Best Montana MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an Montana MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in Montana


The population of Montana is 1,050,493, and that figure ranks it the seventh smallest state in the union. However, it’s a physically large state; by land area it’s the fourth largest state. Montana has eye-popping vistas and remarkable natural features. In addition to the landmark National Parks and Preserves that draw thousands of tourists from around the world, Montana has a robust business infrastructure. It’s rich in minerals, mining, farming, and energy production. The larger metropolitan areas are Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls. The state is also home to some large Air Force and other federal installations. MBA graduates are in demand from the government employers and private business interests that thrive in Montana.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


The MBA programs Montana business schools offer include a wide variety of learning environments, locations, and admission requirements. The MBA curriculum can vary in length, content, and costs depending on what you want your main focus to be and whether you attend on a part-time or full-time basis. The University of Montana and Montana State University are part of the state-sponsored university system. Typically, the in-state tuition rates for college are much lower than the out-of-state rates. Some students can take advantage of interstate exchange programs that reduce the costs for out-of-state students among the states that have these arrangements, making your search for graudate programs that fit your budget easier. Online MBAs save on living costs as students can stay at home while completing coursework. Online applicants will save on travel and daily commutes because accessibility only requires that they log onto the site the school has set up for their courses.

The admission requirements depend upon the school’s policies and preferences. Business schools typically require a satisfactory score on the GMAT exam before you can earn a professional degree. Many Montana schools waive this requirement for students with significant life experience. Some policies waive this test for applicants with five or more years of military experience as well, while other schools waive the GMAT for applicants with five or more years of employment experience in a business field.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


Students can use concentrations to improve their knowledge and credentials for work in specific fields. Through specialization, they center what they learn around the academics and skills they need to master in order to succeed in future jobs. A myriad of options are offered by current MBA programs including strategic planning, business analytics, human resources, and more. These may take additional time to complete, but you should be well compensated for the time spent. When looking for high growth opportunities in the Montana economy, students should look to the agriculture, oil, and gas sectors. The larger areas of business activity include healthcare, mining, agribusiness, oil, and gas exploration and production.

  • Healthcare Management
    A concentration in healthcare management prepares students for a mid-to-upper level management position in healthcare institutions like hospitals, healthcare systems, and the health insurance business. Healthcare includes health administration, insurance, and a comprehensive understanding of information technology. Depending on which option you choose, you could oversee and support staff, release info on social media, or create fundraising events.
  • Agribusiness
    A concentration in agriculture or related subjects like trade, international trade, and marketing can prepare students for a large and fundamentally important part of the Montana economy. Agriculture involves finance, marketing, and managing systems that the federal and state governments regulate. Agribusiness goes beyond farming to transportation, processing, and distribution. International trade is a key feature of agribusiness and MBAs are in demand in the technology-oriented processes and you’ll likely take a course or two in this subject as well.
  • Oil and Gas
    A concentration in oil and gas exploration and production is a specialized area of technology with practices of finance, accounting, and marketing. The oil and gas sector is complex and it involves securities, futures, bonds, insurance, sales contracts, and government regulation. Given the importance of oil and gas to the Montana economy, MBA concentrations in this field can prepare graduates for a wide range of opportunities in a growth sector.
  • Energy and Sustainable Practices
    Energy production has state and federal regulations for safety and environmental impacts. It is an expansive process, often involving complex financial arrangements. The extraction of fuels poses challenges for environmental safety and compliance. Sustainable practices can avoid fines, assessments, and unwanted waste of resources or the degradation of the environment. When combined with a solid basis in management, finance, accounting, and business organizations, sustainable practices embrace technology and innovation and apply them in creative ways to solve problems.
  • Global Trade
    A concentration in global trade can supplement a strong foundation in management, finance, and accounting. Global trade involves a basis in accounting, international law, trade regulations, and marketing. The global trade concentration equips MBAs with the knowledge needed to work across national boundaries in international trade and finance environments. A global trade concentration can promote MBA graduate employment in the agribusiness or oil and gas sectors in Montana.

Accreditation in Montana


There are two basic types of accreditation; they are national accreditation and regional accreditation. Accreditation serves an essential purpose for MBA graduates; it validates the MBA as a product of a quality education. Regional accreditation incorporates the standards as applied to the leading schools in the northwest US region. Accredited schools produce graduates with the expected high level of education and readiness for further education and employment. They are reviewed for the quality of the entire school, including courses and faculty.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities provides regional accreditation for Montana institutions. This institutional accreditation agency can certify the quality of the entire institution. They certify the entire University of Montana. The business school can get program accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB is the leading accreditation agency for MBA programs. It has the widest national and international acceptance. Alumni from schools with this credential can expect significantly better starting pay and job offers.

