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Missouri State University officially got its start in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School. The main campus was located in Springfield. Initially, the school’s mission was to prepare teachers to serve public schools in Missouri. However, the oldest segment of the university is actually the Mountain Grove Campus which began as the State Fruit Experiment Station in 1899 which joined Missouri State in 1974.
In 1919, the name of the school was changed to Southwest Missouri State Teachers College and became Southwest Missouri State college in 1945 in order to reflect programs offered that were beyond teaching. Enrollment grew significantly after World War II, leading to the creation of residence halls and expanded programs. The school gained university status in 1972, becoming Southwest Missouri State University. In 2005, the school was renamed Missouri State University to better reflect its significant enrollment, higher admissions standards and a growth in graduate programs.
Today, there are 26,216 students enrolled at Missouri State University with the majority of them enrolled at the Springfield campus. The school is ranked as an ACT top choice and the school received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. It has been named one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes and received the Best in the Midwest recognition from the Princeton Review. It is ranked among the best regional universities by U.S. News & World Report and was selected as a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University.
Missouri State University Accreditation Details
Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This means that the university undergoes voluntary reviews periodically by the accrediting agency. These reviews determine whether programs offered by the school meet standards that indicate quality education and that the school has the resources to meet their goals. Missouri State also agrees to address any areas that are identified as needing improvement during those reviews.
In addition, programs throughout the college are accredited by various industry-specific organizations. These include AACSB International, ABET-Computing Accreditation Commission, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and the Council for Public Health. Industry-specific accreditation indicates that programs offered by Missouri State University in those particular industries have met standards that indicate excellence in education and that periodic reviews confirm that the school has the resources necessary to provide students with an education that will allow them to succeed in their chosen careers.
Missouri State University Admission Requirements
New students who have not earned college credit since they have graduated college are freshmen at Missouri State University. In order to apply, students must complete an application and pay the application fee. Students must provide official ACT or SAT scores and official high school transcripts.
Students who have attended Missouri Community Colleges who wish to transfer to Missouri State University should contact an admissions counselor to determine what is necessary to transfer their credits to the university. Students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree or who have completed the 42-hour general education block at a Missouri community college have met the general education block at the university. Students who are transferring from an out-of-state college or who are transferring from four-year colleges, whether they are within Missouri or out-of-state, must speak to an admissions counselor to determine transferrable credits.
Graduate students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college and must have a GPA of at least 2.75 that is either cumulative, based on the last 60 hours of academic work in undergraduate studies or on a minimum of nine hours of graduate work. Students with a combined score of 290 on the GRE may be admitted even if their GPA does not meet the requirements. Students must provide official transcripts from any school attended as well as official GRE scores.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate tuition at Missouri State University is $7,452 for in-state residents and $15,342 for out-of-state students. Students who have an ACT composite of 24, an SAT score of 1180 or a 3.5 cumulative GPA may receive a waiver for out-of-state tuition and be eligible to pay only in-state rates. That determination is made based on application materials. Full-time graduate tuition is $6,839 for in-state students and $11,915 for out-of-state students. Out-of-state graduate students may qualify for an out-of-state waiver through the Midwest Student Exchange Program or the Missouri Outreach Graduate Opportunity. Online tuition ranges from $210 to $298 for in-state students and $458 to $569 for out-of-state students.
Missouri State University offers tuition that is well below national averages but understand that many students need assistance in order to attend. All students are advised to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually in order to qualify for financial assistance. Students may qualify for grants and scholarships which do not need to be repaid. Some grants and scholarships are need-based while others are merit-based. Federal work-study programs are available as are federal student loan programs that can help offset the cost of tuition.
Online Degrees Available
Master of Arts in History
The Master of Arts in History is available in a completely online format through Missouri State University. The program is a two-year degree that strengthens the student’s understanding of social science, the philosophy of education and how the two work together. Students may choose the thesis option or to conduct an extensive research project. Courses required for the program include:
- American History Readings Seminar
- American History Research Seminar
- American Revolution
- Colonial America
- French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era
- Historiography and Historical Method
- Plagues and Pandemics
- Women’s History Primary Source Seminar
- World History Readings Seminar
Master of Science in Child Life Studies
The online Master of Science in Child Life Studies at Missouri State University prepares students as a certified child life specialist. Students gain an understanding of research into child life practices and encourages them to develop their own research in the area of child life. Students learn to minimize stress and anxiety among children as well as how to maximize their growth. Instruction is provided on improving the lives of children when their families are in crisis as well. Courses required include:
- Advanced Family Theory
- Advanced Human Development Studies
- Educational Research Methodology
- Child Life Theory and Practice
- Children and Families in Diverse Society
- Trends and Issues in Child Life
Students may choose a child life practicum, in which case they will need nine hours of electives as well as nine hours of internship in a child life setting. All students must complete a thesis and successfully complete a comprehensive examination.
Missouri State University offers many degree programs online that provide the flexibility working adults need to achieve their higher education goals. An online degree from Missouri State University can help individuals move into a new career or advance in a career they are already practicing.