Online Schools & Colleges in Montana

Montana is home to an expansive online education system, including six public four-year universities, 13 public community colleges, tribal schools and a number of private colleges and technical schools. Montana also offers some online courses for students at the primary level in grades K-12. Six public universities and five two-year community colleges in Montana offer online degree and course options. A small number of private institutions, including Rocky Mountain College and the University of Great Falls, also offer online studies. For those in grades K-12, the Montana Digital Academy offers single courses and district programs. However, there are currently no fully-online schools in the state at the K-12 level.

Montana Online Colleges and Universities

Both the University of Montana and Montana State University offer fully-online degree programs from the bachelor to doctorate levels. Students can choose from a wide variety of topics of study. Three community colleges, three tribal colleges and several vocational schools also offer some degrees and courses online in a variety of subject areas.

The University of Montana System

The University of Montana is comprised of seven campuses, including Missoula College University of Montana, University of Montana – Missoula and University of Montana Western. Its programs for creative writing, organismal biology and ecology, and wildlife biology were named Programs of National Distinction. The University of Montana’s creative writing program is among the oldest and most prestigious in the United States. Beyond these three programs, the University of Montana and its affiliated institutions offer many other degree and certification programs, with an emphasis on research, hands-on learning and traditional academics.

The University of Montana Western offers a unique program called Experience One, which is the only program in the country that allows students to take one course at a time. It utilizes a block schedule in which students complete three hours of the class for 18 days before moving on to the next course. This structure helps students fully immerse themselves in the subject and better retain what they learn.

The Montana State University System

The Montana State University system consists of six institutions, including Montana State University – Bozeman, Montana State University – Billings, and Great Falls College Montana State University. MSU is classified as a top tier U.S. research university by the Carnegie Association for the Advancement of Teaching. The majority of the research grants given to Montana State University are for agriculture, chemistry, microbiology, physics and engineering. The school is acclaimed for its programs in history, architecture, theater and art, and Native American studies.

Community Colleges in Montana

Montana has three community colleges as part of its higher education system: Dawson Community College, Flathead Valley Community College and Mile Community College.

Search School Name
City
Degree Levels
4 Results
SCHOOL NAME ADDRESS CITY SEE PROGRAMS
Miles Community College 2715 Dickinson Street Miles City +
Helena College University of Montana 1115 N Roberts Street Helena +
Dawson Community College 300 College Dr Glendive +
Fort Peck Community College 605 Indian Street Poplar +

Tribal Colleges in Montana

Native Americans account for six percent of the Montana population. Its State Constitution is the only one to require schools to teach Native American history and culture. The state has seven tribal colleges. Each is a Land Grant Institution, and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

There are various arrangements made between the tribal colleges and the state’s public and private universities. It is estimated that 50 percent of Native Americans currently enrolled in the Montana University System and private institutions began their education in a tribal college before transferring to a college within the Montana University System. Below is a list of the seven tribal colleges in Montana:

  • Aaniih Nakoda College (formerly Fort Belknap College), located in Browning
  • Blackfeet Community College, located in Lame Deer
  • Chief Dull Knife College, located in Harlem
  • Fort Peck Community College, located in Poplar
  • Little Big Horn College, located in Crow Agency
  • Salish Kootenai College, located in Pablo
  • Stone Child College, located in Box Elder

Best Online Schools in Montana for 2017

Higher education is essential in today’s competitive workforce, but sometimes earning that degree is a challenge with personal and professional obligations. Schools in Montana are offering more online learning options every day to keep up with demand, including technical and vocational colleges as well as community colleges and universities. With so many opportunities out there, it’s tough to know which school will best meet your needs. We’ve done the research, looking at colleges that offer programs in some of the most in-demand industries. Take a look at our list of the top online schools in Montana for 2017.

Miles Community College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
46%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
30
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 99.59
Read more

It's possible for high school students to start taking online courses at Miles Community College while they are still in high school. They do this through Miles Community College's dual enrollment offering. Transfers, continuing education students and traditional freshmen get started with online learning at the college by logging into MilesCC Online. Canvas is the engine behind MilesCC Online. Student ID and a password are needed to get into Canvas. Online success requires students to log into Canvas every week. If instructors schedule online discussions, students may need to log into Canvas more frequently.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
Dawson Community College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
60%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
13
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 88.86
Read more

Three associate degrees can be taken partially or fully online at Dawson Community College. These degrees are in business management, early childhood education and criminal justice. Tools that online students use while taking virtual classes at Dawson Community College are videotapes, webmail, video conferencing, downloadable guides and the Internet. Some courses test student learning levels with non-proctored or non-supervised exams. Other classes require students to take proctored exams. As with traditional classes, registration and drop/add deadlines apply when taking classes virtually. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to create a plan of study as soon as they are accepted into Dawson.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
Great Falls College Montana State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
11%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
38
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

Associate degrees, certificates and diplomas can be earned online at Great Falls College Montana State University. The college's online programs lean on a student's existing Internet and computer skills. Experience using software like Office 365 and Adobe Acrobat are also helpful. Resources available to adults enrolled in a distance education class are an online services dashboard, Atomic Learning, Desire2Learn Brightspace, a testing center and Essential Start. Students who want to finish an online class in a shortened timeframe can participate in Essential Start and finish class materials in a module format.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
The University of Montana
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
67%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
127
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 99.49
Read more

