901 S National
Springfield, MO 65897
p. 417-836-5000
w. www.missouristate.edu

Missouri State University-Springfield

Missouri State University-Springfield Rating: 4.1/5 (32 votes)

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Missouri State University, also known by the nicknames of MSU and Mo State, is a member of the Missouri State University System. MSU’s main campus is located in Springfield. Its West Plains campus, located in Howell County, is a two-year college offering associate’s degrees. A branch campus located in Dalian, China is home to the MSU College of International Business.


Mo State was founded in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School with the primary purpose of educating teachers for the public school system. Programs in the arts and sciences were added in the 1940s. By 1972, the college was offering undergraduate and graduate degrees and changed its name to Southwest Missouri State University as a result. The school became Missouri State University in 1985 and is now the second largest university in the state. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.


The university is comprised of the following colleges and departments:

  • College of Arts & Letters
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education
  • College of Health & Human Services
  • College of Humanities & Public Affairs
  • College of Natural & Applied Sciences
  • School of Agriculture
  • Graduate School
  • Missouri State Outreach / Missouri State Online

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in over 150 fields within the various academic colleges. Students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in areas including accounting, biology, dance, electronic arts, journalism, library science, music, nursing, recreation and leisure studies, education and Spanish. Unique fields, some of which are not available at other universities, include agronomy, antiquities, industrial management, radiography and equine studies. Many of these fields have areas of concentration as well so that students may specialize. Minors are offered in many of the major fields and also in more unique areas of study including African American studies, ancient Greek studies, equine studies, law and society, and retailing/merchandising.

Graduate students can pursue master’s level programs in biology, business, chemistry, communications, counseling, education, English, health Administration, material science, nursing, plant science, physical therapy, social work, theatre and writing. A doctoral degree is available in areas including physical therapy (DPT), audiology (AuD), and Educational Leadership (EdD). There is an accelerated master’s program in several fields as well, including business, public health, nursing, and various sciences. There are also numerous graduate certificate programs.

MSU recognizes the need for flexible adult education and provides numerous degrees that may be obtained either online or through a combination of online and video courses that may be completed in the evenings or on the weekends. The National Association for Academic Advising has recognized SMSU faculty for its outstanding achievements in student counseling and mentorship.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The Department of Defense and Strategic Studies provides academic preparation for students who plan to enter international security, national security policy, defense, arms control, or educational fields. Policy studies are emphasized, and students undertake a critical examination of strategic, defense, and arms control policies of the United States government.

The Clothing, Textiles & Merchandising program encourages students with a love of fashion and clothes into a successful career by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in the field. Students produce fashion shows including their own work and are given the opportunity to fill internships with some of the industry’s leading corporations.

There are several different undergraduate Honors Programs. Incoming students who seek admission to the Honors Programs must meet minimum ACT or SAT score minimums and be ranked highly in their high school class. Once admitted, students will take special Honors classes and work on a senior project. Students will also be part of the Honors Council and take part in social events with other Council members.

Distance learning is offered in many undergraduate and graduate programs. Students enrolled in distance learning programs will take part in courses online, through interactive video, or through teleconferencing. The Jim D. Morris Center for Continuing Education offers computer training, American Sign Language and English as a second language instruction, culinary demonstrations, play therapy workshops and yoga among other activities.


MSU seeks students with a high potential for academic success. Because of this, students meeting a minimum criteria are automatically accepted. In order to achieve automatic acceptance, students must meet the high school curriculum criteria as well as one of the following: a minimum GPA, a minimum ACT score, or a minimum class rank. For students that do not meet the criteria for automatic admission, Missouri State offers four options:

  • Students may choose to request an individual review. In order to do this, the student will need to complete the supplemental application form. The admissions committee will then review the form and make a decision. Should a student not meet the criteria at this point, it is possible that a second review can take place based on a recommendation from a university staff or faculty member.
  • For Missouri residents that meet the curriculum requirements but not the selection index requirement, the university offers the opportunity to enroll in the summer session prior to desired year of admission with the understanding that there may be other requirements in order to be accepted into the fall term.
  • For students that meet the index requirements but were unable to meet the core curriculum requirements, a request for exemption may be made to the university. This request must explain the circumstances that prevented the student from completing the curriculum requirements and must also be accompanied by a letter from the student’s high school counselor or other school official explaining the reasons.
  • Finally, students that wish to attend Missouri State University that do not meet eligibility requirements may choose to begin their college careers at another institution and transfer to the university after completing twenty-four transferrable credit hours with a minimum GPA.

The undergraduate admissions deadline is July 20 for the fall semester but students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores along with the application and fee. Students should have completed high school courses as follows: 4 units of English (two of which must be composition or writing and one may be speech or debate), three units of higher mathematics, three units of American history and social studies, three units of science not including general science, one unit of fine arts and three units of electives. Students are admitted on a combination of class rank or GPA and test scores.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background. These students should refer to the website or the university admissions office to determine exactly what is required.

