Do you have your recent high school diploma in your hands and now you are anxiously waiting to get started on the next phase of your education? Do you live in or near the large state of Montana and you are doing some research about possible learning institutions that interest you, as well as those that will help you achieve your academic and career goals? Or, maybe you don’t live in the state of Montana now, but now you are thinking what better time to make a move than when you start college? Regardless of what your thought process has been, you will definitely want to keep reading to learn what you need to know about the state of Montana and its educational offerings. Of course, as with many other states, in addition to the most popular collegiate choices in Montana you can also choose from many community or junior colleges, many other four year universities, and many vocational and technical institutes. In addition, you will likely have the opportunity to pursue at least some of your degree requirements in an online learning approach.
Although Montana has 32 colleges and universities available for students to choose from, there are five more common choices. Keep in mind, sometimes these choices are more popular because of location, while other times it may be relative to the degree programs that are offered. The University of Montana in Missoula is the most popular university in this state. This university is commonly favored by artists and writers because of its nationally recognized scenic beauty. While attending this university you will be able to choose from five different colleges in order to obtain your degree program. In addition, for applicable students they may be able to attend an honors level college. Montana State University at Bozeman is another great academic choice for students in Montana. This school is located in the southwestern part of the state among the Rocky Mountains. Although this university began as an agricultural college, it now encompasses many different schools and colleges that will offer undergraduate and graduate level degree programs.
The third most popular option for students is the Montana State University at Billings, which is located a few hours from Yellowstone National Park. At this institution you can choose to attend the College of Allied Health Professions, College of Technology, College of Business, College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning. You will definitely want to add Montana Tech to your list of possibilities. Although this school got its beginning as a mining school, it now offers numerous programs in engineering, technology, and general studies. In fact, you can pursue a degree program in one of five different colleges. Lastly, be sure you don’t forget Carroll College, which is located in Helena. While this school began as a men’s only college, it is now categorized as a Catholic college. At this school you can choose to complete a variety of majors, a pre-professional program, or a special program.
Going to college is one of the most exciting experiences someone can have in their life. It opens up the pathway to a whole new world, where dreams, hopes, and expectations meet and become reality. Meeting new people, making new friends, learning about something new every day – college really is unbelievably fun.
To make sure that you make the most of your college experience, it is imperative that you choose the right college for you. However, this can be quite a daunting task, as there are literally hundreds of colleges you can choose from. There are several factors to consider – the degrees offered, the costs of tuition, the duration of the degree programs, etc.
To make the process of choosing a college much more manageable, you can follow a simple yet effective method – choosing which state to go to. Doing this will let you narrow down the field to a select few colleges, all having your preferred environment, locale, and other facilities available in said state.
One of the best states you can go to for college is Montana. It has sixteen colleges and universities in its University System, with Montana State University alone having six campuses throughout the state. Students studying in Montana graduate with a student loan debt nearly $6,000 lower than the national average. The state itself is the fourth largest in terms of landmass, and has major attractions such as the likes of the Glacier National Park, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Pomey’s Pillar, and Mokoshika State Park.
Some of the best universities you can go to in Montana include:
Montana State University
Montana State University is one of the best colleges in the state of Montana. It is located in Bozeman, one of the top college towns in the nation. It is the largest research college in Montana, and emphasizes creative projects and undergraduate research. It recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. This university offers some unique and rewarding degree programs, including the likes of microbiology and film. It offers students a total of 225 academic programs across eight different colleges, including the College of Letters and Science, which is renowned for winning competitive national grants for research. Students can also study in specialized programs, such as pre-medicine, pre-law, and military aerospace studies. The university also encourages community service and study abroad programs, and offers students more than 250 programs in over 60 countries. Furthermore, students can partake in plenty of outdoor activities, with the university taking pride in its unique connection to the great outdoors – it is situated just 90 miles from the Yellowstone National Park. Famous alumni to have graduated from Montana State University include the famous scientist Maurice Hilleman, and Hollywood director John Dahl.
Some degree programs offered by Montana State University include:
Chemical Engineering Degree
This program is designed to prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to society and their profession. It teaches students to develop, design, and operate new chemical systems, and conduct research to improve existing systems, products, and processes. The curriculum consists of a rigorous study of engineering principles and the basic sciences, particularly chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. By the time they graduate, students are able to apply chemical engineering fundamentals to real world problems, become highly ethical engineering professionals, be effective communicators and team members, and embrace process safety. Graduates practice in a variety of fields, such as chemical manufacturing and petroleum refining, pharmaceutical manufacturing and delivery, food processing, materials and microelectronics, and environmental engineering.
