Although higher education opportunities in the state of Montana are somewhat limited, students seeking the added flexibility and lower costs associated with an online bachelor’s degree do have options. Several schools in Big Sky Country offer undergraduate degrees and certificate degrees over the Web. The following are some examples of Montana colleges where you can get a bachelor’s degree online:

Montana State University Billings

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 6
  • Fields Offered: Business Administration, Communication, Health Administration, Public Relations, Applied Science, Liberal Studies
  • Accreditor: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Montana State University Billings’ online bachelor’s degree program joins together the benefits of a practical undergraduate education with the ease of distance learning. The university boasts a wide array of subjects, concentrations, and specialty areas of study, featuring the largest selection of online bachelor’s degrees in Montana, as well as over 240 individual online courses. Through comprehensive programs in fields ranging from business administration to liberal studies and with minimal, if any, campus requirements, students can register for classes, complete and submit assignments, and communicate directly with professors and peers via MSU’s online student portal, Desire2Learn.

University of Great Falls

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 3
  • Fields Offered: Criminal Justice, Law, Psychology
  • Accreditor: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Montana’s oldest private Roman Catholic liberal arts university features an online Bachelor of Science degree, with a concentration in criminal justice or paralegal studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. The University of Great Falls utilizes both the LearnLinc and Moodle platforms to enable distance learners to take classes, turn in assignments, and live-chat with their professors and classmates, all from the comfort of their own homes. At UGF, Moodle fully supports all three available online degrees, and the virtual classroom component allows for professor-student interaction in real time. Since this university is known for embracing the latest e-learning technology, the online bachelor’s degree at UGF is especially ideal for a student who is already familiar with virtual learning platforms and/or a tech-savvy academic.

University of Montana

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 1
  • Fields Offered: Social Work
  • Accreditor: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Although the University of Montana offers only one online bachelor’s degree, the Bachelor of Social Work is a competitive, high-quality distance learning program. Students who wish to pursue the online bachelor’s degree at UM are able to apply for “online education only” status, which allows for unnecessary fees and campus-related permissions to be waived and makes the distance learner’s application process more efficient. This degree typically requires 10 of the 30 total credits be completed as part of a supervised field study program, which cannot be completed entirely online. However, the majority of academic credits are completed online through Cyberbear, the University’s e-portal, and Moodle. UM’s online bachelor’s degree encourages students to develop a virtual community, helping them to be better prepared for entry-level social work practice.

Higher Education in Montana

Montana may not be densely populated, but the mountainous state still maintains a variety of higher education initiatives even among its selection of only 30 colleges and universities. The state offers diverse online bachelor’s degree programs, most of which are offered in addition to traditional campus-based learning through the largest public institutions in the region. In an effort to provide exceptional educational resources that help boost college enrollment, the state of Montana has also developed tools like the Montana Digital Academy, which helps direct college-bound high school students to the appropriate online bachelor’s degree for their interests.

The largest state universities also have the best selection of undergraduate courses and online bachelor’s degrees in Montana. Besides the Billings branch, Montana State’s Bozeman, Northern, and Missoula locations also offer various online programs. Increasing student enrollment in online courses is one of the primary goals of the Board of Regents and the Office of Commissioner of Higher Education, as laid out in its Strategic Plan.


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