The University of Missouri began when 900 Boone County citizens pledged almost $118,000 in cash and land to locate a new state university in Columbia in 1839. The citizens new that the promise of a better future would be through higher education. It was the first public university west of the Mississippi and was the first in the Louisiana Purchase. In 1870, the university was given land-grant status and the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts was established. A fire in 1892 did not slow growth as the university rebuilt around the first academic buildings destroyed in the fire. Today, six iconic columns remain to symbolize the university's perseverance, strength and dedication.

From the beginning, the University of Missouri took a different approach to education. Many universities created separate research and land-grant institutions, but UM chose to combine those energies into one school. By the beginning of the 20th century, enrollment had grown significantly and the school earned the nickname "Mizzou." In 1908, the first journalism school was established at Mizzou which is now globally famous for its teaching methods.

After World War II as soldiers returned from the war and took advantage of the GI Bill, enrollment grew significantly. The school began enrolling African-American students in 1950 and, by 1962, had become a four-campus system. Today, the school has an enrollment of 35,00 students with more than 13,000 full-time faculty and staff. There are 267,000 alumni throughout the world and many of them have become leaders in their field.

University of Missouri Accreditation Details

The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has been since 1913. Regional accreditation indicates that the university is dedicated to providing excellence in education and that programs are consistently reviewed with adjustments to curriculum made whenever necessary. Programs throughout the university are accredited by industry specific organizations and associations as well.

University of Missouri Application Requirements

Freshman, students who have not earned college credits after completing high school, must complete an application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official high school transcripts as well as official ACT or SAT scores. If your high school uses a class rank, there are specific test scores and class rankings that must be met before admission to Mizzou. There are GPA and test scores for non-ranking high school students who wish to attend as well.

Students who have completed courses after high school at an accredited college or university may apply as a transfer student. Students must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA, meet freshman admission requirements and have at least 24 college credits which must include college algebra and English, both of which must be passed with a C- or better.

Each program in the graduate department has its own criteria for admission, although all graduate programs require students to have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university in order to be admitted. Students should discuss application details with an admissions counselor before applying.

University of Missouri Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time tuition for Missouri residents is $10,716 per year and for non-residents it is $25,9998 per year. Graduate tuition is $276.20 per credit hour for residents and $822.00 for non-residents.

Four out of five Mizzou students receive some type of financial aid. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for aid at the University of Missouri.

University of Missouri Degree Program(s) Available

Political Science Undergraduate

The Political Science undergraduate degree program at the University of Missouri provides students with details on government, politics and public policies. Students develop an understanding of how government operates as well as how to analyze public policies and ideas. Students are able to become more active citizens and many go on to become political leaders or governmental administrators. Students are able to study abroad and link their academic study with internships. Students who graduate with a political science degree can enter the law, business, finance, consulting, public relations, advertising, lobbying and many other careers where political knowledge is critical.

Political Science Master of Arts Program

Students who wish to pursue a Master of Arts in Political Science must complete 30 hours of academic credit. Required courses include Introductory to Statics for Political Science, Computing Methods and Linear Models. At least 18 hours of the program must include graduate seminars in 8000-9000 level courses. Students must choose from three of the following fields:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political theory
  • Public Policy and Administration

In the third semester, students choose an advisor who will chair a three-person committee designed to guide the student through their master's thesis. Students must submit to an oral examination in their final semester. The thesis requires students to prepare an original research project, write a thesis and successfully pass a comprehensive oral examination covering the thesis and coursework.

Political Science PhD Program

In order to complete the doctorate level Political Science Program at the University of Missouri, students must complete 51 hours of coursework and at least 24 courses from the student's master program may be counted toward the doctoral degree pending approval by the student's doctoral committee. Students must complete Introductory Statistics for Political Science, Computing Methods and Linear Models. Students must identify a primary and secondary field among the following four areas of study in the department:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Public Policy Administration

Students must take 12 house of graduate seminars in their primary field and at least nine hours of graduate seminar in their secondary field. Each student must also complete 13 hours in research and methodology courses. During the second semester, students must meet with their doctoral committee to prepare a program of study and pass a comprehensive examination. The committee t hen supervises dissertation research and the oral defense of the dissertation. The outside field consists of six hours of substantive course work outside political science related to the dissertation proposal.

Related Resource: Top 20 Most Affordable Online Master's in Political Science

The University of Missouri has a long history of preparing students to be leaders in their field of study. The university offers programs designed to create problem-solvers and decision makers. With programs that range from the associate level to the doctorate level, students are able to achieve their higher education goals, sometimes at their own pace with online, evening and weekend courses that allow them the flexibility to meet social, employment and family requirements that sometimes limit the ability for adults to return to school. The University of Missouri allows students to advance in their current careers or move into a new career.