Best Kept College Secrets

Colleges for Real People

University of Montana

The Wildlife Biology Program allows students experiential opportunities to work with wildlife populations from bison, moose, and bears to sage grouse and eagles. Students use resources available at Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park and at the National Bison range, less than an hour from campus. Many are encouraged to study outside the ordinary curriculum, exploring watershed hydrology, fish biology, and fisheries. Or, looking beyond the US, students can spend nine weeks in Botswana working with Wildlife Africa Conservation Team.



Missoula is the location of Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It and so equally well known by fly fishermen everywhere. The famous line from the novel is often quoted by natives of Missoula, particularly when discussing the difference between their college town and Bozeman. “…the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana.” Missoula is known as the Hub of Five Valleys, the Bitterroot feeds into the Clark Fork on the southwest side of town, and the Big Blackfoot River meets the Clark on the east side of town. Missoula is about three hours from Glacier and a bit farther from Yellowstone. Great skiing, however, is within a thirty-minute drive.

The two college towns may have a rivalry, but these two institutions have few rivals outside the state. The University of Montana enjoys all the benefits of easily accessible outdoor recreation and is often included in Outdoor Magazines list of top ten schools for students who love the outdoors. As the elder of the two prominent universities in the state, UM is the flagship university, divided into colleges, each of which serves a particular academic mission. Undergraduates on the Missoula campus may enroll in the College of Humanities and Sciences, the College of Forestry and Conservation, the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Davidson Honors College, the School of Business Administration, and the School of Journalism.

The complete article is presented in the Third Edition of America’s Best Kept College Secrets

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