Colleges and Universities in Billings, Montana

Billings, Montana is home to several quality colleges and universities that serve both the local community and students from across the region and country.

With its friendly small-town vibe, beautiful mountainous surroundings, and thriving economy, Billings offers an ideal setting for higher education. This article explores the various college options available in Billings as well as some key details on each institution.

Major Universities

Rocky Mountain College

Rocky Mountain College (RMC) is a private liberal arts college located right in the heart of Billings. Founded in 1878, it is the oldest college in Montana. Key facts about Rocky Mountain College:

  • Type: 4-year private not-for-profit college
  • Total enrollment: Over 1,000 students
  • Academics: Offers over 30 undergraduate majors as well as several pre-professional programs. Most popular majors include business, education, healthcare, and aviation.
  • Student life: Close-knit campus community with many opportunities to get involved through student government, Greek life, outdoor programs, athletics, and more. Over 60% of students live on campus.
  • Tuition: $33,500 per year (including room & board)

With small class sizes, experienced faculty, and a friendly community vibe, RMC offers the quintessential small liberal arts college experience right in Montana’s largest city. The scenic campus also borders the Yellowstone River.

Montana State University Billings

Montana State University Billings (MSU Billings) is a public university in Billings and the largest college in the city. Key information on MSU Billings includes:

  • Type: 4-year public university, part of the Montana University System
  • Total enrollment: Over 4,500 students
  • Academics: Offers over 150 degree options through 6 colleges focused on the liberal arts, business, education & human services, health professions, science, and technology. Many programs offered fully online.
  • Student life: Campus housing available, with over 15% of students living on campus. Many opportunities to get involved through student government, Greek life, athlete clubs, honor societies, and more.
  • Tuition: $7,000 per year (in-state); $22,600 (out-of-state)

With its wide range of academic programs, robust student life opportunities, and relative affordability for in-state students, MSU Billings is an accessible and engaging public university option based right in Billings.

Community and Technical Colleges

Billings also hosts several quality two-year college options that offer associate’s degrees, technical certifications, and affordable starts to a four-year degree.

City College at Montana State University Billings

City College is the two-year college arm of Montana State University Billings. Key details include:

  • Type: 2-year public community college, associate’s degrees & certificates
  • Enrollment: Approximately 2,000 students
  • Academics: Offers over 40 Associates and technical degrees/certificates in fields like business, healthcare, IT, design & construction, andRenewable energy. Transfer options to 4-year degrees available.
  • Tuition: $3,297 per year (in-state); $9,225 (out-of-state)

As part of the MSU Billings system, City College allows for an affordable start to college with easy transferability to bachelor’s degree programs. Small classes and experiential learning help students thrive.

Billings College of Technology

Operated by Montana State University’s colleges of technology, Billings College of Tech offers dozens of 2-year technical degree and certificate programs. Details include:

  • Type: Public 2-year college focused on technical/vocational training
  • Enrollment: Approximately 900 students
  • Academics: Offers over 35 Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificates in fields like automotive technology, welding, nursing, information technology, graphic design, and more. Designed to prepare students for technical careers.
  • Tuition: $3,881 per year (in-state); $11,726 (out-of-state)

With its heavy emphasis on job training programs, Billings College of Technology allows students to gain skills to enter technical fields in just 1-2 years.

Graduate, Professional & Distance Education

Billings also hosts opportunities for advanced degrees for local professionals as well as remote students.

Rocky Mountain College Graduate Programs

  • Programs Offered: Master’s Degrees in Accounting, Physician Assistant Studies, Educational Leadership, and more. Graduate-level certificates also available.
  • Format: Mix of online and evening/weekend in-person courses designed for working professionals.
  • Areas of Strength: Applied healthcare and leadership/management programs.

Montana State University Billings City College Outreach & Distance Ed

  • Programs Offered: 10+ fully online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in fields like Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Rehabilitation Counseling. Also offers online teacher credentialing.
  • Format: Asynchronous online courses allow remote completion from anywhere at your own pace.
  • Areas of Strength: Variety of career-oriented fields, from business to healthcare and education.

Between Rocky Mountain College and MSU Billings’ City College, local professionals and remote students have various opportunities to complete bachelor’s, master’s and credentialing programs fully online.

Specialized Institutions

Billings has a few smaller specialized institutions as well including:

Paul Mitchell the School Billings

  • Type: For-profit cosmetology and barber school
  • Offering hair, nail, esthetics and barbering programs

Montana Academy of Salons

  • Another local for-profit cosmetology school offering cosmetology and nail technology certificates

So for those looking to enter the beauty industry, Billings has you covered with specialized cosmetology, esthetics, and nail technician schools and training options.

Overview of Higher Education in Billings

As Montana’s largest and fastest growing city, Billings offers a complete range of higher education options including:

  • 4-year universities like Rocky Mountain College and MSU Billings offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees
  • 2-year colleges like City College and Billings College of Technology focused on associate’s degrees and job training
  • Online/remote learning opportunities at multiple levels through MSU Billings and Rocky Mountain College
  • Specialized beauty schools like Paul Mitchell The School and Montana Academy of Salons

So whether you’re pursuing an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, technical training, or advanced credentials, Billings has quality colleges and universities to meet your needs. And its friendly size, community vibe, and natural splendor make it a wonderful place to call your college town.

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  • Start out going northwest on Main St toward N 28th St. Take the 1st right onto N 28th St. Turn right onto Grand Ave, then quickly turn left to merge onto I-90 W toward Sheridan. Follow I-90 W for approximately 70 miles, then take exit 442 for Blue Creek Rd toward Billings. Turn right onto Blue Creek Rd and the destination will be on your right after about 0.3 miles.
  • Head west on Main St toward N 29th St. Turn right onto N 29th St, followed by a slight left to merge onto I-90 W. Stay on I-90 W, driving for roughly 70 miles, before taking the Blue Creek Rd exit on the right. Take the ramp onto Blue Creek Rd and go straight for 0.3 miles until you arrive at 3910 Blue Creek Rd on your right.
  • Start by getting on I-90 W from Main St. Drive on the interstate for about 70 miles then take exit 442 to merge onto Blue Creek Rd. As soon as you exit, turn right to continue on Blue Creek Rd. 3910 Blue Creek Rd will be around 0.3 miles down the road on your right side. The travel time should be just over an hour from downtown Billings.