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Billings Clinic Dermatology Healthcare Billings 3,500
Billings Clinic Employee Healthcare Billings 3,500
Billings Clinic Lab Healthcare Billings 3,500
Aagerson Farm Agriculture Gildford 3,000
Malmstrom AFB Military Malmstrom AFB 3,000

Average Degree Salary Ranges Potential


  • Earnings with Associates - $42,346
  • Earnings with Bachelors - $51,195
  • Earnings with MBA - $70,750

Careers for Montana MBA Grads


  • Senior Manager Healthcare Services
    Healthcare is a vibrant and growing sector of the Montana economy. The business has a public purpose and has extensive involvement with public policy and public payers.
  • Travel and Hospitality Managers
    Travel and hospitality are prominent industries in the Montana economy; the strong role of tourism comes from the amazing natural beauty and wonders found in Montana. Travel and hospitality are big businesses. They require MBAs with accounting, finance, and management skills. They also rely heavily on marketing management.
  • Agribusiness Operations and Management
    Agriculture is a significant part of the Montana economy, and it is an international trade sensitive environment. The agribusiness industry involves finance, accounting, marketing, and global trade issues.
  • Oil and Gas Operations and Management
    Oil and gas exploration and development is a major growth business in Montana. An MBA equips graduates to work in this technology-driven field. It provides a solid knowledge base in management, marketing, and finance. Graduates must work in varying business environments and manage compliance with federal and state regulations.
  • Construction Management
    In Montana, construction involves commercial structures, public infrastructure, housing, and military construction. The oil and gas industry requires a specialized type of construction for exploration and processing of fossil fuels.
  • Financial Management
    Finance involves compliance with financial and reporting regulations. Finance MBA graduates have a strong input in making sure an organizations budget works. Finance is more than crunching numbers, MBAs get training that develops insights and inspires creative thinking and problem-solving. Financial management involves discovering the value of financial information and the ways it can move the organization towards achieving its long-term goals. Financial management is an excellent building block for entrepreneurship.

Best MBA Programs in Montana


Currently, the state of Montana has one Online MBA program. The University of Montana offers the sole Montana online MBA program. Other nearby programs are based in Idaho.

Montana Tech of the University of Montana Location
Butte, MT
MBA Concentrations
  • Entrepreneurship Certificate
  • Entertainment Management Certificate
Tuition
$4,706
Retention %
79%
Graduation %
54%
Avg. Grad Salary
$77,834
Montana State University-Billings Location
Billings, MT
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$5,598
Retention %
62%
Graduation %
24%
Avg. Grad Salary
$60,487

How to Choose & FAQ's


Montana is a geographically large state, and some rural areas may lack easy access to physical locations of the leading colleges and universities. Montana may be an ideal place for online graduate study because of the extreme distances between the larger metropolitan areas and many smaller communities in the state. When selecting a program in Montana, applicants should bear in mind the costs, investment of time, and other sacrifices that will be needed to complete the difficult 32 credit hour curriculum. Students should make sure that their selection matches their goals as much as possible and seem the most likely to help them reach those goals.

  • Make Sure the School Has Accreditation
    Accreditation is a key element in establishing the value of the MBA. Employers, educators, and other reviewers of academic qualifications look for accreditation when evaluating applicants. Accredited schools earn the certification by demonstrating the elements of high-quality instruction. The AACSB is the leading accreditation agency for MBA programs. The University of Montana program has AACSB certification. This program certification delves down into the particular program and assesses the quality of its education in detail.
  • Understand the Total Costs

    The tuition cost for the University of Montana online MBA program is the standard in-state rate for Montana residents and the standard out-of-state rate for non-residents. Online students do not have to pay the costs of living away from home, and this represents a savings when compared to campus-based programs. However, online students still pay tuition, and they must pay technical fees and other charges related to accessing the online coursework.

    The online curriculum can take as much as six years to complete. Students can complete the on-campus program in one year. Because online students do not attend the physical campus, they cannot receive graduate assistant positions or other campus-based work opportunities.

    Many students use loans to finance their attendance in the MBA program. Students can use Federal student loans to attend the University of Montana; the University is an accredited institution for the purposes of student loan eligibility. The University reports the level of debt that MBA students typically incur; this type of cost can be an important piece of information in the selection process.

  • Schedule and Access

    The University offers access to condensed broadcasts of the class sessions. This system provides maximum flexibility for students to schedule class time and maintain employment and other responsibilities like family and business. Flexible time commitments are nonetheless demanding periods for classwork and study hours between classes. Applicants must be sure that their situation can allow for the time needed to study and attend classes.

    Students can access the system from home or other locations through the internet. The University also provides group access locations where students can gather and watch and interact with the class session as a group. Because Montana is a large state with many remote rural communities, it is imperative for the applicant to make sure that they have a consistent, reliable, and available location to access the class sessions on the internet. This should include University sponsored locations for group access.

  • Get Financial Aid
    Online students in Montana can benefit from in-state tuition rates that are significantly lower the out of state charges. Online students always benefit from fewer expenses while attending the online MBA curriculum. Applicants that have existing careers and have regular employment should inquire about employer assistance. Many companies recognize the value of further education for their employees. These companies often provide tuition reimbursement to cover all or part of the costs of education. Applicants should also inquire with the business association, employee groups, and other business sponsors that may offer scholarships in their community, city, county or other designation.
  • Match the Curriculum to Your Goals
    The curriculum consists of three general parts, namely the required core, the electives, and the capstone project. You can arrange these parts to advance your career on the ladder upward or to enter a new profession. The core provides a basis for specialization. It represents a comprehensive understanding of the basic principles of business and management. The curriculum requires or supports hands-on projects, internships, and other types of real-world experiences. With some planning, students may take advantage of opportunities to work in the field they wish to enter after graduation. For example, an MBA student seeking a career in Banking and Finance might do a capstone project with a bank concerning some emerging trend in international finance.

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources