On this page

Back to top

Best Online Master’s Programs in Montana (MT) for 2024

Ready to advance your career by earning a master’s degree? Discover how you can through one of the many quality and affordable online master’s programs available in Montana in 2024.

Author: Michael Hoffman

Editor: Staff Editor

Search hundreds of schools for the master’s YOU want……

Montana is a small state, population-wise, but when it comes to total area, it’s huge. That combination of a small population and wide, open spaces make the state an ideal setting for online learning, allowing schools to bring programs to students who live and work far from population centers. This also benefits master’s degree seekers, many of whom are working professionals pursuing their education while maintaining their current jobs.

We’ve created this guide to introduce you to the best online master’s degrees in Montana today. Along with information on specific degree programs, you’ll find helpful information and advice on how online programs work, what they cost, and where you can get help to pay for them. We’ll also look at some of the most popular careers available to Montana master’s degree holders.

Unveiling Today’s Top Online Master’s Programs in Montana

There are several colleges and universities offering online master’s programs in MT spanning a wide range of disciplines. You’ll find all of the different program formats and content delivery methods, including fully-online or hybrid programs with some in-person classes or internships. Courses formats are synchronous, requiring logging on and attending at specific times, or asynchronous, meaning they can be accessed at any time.

To get you started, we’ve spotlighted three of the best schools offering online master’s degrees in MT. Our selections are based on the availability of student-focused program elements, including proper accreditation, program cost and funding support, study convenience, and access to valuable academic and career support services. Here’s a look at who’s leading the way in online master’s programs in Montana for 2024.

Montana State University in Bozeman is the largest university in the state and one the 16 public colleges and universities that make up the Montana University System. With nearly a dozen programs, MSU is also the largest provider of online master’s degrees in Montana.

Along with many academic fields you often find in online graduate study, MSU offers several online master’s options that are less common. They include a Master of Science (MS) in Agricultural Education and a Professional MS in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences. Other online programs of note at MSU include the Master of Music in Music Education and MS in Dietetic Systems Leadership.

Tuition rates vary from program to program, but the current per-credit tuition rate for most online master’s programs at MSU is $302.82 for Montana residents and $411.46 for out-of-state residents.

Students in southern Montana and beyond can take advantage of the convenience and flexibility of the online master’s degrees offered by Montana State University Billings. Seven online master’s degrees are offered, spanning topics like health administration, public relations, and rehabilitation and mental health counseling.

Some programs, like the MS in Public Relations and MEd in School Psychology, can be completed 100% online, while others, including the Master of Health Administration (MHA) and MS in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, require on-campus or other in-person requirements.

Regardless of format, all online master’s programs at MSU Billings feature tuition costs that are among the most affordable in the state. Online master’s students additionally have access to many of the same financial aid opportunities such as scholarships and assistantships as their on-campus counterparts.

The University of Providence, a Roman Catholic university in Great Falls, is one of a small number of private colleges and universities offering online master’s degrees in MT. Providence currently offers seven master’s programs online, most of which are in the health services field. They include a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), MS in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, and an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Most of these programs are delivered in a combination of online asynchronous coursework and either on-campus clinical skills development courses or in-person practicum rotations. Along with the health-related programs, Providence offers online degrees in organizational leadership and sports management.

The standard per-credit tuition rate for all online master’s programs at Providence is $974. Discounted rates are available for students affiliated with Providence Health and other partner organizations. Providence students may also be eligible for a variety of institutional and outside financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, loans, work-study, VA benefits, tuition payment plans, and more.

Exploring Different Online Master’s Programs in MT

If you’ve read the school spotlights above, then you are aware that online master’s degrees in MT come in a variety of delivery formats and study options. In addition to those discussed above, there are other variables to consider when choosing an online degree program. To help you gain a clearer understanding of how they all work, we’ve described four common online program types below and included current program examples for each.

Full-time Online Master’s Programs in Montana

Although part-time formats are more common than full-time ones when it comes to online master’s degrees in MT, there are a number of full-time options available. Full-time students will typically complete their studies in two to three years, depending on their chosen discipline and specific program.

For example, coursework in the Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner MSN at the University of Providence is delivered over two years. There are exceptions, though, like the Master of Accountancy at Carroll College which can be completed in one year (fall, spring, and summer sessions) of full-time study.

Part-time Online Master’s Programs in Montana

Part-time study is the choice for most online master’s students who want to continue their education and work full time. These programs typically require six credits or fewer per semester, and completion times can vary substantially, from two years or less to four years or more. Examples of online master’s degrees in MT that can be completed part-time include the MS in Education-Instruction and Learning at Montana State University-Northern and the Master in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Montana.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in Montana

Graduate entrance exams like the GMAT or GRE used to be an absolute requirement when applying to any master’s program. Today, there is a strong trend away from master’s programs requiring a GRE or GMAT scores in favor of other methods for evaluating graduate program applicants.

Examples of online master’s programs in Montana without GRE requirements include the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction at Montana State University and the MHA at Montana State University Billings.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in Montana

“Accelerated” can mean different things for different programs, but for online master’s degrees, it most often identifies programs that can be completed in two years or less or in some cases, one year or less. Accelerated program examples include the MS in Environmental Sciences at Montana State University and the Master of Educational Leadership at Rocky Mountain College.

In-demand Master’s Degrees for Montana Students

Master of Organizational Leadership

The master’s in organizational leadership is an interdisciplinary degree that blends coursework in business, communications, leadership, and the social sciences to prepare graduates to take on administrative and management roles in areas of the business world as well as the non-profit and public sectors. In some cases, students may want to earn an online MBA in Operations Management or business degree to work in the organizational leadership field.

Students gain skills applicable to creating and carrying out an organization’s overall vision, including developing an atmosphere of trust among team members through effective communications, conflict resolution, and delegation of tasks.

Quality Example of Online Program

MS in Engineering

Engineering master’s degrees are designed primarily for current professionals seeking to advance into managerial and other leadership roles or to otherwise gain a competitive advantage over peers practicing in their specific engineering field. An engineering master’s can also act as a necessary step toward pursuing a doctoral degree and career in advanced engineering research and/or academics. Montana engineering graduate students looking for an online master’s program are currently limited to the Montana Tech program linked below.

Quality Example of Online Program

Master of Education (MEd)

Online master’s degree programs in education make it possible for professional educators on all levels (K-12 and postsecondary) to earn their degrees while continuing in their current teaching positions.

MEds in curriculum and instruction, like the two linked below, introduce teachers to current and advanced trends in curriculum design and strategies, classroom diversity, the integration of new technologies in the classroom, and more. You’ll find online master’s degrees in MT in a number of other education specializations as well.

Quality Example of Online Program

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Healthcare is another popular discipline for online master’s programs, and you’ll find a number of online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs in Montana. Another popular online health services degree is the Master of Health Administration, or MHA. The MHA prepares current healthcare professionals to advance into management and other leadership roles through coursework in subjects such as healthcare systems, operations methods, marketing, budgeting, human resource management, and more.

Quality Example of Online Program

MS in Sports Management

A master’s degree in sports management is an interdisciplinary degree designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to fill executive positions in a range of sports and sports-related settings at amateur, collegiate, and professional levels. Career paths include athlete representation, sports marketing and public relations, sports analytics, facility and events management, and others. Students seeking an online sports management master’s in Montana are currently limited to the University of Providence program linked below.

Quality Example of Online Program

What Is the Average Tuition for an Online Master’s in MT?

Taking on a master’s program requires not only a major commitment of time and effort, but of money as well. It’s critical that you have a detailed understanding of your financial commitment, including program costs and all financial aid support, before enrolling in any degree program.

