The University of Montanta (UM) is a public university in Missoula and the flagship campus of the University of Montana System. The campus is located on 156 acres in Missoula. One of the most well-known features of the campus is the short Sentinel trail, rising 620 feet from the base of Mount Sentinel to a stunning view of the city beneath and a large letter “M” set into the side of the slope. Another notable feature is Memorial Row, consisting of two columns of Ponderosa pines, the state tree of Montana. The trees commemorate students, faculty, and alumni who died in World War I. The central campus is organized around a 3-acre oval of green space. On the western edge of the oval is a beloved grizzly bear statue. Rolling Stone has called it the “most scenic campus in America”.
UM has a strong academic reputation, with a large number of Truman Scholars, Udall Scholars, Goldwater Scholars, and Rhodes Scholars. There are three independent schools and five colleges at UM: School of Business Administration, School of Journalism, School of Law, College of Technology, College of Visual and Performing Arts, College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, and College of Arts and Sciences. The Davidson Honors College provides particularly challenging courses and complementary experiences to students in all academic majors.
Research facilities on campus that offer internship and work opportunities to students include the Bureau of Business and Economic Research; Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics; Flathead Lake Biological Station; Montana Biotechnology Center, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit; Montana Natural Heritage Program; O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West; and Rural Institute on Disabilities.
UM has a strong international exchange program dating back several decades. Today, the university has exchange agreements with over 90 universities across the globe. The largest numbers of students go to Japan, China, and Chile. The program works closely with the Center for the Study of Central and Southwest Asia at the university.
There are two radio stations at UM: KBGA is the college station, while KUFM is the flagship station of Montana Public Radio. The Montana PBS station, KUFM-TV, is also run from UM. All the stations are based in the Broadcast Media Center of the Performing Arts/Radio Television Building.
The Mansfield Library boasts over 1.5 million print volumes and an enormous network of digital information resources. The library also features a federal government depository collection, a maps collection, and archives for the state of Montana. The library also houses the earliest known edition of the Lewis and Clark journals
Most Popular Fields of Study
Native American Support Programs
There is a huge group of affiliated programs at UM to support scholarship among Native American Students, including such groups as American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Indigenous Filmmakers Club, American Indian Disability Technical Assistant Center, and Native American Center for Excellence (NACOE).
Montana residents who are 65 years old or older are eligible to take classes at UM at greatly reduced rates under the Golden College program.
Prospective students are expected to have a strong academic preparation for college. To gain admission, students must meet one criterion in each of the following three categories:
- An ACT composite score of 22
- A SAT combined score of 1540
- A 2.50 cumulative grade point average
- A class rank in the upper half of the student’s high school graduating class
- A score of 22 on the ACT Math section
- A score of 520 on the SAT Math section
- A score of 18-21 on the ACT
- A score of 440-510 on the SAT
- A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB or BC exam
- A score of 4 or higher on the International Baccalaureate calculus exam
- Completion of a rigorous high school core that includes four years of math with grades of C or higher.
- A score of 18 on the ACT Combined English/Writing section
- A score of 7 on the ACT Writing Test Subscore
- A score of 440 on the SAT Writing Section
- A score of 7 on the SAT Essay Subscore
- A score of 3.5 on the Montana University System Writing Assessment
- A score of 3 on the AP English Language or English Literature exam
- A score of 50 on the CLEP Subject Exam in Composition
- A score of 4 on the International Baccalaureate Language A1 Exam
Preparatory requirements include four years of English; three years of math; three years of social studies (including a year of global studies and a year of American history); two years of laboratory science; and two years of foreign language, computer science, arts, or vocational education.
Homeschooled students must send a written statement of curriculum, including all courses that the student has completed at the high school level, and must take appropriate standardized tests. A portfolio is not required.
In addition to the wide range of state and financial aid options open to any college or university student in Montana, UM offers several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships. The majority of UM students receive aid of some kind.
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The athletic department at UM is known as the Grizzlies. Their mascot is a grizzly bear named Monte. The Grizzlies compete in the NCAA Division I and the Big Sky Conference. Men’s sports include football, basketball, cross country, track and field, and tennis. Women’s sports include basketball, soccer, cross country, golf, track and field, tennis, and volleyball.
The football team is particularly strong and has spawned a large number of NFL players, including Colt Anderson of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kroy Biermann and Shann Schillinger of the Atlanta Falcons, Dan Carpenter of the Miami Dolphins, Terry Dillon of the Minnesota Vikings, and Cory Proctoer and Lex Hilliard of the Miami Dolphins .
Intramural sports also have a big role to play in the student life at UM. Men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, skiing, rowing, dance, cheer, hockey, men’s soccer, rodeo, footbag, cycling, fencing, rugby, baseball, and triathalon are all popular.
- Admissions. University of Montana. Web. 16 July 2011.
- Diversity. University of Montana. Web. 16 July 2011.
- Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
- Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.