Nicknamed the “Electric City” for the five hydroelectric dams operating on its namesake waterfalls, Great Falls hosts some of Montana’s best colleges and universities, such as the University of Great Falls and Montana State University’s community college campus, Great Falls College.
Universities and Colleges in Great Falls
Great Falls, Montana is home to the University of Great Falls (UGF), a private Catholic liberal arts school. With 40 undergraduate, eight graduate, and four distance learning degree programs, UGF serves just over 1,000 students in a natural, “park-like” campus you won’t find in bigger universities. Generous with financial aid, 96 percent of undergraduate students receive financial aid of some kind (including work-study opportunities and donor provided scholarships), while 46 percent receive Pell Grants. As a Catholic university, UGF prides itself on its adherence to the virtues of respect, charity, and compassion, and expects the same from its students.
University of Great Falls By the Numbers
|Student to Teacher Ratio:||12:1|
|Athletics:||NAIA Region I, Frontier Conference|
|Campus Size:||44 Acres|
Located right across the street from the UGF campus is Montana State University’s community college, Great Falls College (formerly the Great Falls College of Technology). GFC offers associates degrees in a diverse range of fields, from Business, Criminal Justice, and Psychology, to less traditional fields such as Fashion and Massage Therapy. Additionally, certificate programs and endorsements are also available. Civil Engineering hopefuls will be interested in the 1 + 3 Agreement, which provides a start on working towards a Bachelors of Science Degree in Engineering at Montana State University.
Great Falls also houses several specialty schools. For those interested in a hospital career, the private, not-for-profit Benefis Healthcare School of Radiologic Technology provides a two-year program.
Online Colleges in Great Falls
The best choices for distance learning in Great Falls come from the two major schools, the University of Great Falls and MSU: Great Falls College.
The online programs for UGF are considered excellent by most standards, and designed to enhance student/professor involvement. Undergraduate degrees include Bachelor of Science and Associates in Criminal Justice, Bachelors of Science in Legal and Paralegal Studies, Associates in Paralegal Studies, and Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. There is one Graduate Degree: Master in Science of Organizational Management. Some classes provide regularly scheduled, live, and interactive discussions, while others feature more flexible classes that students with difficult schedules can take when they choose.
MSU Great Falls College’s online education program parallels its on-campus education. Their online programs include Associate of Applied Science, Certificate of Applied Science, and professional certifications in a variety of areas. New students have access to a course advisor, and classes follow a similar schedule as on-campus courses.
Top Industries, Careers and Employers
The health care industry dominates the city’s industries, with 13.4 percent of the population (3,348) working in the field. Next best is the Education industry, which employs 8.5 percent (2,119), followed by accommodation and food services with 8.0 percent (2,005). The fourth and fifth largest industries are construction and public administration, respectively.
However, the fields differ along gender lines. An overwhelming majority of males in Great Falls – and Montana in general – work in construction, while most females fill the health care industry.
In lieu of this data, it’s not surprising that the top five occupations for Great Falls are as followed:
- Sales and related workers (not including representatives)
- Management occupations (not including executives)
- Building/Grounds Cleaning/Maintenance
- Office and Administrative Support (not including secretaries and assistants)
- Retail Sales Workers (not including cashiers)
In terms of employers, the Great Falls Tribune listed these businesses as the top five employers in the private sector:
|Benefis Health System||2,400|
|Great Falls Clinic||780|
|N.E.W. Customer Services Cos.||687|
It’s worth noting that, in the number one employer, Benefis Health System, hires nearly triple the employees of the runner-up.
Colleges & Universities in Great Falls
Colleges & Universities in Great Falls
|University of Great Falls||1,263||$18,480||Not For Profit (Private)|
Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Great Falls
|Great Falls College Montana State University (GFC MSU)||2,737||$2,496||Public|