Montana is known for its diverse landscape to include the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. The western side of the state is full of mountains and rugged landscapes. It is home to Glacier National Park and the Big Sky Resort, one of the top ski resorts in the country. On the eastern side of the state, sits the prairie terrain and badlands. This is where Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. No matter what side of the state you are on, there is plenty to do from snow-capped peaks, lakes, and numerous hiking trails. The capital, Helena, was founded during the gold rush and has grand architecture, museums, and countless historical sites to visit. This city itself also offers shopping, art galleries, live music, great restaurants, local microbreweries, and numerous outdoor activities.
University of Montana
The University of Montana is in Missoula at the edge of the northern Rockie Mountains has around 11,000 students. It is located at the bottom of Mount Sentinel and has one of the state’s most popular hiking trails and part of it owned by the university. This small mountain was initially known as “Mount Woody. It is located immediately east of the university and features a large 620 foot concrete “M” on the western face of the mountain. Many students enjoy hiking this.
Students rave about the University Center, known to many as the student union, due to having its own post office, bookstore, theater, game center, and even a Pizza Hut. The athletic teams participate in Division I sports. Their mascot the Monte, a grizzly bear, won National Mascot of the Year by his Motorcycle riding tricks and aired on EPSN. UM’s students can easily visit Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park within a few hours by car. For more information, visit UM’s website.
University of Montana Western
The University of Montana Western is in the town of Dillion, selected as one of America’s prettiest cities by Forbes magazine. Western lies on 34 beautiful acres and has about 1,300 students. It is close to several national parks, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Park. UMW is one of the only colleges that works on a block schedule allowing you to focus on one class at a time rather than taking 4 courses at the same time.
University of Montana Western students also have access to a variety of home-cooked meals from local farmers’ produce and meat in the dining hall. There are over 35 clubs and organizations to join and many intermural sports teams. Western does no participate in NCAA, though they still have a mascot, a Bulldog. Students are close to downtown and can enjoy local shops and restaurants during their free time. For more information, visit Western’s website.
Montana State University System
Montana State University is considered one of the largest universities in Montana. It is a collection of 3 universities and one community college scattered throughout the state, with over 17,000 students attending annually. The main campus in Bozeman and other schools are in Billings and Havre. They are considered the largest University in Montana. Below is a brief description of each four-year university.
Montana State University- Bozeman
Montana State University’s main campus is in Bozeman. MSU has over 100 fields to choose from, with its most popular degree in engineering. Fresh mountain air and access to Bozeman’s downtown area is popular among students. The town itself is the gateway for many travelers heading to the treasured Yellowstone National Park.
Montana State University Bozeman houses the Museum of the Rockies that exhibits the oldest dinosaur fossils in the world. It also has a planetarium with daily shows. They have also hosted the College National Finals Rodeo for the last 30 years and their teams, the Bobcats have won many national champions. All athletic teams participate in Divison I sports. For more information on this campus, visit MSU’s website.
Montana State University Billings
Montana State University in Billings has around 4500 students. The campus is in the heart of downtown and sits on 110-acres. Billings is the second-largest city in Montana and one of the top beer cities in the world with many breweries. Downtown Billings is close to the University and has a variety of local shops, restaurants, and bars that students can explore during their free time. There are also many parks and trails that students can hike, bike, and ski overlooking the Rimrocks.
Montana State University Billings is very walkable with lots of trees and trails. They offer on-campus housing with a variety of options. MSU Billings are members of the NCAA II and known as the Yellowjackets. For more information on this campus, go to MSUB’s website.
Montana State University-Northern
Montana State University-Northern is in the city of Havre. The college is known as Northern and has about 1,200 students. The town of Havre is known for its underground shopping area and is about 45 miles south of the Canadian border. There are about 20 parks around the city for students to bike, hike, and picnic during their free time.
Northern provides a variety of degrees for students, and the most popular ones are Nursing and Education. There are plenty of extracurricular clubs and activities students can participate in and meet some of their classmates. Their athletic teams are known as the Northern Lights for the men, and Skylights for the women. They have a mascot of a polar bear compete in NAIA Division I sports. The men’s wrestling team has won several national championships. For more information on this campus, visit Northern’s website.
Community Colleges of Montana
Montana also has numerous community colleges across the state to choose from:
- Miles Community College, Miles City
- Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency
- Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer
- Fort Peck Community College, Poplar
- Dawson Community College, Glendive
- Stone Child College, Box Elder
- Highlands College, Butte
- Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell
- Great Falls College Montana State University, Great Falls
- Aaniiih Nakoda College, Harlem
- Helena College University of Montana, Helena