Missouri State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Missouri State University is a public institution of higher learning residing in Springfield, Missouri. It is the second largest university in Missouri. Its mission is strong public affairs with a focus on engagement with the community, ethical leadership, and cultural competence. The goals for community engagement include students recognizing the value of contributing their knowledge and abilities to the community and society as a whole. Students will also understand the importance of scientific principles in the origination of comprehensive public policy. The objective of the ethical leadership aspect is students will express their value systems and act in an ethical manner demonstrating honorable and engaged leadership. The goal of the cultural competence is students will identify and respect various points of view and cultures. The public affairs mission is highlighted and enriched by selected Public Affairs Professorships and a Provost Fellow for Public Affairs. Additional efforts, such as scholarships, grants, awards, and conferences are also embedded in the focus on public affairs.

Missouri State University values a student-centered academic atmosphere and excellent instruction that encourages educational success and personal development. It strives to develop a community of students that create an environment of respect for all individuals. Its also concentrates on innovation in all programs and promotes the entrepreneurial drive in all parts of university life. Missouri State University offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs as well as undergraduate and graduate certificates through eight colleges: College of Agriculture, College of Arts and Letters, College of Business, College of Education, College of Health and Human Services, College of Humanities and Public Affairs, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and Graduate College.

The College of Business is the largest college of business in the state and among the largest in the Midwest region. Among its programs are 150 undergraduate majors and 45 graduate programs. The student to faculty ratio is 20 to one.

Missouri State University was established in 1905 under the name Fourth District Normal School. Its main objective was providing training for teachers. Its first class had 543 students. The school changed its name to Southwest Missouri State Teacher's College in 1919. It continued to expand and added programs in liberals and sciences and it became Southwest Missouri State College in 1945. With continued growth in student population, the college officially became a university in 1972 under the name Southwest Missouri State University. Its student enrollment was more than 10,000 in 1973. By 1985, the university grew to the second biggest public university in Missouri. In 1995, the state of Missouri approved the university's strong mission in public affairs. The university officially became Missouri State University in 2005 after many years of failed bills to support the name change. Today, the university is home to more than 26,000 students. The U.S. News and World Report ranks Missouri State University number 16 in its Top Public Schools publication and number 71 in its Regional Universities Midwest.

Missouri State University College Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association regionally accredits Missouri State University to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. It also grants the university the ability to award both undergraduate and graduate certificates.

Missouri State University College Application Requirements


  • Submit the undergraduate application for admission
  • Pay the nonrefundable $35 application fee
  • Submit official ACT/SAT scores
  • Submit official transcripts from high school
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended


  • Submit the graduate application for admission
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher learning
  • Submit official scores from standardized graduate level tests, such as the GRE and GMAT
  • Pay the $35 nonrefundable application fee
  • Submit letters of recommendation, resume, and application to specific program or department as needed

Tuition and Financial Aid



  • Missouri resident: $7,060 based on 30 credit hours per year
  • Non-Missouri resident: $14,110 based on 30 credit hours per year
  • Online courses: $285 per credit hour


  • Missouri resident: $5,554 based on 18 credit hours per year
  • Out-of-state resident: $10,234 based on 18 credit hours per year
  • Online courses: $285 per credit hour

Financial Aid

Missouri State University offers several financial aid options for all types of students. Available programs include scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study.


  • Presidential Scholarship
  • University Scholarship
  • Board of Governor's Scholarship
  • Provost Scholarship
  • Dean's Scholarship
  • Inclusive Excellence Leadership Scholarship
  • Diversity in Education Scholarship
  • Missouri State Advantage Scholarship
  • Missouri State Promise Scholarship
  • A+ Recognition Scholarship
  • Bright Flight Program
  • Kids' Chance Program
  • Marguerite Ross Barnett Program
  • Minority Teaching Scholarship
  • Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program
  • Need-Based Scholarship for Graduate Students
  • Continue the Tradition Program
  • Midwest Student Exchange Program


  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  • Advanced Placement Incentive Grant
  • Public Service Officer Survivor Grant
  • Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant
  • Wartime Veteran's Survivors Grant


  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Missouri Family Education Loan Program

Federal Work-Study

Missouri State University participates in the Federal Work Study program that is based on students' financial need. Students eligible for this program pursue part-time jobs and are paid via federal funding. Students work a certain amount of hours and receive compensation accordingly. Actual pay varies on department, qualifications, hours, and job duties.

Related Resource: 30 Top Affordable Online Master's in Communication

Online Master's Degree Programs in Communication

The online Master of Arts in Communication degree at Missouri State University combines theory and research with service-learning and internship opportunities to prepare students for careers in an array of professional settings. Instructors strive to expand students' understanding of the communication process and develop abilities in assisting communication among other people. Students have the ability to specialize in conflict and mediation, organizational communication, family communication, public relations, health communication, rhetoric and argumentation, interpersonal communication, and small group communication. The program requires the completion of at least 46 credit hours. The core courses include introduction to graduate studies, applied communication research methods, theory and research in communication, rhetorical analysis in communication research, rhetorical theory, and quantitative analysis in communication research. The Master of Arts in Communication at Missouri State University prepares students for a variety of careers or advanced study in the field.

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