10 Best Small Colleges in Montana | Expert List

10 Best Small Colleges in Montana | Expert List

Are you looking for the best small colleges in Montana? Do you want to know more details about Montana’s small schools and how you can make a choice about the best school for you?

Embarking on the journey to attain a bachelor’s or graduate degree in Montana reveals various colleges primed to shape your academic success.

This ranking meticulously spotlights institutions boasting not only exceptional academic programs but also robust support services and a myriad of extracurricular opportunities.

Noteworthy for their commitment, many of these schools extend generous financial aid packages and embrace flexible online learning tailored to accommodate the demanding schedules of professionals and parents.

Even if your ideal fit doesn’t emerge from this list, the exploration of these institutions becomes an invaluable compass for discerning the pivotal qualities shaping your academic endeavors. For personalized insights into programs or requirements, direct communication with these schools is highly encouraged.

If you did not find your choice school here, you can also scout for alternatives in our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US for other small school options.

The University of Montana in Missoula is not considered a small school. UM has a diverse student body, comprehensive academic programs, and a wide range of extracurricular activities. It is a larger university that offers a vibrant and dynamic campus experience.

What college accepts the least number of students?

  1. Among the listed colleges in Montana, Salish Kootenai College, as a tribal college with a specific focus on Native American education and cultural preservation, tends to have a smaller student body compared to larger public universities. The college’s emphasis on maintaining a close-knit community contributes to a more intimate learning environment for its students.
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What are the best small colleges in Montana?

Without further ado, we lead you to the top colleges with small class sizes and student populations in Montana. Our job here at Ziiky is to make school searching easy and seamless for you.

Now here are the top Montana small colleges:

1. Carroll College, Helena

  • Phone: +1 406-447-4300
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,048 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1601 N Benton Ave., Helena, MT 59625, United States

If you’re seeking a close-knit community and personalized attention, consider Carroll College in Helena.

As a private four-year Catholic diocesan liberal arts college, Carroll emphasizes values-based education, creating a supportive environment for students of all backgrounds.

With a strong focus on academic excellence and a commitment to service, Carroll provides a well-rounded education that prepares students for success in their careers and beyond their undergraduate education.


2. Rocky Mountain College, Billings

  • Phone: +1 406-657-1000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 807 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1511 Poly Dr, Billings, MT 59102, United States

For those drawn to the vibrant city of Billings, Rocky Mountain College offers a unique blend of liberal arts education and professional programs. The school offers 50 liberal arts and professional majors in 24 undergraduate disciplines.

As a private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the United Church of Christ, Rocky Mountain College promotes intellectual curiosity and encourages students to explore their passions.

The campus, nestled against the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, provides an inspiring backdrop for academic pursuits and outdoor adventures.


3. Montana State University Billings

  • Phone: +1 406-657-2011
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,818 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1500 University Dr, Billings, MT 59101, United States

Montana State University Billings, situated in the heart of Billings, stands out as a public university with a diverse range of academic programs.

The university has been an integral part of the Billings community and a student-centered learning environment With a commitment to accessibility and affordability, MSU Billings provides a supportive learning environment.

The campus fosters collaboration and innovation, ensuring students gain practical skills for their chosen careers while enjoying the beauty of Montana’s landscapes.


4. The University of Providence in Great Falls

  • Phone: +1 406-791-5202
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 660 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1301 20th St., Great Falls, MT 59405, United States

The University of Providence in Great Falls is a private Roman Catholic university dedicated to holistic education. The college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Known for its strong nursing and healthcare programs, UP provides students with a values-based education that prepares them for leadership roles in their respective fields.

The campus’s welcoming atmosphere and focus on service create an environment where students can grow academically and personally.


5. Montana Technological University, Butte

  • Phone: +1 800-445-8324
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,467 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1300 W Park St, Butte, MT 59701, United States

If you’re inclined toward engineering and technical fields, Montana Technological University in Butte is the place to be.

A public institution with a strong emphasis on science and engineering, Montana Tech equips students with hands-on experience and cutting-edge knowledge.

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The university’s close ties to the mining industry and emphasis on practical application make it a top choice for those seeking a career in STEM fields.

Keep in mind that although Montana Tech may be best known for engineering and the natural sciences, the school also offers established programs in business, health professions, and other fields.


6. Montana State University-Northern

  • Phone: +1 406-265-3700
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 838 (2020–21)
  • Address: 300 13th St W, Havre, MT 59501, United States

Head north to Havre, and you’ll find Montana State University-Northern, a public university with a reputation for excellence in agriculture and natural resource programs.

