In the state of Montana, there are relatively few options when it comes to finding a top notch education within the field of criminology. Major universities in the area are few and far between, owing to the large size of the state and the distance between major cities.
Students that are interested in this course of study have the option of either attending one of four public institutions that offer a degree program in criminology or one private college that has an undergraduate degree program.
At the present moment, there are not any universities or colleges in Montana that offer graduate degrees in criminology. The difficulty of getting into these programs varies from school to school
The University of Montana is not only the biggest in the state, but also offers the most detailed education in criminology. Located in the city of Missoula, the enrollment is slight less than 14,000 total students, including both undergraduate and graduate programs.
In addition to having a specific degree option for criminology, the university is also home to the Criminology Club, a group of students, teachers, and professionals interested in the subject. Being a public university, the admission requirements are not to difficult to meet, with low entry ACT and SAT scores or simply being in the top half of the high school graduating class.
Another public university option for potential students is Montana State University in Billings. Although it is noticeably smaller than the University of Montana, with less than 5,000 students, the criminology program is one of the highlights of their academic offerings.
Admission to MSU is more lax than the University of Montana and is a good option for those students who are interested in criminology but did not have strong results in high school.
A good idea for prospective students that would like to study at MSU is to visit the school and speak with the criminology professors to learn more about the criminology program.
The single private Montana College that offers a degree in criminology is the University of Great Falls. The school is very small, with enrollment of less than 1,000 students total, and their admission standards are much stricter than either of the previously mention public universities.
While there are no standard test scores needed to be admitted to the school, every application is reviewed individually and the acceptance rate is quite low compared to other private colleges in Montana. However, the benefits of getting into the criminology program at the University of Great Falls are very positive.
Class size is extremely small compared to the public universities, with an average of 12 students in each class and a maximum number of 20 students per course.
For a student that is not sure that criminology is what they would like to study, a better option may be to start a program at one of the two community colleges in Montana that offer criminology studies. Both Flathead Community College and Dawson community college have specific study programs and relaxed admission requirements.
In addition, tuition at both of these schools is very cheap when compared to the other universities of the state that also have criminology programs. Transfer to another school, such as the ones listed above, is easy and may be the ideal situation for a student that would like the basics of their education as cheap as possible and further study at a college or university with a more detailed criminology degree program.
Criminology education programs in Montana are not as comprehensive as many other states, but the programs that exist do provide opportunities for all manner of students that are interested in the field.