Montana Tech is a university located in Butte, Montana. It was founded in 1893 as a mining school. In 1994 it joined the Montana University System and is now Montana Tech of the University of Montana.
Montana Tech specializes in engineering and technology education with additional programs in chemistry, Health Care Informatics, safety and occupational health, professional and technical communication, nursing, and general university humanities courses. The 2005-06 enrollment is 2232 students; 2142 undergraduate and 90 graduate students, 87% from Montana.
Charles Horace Clapp (1883-1935) was president of the school from 1918 to 1921. Clapp was initially hired as head of the geology department in 1916. As president he successfully lobbied to create the state bureau of mines and was named director of the new bureau. While in Butte, Clapp earned a strong regional reputation for promoting professional and economic development. He left the School of Mines to become president of the State University of Montana at Missoula--a position he held until his death. Because of chronic underfunding of the state university system (a condition that still prevails today), Clapp faced enormous administrative problems.
In 1943, the Montana School of Mines was designated a Naval College and a V-12 Navy program was started, which took over the campus. The V-12 program guaranteed an officer replacement pool for the Navy and Marines and gave many young men the opportunity to attend college. The program was disbanded at the end of World War II, having trained 478 students.
In 1945, school president Francis Thompson embarked on a program to modernize the Montana School of Mines’ curricula. To this end he set up a reconversion committee to determine what direction the college should take in the post-war years.
Until that point, students elected a major and could not take classes outside of it. The reconversion allowed students to take more technical electives and gave them more options in the humanities and social sciences. The reconversion committee marked a significant milestone in the history of the Montana School of Mines, setting the stage for the creation of non-engineeing programs on campus. In addition to the curriculum changes, the school also elected to change its name in 1965 to the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, a move which boosted enrollment from 331 in 1965 to 998 in 1971. Over time, this long and clumsy name was shortened to simply Montana Tech.
The Montana University System was restructured in 1994. Montana Tech become affiliated with the University of Montana-Missoula and the name officially changed to Montana Tech of The University of Montana. Additionally the College of Technology (formerly Butte Vo-Tech) came under the administrative umbrella of Montana Tech.
As a small engineering institution, Montana Tech also has a significant liberal arts college. Classes are small, students know their faculty from freshman year on, and there are excellent undergraduate opportunities in research and service learning.
Professional & Technical Communication Department - There is a BS degree in Professional & Technical Communication and an MS degree in Technical Communication. Both programs emphasize both communication technical information and using technology to communicate. And both integrate traditional written communication with multimedia communication and the cultural context within which communication occurs.
Chemistry & Geochemistry Department - The Chemistry Degree (Professional Option and Environmental Option) are certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). A large fraction of students participates in undergraduate research. Graduates find career positions in laboratories or research positions and are prepared for many other career opportunites in the expansive field of chemistry. Montana Tech graduate have been very successful gaining admittance to professional health schools in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and other health science programs.
PreProfessional Health Studies - Students may prepare for entry into professional schools of health (including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, etc.) by completing a Bachelor's degree at Montana Tech, provided the necessary prerequisite courses are included. Students can complete the first two years at Montana Tech for many pharmacy programs, including the program at the University of Montana. In all cases, students are urged to work closely with the appropriate advisor at Montana Tech, to consult catalogs, and whenever possible, advisors at the institution where they wish to apply.