Montana Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2015

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Best Online Colleges in Montana for 2015

Many post-secondary institutions in Montana have recognized the need for alternative learning modes to help students in less populated areas. The state’s two-year and four-year colleges, for example, have developed a network of online degree programs and courses at multiple degree levels. However, some Montana schools have gone above and beyond the rest, with cost structures and support services that make them attractive options for new and seasoned online students alike. Discover the Best Online Colleges in Montana for 2015, and learn how (and why) they continue to make a difference.

RANK COLLEGE Tuition And Fees Enrollment Accredited MORE INFO
1 Montana State University-Northern$5,4801,618YES
Montana State University at Northern Extended Learning provides online degrees to students who want to advance their knowledge and education at one of the online colleges in Montana. A variety of degrees are available completely online and include, but are not limited to, an Associate of Science in Business, a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, and a Master's of Education in Instruction and Learning. Students can also pursue minors and individual courses online.
2 Montana State University-Billings$5,7115,736YES
Montana State University at Billings is one of the online colleges in Montana providing distance learning opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can complete associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as pursue certificates and concentrations through distance learning. The university is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
3 The University of Montana$5,98515,487YES
The University of Montana provides distance-learning opportunities to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As one of the online colleges in Montana, it offers associate, minors, and master's degrees, as well as certificates and endorsements, available through e-learning. Course are administered through the Moodle learning platform and may be found in subjects such as customer relations, forensic studies, and public administration.
4 Montana State University$6,70515,421YES
Montana State University offers online degrees and certificates to students who prefer distance learning. As one of the online colleges in Montana, the university gives students the opportunity to pursue degrees such as the Bachelor's of Arts in Liberal Studies and the Master's of Science in Agricultural Education. Students can also find graduate certificates and professional development courses available online through the university.
5 University of Great Falls$20,2881,183YES
The University of Great Falls is one of the online colleges in Montana providing students with distance learning opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students may be able to pursue degrees that use blended or online learning in areas such as addictions counseling, criminal justice, organizational management, psychology and several others.
6 Carroll College$26,5541,511YES
Carroll College is one of the online colleges in Montana providing undergraduate and graduate level coursework though distance learning. Most classes are eight weeks in length and accelerated in terms of pace and schedule. Students may be able to pursue online courses in subjects such as accounting, business, education, leadership, philosophy, sociology, and others depending upon availability.

