MSUB McMullen Hall

Image Courtesy MSU Billings

BILILNGS — MSU Billings released its spring 2021 enrollment data, which showed an increase in undergraduate student enrollment and graduate degree program enrollment, particularly in healthcare support programs such as clinical rehabilitation, special education in applied behavior analysis, and health administration.

At its official 15th class-day count 3,987 students were enrolled with 2,263 at University Campus and 1,724 at City College.

From fall 2020 to spring 2021 semesters, MSU Billings experienced the lowest decrease in student headcount enrollment in ten years. Spring semesters typically average 95% of fall headcount and this year, MSUB is at 99.97% (only a .03 percent decrease). Spring semester enrollment is typically smaller than fall enrollment, nationwide.

The rising need for healthcare and mental health professionals resulting from the pandemic is believed to have played a significant role in the 10% overall enrollment growth in healthcare support programs this semester.

“We are seeing an increased nationwide interest in healthcare programs and are not surprised to see such an enrollment increase at MSUB,” Vice Chancellor for Student Access and Success Kim Hayworth said. “There is also a demand for healthcare and healthcare support programs in this region and I’m happy to see our students meet workforce needs.”

Notable areas of growth for MSU Billings’ spring 2021 semester compared to spring 2020 semester include:

  • 21% increase in American Indian student enrollment at City College
  • 6.6% increase in Hispanic student enrollment at university campus
  • Overall 7% increase in graduate degree program enrollment
  • Programs with significant enrollment growth included:
    • Master of Public Relations 42%
    • Associate of Process Plant Technology 40%
    • Master of Special Education in Advanced Studies 32%
    • Associate of Diesel Technology 30%
    • Bachelor of Psychology 20%
    • Bachelor of Human Services 16%
    • Bachelor of Psychiatric Rehabilitation 14%
    • Master of Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling 4.6%
  • 14.9 % enrollment increase in City College student headcount from fall 2020.


Undergraduate student readmissions increased 15.6% from last spring. Many students were unable to enroll in classes due to changing work and family situations impacted by the pandemic, but have been able to return this spring. There are a large number of students who also feel safer coming to MSUB to take classes now that rigorous health and safety protocols implemented during fall semester have been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. Students have also enjoyed upgraded classroom technology, which has helped improve the virtual learning experience, and given some the HyFlex option, which provides the flexibility of either attending class in-person or virtually.

“We’re excited to see an increase in our returning student enrollment from last spring and consistent enrollment increases in our healthcare related programs. Our students have recognized industry needs and are seeking out more essential and stable careers since the pandemic hit,” MSUB Chancellor Stefani Hicswa said. “I’m inspired by our incredible faculty and staff who work so diligently to ensure that our students have access to quality and affordable programs.”

The Montana University System will present comprehensive enrollment information for all institutions at the Board of Regents meeting on March 11, 2021.

For more information, contact Maureen Brakke, director of University Communications & Marketing at (406) 657-2243 or

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