Montana State University Billings

Coordinates: 45°47′48″N 108°31′26″W / 45.79667°N 108.52389°W / 45.79667; -108.52389 (Montana State University Billings)
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Montana State University Billings
Former names
Eastern Montana Normal School (1927–1949)
Eastern Montana College of Education (1949–1965)
Eastern Montana College (1965–1994)
TypePublic university
Established1927; 96 years ago (1927)
Parent institution
Montana University System
Academic affiliations
ChancellorStefani Hicswa
Administrative staff
626 (incl. faculty) (2017)
Undergraduates3,624 (Spring 2021)
Postgraduates363 (Spring 2021)
Location, ,
United States
Blue & Yellow
Sporting affiliations
MascotBuzz the Yellowjacket

Montana State University Billings (or MSU Billings) is a public university in Billings, Montana. It is the state's third largest university. Its campus is located on 110 acres in downtown Billings.[1][2] Formerly Eastern Montana Normal School at its founding in 1927,[3] the Normal School changed its name to Eastern Montana College of Education in 1949.[4] It was again renamed in 1965 as Eastern Montana College (EMC). It merged into the Montana University System in 1994 under its present name.[5] Currently, the university offers over 100 specialized programs for certificates, associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees through the university's five colleges.[6] The five colleges of Montana State University Billings are Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Health Professions and Science, Education, and City College.

Student life[edit]

The main Campus of Montana State University Billings sits at the base of the Rimrocks.

With the main campus in the downtown core of Billings many cultural, service, athletic or educational activities are within walking distance of the campus. The school is host to a mix of traditional and nontraditional students. Approximately 400 students live on campus in the residence halls.

Some of the major student organizations include:

  • The Associated Students of Montana State University Billings, also known as the student government. This organization is run by and for students, taking in concerns, advocating student issues and rights, and allocating funds.
  • Student Activities Board, the organizers of many activities from comedians to current movies on campus.
  • Student religious organizations including United Campus Ministry representing 7 Protestant denominations, other Christian non-denominational organizations, Baha'i, and Catholic groups.
  • Jacket Student Ambassadors, a student leadership organization on campus which hosts many new student orientations and tours of the campus.
  • The Residence Hall Association, a student run residence hall association that provides both social and educational programming for residents of Petro and Rimrock Hall.
McMullen Hall[3]
College of Education

Major structures of the main campus[edit]

  • McDonald Hall
  • Parking Garage / Campus Police
  • Art Annex
  • Apsaruke Hall
  • Cisel Hall
  • Alterowitz Arena / Physical Ed Building
  • Avitus Group Stadium
  • Tennis Courts
  • Rimrock Hall
  • Petro Hall
  • McMullen Hall
  • Student Union
  • Library
  • Liberal Arts Building
  • Science Building
  • College of Education

Petro Hall[edit]

Petro Hall is a 500-room residence hall completed in 1965.[7] There are 8 floors, including the first floor Petro Theater and the second floor lobby. It is connected directly to the Petro Theater on the first floor, and also connected to the Student Union Building.

Rimrock Hall[edit]

Rimrock Hall is 300-room residence hall completed in 1962.[8] There are 6 floors, including the second floor lobby and the first floor Student Union Building.

Student family housing[edit]

The student family housing consists of contemporary two and three bedroom units located on the east end of the campus.[9]


The Montana State–Billings (MSUB) athletic teams are called the Yellowjackets. The university is a member of the NCAA Division II ranks, primarily competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) since the 2007–08 academic year. The Yellowjackets previously competed in the D-II Heartland Conference from 2005–06 to 2006–07; in the D-II Pacific West Conference (PacWest; formerly known as the Great Northwest Conference until after the 1991–92 school year) from 1982–83 to 2004–05; as an NCAA D-II Independent from 1980–81 to 1981–82; and in the Frontier Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1933–34 to 1979–80.

MSUB competes in 16 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, triathlon and volleyball; and co-ed sports include cheerleading and stunt. The official MSUB song is the Fight Song. Former sports included football.


Formerly known as Eastern Montana College, MSUB athletics started back to the 1927–28 school year, the year in which the university was founded. The Yellowjackets have competed in a number of different conferences throughout the years, and prior to the 1980–81 season, the athletic department transitioned from the NAIA to competing at the NCAA Division II level.


In the 2018–19 school year, the MSUB baseball team captured its fourth GNAC regular-season title in five years, won its first-ever GNAC tournament title, and advanced to the NCAA D2 West Region Championships for the first time in program history. MSUB broke numerous school and conference baseball records, including most wins in a season with 33, and most home runs in a year with 83. The baseball program captured four regular season GNAC championships over a span of five years (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019).

Women’s basketball[edit]

The 2017–18 academic year was historic and was highlighted by an NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance in women's basketball. The Yellowjackets won the West Region title for the second time in program history, matching the achievement of the 1998–99 regional champion squad. The women's team has been GNAC champions ten times since 1987.


The Yellowjackets won the 2015 GNAC Softball Championships and advanced all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II West Region Championships. The team were also GNAC champions in 2009 and 2012.


City College at Montana State University Billings[edit]

City College at MSU Billings is a two-year college that offers degrees and certifications in fields such as business, computer technology, health and safety, industry and transportation.[10] It was first created in 1969 as the Billings Vocational-Technical Education Center (BVTC). Its governance was passed from the Billings School District to the Montana University System (MUS) Board of Regents in 1987, and in 1994, the BVTC was officially merged with MSU Billings and renamed the College of Technology.[11] The name was changed to the present name in 2012 when the MUS Board of Regents voted to change the names of all the colleges of technology in the state.[12]

Distance learning[edit]

MSUB Online is Montana State University Billings' Online Portal, featuring a wide array of courses and complete programs of study including certificates and associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "General Information". Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  2. ^ "Montana State University Billings". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  3. ^ a b Jaschik, Scott (March 7, 2022). "Montana State–Billings' First President Supported Eugenics". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  4. ^ "MSUB General Information - MSU Billings | MSU Billings". Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  5. ^ "History & Overview of MSU Billings". General Information. Montana State University Billings. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Degrees, Programs & Minors". Future Students. Montana State University Billings. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Campus Maps and Buildings - Petro Hall". Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  8. ^ "Campus Maps and Buildings - Rimrock Hall". Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  9. ^ "Campus Maps and Buildings - Student Family Housing". Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  10. ^ "City College". Montana State University Billings. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  11. ^ "About the College". Montana State University Billings. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  12. ^ Pickett, Mary (21 October 2012). "College of Technology to officially become City College at MSU Billings". Billings Gazette. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  13. ^ "BATTIN, James Franklin, (1925 - 1996)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  14. ^ "Outstanding Alumni of the 1990s". Montana State University Billings. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Melony Ghee Griffith". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Senator Melony Griffith". Maryland Senate Democrats. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  17. ^ "Monica J. Lindeen". Billings Gazette. Archived from the original on 2012-11-12. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Montana Governor Judy Martz". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  19. ^ "Roy McPipe". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  20. ^ "Zoot At A Glance - Zoot Solutions".
  21. ^ "Montana State Billings Women's Basketball Honors" (PDF). MSUB Sports. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-08. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  22. ^ "Kevin Red Star". Montana Arts Council. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  23. ^ Rod, Luann (11 March 2011). "Bently Spang examines culture with humor in Emerson installation". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Bozeman, Montana. Retrieved 19 December 2012.

External links[edit]

45°47′48″N 108°31′26″W / 45.79667°N 108.52389°W / 45.79667; -108.52389 (Montana State University Billings)