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About Montana State University Billings

MSUB was founded in 1927 and was known as Eastern Montana College until 1995 when it became an affiliated campus of Montana State University.  Originally its role was that of a teacher college. Now MSUB is one of four institutions in the Montana State University affiliation – Montana State University doctoral campus in Bozeman, MSU Northern, Great Falls College MSU, and MSU Billings.  MSUB is a comprehensive, regional urban university serving Yellowstone County and eastern state region.  With approximately 4,400 students (Fall 2017) and 3,450 FTE (annualized FY17) it offers associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees.  Billings is a diverse city with a metropolitan area population of 166,555 and has the largest financial, medical, and retail facilities between Spokane, WA; Denver, CO; and St. Paul, MN.


McMullen Hall clocktower on the MSUB university campusMSUB has two campuses:  the 90+ acre eastern main campus and the western campus which hosts the City College – an evolving college embracing the comprehensive two-year mission. 


Academically, the university offers 27 associate degrees, 41 bachelor’s degrees, and 7 master’s degrees.  In the four-year/graduate programs, some 85% of the faculty hold the highest degree in their field.  The faculty and staff are student-centered and put teaching and mentorship first.  Many have active research agendas, with some involving students in their scholarship. The average sponsored projects revenue for the past five years was over $3 million annually.  The majority of MSUB’s awards fall under Student Services (35%) and Instructional (34%) categories, followed by Public Service (21%), Research (9%), and Academic Support (6%).


Carnegie classifies MSUB University Campus as Master’s M.  The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredits the institution. MSUB has a number of specialized accreditations, including two particularly noteworthy, AACSB and NCATE.


As an urban university in the state’s largest city, nearly 86% of the students are from Montana, with 54% from Yellowstone County.  Sixty-four percent of the students are women; Native Americans represent 6.8% and the growing Hispanic population represents 5% of the student body. Over 40% of the student population is composed of first generation college-going students. Many MSUB students work and 56% receive need-based financial aid.


Of all the institutions of higher education in Montana, MSUB has the largest number of online courses, with over one third of SCH production online.  MSUB offers 25 online programs, approximately 400 separate online courses and 57% of students take on-line coursework.


MSUB has an annual budget of nearly $80 million.  There have been very few tuition increases in the past ten years as part of a statewide effort to control costs for students.


The MSUB Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 organization, is currently conducting a capital campaign to renovate the science building, built in 1947. The Montana Legislature allocated $10 million in the 2013 legislative session, on the condition the campus will raise a $5 million match.



MSU Billings provides a university experience characterized by:

  • Excellent Teaching
  • Support for Individual Learning
  • Engagement in Civic Responsibility
  • Intellectual, Cultural, Social and Economic Community Enhancement



Montana State University Billings will be recognized as a regional leader for:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Translating Knowledge into Practice
  • Researching for the Future
  • Accepting Leadership for Intellectual, Cultural, Social and Economic Development Beyond University Boundaries

Core Values



MSU Billings’ actions are ethical and principled to assure dignity and equity for all.



MSU Billings provides distinctive programs and challenging educational experiences for a diverse university community.



MSU Billings provides academic support and administrative services to foster academic and professional achievement of the university community.



MSU Billings respects & nurtures variety in intellectual contribution and scholarship enriching both the university and its extended community.



MSU Billings supports all members of the university community in their individual growth toward confidence, individual sense of purpose and acceptance of civic responsibilities.



MSU Billings meets the changing needs of our learners with informed action and innovation based on current standards of educational and technical excellence.



MSU Billings is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) and participates in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The athletic department sponsors 15 varsity sports, as well as co-ed cheerleading. Eight varsity sports for women include: basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, golf, cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field. Seven varsity sports for men include: basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track &field. MSU Billings offers the only four-year collegiate baseball program in the state of Montana. Men’s basketball is the only sport that was established when the university opened in 1927.