What is it Like to Attend University of Montana?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Chelsea is a San Francisco-Bay Area tutor and 2012 graduate of the University of Montana. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and specializes in algebra tutoring, psychology tutoring, and more. Check out what Chelsea had to say about her time at the University of Montana:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Chelsea: The University of Montana campus was in a mountainous city with lots of outdoor activities. I always felt safe there. Getting around near campus was always easy via car or public transportation (i.e. bus). There were also Park & Ride buses paid for by the university (you park your car and take the bus to campus). All of the city buses were free to use. A bike was nice if you didn’t have a car because the city and campus were very flat.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants at University of Montana?

Chelsea: I never had a problem getting in touch with someone if I needed help, whether that was a professor (for help with an assignment), an advisor (for questions about my major or career advice), or an administrator (who was in charge of financial aid or admissions). If the first person you contacted couldn’t help, they were always willing to give advice about who would be able to.

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Chelsea: The location was absolutely beautiful, right on the Clark Fork River with plenty of opportunities to go outdoors (for hiking, skiing, snowboarding, fishing, camping, etc.), or to stay on campus for various events. Dorm life was active, with RAs who were involved and who helped with transitioning to college life. There were two major dining places on campus, and because of the size of the campus, I was never too far from either! 

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported at University of Montana?

Chelsea: The University of Montana is primarily focused on the liberal arts subjects. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology because of my personal interest in the subject and the variety of labs on campus. The university did a wonderful job providing support no matter what field of psychology you were interested in. Since I was more interested in the research side, I was easily able to get involved in several labs to assist with research projects.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Chelsea: As a freshman, it was easy to make friends because the university requires freshmen to take specific classes, which prompted me to interact with students. They also try to keep floors in the dorms specifically to freshmen. There is an event called WelcomeFest that has special events for everyone, but especially for freshmen. This helped us to get acclimated to campus and college life!

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? 

Chelsea: The Career Center has a large office with several workshops going year-round to help with cover letters, resumes, and graduate school applications. There are two campuswide career fairs that go on every year. Some of the specific departments have individual career fairs, as well. As for reputable companies recruiting students, I would say yes. Many companies come specifically to the University of Montana because of its reputation for academics.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Chelsea: There are several different places to study on campus. The library offers quiet floors or group study rooms. If you need a study room, it’s always a good idea to reserve them in advance, especially during the evenings and during the week. There was never a place that felt over-crowded, and a seat was always available. 

Describe the surrounding town at University of Montana.

Chelsea: Missoula is a small town, but with something for everyone! The downtown area is where almost everything happens—trivia, art walks, several restaurants, live entertainment, and events. If you’re going out on campus, there are plenty of events going on nightly through the student union, clubs, or dorms.

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Chelsea: The student body is around 12,000 people. The major lecture halls are, at most, 100-150 students large. In the lower division classes, it was usually a larger student class (30-40), but in the upper division classes, it was often smaller (10-20). No matter what type of class, I always felt that I could reach the professor or student aide if I had a question. No matter what class size, questions were always welcomed!

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Chelsea: One of my favorite classes was my Intro to Computer Science class. The professor was one of the most engaging professors I have ever had. Not only did he drive my interest in the subject, but he challenged us to be successful. He was always available to answer questions, and he encouraged us to come by during office hours. I could tell he was teaching something he loved, making it easy to enjoy attending his class and finishing the assignments with ease.

Check out Chelsea’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.