Missoula, MT
Tuition (in-state)
$20,896 ($6,071)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Junior

Diversity: The UM campus works hard to maintain and promote diversity.

3 College Senior

Diversity: There is a lot of foreign exchange students and African American athletes, as well as a good number of homosexual and transgendered individuals, but it could be better.

4 College Junior

Diversity: The University of Montana has wide range of diversity, which I think is amazing for a town in Montana!

4 College Senior

Diversity: There is a lot of diversity on this campus. It's very liberal so it's accepting of all lifestyles.

2 College Junior

Diversity: It's still Montana. I'm white so I can't speak for racial acceptance, but it is a bad place to be a woman. Montana doesn't care that much about us. I'm also a lesbian, but I'm not super open about it so I do ok. Still, when I graduate, I'm moving elsewhere to a more liberal environment because I occasionally feel unsafe.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 61st
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 923rd
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1333rd
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Samantha Steven
View all previous student authors

Compared to the rest of homogeneous Montana, Missoula prides itself in having relative diversity. UM attracts 500 international students from 74 different countries. Plus, the University offers a Native American studies major, features a state-of-the-art Native American studies building, and holds cultural events such as tribal dances regularly. UM students feel comfortable coming out of the closet, praying on the Oval, or wearing a Scottish kilt to their Irish studies classes. Differences in religion, sexual orientation, and cultural and economic statuses attract friends and faculty more than detract them.

Because UM's out-of-state tuition is sometimes lower than other states' in-state tuition, UM students hail from all 50 states. A professor from Vietnam said that Missoula offers the peace, quiet, and cold that he needs to work, and that he hasn't gained weight like other places in America because of the healthy food and hiking options. African Americans, Jews, and trust-fund kids are probably the least common minorities, but by no means least accepted. There are several campus clubs embracing such ethnicities, including Hillel and an African American club.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Oregon
  • Washington
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 24%
20-21: 26%
22-24: 22%
25+: 28%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 1%
Asian American: 2%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 5%
Native American: 1%
White: 84%
Unknown: 5%
Gay Pride
Missoula has an organization called UM Allies, which strives to educate the UM populace about the LGBT community. At a UM Allies training session, trainers ask people to name three things that are most important to them and list three things they do in their spare time on an index card. Trainees are then given two minutes to introduce themselves, but they are not allowed to say anything on the card. The trainings help both people outside and inside the LGBT community gain empathy and understanding. All resident assistants are required to enroll in a UM Allies training session, and University professors and employers are strongly encouraged to join.
Political Activity
UM wants to be the Berkeley of Montana, with the prototypical left-leaning hippies and protests. But in reality, it's full of not so much left and right labels as it is independents who seek education and ask questions. Its libertarian population is growing; Ron Paul's 2008 visit attracted many.
Economic Status
There isn't any segregation between working-class families and rich, upper-class families; most students are middle class.
Most Common Religions
UM students are predominantly Christian, agnostic, or Buddhist. There is a Buddhist Club on campus, and many of the Buddha's values on relaxation, nature, and food align with Missoula's culture.
Minority Clubs on Campus
The club for students with learning disabilities filed suit with admissions for not including subtitles on UM's Admissions YouTube station to accommodate the deaf minority. All of the international students cook a dish from their native country for the International Food Festival, which draws not only the University, but also hundreds of local Missoulians.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 53 responses

  • 6% Libertarian
  • 8% Not sure
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 21% Conservative
  • 30% Moderate
  • 26% Liberal
  • 8% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 59 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 2% Conservative
  • 17% Moderate
  • 10% Not sure
  • 54% Liberal
  • 17% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 56 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 55 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 51 responses

  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 4% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 47% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 49% Very accepting.
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