Jul 21, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog 
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Institution

Montana Tech of The University of Montana is recognized among America’s best values in undergraduate education. We possess an internationally esteemed, century-old tradition of excellence in higher education.

Founded as one of the four original campuses of the Montana University System in 1893, Montana Tech now has an enrollment of 2,694 students focused on education and research in science, engineering, health, business, and communications. The institution offers degree programs at the certificate, 2-year, 4-year, and graduate levels. The student body presents a national and global snapshot with over 35 states and 15 foreign countries represented.

All of the programs derive a special character and emphasis from the unique setting and continued tradition of high quality that has characterized Montana Tech since its founding. Montana Tech has a long-standing reputation for producing outstanding engineering graduates. We have added degree programs in the basic sciences, health care, and in fields related to the administration, application and societal impact of the engineering programs. The institution also offers a broad range of courses in the humanities and social sciences. These subjects are an essential part of every collegiate program and serve the students who wish to prepare for transferring into specialized programs at other institutions.

Montana Tech’s commitment to research has resulted in an unprecedented growth in its funded research over the last several years. The institution’s funding base has diversified to include local, state and national support from the private sector and the government alike. Undergraduate and graduate students are frequently involved with faculty and staff in research programs. Research areas range from small mammal studies in Biology to power grid reliability in Electrical Engineering to environmental remediation and new methods for developing oil, gas and mineral deposits. 

The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, the geologic and hydrogeologic research arm of the State of Montana, is a department of the institution. The Bureau provides public service to a variety of constituents within the private sector and federal, state and local governments. The Bureau develops, gathers, analyzes, catalogs and disseminates information concerning the location and development of the mineral, energy and water resources of Montana.

Mission Statement

To meet the changing needs of society by supplying knowledge and education through a strong undergraduate curriculum augmented by research, graduate education and service.

Vision Statement

To be a leader for undergraduate and graduate education and research in the Pacific Northwest in engineering, science, energy, health, information sciences and technology.

Tech affords a small college experience and features a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, creating ample opportunity for individual attention. Classes are taught by professors who possess a unique blend of academic and industrial experience. As a result, Montana Tech graduates, who have included Rhodes and Goldwater Scholars, excel in their postgraduate careers. Each year business, industry and government representatives visit the campus for both career and summer degree-related employment opportunities for students. Graduates traditionally enjoy a very high placement rate and garner starting salaries that exceed national averages in their respective degree areas.


Montana Tech is one of the 6 four-year institutions of the Montana University System. The other institutions are: The University of Montana-Missoula; The University of Montana-Western; Montana State University-Bozeman; Montana State University-Billings; and Montana State University-Northern. The Montana University System was established by an act of Congress in 1881 that dedicated 72 sections of the public domain for higher education in the state. The Enabling Act of 1889, which organized the State of Montana and its admission to the Union, confirmed this grant and added 100,000 acres for a school of mines.

A founding commission established by the Third Legislative Assembly of Montana laid the plans for the Montana School of Mines. Land for the original site was donated by public-spirited citizens. Construction began in 1896, and in 1900 the Institution enrolled its first students. As the world of industry and technology grew, Montana Tech expanded. The campus was enlarged through gifts and purchases. Programs were added to meet new corporate, industry and governmental needs.

The Montana University System was restructured in 1994. One of the new major educational components saw Montana Tech become affiliated with The University of Montana. Additionally, Highlands College, came under the administrative umbrella of Montana Tech.  Highlands College provides occupationally-specific higher education programs in Business, Health, Information Technology, and Technical & Trades. Successful completion of a one- or two-year program leads to the award of a Certificate, Associate of Applied Science, or Associate of Science degree.

Location and Surroundings

Montana Tech and the city of Butte are surrounded by some of the greatest copper, molybdenum, zinc and manganese deposits in the world. Gold, silver and talc mines operate within a half-day’s drive of the campus. From the city’s elevation of 5,767 feet, the ground rises abruptly to the east toward the 8,000-foot summit of the East Ridge. To the south, the 10,000 foot Highlands lift rocky peaks above forested hills, while in the west, the lofty Anaconda Mountains of the Pintlar Wilderness provide a rugged home for deer, elk, bear and mountain goats. All of these mountain chains are part of the Continental Divide.

Outdoor recreation is one of the attractions of life in Montana. Downhill skiing and snowboarding, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling take place within a few miles of campus. Forests of fir, spruce and lodgepole pine provide opportunities for solitude or group fun in summers that are mild and winters that are crisp and cold.

