The largest public research institution in the state, Montana State University was founded in 1893 in Bozeman, MT. Bozeman had waged a long campaign to be the capital city of Montana, but when the legislature chose Helena, Bozeman was given the land-grant university instead. History has proven MSU to be an excellent runner-up prize, as the Agricultural College of the State of Montana has grown into a nationally recognized, first-rated research university with more than $100 million in research expenditures yearly and hundreds of licences and patents for technology and inventions. In addition, MSU has long been ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s listing of national best values for its combination of quality and affordability.
Academic ProgramsMontana State is a largely undergraduate university; of its 16,000 students, only 2000 are graduate students. That only makes Montana State more impressive, however – falling in the top 3% of national universities for research productivity, Montana State’s undergraduates are doing the work typically reserved for graduate students, giving MSU students the opportunity to work closely with faculty and researchers on cutting edge discoveries in areas like environmental science and sustainability, agriculture, transportation, energy, and biomedicine. That’s a huge boost to undergraduates who want to go on to graduate school, or who want to enter straight into their professional careers.
Montana State has also earned the nickname University of Yellowstone for the amount of research that goes on in the national park – one of the world’s largest outdoor laboratories, for Montana State students. With its heritage as a land-grant university, originally emphasizing agriculture and applied mechanics, MSU is Montana’s STEM university. However, there are well over 200 degree programs in every imaginable field, including education, the arts and humanities, and business. An impressive number of Rhodes Scholars, Truman Scholars, and Goldwater Scholars attests to MSU’s capacity for excellence.
Student LifeLike most large, public universities, MSU’s student life is multifaceted and diverse, with hundreds of student clubs, service organizations, and honor societies helping Montana State students while away the hours not in class or working. Dozens of the nation’s most respected professional networking organizations are represented on campus, such as the American Society of Chemical Engineers, as well as more than a dozen national honor societies in a variety of disciplines. Students can also join many recreational clubs, including a wealth of clubs designed around outdoor sports, one of Montana’s main attractions.
The city of Bozeman, in many ways, is a prototypical college town, a small town that was once ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the best places in the US to raise kids, as well as one of Outside magazine’s best towns in the US. 300 days of sunshine annually, and mild year-round weather, have made Bozeman an outdoor sports destination, but the presence of MSU has also made it a cultural and artistic hub, compete with a symphony and ballet.