Search Accredited Montana Online Colleges

There are numerous elements of online learning that make it attractive to nontraditional college students. Chief among these are accessibility, convenience, and flexibility. The key for any student looking for the right program is to first select the field of study they wish to enter and determine if programs in that area are available online. Next, students should identify other factors that will determine their ability to undertake study, such as finances, balancing outside commitments with education, and levels of degrees available. This search tool helps students easily find the online learning program fitting their unique educational needs and wants.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
8 results TUITION ACCEPTANCE RATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE
Montana State University Bozeman, Montana Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 84% STUDENT POPULATION 14,852 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership Program
  • Master of Science in Health And Human Development With An Option in Family Financial Planning
  • Master of Education in Curriculum And Instruction
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Education
  • Master of Science in Science Education Program
  • Master of Science And Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Land Resources And Environmental Sciences
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
The University of Montana Missoula, Montana Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 94% STUDENT POPULATION 14,525 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Energy Technology
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Arts - Integrated Digital Media
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Music Education
  • Master's of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Public Administration
Helena College University of Montana Helena, Montana 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 1,430 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education - Industrial Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
Montana State University-Northern Havre, Montana Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 100% STUDENT POPULATION 1,334 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Associate of Arts in General Education
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Masters of Education - Counselor Education
  • Masters of Education - Instruction & Learning
Highlands College of Montana Tech Butte, Montana 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 913 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Project Engineering And Management
  • Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene
Miles Community College Miles City, Montana 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 422 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management Insurance
Fort Peck Community College Poplar, Montana 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 405 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration
  • Associate of Arts in Management
  • Associate of Arts in Real Estate Studies
  • Associate of Arts in Retail Management
  • Associate of Science in Accounting
  • Associate of Arts in Counter Terrorism Studies
  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Care And Education
  • Associate of Science in Computer Applications
  • Associate of Science in Database Application Development
  • Associate of Applied Science in Health Sciences
  • Associate of Science in Public Health
  • Associate Degree in Fire Science
  • Associate of Arts in Communication
  • Associate of Arts in History
  • Associate of Arts in Hospitality
  • Associate of Arts in Military History
  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
  • Associate of Arts in Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness
  • Associate of Science in Explosive Ordnance Disposal
  • Associate of Science in Web Publishing
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management
  • Bachelor in Accounting
  • Bachelor in Business - Accounting
  • Bachelor in Business - Human Resources Concentration
  • Bachelor in Business - Management
  • Bachelor in Business - Marketing
  • Bachelor in Marketing
  • Bachelor in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Retail Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Reverse Logistics Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Security Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Transportation And Logistics Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business?Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business?Information Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Sales And Sales Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
  • Bachelor's in Information Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biological Science, 5-12
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics (5-9 Or 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Science (Chemistry, 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Science (Geosciences, 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Science (Physics, 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Special Education (K-12)
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Security And Assurance
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology? Network Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology?Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology?Software
  • Bachelor of Science in Software Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Rn To Bsn
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Prelicensure)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Rn To Bsn)
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Health
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports And Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Bachelor's Degree in Religion
  • Bachelor of Science in Biological Science, 5-13
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations
  • Bachelor of Arts in Military History
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Emergency And Disaster Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Development And Family Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Military Management And Program Acquisition
  • Bachelor of Arts in Science (5-9)
  • Bachelor of Science in Space Studies
  • Bachelor's in Intelligence Studies
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Entrepreneurship
  • Master of Arts in Management
  • Master of Arts in Reverse Logistics Management
  • Master of Arts in Security Management
  • Master of Arts in Transportation And Logistics Management
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Accountancy
  • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration - Energy Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Executive
  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare
  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Information Technology Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Management And Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Project Management
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Science in Business - Energy Management
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Nursing ? Leadership And Management
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Leadership And Management (Rn To Msn Option)
  • Master of Science in Strategic Leadership
  • Master of Science Nursing - Healthcare Administration / Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Administration
  • Master's Degree in Sports Management
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Homeland Security
  • Master of Arts in Legal Studies
  • Master of Arts in National Security Studies
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master in Education - Curriculum, Instruction And Assessment
  • Master of Arts in Ell/Esl (Prek-12)
  • Master of Arts in Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9, Or 5-12)
  • Master of Arts in Science Education (5-9)
  • Master of Arts in Science Education (Biological Science, 5-12)
  • Master of Arts in Science Education (Chemistry, 5-12)
  • Master of Arts in Science Education (Geosciences, 5-12)
  • Master of Arts in Science Education (Physics, 5-12)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching - Elementary Education (K-8)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching - Mathematics (5-9 Or 5-12)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching - Science (5-9 Or 5-12)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching - Social Science (5-12)
  • Master of Education in Instructional Design
  • Master of Education in Learning And Technology
  • Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Master of Education in Teaching
  • Master of Education in Teaching - Elementary Education
  • Master of Education in Teaching - Secondary Social Studies
  • Master of Science in Curriculum And Instruction
  • Master of Science in Human Performance - Sports And Physical Education Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing ? Education
  • Master of Science in Special Education (K-12)
  • Master of Science in Information Technology
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Studies
  • Master of Arts in Nursing (Rn To Bsn)
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Sports And Health Sciences
  • Master of Science Nursing - Nurse Administrator (A.D.N. To M.S.N._
  • Master of Science Nursing - Nurse Administrator (B.S.N. To M.S.N.)
  • Master of Science Nursing - Nurse Educator Bsn To M.S.N.
  • Master of Arts in Humanities
  • Master of Science in Environmental Policy And Management
  • Master of Science in Human Performance - Exercise Physiology
  • Master of Arts in History
  • Master of Arts in International Relations And Conflict Resolution
  • Master of Arts in Military History
  • Master of Arts in Political Science
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Arts in Emergency And Disaster Management
  • Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies
  • Master of Arts in Military Studies
  • Master of Science in Human Performance - Movement And Performance
  • Master of Science in Space Studies
Dawson Community College Glendive, Montana 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 372 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement
  • Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Science

