation for outdoorsmanship. Outside of class, students can tube the Yellowstone River, hike the Rocky Mountains, and take courses in Wilderness First Aid, among other offerings. On campus, the school’s outstanding career services office helps students boost their chances of employment upon graduation.
University of Great Falls
The University of Great Falls is affiliated with the Catholic Church and pushes its students to grow in both academics and faith. The most popular programs of study include health fields, education, and psychology. Former U.S. senator Paul G. Hatfield is an alumnus of the University of Great Falls.