Students applying to graduate programs should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Applications can be submitted online along with the application fee. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA. The graduate application deadline is July 20 for the fall semester, December 20 for the spring semester and May 20 for the summer semester. Individual departments may have earlier deadlines.

Financial Aid

The university awards a number of institutional scholarships, the most prestigious of which is the Presidential Scholarship. Other merit- and need-based scholarships are available for multicultural students, student leaders, and applicants displaying similar qualities.

The MSU Financial Aid office also provides support and advice regarding a wide variety of state and federal scholarships, grants, loans, and work study programs.

To begin the process of applying for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is available online beginning in January. Financial information for both the student and family will be required, so the applicant should have this information available prior to completing the form. Students must complete the FAFSA each year while they are in school.

Graduate students may be eligible to receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process. There are several scholarships and fee-waiver programs for graduate students.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4172nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Missouri.


Missouri State is home to a plethora student organizations and is always welcoming more. Student life includes a diverse range of activities and organizations. There is an active Greek life on campus as well as numerous academic and professional groups in addition to the fraternities and sororities. Other student clubs include religious and cultural organizations, political groups, and a variety of special interest groups. Intramural sports include flag football, dodge ball, whiffleball, and inner tube water polo. Students can take yoga, aerobics, dance, and self-defense courses, go on rock climbing and kayaking trips, or play games at the Games Center. There is also a student newspaper.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


MSU is an NCAA Division I School. The Missouri State Bears’ colors are maroon and white and their mascot is Boomer the Bear. Teams compete in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, the Mid-American conference and the football team is in the Gateway Football Conference.

Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming, tennis, and track & field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The sports teams are supported by a spirit squad, which includes a marching band with a color guard section and a co-educational cheerleading squad.

Athletic facilities include a 16,300 seat stadium for football, field hockey, and track, an indoor center for basketball, swimming, and volleyball, a softball field, tennis courts, and a soccer field. The baseball team plays at a stadium in the town of Springfield and the golf team plays on area courses.

Among the championships and awards that the school’s teams have received are conference titles in baseball (including an appearance in the College World Series), a Final 4 appearance in women’s basketball, and a Sweet 16 appearance in men’s basketball.

Local Community

Missouri State’s main campus is in Springfield, which is located in the Ozark mountains. It is the third largest city in the state and has a population of nearly 160,000. Nearby attractions include a Double A minor league baseball team, a professional hockey team, the Hammons Hall for Performing Arts, Battlefield Mall, and the American National Fish and Wildlife Museum.

An interesting statistic about Springfield is the fact that it is within 500 miles of nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population, making it one of the most accessible cities in the nation, an important factor for many parents and family members whose children attend MSU.

Information Summary

Ranks 20th in Missouri and 751st overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.00
Robbery 1 0.00
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 3 0.01
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 8 0.04
Arrest 30 0.15

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 905 0.57
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 5 0.00
Forcible Rape 110 0.07
Robbery 286 0.18
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 2,053 1.28
Larceny 11,391 7.12
Vehicle theft 974 0.61

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2907

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1550th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $6,120 $6,120 $12,600
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $788 $788 $788
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $204 $204 $420
FT Graduate Tuition $5,928 $5,928 $11,856
FT Graduate Required Fees $788 $788 $788
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $247 $247 $494
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $19,251 $19,251 $25,731
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $19,251 $19,251 $25,731
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $11,823 $11,823 $18,303

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $6,598 $6,792 $6,598 $6,792 $12,418 $13,138
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $900 $1,000
On-Campus – Room & Board $6,582 $7,475
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,740 $3,850
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A $7,475
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A $3,850
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A $3,850

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$35
Graduate Application Fee$35
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 7,482 (2,863 male / 4,619 female)
Admitted 6,367 (2,375 male / 3,992 female)
Admission rate 85%
First-time Enrollment 2,751 (1,088 male / 1,663 female)
FT Enrollment 2,700 (1,060 male / 1,640 female)
PT Enrollment 51 (28 male / 23 female)
Total Enrollment21,271

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Missouri Valley Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Missouri Valley Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Missouri Valley Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Missouri Valley Conference

ACT Test Admission

602nd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 95%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 27
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 26
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 26

SAT Test Admission

398th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 5%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 470 / 600
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 480 / 620
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 950 / 1220