Online Colleges in Montana Guide:

Interest in distance learning continues to climb nationwide and traditional brick-and-mortar colleges have joined private for-profit schools in delivering coursework for certificate and degree programs online. In Montana, rugged winters may strongly influence a student’s educational plans. It is not uncommon for colleges in the state to cancel classes and close temporarily due to bad weather, another factor contributing to online education’s ever-growing popularity.

In Montana, the push toward providing a more substantial collection of online offerings is being led in the public postsecondary education sector by the Montana University System’s Online Education department. There are currently 16 campuses in the MU system providing some level of online degree programs, certificates, and coursework. This includes both the Missoula and Western campuses of the University of Montana, four campuses of the Montana State University system, and a number of community and technical colleges. The state’s three private, not-for-profit faith-based colleges each offer some level of degree, certificate or course access through distance education. Those schools include Carroll College, Rocky Mountain College, and the University of Great Falls.

Paying for Online Colleges in Montana

Montana college students allocate cash for costs ranging from tuition and fees to books and living expenses. Tuition, typically the most significant expense, depends on the type of school and whether or not an applicant qualifies for state residency. In 2012, the average in-state tuition for Montana institutions ranked 3rd nationally for affordability, priced at $5,735 per academic year. While tuition holds a central place in budget calculations, students also need to consider college fees for miscellaneous services such as parking and registration. Schools may also charge fees for the use of recreational amenities or technology labs.

Montana students’ financial estimates should also cover living expenses and transportation. Plans for online coursework should take into consideration any computing requirements, which could include a reliable wireless network, recent versions of word processing and office productivity software, and an up-to-date operating system.

Montana’s living costs are on par with the U.S. average, which could bolster student resources depending on the locale. The following table compares the cost of living (COL) for Montana’s population centers with the national average, which is shown as 100%:

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Kalispell -1.2% -4.5% 16.3% -18.0% 3.6% 4.8% -2.2%
Missoula -0.6% -7.8% 10.2% -1.7% 2.2% 7.2% 0.1%
Bozeman 2.0% 1.8% 7.3% -10.9% 1.6% 2.4% 4.0%

While tuition and fees remain the largest costs associated with college, students should also consider the return on that financial investment (ROI). Some schools may have higher price tags but yield higher-than-average career opportunities and salary potential after graduation, and vice versa. The list of colleges below represents those in Montana with the highest documented ROI, measured by subtracting the cost of attending four years from the average graduate’s lifetime earnings:

  1. Montana Tech of the University of Montana
  2. Montana State University – Main Campus
  3. Carroll College
  4. MSU Billings – University Campus
  5. University of Montana

Accreditation: Why It’s Important

For those seeking higher education in Montana, the decision-making process should take into account a school’s accreditation status. Financial aid programs typically require accreditation, which demonstrates that a college meets certain academic standards. Postsecondary institutions in Montana can apply to accrediting agencies such as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Individual colleges, departments, or programs within an institution can also seek specialized accreditation. As an example, the School of Business Administration at the University of Montana holds accreditation for its undergraduate and graduate business programs via The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The university has maintained this accreditation since 1949, demonstrating a continued commitment to delivering quality business education to its many students.

Great Resources for Online Students in Montana

Whether students are beginning their first program or have become distance education experts, academic success depends on mastering the tools and resources offered online both generally and within specific course systems. There are endless resources available for Montana students, ranging from time management and general efficiency programs to subject specific creative tools and databases. The list below is provided as an introductory sample of the types of helpful resources students can access online and free of charge.