With a commitment to hands-on learning and a strong sense of community, MSU-Northern prepares students for success in various fields.

The campus’s northern location offers unique opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. Keep in mind that Montana State University-Northern is part of the Montana University System.


7. University of Montana Western, Dillion

  • Phone: +1 877-683-7331
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,283 (2020–21)
  • Address: 710 S Atlantic St, Dillon, MT 59725, United States

In the charming town of Dillon, the University of Montana Western stands out for its innovative and experiential learning model. The college is affiliated with the University of Montana and is part of the Montana University System.

As a public university, UMW focuses on small class sizes and a personalized approach to education and offers the most affordable four-year university in Montana.

The unique block scheduling system allows students to immerse themselves fully in one subject at a time, fostering deep understanding and critical thinking.


8. Salish Kootenai College

  • Phone: +1 406-275-4800
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 561 (2020–21)
  • Address: 58138 US-93, Pablo, MT 59855, United States

Salish Kootenai College, located on the Flathead Indian Reservation, stands as a tribal college with a deep connection to the land and its indigenous heritage. The college specifically serves the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles tribes.

As a private institution chartered by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, SKC offers a culturally rich environment and a commitment to Native American education.

The college provides a unique opportunity for students to engage with tribal traditions while pursuing academic excellence.

Keep in mind that Salish Kootenai College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


9. Highlands College in Butte

  • Phone: +1 406-496-3707
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 312 (2020–21)
  • Address: 25 Basin Creek Rd., Butte, MT 59701, United States

Highlands College in Butte, affiliated with Montana Tech, is a public two-year college focusing on technical and vocational education.

With a mission to prepare students for the workforce, Highlands College offers a range of programs that align with the needs of industries in the region.

The college’s strong ties to the local community and emphasis on practical skills make it an excellent choice for those seeking a direct path to a career.

Keep in mind that Highlands College is home to all Montana Tech career-ready and transfer programs that help build the workforce we need in Butte and Montana.


10. Aaniiih Nakoda College

  • Phone: +1 406-353-2607
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 105 (2020–21)
  • Address: 269 Blackfeet St Agency, Harlem, MT 59526, United States

Aaniiih Nakoda College in Agency is a tribal college emphasizing cultural preservation and community engagement. The school is a small, intimate campus that allows time and attention for every student.

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As a public institution chartered by the Fort Belknap Indian Community, ANC provides a unique educational experience rooted in Native American traditions.

The college’s commitment to indigenous knowledge and sustainability makes it an ideal choice for students interested in cultural preservation and academic achievement.

Aaniiih Nakoda College incorporates native culture into the curriculum and promotes cultural identity; however, the school is open to both tribal and non-tribal members.


FAQs on the best small colleges in Montana

Are there specialized programs that set Montana’s small colleges apart?

Montana’s small colleges are distinguished by their specialized programs catering to unique academic and professional interests.

For instance, Montana Technological University in Butte stands out for its emphasis on science and engineering, offering specialized programs that prepare students for careers in STEM fields.

Additionally, the University of Providence in Great Falls excels in nursing and healthcare education, providing students with specialized training and a pathway to leadership roles in the healthcare industry.

How do small colleges in Montana support students financially?

Small colleges in Montana prioritize financial support to ensure accessibility and affordability for students.

Public institutions like Montana State University Billings and Montana State University-Northern often offer competitive tuition rates for in-state students, while private colleges like Carroll College may provide financial aid packages and scholarships to help make education more financially feasible.

These institutions are committed to removing barriers to education, making it accessible to a broad range of students.

What is the community like at small colleges in Montana?

The community atmosphere at small colleges in Montana is characterized by its close-knit and supportive nature.

Whether it’s the collaborative environment at Rocky Mountain College in Billings or the culturally rich community at Salish Kootenai College, students often experience a sense of belonging.

Smaller class sizes at schools like the University of Montana Western and Aaniiih Nakoda College foster strong student-faculty relationships, creating an environment where individuals are known and supported academically and personally. This tight community bond contributes to a positive and engaging college experience.


In conclusion, Montana boasts a diverse array of small colleges, each with its own unique strengths and offerings. From values-based education to practical, industry-focused programs, these institutions provide students with a range of choices tailored to their individual preferences and career goals.

Whether it’s the cultural richness or the commitment to workforce development, these small colleges contribute significantly to the educational landscape in Montana.

As students seek a personalized and engaging academic experience, these institutions stand as shining examples of the quality education available in the Big Sky State.

We hope you find your perfect school above.

Good luck!!!



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