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity4,029
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 460 80 88 47 25 3,201 151 4,126
Accounting 96 2 1 3 124 4 231
Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations 18 18
Agricultural Teacher Education 5 5
Agriculture, General 1 1 16 1 20
Agronomy and Crop Science 19 1 20
Ancient Studies/Civilization 1
Animal Sciences, General 1 28 29
Anthropology 1 1 31 1 35
Anthropology, Other 1 2 3
Apparel and Textiles, General 1 1 37 39
Art History, Criticism and Conservation 2 2
Art Teacher Education 11 11
Art/Art Studies, General 1 1 31 33
Athletic Training/Trainer 1 1 2 15 19
Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 1 1 2 1 1 71 1 78
Biology Teacher Education 10 10
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 2 1 2 114 1 123
Business Administration and Management, General 205 6 4 6 4 170 13 411
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other 1 2 42 45
Business Teacher Education 1 1
Business/Commerce, General 9 1 1 2 66 50 130
Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology 2 1 2 1 44 51
Chemistry Teacher Education 2 2
Chemistry, General 1 2 1 20 24
Child Development 2 3 5
City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning 7 8
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist
Clinical Psychology 10 10
Computer Science 1 1 15 1 18
Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management, Other 3 1 1 19 24
Construction Management 2 1 28 3 34
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 2 1 32 35
Creative Writing 5 5
Criminology 3 3 1 107 4 119
Dance, General 1 1 4 6
Design and Visual Communications, General 2 2 1 19 1 26
Dietetics/Dietitian 1 2 26 2 31
Dispute Resolution 2 1 1 27 1 33
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 28 28
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 1 22 24
Economics, General 1 14 2 17
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism 1
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments Including Blindness 2 2
Educational Assessment, Testing, and Measurement 3 3
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 2 46 1 51
Educational/Instructional Technology 2 2
Elementary Education and Teaching 2 1 186 4 201
Engineering/Industrial Management 14 4 1 1 40 1 63
English Language and Literature, General 6 2 1 47 1 57
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 1 31 32
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies 12 2 14
Facilities Planning and Management 2 2
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 1 1
Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education 6 1 8
Finance, General 40 1 2 1 37 2 85
Financial Forensics and Fraud Investigation 7 8 15
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General 2 1 1 4
Forensic Psychology 11 11
French Language Teacher Education 1 1
French Language and Literature 5 5
Geographic Information Science and Cartography 14 14
Geography 1 1 30 32
Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other 1 13 1 15
Geology/Earth Science, General 15 1 17
German Language Teacher Education 1 1
German Language and Literature 1 1
Gerontology 1 1 1 3
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, Other 4 4
Higher Education/Higher Education Administration 3 1 15 21
History Teacher Education 34 1 35
History, General 1 1 23 3 30
Homeland Security 1 9 10
Horticultural Science 8 9
Hospital and Health Care Facilities Administration/Management 1 1 12 14
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 3 2 1 57 2 65
Housing and Human Environments, General 1 1 21 23
Human Development and Family Studies, General 2 1 36 1 41
Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other 1 1 8 10
Insurance 1 6 7
Intermedia/Multimedia 14 1 15
International/Global Studies 2 17 3 22
Journalism 2 1 1 21 25
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 2 32 1 36
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 3 2 1 68 1 75
Latin Language and Literature 1 1
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management 6 3 37 1 47
Management Information Systems, General 2 1 1 1 43 2 53
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 13 2 5 2 82 4 109
Mass Communication/Media Studies 3 1 37 1 43
Materials Science 4 1 5
Mathematics Teacher Education 9 1 10
Mathematics, General 7 1 17 25
Music Performance, General 2 1 5 8
Music Teacher Education 30 30
Music, General 5 15 21
Natural Sciences 14 15
Nurse Anesthetist 1 10 12
Nursing Education
Operations Management and Supervision
Organizational Communication, General 1 1 3 2 25 1 34
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies 1 19 1 22
Philosophy 1 1 2 1 6
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 27 1 29
Physician Assistant 27 27
Physics Teacher Education
Physics, General 1 11 12
Plant Sciences, General 1 1 2
Political Science and Government, General 3 1 33 4 43
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing 16 16
Psychology, General 2 8 5 3 4 159 4 193
Public Administration 1 1 6 8
Public Administration and Social Service Professions, Other 2 1 1 1 27 34
Public Health, General 3 4 7
Radio and Television 4 4
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer 1 1 1 21 1 25
Reading Teacher Education 1 13 14
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 2 1 80 3 87
Religion/Religious Studies 1 1 20 1 27
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist 1 1 1 3
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education 1 1
Secondary Education and Teaching 10 10
Social Work 4 2 2 66 1 76
Sociology 3 14 17
Spanish Language Teacher Education 3 3
Spanish Language and Literature 2 9 11
Special Education and Teaching, General 1 1 47 49
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 4 4 2 1 41 3 55
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 1 1 2
Strategic Intelligence 1 2 15 4 25
Teacher Assistant/Aide 3 3
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other 6 6
Teacher Education, Multiple Levels 1 1 15 17
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor 2 1 1 4
Technology Teacher Education/Industrial Arts Teacher Education 1 1
Visual and Performing Arts, General 6 6
Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management 1 20 21

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1639th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $66,390 ($71,424 male / $55,716 female)
Number of FT Faculty 708 (373 male / 335 female)
Number of PT Faculty 1,106
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $21,673,242

Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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