Butte has a population of 38,000, with shops, theaters, restaurants, sports facilities and businesses. The city’s rich history of mining is visible everywhere in the gallows frames of the now-abandoned underground mines and in the elaborate and beautiful architecture of the uptown area. Our ethnic diversity is the legacy of times when the city swarmed with miners and citizens from all over the world. The huge Berkeley Pit, historic district, and the World Museum of Mining attract thousands of visitors each year. The availability of space and the low cost of living in the city have brought numerous artists and craft persons to the area. Butte is unique and alive, and its residents are loyal, proud and persevering.

Campuses and Buildings

North Campus

Overlooking the city from the shoulder of Big Butte, Montana Tech’s North Campus can be seen for miles. Its tree-shaded perimeter encloses both the stately buildings of the institution’s past and the modern facilities reflecting its present and its future.

Tech’s North Campus, 1300 W. Park Street, consists of the Science/Engineering Building, Engineering Hall, Main Hall, the Chemistry/Biology Building, the Petroleum Building, the Mining/Geology Building, the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Complex, the Engineering Lab and Classroom Building, and the Natural Resource Building, all of which are used for classes. Support facilities for the academic programs include the Library and Auditorium, the Museum Building, and the greenhouse. Auxiliary service facilities include the Residence Halls, the Student Union Building, Mill Building, and off-campus apartments. The Chancellor’s Residence, a stately brick home, is also on campus.

In addition to the buildings, Alumni Coliseum has been carved out of the hillside to provide space for football, baseball and other sports events. The campus also holds four smaller sports fields and outdoor tennis courts.

A short distance from the Coliseum is the World Museum of Mining, commemorating the development of mining from the pick-and-shovel days to the modern processes now in use. A private, nonprofit undertaking of interested citizens, the museum displays the tools and equipment used by miners over the years and depicts life in a mining camp growing to become a modern city.

South Campus

Tech’s South Campus, 25 Basin Creek Road, houses the Highlands College as well as the Network Technology program. It has nearly 60,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space and a total of 96,000 square feet overall.

Bureau of Mines and Geology

The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology was established by the 1919 Legislative Assembly as a public service agency and a research department of the institution. The Bureau, located in the Natural Resource Building on the North Campus, is the only earth science research agency in Montana State government and is responsible for assisting in development of the state’s mineral, energy and groundwater resources. Reports on Bureau research are made available to the public through formal publications and by replies to individual inquiries.

Bureau funds and projects are apportioned between applied research and public service. Work comprises field and laboratory study, collection of samples and information, interpretation of data, and compilation of statistics on all mineral resources – metallic and nonmetallic minerals, fuels, and groundwater. Projects are undertaken in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal, state, and local agencies. Laboratories are equipped with modern instrumentation for all essential work; new instruments of greater range, adaptability or efficiency are added periodically.

Alumni Association

The Montana Tech Alumni Association, an independent part of the institution, was first organized in 1904 for the purpose of promoting the interests of the Institution to potential students, alumni, community, state and nation. In 1953, the Association was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. The preamble to the charter, which was amended in 1978, states: “In order to secure unity among the graduates of Montana Tech (formerly Montana School of Mines/Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology), to foster an attachment to our Alma Mater, and to promote the interests of Montana Tech, we do hereby constitute ourselves an Association to be known as the Montana Tech Alumni Association.” Each graduate with an associate (2 yr.), a bachelor or higher degree, including honorary degrees, is automatically a member. More information on this organization and its services can be obtained by writing to: Montana Tech Alumni Association, 1300 West Park Street, Butte, Montana 59701 or by contacting Peggy McCoy, Director of Alumni Affairs, at alumni@mtech.edu.


Established in 1967, the Montana Tech Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization which qualifies under the provisions of IRS code 501(c)(3). The Foundation is dedicated to operate exclusively for the purpose of encouraging, promoting and supporting the educational programs and scholarly pursuits of Montana Tech of the University of Montana.

Governed by a Board of Directors compromised primarily of leaders in business and industry, the Montana Tech Foundation solicits and administers gifts and grants to enhance and enrich the teaching and research efforts of the faculty and to increase educational opportunities for Montana Tech’s students. Gifts to the Foundation are administered according to the wishes of the contributors. The Montana Tech Foundation also manages endowment funds on behalf of the institution.

Working to develop effective ways to benefit the college is a joint effort between Montana Tech and the Montana Tech Foundation. With a common goal in mind, the college, with its faculty, staff, students, and programs, will continue to excel.


Visit the library’s website at www.mtech.edu/library or call 496-4281. Get the latest on library events, research tips, and new resources by becoming a follower of mtechlib on Twitter.

