Missouri Western State University


Missouri Western State University is a public educational institution located in St. Joseph, MO that has a history dating all the way back to 1915. Inaugurated as the St. Joseph Junior College in the Fist World War-era – offering two-year liberal arts programs – MWSU started its four-year programs in 1969. In 1977, MSWU joined the Missouri public school system and later received full university status in August of 2005. Annual enrollment is typically over 5,000 students, a far cry from the original St. Joseph’s Junior College, which started out with 35 pupils and 8 faculty members. The annual budget today is close to $50 million.

Accreditation for Missouri Western State University comes from the Higher Learning Commission of NCACS (the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools). In addition to this university accreditation, separate programs receive accreditation from bodies like the American Bar Association (ABA), the Council on Social Work Education, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher’s Education and the American Chemical Society, among others.

At Missouri Western, students have 70 different degree programs to choose from, with 54 bachelor’s degrees, 4 master’s, 10 associate’s, 2 certificates and 1 post-bachelor certificate open for enrollment. In addition to the 94 majors offered at MSWU, there are 41 minors for students to take advantage of.

While MSWU has retained its liberal arts focus as it approaches its centennial celebration, it has expanded its reach into business and professional studies as well. The Criminal Justice, Education and Nursing/Health Information Technology Programs are constantly growing in popularity. The Steven L. Craig School of Business is also growing by the year. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences continues to carry the torch, offering degrees in Art, Biology, English, History, Psychology, Music, Theatre, Political Science and more. For graduate work, students are welcome to purse the Master’s in Applied Science in Assessment, Integrated Media, Written Communication and Chemistry.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Information Summary

Ranks 51st in Missouri and 2073rd overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 62.4
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $20,575
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 18 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 62% / 24%
Enrollment Total (all students) 5,669


The admissions process to Missouri Western State University often begins with a check on the Viewbook online, a good primer for prospective students. In addition, the school website has explicit instructions for each different department and major. Most students coming straight from high school or from a GED program will need to meet the general requirements: Completion of the application online; Forwarding of high school transcripts along with Act scores (school code is 2344); Payment of the application fee; and the forwarding of any college transcripts. Minimum ACT scores are 19 for English and Reading, 20 for Mathematics.


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Financial Aid

Any student hoping to receive financial if in order to defray costs of attending MSWU must complete the FAFSA before the deadline date. Students can set up an interview with the Financial Aid Office in Eder Hall (Room 103) and try to determine the best way to afford studies at MSWU. Open to all students are the possibility of Federal Grants, while there are numerous scholarship programs specific to MSWU students. Deadlines are very important, so refer to the website for specific requirements and due dates. Entry into the Work-Study Program is also possible, as are PLUS and Student loans. In some cases, interest will not begin to accrue until after studies are completely finished.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4629th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Missouri.


Students at Missouri Western have the opportunity to support any number of athletic teams and well as participate in the sports being offered on campus. However, student life goes far beyond that. Many MSWU students live on campus, allowing for the full university experience to become a reality. Student government associations are popular, along with Greek organizations and the many regular events constantly taking place in St. Joseph for MWSU students. Students in need of counseling and academic assistance will be able to take advantage of the resources offered by the Western Activities Council. Check the website for the latest information on student activities and the newest leadership development programs.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The MSWU Griffons are constantly a force in NCAA Division II competition. In addition to the 2010 Women’s Basketball Championship, the Griffons brought home the 2010 Softball Championship as well. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football and golf. In addition to softball and basketball, women’s teams include soccer, golf, tennis and volleyball. Inquire at the university about scholarship opportunities.

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