This program uses economics to help students understand current economic problems and activities, and how they are related to our social environment. It provides students with skills such as critical thinking, which is valued highly by employers. Students learn about the various theories and principles, the methodology and the fields, which lays the groundwork for advanced studies later on. Graduates go on to practice in the financial, industrial, and retailing sectors of the economy. They can also pursue careers in more diverse fields such as actuarial science, elementary and secondary education, investment banking, journalism, insurance, politics, law, corporate finance, securities analysis, and environmental regulation.
Based in the state’s capital Helena, Carroll College is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts institution which is ranked among the top colleges in Montana year in, year out. It has an undergraduate enrollment count of almost 1,500 students, who choose from a wide selection of majors and minors. Moreover, it is one of the best colleges for veterans in Montana, thanks to its active participation in federal initiatives. Carroll College is renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities, where students are able to participate in groundbreaking research. Moreover, grants from government agencies further aid the research opportunities available at this university. It is also renowned for the remarkable success rate of its students: 85% pre-med program students get accepted to medical school, while 100% of chemistry majors get into graduate school. The forensic team, the Talking Saints, has been ever-present in the Northwest Conference Championship for 26 consecutive years, by either winning or sharing it. In addition to academics, Carroll College is also renowned for its football program, which is one of the best and most successful in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – its six national titles can attest to this fact.
Some degree programs offered by Carroll College include:
This program is designed to familiarize students with topics like quantum physics, relativity, and optics – topics usually not studied in the introductory courses for engineering and natural science majors. It focuses on acquainting students with the basic ideas of modern physics, which will be further complemented by developing mathematical problem-solving skills, laboratory experiments with lenses, lasers, and holography, and creating computer simulations. Students use creative thinking skills to analyze a wide range of problems, apply appropriate models to them, and derive quantitative predictions from these models. They are given a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts of physics and mathematics, yet are still free to explore their interests in other areas of the liberal arts.
Political Science Degrees
The political science program at Carroll College provides students with the training necessary for pursuing careers in law, politics, teaching, journalism, and Foreign Service. The courses help students develop their critical thinking, writing, and communication skills, and provide them with plentiful opportunities to gain experience through the political and legal internship programs. Graduates go on to pursue careers in federal, state, and local governments, as well as in the private sector.
The University of Montana
The University of Montana is a national leader in research and creative scholarship. It is located in the second-largest city in Montana – Missoula, and is recognized as the flagship public university in the state. This university has a student population of 13,000, and is renowned for having more Udall scholars than any other university in the country. The learning environment is diverse, which is, as the university puts it, “globally focused and community based”. The University of Montana offers one of the most diverse undergraduate degree programs of all the colleges in Montana across 11 different colleges, including the Davidson Honors College and the W.A. Franke College of Forestry. Most degree programs allow students to specialize in particular sectors within the given field. For instance, students of the anthropology program can select from five options: archaeology, forensic anthropology, medical anthropology, linguistics, and cultural and ethnic diversity.
Some other degree programs offered by the University of Montana include:
Accounting Degree Programs
This program is designed to help students develop a competence in a wide range of accounting skills and practices. It enables students to foster critical thinking and problem solving skills, and prepares them to enter professional positions in accounting with business, government, or nonprofit organizations. Topics studied include cost accounting, financial accounting, auditing, business systems, and taxation. Graduates go on to pursue careers as internal accountants, internal auditors, IT risk managers, financial analysts, cost accountants, tax specialists, and controllers.
This program focuses on the fact that computers are growing ever important in today’s technologically advanced world, and strongly implies that the knowledge of computers and their capacities should be integrated into every student’s basic education. It develops professionally competent and highly educated computer scientists, who are ready to take leading roles in the computer industry. Lectures are conducted by highly qualified, full time faculty members who provide students with plenty of research opportunities.
