Montana offers prospective college students much more than affordable tuition and the chance to explore wide open spaces when not studying. For many students, obtaining a degree from colleges and universities in Montana marks the first step in their career aspirations.
The Montana University System is the premier system for higher education in the state. The MUS enrolls more than 46,000 students each year at its 16 universities and colleges. The system includes six institutions in the Montana State University system, as well as seven colleges in the University of Montana system. The University of Montana at Missoula and Montana State University at Billings are the two largest Montana colleges and collectively enroll more than half of all students in the Montana University System.
The MUS also includes community colleges at Dawson, Flathead Valley and Miles; there are seven tribally chartered two-year colleges in Montana.
A major initiative within the Montana University System is increasing enrollment for both traditional and nontraditional students at two-year colleges in the state. To this end, the MUS is focused on broadening opportunities for high school students to enter college upon graduation, customizing programs for adult learners, and coordinating curriculum across the system to foster increased degree completion and transfer opportunities.
Distance learning also is a key initiative in the state. Students across Montana can pursue more than 100 online degrees through MUS Online, which offers associate degree programs from community colleges, and undergraduate and graduate programs from both state university systems. Montana students also can pursue online education at colleges in other states through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.