North Campus 

Montana Tech Library serves students on both the North and South campuses. The library provides access anytime to 58,000 e-books and 30,000 e-journals. Wireless access is available throughout the building. The Library Computer Labs offer MS Office®, AutoCAD®, Civil 3D®, Matlab®, Minitab®, QuickBooks®, Keyboarding software and more. There are also two gaming computers available. 

The student scanning station has a flatbed scanner and PC loaded with Adobe Photoshop 9 Pro, Adobe CS5 Master Suite and more. Students have access to printers, copy machines, and small office implements. The library’s five study rooms can be reserved 24 hours in advance. Two of the study rooms offer technology where students can practice giving presentations.  Quiet and loud study areas are also available for individual and group study. The library is open 7 days a week, and has late hours during finals with free coffee and cookies. Students are welcome to bring food into the library.


Through its expert Interlibrary Loan service (ILL), the friendly library staff obtains, at no cost to students, books and journals article that the library does not own. ILL enables delivery of most articles within 24 hours or less. The librarians help students locate the library’s continually expanding resources, and they also provide students with research help.

South Campus 

The South Campus Library/Learning Center houses a limited collection of library resources related to the programs taught at Highlands College. Trade manuals, magazines, and reference materials are available. The Library also contains study areas and computers for student use. The Learning Center offers walk-in, appointment, and online tutoring. Call 496-3737. 

Mineral Museum

The Mineral Museum occupies the upper floor of the Museum Building situated on the southeast corner of the campus. The Museum is open year round. Guided tours for groups are available by prior arrangement. Call 406-496-4414 for more information.

The Mineral Museum collection contains more than 15,000 specimens with over 1,300 minerals from Montana and around the world on display. Prize specimens in the Montana Collection include a spectacular 27.5 troy ounce gold nugget recovered from a placer mining operation in the mountains south of Butte in 1989 and a 400-pound smoky quartz crystal, affectionately referred to as “Big Daddy”, unearthed just east of Butte.

Brilliant blue sapphires from Yogo Gulch and beautiful polished agates, Montana’s state stones, are displayed along with copper and molybdenum minerals, and talc – all examples of the industrial minerals that have figured so strongly in Montana’s economic history. Azurite and malachite from Bisbee, Arizona, spectacular amethyst geodes from Brazil, and rhodochrosite from South Africa are just a few of the minerals from worldwide localities. The Fluorescent Room, where ordinary-looking minerals radiate extraordinary vibrant shades of pink, orange, and blue when exposed to ultraviolet light, is always a favorite.

The Museum has a gift shop where you can purchase mineral specimens and books relating to minerals and geology.

Research and Service

Research and service programs at Montana Tech emphasize professional development of faculty and students and improved development of mineral and energy resources in Montana and the nation. Upper division and graduate students are normally utilized as research assistants on research projects in order to provide exposure and experience with new technology and contemporary industrial and scientific problems. The Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing (CAMP) focuses on materials processing research including system control and optimization and metal recovery systems. Annual grant and contract activity now exceeds $8 million annually and involves over 30% of the campus faculty and 50% of Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology personnel.

Campus Technology Services

Our campus computer services emphasizes distributing computer support and focusing mission critical support service areas. The organization brings computer services closer to the end user and at the same time develops and focuses core networking and administrative services.

Computer Support Coordinators have been placed under the direction of the Dean of each College to facilitate and resolve college and departmental PC computer support needs. The Coordinators provide support for (but not limited to) desktop software, PC hardware service, computer laboratory setups, workstation configurations, and multimedia to the extent emphasized by each College’s unique needs.

Two service areas are now in place: Network Services and Information Services, each with well-defined work paths. The directors/managers from these areas comprise the Campus Technology Council which advises the administration on technical issues, developments and direction. Network Services is dedicated to supporting and delivering Information Technologies to the Montana Tech campus. Information Technology includes World Wide Web, e-mail, student information systems, human resources, distance learning, and collaborative information and resource sharing. The network provides delivery of all media and computer communication, facilitating both instructional and administrative needs. Network Services develops, monitors, secures, and maintains the entire network infrastructure. Information Services administers, manages, and coordinates the college’s administrative computing functions, including management of the student information system and the student reporting data warehouse, the support of our campus web server and the on-line course management system(s) (http://mymtech.mtech.edu). These systems utilize various technologies to deliver a rich online learning experience for the students and staff of Montana Tech. Information Services also consults with other departments on campus to research, develop, and deliver new computing ideas and technologies.