The University of Montana students can take a wide variety of program types online, from associate's degrees to undergraduate degrees to graduate degrees to certificates, as well as endorsements. The programs are built to allow for maximum flexibility. Students take online courses through the Moodle system. Online students also have access to more traditional campus features, like career services and the bookstore. Students get assistance from librarians via chat, phone or email. Books can even be shipped to online students from the library. Advising is available to online students, as well as tutoring and writing center resources.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
Montana State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
118
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 94.52
Read more

Montana State University allows students to major in liberal studies as an undergraduate degree entirely online. Beyond that, a number of graduate certificates, graduate degrees and professional development courses are available online. There's also an online principal and superintendent endorsement offered online. Students access their courses through the Brightspace system. Students complete their course requirements along with the class, but they can do it at whichever time of the day is convenient for them. Courses require the same amount of time commitment as the regular courses on campus. Library, bookstore and test proctoring are some of the resources available to online students.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
Montana State University-Northern
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
32%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
51
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
23%
Ranking SCORE 90.04
Read more

Montana State University-Northern has several associate's, bachelor's and a master's degree available entirely online. Students can also take minors in topics like marketing, accounting and small business management. The courses, which are part of the Desire2Learn program, are accessed entirely through the internet. Students learn online by reading what would normally be presented verbally in a classroom environment. Students learn through interactive collaboration with tools like Dropbox, online surveys and digital quizzes. Communication takes places in email, chat sessions and other digital discussions. Attendance data is kept based on digital participation.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
Montana State University-Billings
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
54%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
61
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
33%
Ranking SCORE 88.94
Read more

Montana State University-Billings offers programs that are taught by the same faculty who teach the courses on campus. Students take part in online discussions that are managed via threads and can connect with other students in the class digitally. But it all takes place on a schedule that allows more flexibility around other commitments. Online students still have access to advising, and career services helps with internships. The bookstore, library, financial aid support and academic support center are all there for online students, as well.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
University of Great Falls
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
28
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
22%
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

University of Great Falls hosts online learning in a couple different ways. Students can take part in discussions through the interactive Microsoft Lync system. Otherwise, courses are mainly managed through the Moodle learning platform. Moodle allows for students to log into their courses whenever it's convenient for them and access courses materials for study. The programs are modeled so that max collaboration between professors and students can happen. Classes are kept small, also. Students are assigned an on-campus academic advisor to help them succeed. The school offers bachelor's degrees, minors, associate's degrees, an army paralegal program and a graduate degree in organizational management, all through the distance learning program.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes

Online Montana Colleges

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Montana K-12 Online Schools

Montana does not have any fully-online schools for K-12 students, but students can learn some courses online through Montana Digital Academy. The MTDA served over 6,700 students with supplemental courses during the 2013-14 year. MTDA also offers an online college and career readiness program to prepare high school students for college. Classes in the MTDA are taught exclusively by teachers in Montana. The Great Falls Public School system currently operates the largest district program in the state, but does not offer state-wide programs for online students. High school students can earn dual credits through programs offered by Montana universities.

SCHOOL NAME GRADE LEVELS CITY SCHEDULE TYPE PHONE NUMBER
Montana Digital Academy 9 - 12 Missoula On-Demand/Asynchronous Public (406) 243-4619

Montana Post-Secondary Spotlight

University of Montana (UMOnline)

One of the largest online schools in Montana is the University of Montana. This college offers over 220 distance learning courses through UMOnline, as well as associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and professional certificates and endorsements. Distance students can enroll in a two-year associate applied science degree in energy technology, a bachelor’s of arts in integrated digital media, or master’s degree programs in public health, music education, public administration and educational leadership. Online certificate programs prepare working adults to advance in the fields of customer relations, forensic studies, network and information security, public health and nonprofit administration.

UMOnline courses are delivered through the Moodle course management system. Students have access to numerous support services designed for effective online learning.

For more information and a list of current online programs and courses, visit http://umonline.umt.edu/default.php.

Montana State University

Montana State University offers degree programs, professional certificates and continuing education courses through its Extended University. MSU is a member of the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN), one of the longest established networks of online graduate science courses. Web-based courses run in fall, spring and summer semesters.

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program is designed for students with two years of previous college credit who want to complete a four-year degree online. Nine graduate degree programs are offered in disciplines such as agricultural education, education curriculum and instruction, financial planning, mathematics education, nursing, engineering and science education. Professionals can earn online graduate certificates in addiction counseling, architecture, nursing education, science and engineering management, and Native American studies.

As with other online schools in Montana and across the nation, some virtual courses require test proctoring, where exams are taken in the presence of an approved proctor. Students near the main campus may have the option to complete exams at the Online Test Proctoring Center.

Visit http://eu.montana.edu/online/ to read more about online education at Montana State University.