Montana Tech of the University of Montana
Originally known as the Montana State School of Mines, Montana Tech is now a public university affiliated with the University of Montana. Situated in Butte, it has an impressive job placement rate of 97%, making it one of the top colleges in Montana for student success. Montana Tech offers students more than 60 degree programs, including a bachelor’s degree program in data science, which is one of the fastest-growing careers in the country. The most popular department in this university is General Engineering, where students are involved in advanced research studies, allowing graduates of this departments to be in high demand in the industry. Colleges include the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, which is the main source of earth science information in Montana, and the Highlands College, which is primarily focused on technology. Montana Tech offers students plenty of challenges other than academics, and encourages them to explore the “outside classroom”; students are encouraged to get involved in a variety of recreational, political, religious, academic, and professional clubs and organizations. The campus is located notably close to glorious outdoor adventure spots, giving students plenty of scope for recreational activities.
Some degree programs offered by Montana Tech are:
This program is the exclusive to this university in the entire state of Montana. It is designed to allow students to meet the demands of the ever-expanding job market, and is one of the fastest growing careers in the country – the International Data Corporation predicts that the job market will require approximately 180,000 professionals with data science skills, and almost one million professionals with data interpretation and data management skills by 2018. Graduates get high paying jobs as Data Scientists, Statisticians, Business Analytic Professionals, Data Warehouse Professionals, Database Administrators, and Software Developers.
This program focuses on turning students from novices into experts in the largest engineering discipline in the world. It provides students with a rigorous training, stressing the fundamentals of engineering, science, and mathematics in order to prepare graduates to enter and continue the practices at a professional level. All faculty members are registered, professional engineers in Montana, and hold Ph.D. degrees. They continuously encourage students to participate in research projects, and often lend a hand themselves. Almost all graduates enter the job market with high-paying jobs.
Rocky Mountain College
Rocky Mountain College is a comprehensive liberal arts college situated in the largest city in the state, Billings. It is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church, and the Methodist Church. It offers students 52 different undergraduate programs to choose from, which includes one of the best aviation programs in not only Montana, but the entire country as a whole. All faculty members are distinguished leaders in their respective fields, with some of them currently involved in an experiment aboard the International Space Station, as well as in the first unmanned aircraft certification in the country. This institution encourages students to develop hands-on experience by arranging regular field trips that range from geological surveys to wildlife photography. Almost 90% students contribute to the local hospitals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. They also actively participate in sports, with 41% of the athletes in the school competing in both regional as well as national championships.
Some degree programs offered by Rocky Mountain College include:
Aeronautical Science (Professional Pilot)
This program prepares students to enter the aviation industry upon graduation, and begin their career as a professional pilot with all the advantages they can get. Students learn about the air transportation – operating environment, and practice for pilot certification, which makes graduates of this program avid aviation professionals. Students practice flight training in the Piper and Beechcraft aircraft owned by the college. They also train using glass cockpit aircraft and sophisticated simulators, as well as state-of-the-art Canadair Regional Jet flight management system simulation. The program provides students with ample classroom instruction, safe flight operations, and professional experiences, which enable them to have a successful career after graduation.
The Environmental Science program at Rocky Mountain College provides students with interdisciplinary studies in the both the field and the laboratory, allowing them to gain plenty of hands-on experiences. Students go on field trips to the Yellowstone National Park as well as the Bighorn and Beartooth Mountain Ranges. They participate in research projects, with faculties participating themselves from time to time. Graduates go on to pursue successful careers in various environment-related fields.
The universities mentioned above provide students with lots of scholarship opportunities, so that they can pursue their higher education with as much comfort as possible. Some notable scholarships include:
Carroll College Merit Awards
This scholarship is applicable to incoming freshmen, and has several types:
Bishop Carroll Scholarship
Worth $19,000, this scholarship has two requirements:
• 4.0 GPA and 29 ACT or 1375 SAT, or
• 3.25 GPA and 36 ACT or 1600 SAT
This is worth $17,000, and has two requirements:
• 4.0 GPA and 24 ACT or 1375 SAT, or
• 3.5 GPA and 29 ACT or 1375 SAT
This is worth $16,000, and can be availed by having:
• 3.7 GPA and 23 ACT or 1150 SAT, or
• 3.2 GPA and 27 ACT or 1300 SAT
All Saints Award
Worth $14,000, this scholarship requires:
• 3.5 GPA and 21 ACT or 1075 SAT, or
• 3.0 GPA and 23 ACT or 1150 SAT
This is worth $12,000, and requires:
• 3.3 GPA and 19 ACT or 995 SAT, or
• 2.8 GPA and 21 ACT or 1075 SAT
The Montana State University Presidential Scholarship
These scholarships are among the most distinguished academic awards in Montana State University. The aim of these scholarships is to recognize and reward students showing outstanding academic achievement, excellent leadership and unique personal qualities. Recipients receive annual tuition waivers, a generous stipend, and other fantastic incentives for four years.