Montana Tech encourages the use of computers and the network as educational and problem solving research tools. A fully integrated local area network connects more than 1,000 computers and peripherals with over 500 workstations dedicated to student use. Microcomputer labs exist in most buildings on campus supporting student word processing, business applications, engineering data acquisition/analysis, e-mail, and the World Wide Web. All students receive an e-mail and access account upon registering. For student information and help on accounts, e-mail, troubleshooting, FAQ’s and other computer and networking topics please refer to this link http://www.mtech.edu/cts. Become accustomed to using all of your computer resources.

Montana Tech is linked to the World Wide Web via the University of Montana (UM) on a 45 Mbps pipe and is a sponsored participant of Internet2 on UM’s behalf. The Internet2 project exists to develop and integrate new innovations in networking. It was launched in 1966 by the university community. The universities that originally ventured on this project understood that fundamental advances and development in networking must be applied and pursued if they were to fulfill their teaching and research missions. Montana Tech has developed several Access Grid Nodes.

Equal Educational Opportunity Policy

It is the policy of Montana Tech to provide equal educational and employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual preference, or political belief with the exception of special programs established by law.

Equal educational opportunity includes admission, recruitment, extracurricular programs and activities, housing, facilities, access to course offerings, counseling and testing, financial assistance, employment, health and insurance services, and athletics. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance by way of grant, contract, or loan.

Montana Tech will take affirmative action (AA) to equalize employment opportunities at all campus levels where evidence exists that there have been barriers to employment for those classes of people who have traditionally been denied equal employment opportunity.

Montana Tech makes a commitment to provide reasonable accommodation to any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the selection process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job.

Montana Tech guarantees employment protection against retaliation for lawfully opposing any alleged discriminatory practice, including the filing of an internal grievance alleging unlawful discrimination, the filing of a union grievance, the initiation of an external administrative or legal proceeding or testifying in or participating in any of the above.

The chancellor has ultimate authority and responsibility for establishing equal employment opportunities as a policy at Montana Tech. The chancellor pledges to promote and support practices which protect the right of equal employment opportunities.

Also on file is the institution’s Minority Achievement and Gender Equity Plan as approved by the Montana Board of Regents. All grievances, questions or requests for information should be referred to the AA/EEO Officer or the Chancellor’s Office.

Students with Disabilities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require institutions of higher learning to provide students who have physical and/or learning disabilities “equivalent access” that will allow them an education equal to that of their non-challenged peers. While it is the institution’s responsibility to provide appropriate support, it is the student’s responsibility to make the initial notification that a physical and/or learning disability exists. Please provide appropriate documentation, which describes the type of disability, the extent of that disability, and gives information on recommended accommodations. Students wishing to request an accommodation of any type for a physical and/or cognitive challenge are directed to contact the Montana Tech Student Life Programs Office, Engineering Hall, Room 101 (406) 496-4198; HIghlands College, Counseling Office (406) 496-3730. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Student Life Programs Office at the earliest possible date. ADA also applies to faculty, staff, and guests of the University in terms of reasonable accommodation.

Disability Services

All persons with disabilities have the right to participate fully and equally in the programs and services of Montana Tech of The University of Montana. Montana Tech is committed to ensuring full and equal participation by eliminating barriers and making the appropriate accommodations that allow persons with disabilities to have equal opportunity in all aspects of campus life.

Student Life Counselors act as Disability Services Coordinators (DSC) and assist with accommodations for those who have a documented disability. Please refer to the Disability Services Website - http://www.mtech.edu/student_life/disability/

Procedures for requesting disability accommodations:

  1. Submit an Application for Disability Services with supporting documentation to a Montana Tech Disability Services Coordinator (DSC)
  2. Assure receipt of information occurs in a timely manner; 20 days prior to need for basic accommodations; 45 days prior to need for interpreter services or text book format changes
  3. Meet with DSC to review paperwork and discuss needs
  4. Obtain letter of accommodation from DSC
  5. Share letter of accommodation with faculty and discuss implementation
  6. Make DSC and faculty aware of any accommodation changes should they occur and be aware that no accommodations are retroactive
  7. Contact assigned DSC or Dean of Students should barriers arise in obtaining receipt of services

Engineering Degrees

The institution prepares students for professional service in nine engineering fields:

Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, General Engineering (options in Civil, Mechanical, & Welding), Geological Engineering (options in Geotechnical, Mining ,& Petroleum), Geophysical Engineering, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Mining Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, and Software Engineering (option in Business, Electronic Control Systems, Engineering, Health Care Informatics, Statistics, and Technical Communication).

