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Montana State University

201 Strand Union Building (SUB) P.O. Box 172190, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA

US ranking
position: 217
Tuition & fees per year: $7,726
Acceptance rate: 73.00%
Median alumni salary: $42,419
Avg. SAT and ACT: 1185 SAT, 24 ACT
Entrance difficulty: N/A

What is the history of Montana State University?

Montana State University's rich history can be traced back to the Civil War and the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, which provided federal lands to create and support at least one college per state. Montana became the forty-first state in 1889, and the state legislature decided to establish the land-grant college in Bozeman after it was not chosen as the state capital. On February 16, 1893, the Agricultural College of the State of Montana opened its doors in Bozeman, following a fierce competition among various communities across the state for the right to host state institutions.

In its second year, the Montana Agricultural College (MAC) began offering courses in Domestic Science and welcomed its first female students. The college quickly outgrew its initial facilities, leading to the construction of College (Montana) Hall in 1896. By June 1897, the first four graduating classes received their degrees. In 1920, the institution expanded its curriculum to include liberal arts and engineering, becoming the Montana State College (MSC).

The college continued to grow, and in 1965, it became Montana State University (MSU). During the presidency of William Tietz, MSU made significant efforts to secure federal funding for scientific research, increasing federal research funding from $13 million in the late 1980s to over $50 million in 1999. The undergraduate curriculum was revamped, enrollment reached a historic high of 11,746 students in 1999, and the Burns Telecommunications Center was established.

Under the leadership of President Malone, MSU experienced one of the greatest expansions in campus history, with the construction of numerous new buildings, including the Centennial Mall, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, the Bobcat Stadium renovation, the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse renovation, the Agricultural Biosciences Building, and the Renne Library renovation. Malone also made significant changes to the university's sports personnel, hiring new coaches for the football and women's basketball teams.

In 2010, Waded Cruzado became the first female and Hispanic president of Montana State University. Under her leadership, the university launched a 90-day campaign for private funding, raising $110 million. Cruzado also oversaw the establishment of Gallatin College, which offers two-year programs at Montana State University.

Montana State University has earned a national and international reputation for its excellence in education and research. It is consistently ranked as a top university in terms of degree quality, value, and location, and is among the nation's leaders in the number of Goldwater Scholarship recipients.

What are the faculties and departments at Montana State University?

Montana State University boasts a diverse array of colleges and departments for students to explore and pursue their academic interests. The institution is divided into several colleges, such as the College of Business, College of Education, Health & Human Development, College of Engineering, College of Letters & Science, College of Nursing, Gallatin College, and The Graduate School. Each college encompasses its own unique departments and programs.

Within the College of Business, students can find programs like Entrepreneurship at Jabs, Master of Science in Innovation and Management, and Master of Professional Accountancy. The College of Education, Health & Human Development offers programs in its respective fields, while the College of Engineering provides courses in Chemical & Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, among others.

The College of Letters & Science covers a wide range of disciplines, including Agricultural Economics & Economics, American Studies, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology, English, History & Philosophy, Liberal Studies Degree, Mathematical Sciences, Modern Languages & Literatures, Native American Studies, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology and Anthropology.

For those interested in nursing, the College of Nursing offers specialized programs in the field. Gallatin College focuses on workforce degree programs, developmental education, dual enrollment, and honors college. The Graduate School provides various graduate departments and degrees for students seeking advanced education.

In addition to these colleges, Montana State University also houses the Division of Health Sciences, which offers programs in health-related fields. Other departments and programs available at the university include the Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana Manufacturing and Extension Center, Western Transportation, Transportation Institute, International Programs, Museum of the Rockies, Library, and Academic Technology and Outreach. This wide range of faculties and departments allows students to find the perfect fit for their academic pursuits and goals at Montana State University.

What is the location of Montana State University?

Montana State University is situated in the city of Bozeman, in the western region of the United States. The university's main campus spans 1,170 acres on the south side of Bozeman, making it the largest campus in the state. Bozeman's elevation is 4,900 feet above sea level, providing a unique setting for students. The campus address is 201 Strand Union Building (SUB) P.O. Box 172190, with a ZIP code of 59717.

What is the mission and vision of Montana State University?

Montana State University, a land-grant institution, focuses on integrating education, knowledge creation, art, and community service. The university's mission revolves around transforming lives and communities in the interest of the people. Its core values include excellence, integrity, inclusion, collaboration, curiosity, and stewardship.

The educational vision of Montana State University is to produce students who have mastered their major disciplines, become active citizens and leaders, possess a multicultural and global perspective, and are prepared for careers in their chosen fields. The university also aims to create and communicate knowledge and art that serves communities.

Montana State University is committed to increasing access to educational programs and building educational partnerships with external stakeholders. The institution believes that collaboration leads to better outcomes and encourages inquiry, exploration, creativity, and innovation.

The university is characterized by synergy within and across disciplines, roles, and functions. It operates openly, uses resources wisely, and supports well-qualified faculty and staff. Montana State University also nurtures a culture of resource conservation and ecological literacy among its students, faculty, and staff.

In terms of diversity, Montana State University actively supports and encourages it, with a particular focus on supporting Native American students, programs, and communities.

What is the accreditation of Montana State University?

Montana State University has held accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1932. This institutional accreditation is accompanied by various professional academic and service programs within the university that are accredited by different agencies. Prospective students may be interested to know that these accreditations include the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, American Psychological Association, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, National Architectural Accrediting Board, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Society for Range Management. Furthermore, Montana State University accepts transfer credit from various institutions, providing flexibility for students who may have completed coursework elsewhere.

Montana State University Rankings

See where this school lands in our other Rankings to get a bigger picture of the institution's offerings.

41 Best Colleges in the West in 2023-2024 US

79 Best Public Colleges in 2023-2024

82 Best Value Colleges in 2023-2024

95 Most Popular Colleges in the West in 2023-2024 US

217 Best Colleges in 2023-2024

704 Most Popular Colleges in 2023-2024


Montana State University Profile - Basic Information

Name of the institution

Montana State University

Level of institution

Four or more years

Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)


School type


Setting type

Town: Remote

Calendar system


Foundation year


Institution size category

10,000 - 19,999

Main student body


Institutional Category

Degree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above

Montana State University Programs and Degrees

iconMaster's degree
iconCertificate of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years
iconAssociate's degree
iconBachelor's degree
iconPostbaccalaureate certificate
iconPost-master's certificate
iconDoctor's degree - research/scholarship
iconDoctor's degree - professional practice
iconOther degree
iconCertificate of less than 1 year
iconCertificate of at least 1 year, but less than 2 years
iconDoctor's degree - other

Alumni Salary for Montana State University Degrees


Avg. salary

Agricultural/Animal/Plant/Veterinary Science and Related Fields


Architecture and Related Services


Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services






Engineering/Engineering-related Technologies/Technicians


English Language and Literature/Letters


Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences


Health Professions and Related Programs




Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities


Mathematics and Statistics


Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies


Physical Sciences




Social Sciences


Visual and Performing Arts