Business Schools in Montana

The largest of the northwestern states and fourth-largest in the US overall—after only Alaska, Texas, and California—Montana is a sprawling land of mountains, hills, and plains that has earned the state its nickname as “Big Sky Country.” Its large area is home to a little over a million people, giving it the third-lowest population density in the country, behind only Alaska (again) and nearby Wyoming. The state’s name reflects the importance of its position at the northern edge of the American Rockies, and tourism is an essential part of the state’s economy due to its ski resorts, national parks, and other natural attractions. Ranching and farming continue to be important as well, and on the more modern side, Montana ranks third in the country in the number of microbreweries per capita.

As a state with a very low population, Montana is not mainly known as a center of higher education, and it has relatively few business school options: data from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) shows ten public and non-profit schools that grant undergraduate business degrees in the state, of which five are accredited. An accredited school is always a wise choice. This assures you that the program you select has clear objectives and produces quality outcomes while adhering to national and international standards. Accredited schools generally also offer a richer educational experience by providing interaction with real businesses.

All of the schools in this article have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and/or International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). They are all public or non-profit and regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

In this article, you will find the critical data you need to help you choose the Montana business school that best suits your unique needs based on various key factors, including tuition, financial aid, entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, and more. The sections that follow describe undergraduate programs in Montana and job prospects for business school graduates.


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Undergraduate Business Schools in Montana

As is typical of states with smaller populations, Montana’s business schools are very inexpensive for the most part. Four of the schools have tuition figures below $7,000, with the University of Montana Western even below $5,000. These colleges also offer financial aid amounts very close to their tuition numbers, making them very budget-friendly options. The fifth school, Carroll College, is considerably more expensive at $33,200, perhaps because it is currently ranked the #1 regional college in the west by US News & World Report.1

We have acceptance rates for three of our schools, all of which are high or very high: 71% at the aforementioned Carroll College, 89% at Montana Tech of the University of Montana, and 92% at the University of Montana. Graduation rates for undergraduate business degrees in Montana are generally moderate. Four of the schools fall into the range of 46% to 66%; the outlier is Montana State University-Billings, which graduates just 24% of students.

The table below shows you the vital data you need about Montana’s undergraduate business schools, including annual in-state tuition costs, average aid per student, acceptance rates, SAT and ACT score ranges of accepted students, and graduation rates. Click any column header to sort the table based on its contents.

SchoolCityTuitionAidMedian SATMedian ACTAccept. RateGrad. Rate
Carroll CollegeHelena$33,192$18,626990-122022-2871%66%
Montana State University-BillingsBillings$5,826$4,18324%
Montana Tech of the University of MontanaButte$6,561$6,3721030-118022-2689%46%
University of MontanaMissoula$6,238$4,956950-120020-2692%49%
University of Montana WesternDillon$4,893$5,36653%
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Job Outlook for Business School Graduates in Montana

From 2016 to 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data predicts total growth of at least 5% in 32 of 37 business and management occupations across the US.6 The highest growth will be for market analysts and marketing specialists, at 22.8% over ten years, with financial managers coming in second at 18.7%.6

Montana’s economy has been powerful for several years, with an unemployment rate well below the national average for most of the last two decades. In recent years, the two rates have started to converge, and the state rate of 3.9% is now nearly the same as the national rate of 4%. About 24,180 people were employed in the business and management sector in Montana in 2016.7 The largest subgroup was general and operations managers, with 4,890 people, followed by accountants and auditors (3,340) and business operations specialists (3,320).7

BLS data indicates that Montana ranked 41st among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall average annual wage across all occupations in 2016 at $50,027, a fair bit below the national average of $57,617..7 Business and management occupations had a weighted average annual salary of around $76,520 that same year..7 Like neighboring Idaho, but unlike most other states, the highest salary in Montana was for architectural and engineering managers rather than CEOs, though the latter was a close second ($131,540 and $130,160 respectively)..7 Most management positions fell between $80,000 and $110,000.7 The lowest-paid of the groups was tax preparers at $37,770..7

Occupation TitleBLS.gov
Code
2016
Total
Employment
Montana
Mean
Hourly
Wage
Montana
Mean
Annual
Wage
Montana
National
Growth
2016-26
Accountants and Auditors13-20113,340$32$65,6008.0%
Administrative Services Managers11-3011250$42$87,9009.1%
Architectural and Engineering Managers11-9041270$63$131,5407.4%
Budget Analysts13-2031250$29$60,64010.4%
Business Operations Specialists13-11993,320$32$65,92010.1%
Chief Executives11-1011450$63$130,16011.9%
Compensation, and Benefits Specialists13-1141160$27$56,5905.6%
Compliance Officers13-1041960$29$59,9105.0%
Construction Managers11-9021580$45$94,3308.9%
Cost Estimators13-10511,040$28$58,92010.3%
Credit Analysts13-2041170$31$64,00011.4%
Credit Counselors13-207160$20$42,4905.5%
Financial Analysts13-2051160$47$98,2304.9%
Financial Examiners13-2061110$35$73,2008.2%
Financial Managers11-3031670$51$106,92010.6%
General and Operations Managers11-10214,890$47$98,2307.1%
Human Resources Managers11-3121190$47$98,010-7.8%
Human Resources Specialists13-10711,480$26$54,3106.9%
Information Systems Managers11-3021560$57$118,93012.0%
Insurance Underwriters13-2053140$35$73,75010.2%
Labor Relations Specialists13-1075110$25$52,3208.5%
Loan Officers13-20721,370$32$65,62011.5%
Logisticians13-1081100$32$65,53022.8%
Management Analysts13-1111610$35$72,3108.8%
Market Analysts and Marketing Specialists13-11611,090$29$59,31010.0%
Marketing Managers11-2021150$54$112,3506.5%
Meeting and Event Planners13-1121340$18$37,4908.4%
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers11-2031100$37$76,18010.8%
Purchasing Managers11-306150$48$100,180-5.2%
Sales Managers11-2022210$58$121,2009.8%
Tax Examiners and Revenue Agents13-2081120$28$58,19013.9%
Tax Preparers13-2082170$18$37,77011.5%
Training and Development Specialists13-1151710$28$58,31010.8%

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References:
1. US News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges West Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/regional-colleges-west
2. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/
3. AACSB, Best Business Schools: https://bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/aacsb-accredited
4. ACBSP, Business Schools: https://www.acbsp.org/page/accreditation
5. IACBE, Business Schools: https://iacbe.org/accreditation/
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook, Business and Financial Occupations: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment and Wage Estimates Montana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mt.htm
8. US News & World Report, Best Business Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools