Founded in 1932, the University of Great Falls is a private, Catholic institution in Great Falls, MT, the state’s third-largest city. UGF has its roots in two different institutions: a women’s junior college founded by the Sisters of Charity of Providence and the Ursuline Sisters; and a normal school founded by the Sisters of Providence, which merged with the junior college in 1942 to save expenses and increase opportunities. UGF is known not only for their educational excellence and service, but also for their extensive outreach efforts, including more than 30 distance education sites and online degree programs as well.
Academic ProgramsAs a traditional Catholic liberal arts college, the University of Great Falls is dedicated to student learning and development in keeping with Jesus Christ’s teaching mission. However, UGF does not live in the past; the UGF mission is to provide students with “education for living and for making a living,” and in the 21st century that means preparing top-tier professional and career programs in the most in-demand and practical fields. With its roots in a normal school and teacher’s college, education remains one of UGF’s strongest programs, while other significant degrees include criminal justice, business, and paralegal/pre-law.
In keeping with Catholic values of outreach and accessibility, the University of Great Falls has also put adult education and other nontraditional educational means at a priority. UGF has developed a dozen online bachelor’s, minors, and associate’s programs (though some require limited on-campus attendance), including highly in-demand areas such as criminal justice and legal/paralegal studies. Special online programs for Army Paralegal and Air Force Paralegal are also available for service members. Online programs are available in asynchronous and synchronous formats.
Student LifeWith just over 1000 students, student life at the University of Great Falls is close-knit and community-oriented. Of course, as a Catholic university, spiritual life is central to student life, dedicated to the values of the Sisters of Providence, including justice, compassion, and charity. Campus Ministries arranges trips, events, activities, and service projects for students to develop community and serve the community inside and outside of campus. Service and community engagement is also core aspects of student life, both in the Great Falls area and internationally. As in all of Montana, outdoor sports and activities are an integral part of student life, with clubs and activities oriented toward Montana’s outdoors.
UGF is dedicated to diversity and access, including active outreach to low-income students and disadvantaged populations. 96% of students receive financial aid, and 46% receive need-based Pell Grants, a reflection of the number of low-income students attracted to and accepted by UGF. The UGF mission emphasizes collaboration, community-building, and particular concern for the poor and vulnerable. Above all, UGF seeks to develop independent and community-oriented men and women for leadership in Montana and beyond.