Montana State University – Billings (MSUB Online)

Montana State University’s distance learning portal, MSUB Online, provides extensive access to classes, degree and certificate programs, and other features that allow students to meet their academic goals at their own pace and location. There are currently over 240 classes, as well as five associate degree, eight bachelor’s degree, six master’s degree and five certificate programs available through MSUB Online. Prominent courses of study include business, communications and health administration.

One of the more unique online schools in Montana, MSUB Online offers a program called Health Career Pathways, a 2+2 online degree completion program that prepares graduates for leadership positions in a number of health-related fields, such as health care administration, emergency medical services management and radiology technology. Health Career Pathways allows individuals who have previously earned an associate degree or radiology certificate to complete an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree within two years via distance learning.

For more information regarding the MSUB Online department at Montana State University – Billings, visit http://www.msubillings.edu/msubonline/.

University of Great Falls

The University of Great Falls is a private, nonprofit Roman Catholic university located in central western Montana. UGF currently offers two associate degrees, three bachelor’s degrees and a Master in Science of Organizational Management degree via distance learning. UGF also offers its Army Paralegal Program online. In addition, a number of other associate, bachelor’s and graduate degree programs can be completed through a combination of online and weekend campus (or one semester on-campus) coursework.

UGF uses two methods for delivery of distance learning programs. Microsoft Lync is used for attending regularly scheduled live classes and discussion sessions. The Lync “virtual classroom” allows students to participate in multi-point video conferencing with the course instructor and fellow students. Moodle, a common platform for online schools in Montana, enables students to participate in classes and manage coursework at their own convenience.

For detailed information regarding UGF’s online classes and programs, visit their distance learning site at http://www.ugf.edu/Academics/DistanceLearning/tabid/81/Default.aspx#degrees

4 Year Online Colleges in Montana

SCHOOL NAME TYPE ADDRESS CITY SEE PROGRAMS
The University of Montana Public Missoula, Montana Missoula +
Montana State University Public Montana State University Bozeman +
Montana State University-Northern Public 300 W 11th St Havre +

Best Online Colleges and Universities in Montana

Best for Future Service Members

Despite the wide expanses of Montana, the state is home to plenty of excellent post-secondary schools. Prospective students interested in the benefits of ROTC will find exceptional programs. Undergraduate and graduate students have access to the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC across Montana. Below is a compilation of the best four-year, nonprofit universities that also boast at least two ROTC programs.

College
Name
Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
Montana State University$5,330 Bozeman Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

From the badlands to the lush forested western part of the state, Montana is home to excellent schools offering post-secondary degrees. Many students prefer the personal attention of small, intimate classes. The colleges and universities listed below offer an exceptional college experience. Although there may be more than 5,000 students at these top-notch schools, each offers average class sizes of fewer than 20 pupils per professor.

College
Name
STUDENT-TEACHER-RATIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TUITION TYPE CITY
The University of Montana 20 to 1 15,487$4,603 Public Missoula
Montana State University Billings 19 to 1 5,736$4,397 Public Billings
Montana State University 17 to 1 13,653$5,330 Public Bozeman
The University of Montana-Western 16 to 1 1,995$3,699 Public Dillon
Montana State University-Northern 15 to 1 1,618$3,953 Public Havre
Carroll College 13 to 1 1,511$26,004 Private not-for-profit Helena
Rocky Mountain College 12 to 1 1,021$22,442 Private not-for-profit Billings
University of Great Falls 12 to 1 1,183$19,188 Private not-for-profit Great Falls
Montana Tech of the University of Montana 12 to 1 2,238$5,177 Public Butte
Salish Kootenai College 9 to 1 1,458$5,076 Private not-for-profit Pablo

Best for Women in Technology

Technology is the field of the future, and colleges in Montana are ensuring that women have a place in the job market. Though technology is an area typically dominated by men, some online schools in Montana have developed programs and services designed to promote positive, welcoming learning environments for women, from female-only residence halls to mentorship programs. These Montana colleges are empowering women to succeed in the field of technology.

College
Name
TUITION + FEES CITY WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED TOTAL ENROLLMENT TYPE
Montana State University$6,705 Bozeman 81 10,575 Public
Montana Tech of the University of Montana$6,435 Butte 46 1,831 Public
The University of Montana$5,985 Missoula 10 11,949 Public
Montana State University-Northern$5,480 Havre 5 931 Public

Best Schools Fighting for Families

There are several online schools in Montana for those who want to work with others in the rewarding career of social work. Whether a student dreams of working in a clinical setting, hospital or school, social work requires dedication and empathy, which are the focuses of Montana’s quality programs. With numerous specialized concentrations and top national rankings, Montana is a preferred locale to earn a social work degree that will lead to a rewarding career. Our list below details these exceptional programs in the state.

College
Name
CITY SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED WOMEN MEN TUITION & FEES TOTAL ENROLLMENT
The University of Montana Missoula 158 101 57 $5,985 11,949
Montana State University Bozeman 30 20 10 $6,705 10,575
Montana State University Billings Billings 8 5 3 $5,711 3,660
Carroll College Helena 6 2 4 $26,554 1,330
University of Great Falls Great Falls 5 3 2 $20,288 700