Baccalaureate degrees are available in all above fields. Master’s degrees are available in all fields except Software Engineering. Other engineering-related Master’s degrees are:

Project Engineering & Management, and Geosciences (Geochemistry, Hydrogeology, Hydrogeological Engineering, Geology, Geological Engineering, and Geophysical Engineering)


The pre-engineering program at the University of Montana is a two-year program that helps students determine if they are interested in engineering and prepares them to transfer to a university with an accredited engineering program. The exact curriculum a student would take varies between the different Engineering disciplines and the transfer school of interest. In general, the program focuses on developing a fundamental knowledge of physics, chemistry, and mathematics. In addition, students would take classes in English, communications, the social sciences, and humanities. Students in the pre-engineering program can transfer to a university of their choice. Students may be admitted to the 2 + 2 engineering program between the University of Montana and Montana Tech upon meeting the admission requirements. A student admitted to the program completes two years of study at the University of Montana and then completes his or her degree at Montana Tech.

Admission Requirements for 2+2 Engineering Program
To be admitted to the 2+2 Engineering Program with Montana Tech, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Overall GPA of 2.5 or greater.
  2. Completion of M 151  or placement into M 171 
  3. Completion on WRIT 108  or placement into WRIT 101 

Students who intend to complete the 2+2 with Montana Tech, but who have not yet met the above requirements, will be admitted as pre-engineering majors. Students interested in pursuing an engineering degree at an engineering school other than Montana Tech will also be admitted into the pre-engineering program.

Arts and Sciences Degrees

The institution awards baccalaureate degrees in:

Biological Science, Business and Information Technology (options in Accounting, Management and Information Technology), Chemistry (options in Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Geology-Geochemistry, and Professional), Computer Science (options in Business Applications, Electronic Control Systems, Engineering Applications, Statistics Applications, & Technical Communication), General Science, Health Care Informatics, Liberal Studies, Mathematical Science, Network Technology, Nursing, Occupational Safety and Health (option in Applied Health Science), Professional & Technical Communication, and Statistics. Also, Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in Biology and Business.

Moreover, transferable course work in public speaking, foreign languages, humanities and social sciences, law, premedical, physical education and more is available for those students wishing to begin a program at Montana Tech and transfer to another institution to complete their degree.

The institution awards Master’s degrees in the following non-engineering disciplines:

Technical Communication (Post-baccalaureate Certificate also available) and Industrial Hygiene.

The institution awards the two-year Associate of Science Degree (untitled) and the Associate of Science - Registered Nursing Degree (requires six semesters), as well as the following two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees

Accounting Technology (options in Health Services and Human Resources), Business Technology (options in Administrative Computer Specialist and Medical Office Specialist), Civil Engineering Technology, Construction Technology-Carpentry, Drafting Technology, Health Care Informatics Technology (opt out for AAS after four semesters), Medical Assistant, Metals Fabrication, Networking Technology, and Radiologic Technology.

Additionally Certificate of Applied Science (one-year programs) are available in:

Automotive Technology, Bookkeeping, Computer Assistant, Carpentry, Drafting Technician, Medical Receptionist, Network Technician, Office Assistant, and Sustainable Energy Technology.

A one semester Certificate is available in:

Lineman Program, Nurse Assistant, and Combination Welding

An Advanced Certificate of Completion is available in:

Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Accreditation and Memberships

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has granted Montana Tech regional accreditation continuously since 1932. NWCCU, 8060 165th Avenue NE Suite 100, Redmond, WA 98052 (425-558-4224).

The Institution holds membership in the following organizations: American Association of State Colleges and Universities; the American Society for Engineering Education; the American Council on Education; the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers; the Association of School and College Placement Officers; the American Association of State Geologists; the Northern Rockies Consortium for Higher Education; the Northwest Scientific Association; the Montana Academy of Sciences, The National Collegiate Honors Council; and other similar groups.

Programs accredited by Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET/EAC):

Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, General Engineering, Geological Engineering, Geophysical Engineering, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Mining Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Software Engineering.

Programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s (CCNE):

             Bachelor of Science Nursing

Programs accredited by American Chemical Society (ACS):


Programs accredited by Computer Science Accreditation Board of Engineering & Technology (CSAC/CSAB):

Computer Science

Programs accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ABET/ASAC):

Industrial Hygiene (On-Campus Master’s)

Programs accredited by National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (NIASE):

Automotive Technology

Programs accredited by Montana State Board of Nursing:

Registered Nursing Programs

Programs accredited by National League of Nursing Accreditation (NLNAC):

Registered Nursing Program - Associate of Science Degree (ASRN)

Programs accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education:

Business and Information Technology