Let’s start with tuition. The figures in the chart below, along with those quoted in the school spotlights, provide a pretty accurate idea of the range of current tuition costs for online master’s programs in Montana. Just remember that these are tuition figures only and do not include additional expenses such as program and school fees, books and supplies, internet access, travel costs for any required in-person activities, etc., all of which can significantly impact your total master’s price tag.

School/Program No. of Credits Resident Cost/Credit Est. Tuition










Montana Financial Aid Options

Have those tuition numbers got you a little shaken up? That’s understandable. But what’s really important here is the bottom line, and that should be markedly less once you’ve factored in your financial aid.

The fact is that, like almost all college students, you’re going to need funding support from one or more financial aid resources. And there are a lot of them out there, including scholarships and grants, fellowships and assistantships, work-study and employer tuition reimbursement programs, and military-related resources like VA benefits. There are also student loans, particularly those available through the federal government.

Your first stop on your funding hunt should be the financial aid websites of the schools you’re considering. Another great online resource is the financial aid website for the Montana University System. And be sure to check out the OMD resources linked in this section as well.

Online Master’s Programs Leading to Lucrative Careers in Montana

Below are descriptions of five lucrative careers you can pursue with a degree earned through an online master’s program in Montana. We’ve included salary and job growth estimates for each, but what you’ll actually earn in your job will vary depending on your particular occupation.

For example, according to the 2022 Montana Post-Secondary Workforce Report from the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, the five highest-demand occupations in the state requiring a master’s degree are education administrators; educational, guidance, and career counselors; healthcare social workers; nurse practitioners; and physician assistants.

The other major elements that will impact your actual earnings include your specific job title, employer, geographic location, and your level of professional work experience.


With Covid and other highly communicable diseases in recent years, there is an ever-growing demand for infectious disease specialists like epidemiologists. Epidemiologists are health professionals who research the origins and pathologies of new and established diseases to prevent, combat, and minimize their spread to the public. Employers of epidemiologists include hospitals, research organizations, colleges and universities, and government public health agencies on the local, state, federal, and international levels.

Montana Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$72,040 27% MS in Infection Prevention & Epidemiology

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Healthcare Social Worker

One of the largest specialized fields of practice in social work is healthcare. Healthcare (or medical) social workers provide invaluable emotional support to patients and their families throughout the treatment process, from initial diagnosis and hospital admittance to discharge and beyond. Common tasks include connecting patients and families to financial aid, housing, foster care, home healthcare and other support services.

Montana Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$57,320 7% Master of Social Work (MSW)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioner is one of the highest-paying and most in-demand careers in Montana and throughout the United States today. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who play a critical role in the care of patients, sharing many of the same duties as physicians. They’re employed in hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, nursing homes, and a wide range of other healthcare settings. Most nurse practitioners specialize in one of a number of areas of nursing practice such as acute care, adult-gerontology, family practice, neonatal, pediatrics, women’s health, and many more.

Montana Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$119,960 38% MS in Nursing (MSN)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors are trained professionals with expertise in helping individuals, couples, families, and groups to deal effectively with any number of mental and emotional health disorders, like anxiety and depression. Primarily using talk therapy, mental health counselors encourage their clients to discuss problems they are having and then work with them to develop effective solutions to those problems. Mental health counselors are employed in a variety of practice settings, including hospitals, clinics, community health centers, correctional facilities, and in private practice.

Montana Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$48,690 18% MS in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Educational Administrator, Elementary and Secondary School

Elementary and secondary educational administrators, including principals, oversee all aspects of academic and facilities management at public and private kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools. Typical job duties include evaluating curriculums and teaching methods for their effectiveness and to ensure they comply with local, state, and federal regulations; collaborating with teachers to develop and maintain important curriculum standards; evaluating the job performance of faculty and staff members; and working with district-level administrators and personnel on issues of school academic performance.

Montana Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$91,660 1% MEd in Educational Leadership

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022