Marie Moebus Presidential Scholarship
Provided by Montana Tech of the University of Montana, this scholarship rewards first-time freshmen who demonstrate the highest academic and extracurricular achievements. These scholarships are a combination of tuition waiver, a cash supplement of up to $6,000 per year, and a WUE or Advantage Scholarship. Recipients must:
• Be incoming first-time freshmen students
• Have a GPA of at least 3.75
• Have ACT > 30 or SAT > 1410
• Be actively engaged in community and school
There are plenty of career opportunities for students to follow right after graduation. They are almost always guaranteed to find jobs related to their academic field of expertise. Some of the most popular career paths in Montana include:
This was one of the most popular career paths followed by graduates from a Nursing discipline in Montana in May 2016. The mean annual wage of this profession was $64,300. The responsibilities of registered nurses include:
• Keep track of the changes in a patient’s condition
• Record such changes and report them to superiors
• Regularly update and maintain accuracy of patient reports
• Evaluate various diagnostic tests to assess the condition of the patient
• Make modifications to treatment plans according to patient condition
The requirements for this career path include:
• Bachelor’s degree in Nursing
• Professional Registered Nurse License
• Strong leadership skills
• Self-confidence to deal with emergencies
• Strong communicational skills
• Proficiency in operating different medical equipment
This career path was chosen by 1,590 graduates in May 2016, with an annual mean wage of $71,960. The duties of a civil engineer include:
• Undertaking technical and feasibility studies, including site investigations
• Using a range of computer software for developing designs in detail
• Liaising with clients and other professionals including architects and subcontractors
• Providing solutions to design and development problems
• Managing budgets and project resources
• Scheduling equipment and material purchases and deliveries
The requirements of a civil engineer include:
• Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering
• Strong mathematical, scientific, and IT skills
• Problem-solving skills
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Leadership, negotiating, and supervisory skills
• Complete knowledge of relevant legislation
This career path was chosen by 340 graduates in May 2016, with an annual mean wage of $79,660. The duties of an environmental engineer include:
• Contributing in the fight to eliminate environmental problems
• Developing new techniques to reduce environmental problems
• Encouraging widespread use of the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle
• Studying ways to tackle various types of pollution
• Go on various field trips and use the data collected to prepare reports
The qualifications of an environmental engineer include:
• Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering or Environmental Science
• Strong grasp on the fundamentals of environmental theories and principles
• Highly developed critical-thinking skills
• Strong communicational skills
• Ability to work as part of a team
There were 130 employments in this field in May 2016, with an annual mean wage of $129,430. The duties of a marketing manager include:
• Conducting research and performing studies to identify scopes for new product opportunities, and demand for new products
• Taking charge of product launch campaigns and distribution of products
• Working on a budget
• Managing media, PR agencies, and marketing staff to make the most out of new product launches
The qualifications for this career path include:
• Bachelor’s degree in Marketing
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills
• Strong ability to engage internal and external clients
• Ability to maintain deadlines
• Ability to work efficiently under extreme pressure
• Expertise in the usage of social media in order to increase productivity
There were 500 employments in this field in Montana in May 2016, with an annual mean wage of $76,620. The responsibilities of an electrical engineer are:
• Following customer requirements, design, and technical drawings to develop systems and products
• Modelling prototypes using 3D design software
• Conducting rigorous testing on prototypes to identify faults
• Recording and using the test data to develop solutions to faults
The qualifications required of an electrical engineer are:
• Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or other related fields
• Strong grasp on the various theories, principles, and technical know-hows of electronics and electrical components
• Strong planning and organizational skills
• Strong written and oral communication skills
In short, Montana has everything to offer students pursuing undergraduate degrees. It is home to some of the best colleges in the country, all of which offer various scholarships to students. Graduates can enter the job market as soon as they finish graduation, and follow career paths in their academic area of expertise. In other words, students in Montana get to start tomorrow – today.