Northwest Missouri State University is a public four-year university located in the city of Maryville. The school, which awards both graduate and undergraduate degrees, serves more than 7,000 students each year.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, the university has historically had an emphasis on agriculture, education, and business. It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.
Northwest was founded as the Fifth District Normal School in 1905 with the goal of training new teachers. It became Northwest Missouri State Teacher’s College in 1919 and was renamed Northwest Missouri State College in the late 1940s. The institution was granted university stats and the ability to grant master’s degrees, along with its current name, in 1972.
The university is divided into three main units in addition to a graduate school:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Education and Human Services
- College of Business and Professional Studies
There are more than 20 academic departments within the Colleges, each offering dozens of majors and minors. To help ensure student retention, Northwest also offers a multitude of academic support and retention programs, including SOAR, Discover (career services), the Exploring Majors program to help determine a student’s focus, and general and practicum classes.
Popular bachelor’s degree programs include animal science, broadcasting, business, English, horticulture, industrial psychology, journalism, physics, public relations, Spanish, theatre, and wildlife ecology & conservation. There are pre-professional programs in forestry, engineering, law, mortuary science, and many health fields. Minors are available in many of the major areas and also in fields such as English writing, French, gerontology, and nutrition. There are two-year programs in farm operations, medical administrative assistant, and office systems.
Students can pursue over 30 master’s degree programs, including business administration, education, agriculture, guidance and counseling, recreation, and biology. Many master’s programs are concentrated in education and the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is offered through the College of Education in the following areas: superintendency, secondary principalship, and elementary principalship. The only Master of Arts degrees offered are in English and history. Aside from biology, the physical sciences are not represented. There are no doctoral programs.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Enhanced Freshman Seminar is a program for first-time freshmen who have great potential yet require proper support and guidance. Students in this program have demonstrated areas of weakness and are required to participate as a requirement for enrollment. All incoming freshmen are offered the opportunity to participate in SOAR—Summer Orientation, Advisement, and Registration. This gives freshmen some exposure to campus life and helps to ease the transition into the university.
The Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics, and Computing is a two-year residential program that replaces the junior and senior years of high school for skilled, advanced high school students. The Academy’s goal it to acclimate these students to the college experience while they earn both a high school diploma and an associate of science degree. Participants live on campus in a special residence hall and some courses are taken with traditional-aged college students.
The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences produces graduates who go on to improve goods and services for optimal individual and family life.
The Horace Mann Laboratory School is school located on the Northwest campus. It provides an arena for early childhood, elementary, and middle school teachers to improve their skills and gain valuable experience along with an enriching education for students.
The admissions process and criteria are fairly selective. The university recommends that prospective students apply during November or December of the year preceding the fall term in which they wish to enroll. Students should have completed high school courses as follows: 4 units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 3 units of history and social studies, 2 units of science, 1 unit of fine arts and 3 units of electives. Decisions are made based on a combination of SAT/ACT scores, class rank, and high school grade point average (GPA). 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.
Transfer and International Admissions
Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background. Students who intend to transfer from another college or university must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in at least 24 hours of transferable credit.
Students applying to the graduate programs should consult the individual department to which they are applying. General requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.5 along with GRE, GMAT, or other appropriate standardized test scores. The graduate application deadline varies by department, but students are advised to apply as soon as possible.
Students who seek financial aid to help pay for their tuition, fees, and college-related expenses will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Many aid options are offered to eligible students, including Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Perkins Loans, William D. Ford Loans, and Federal Work Study programs. There are also aid programs unique to the state, including the Advantage Missouri Program and the Missouri College Guarantee Program. Work-study programs are also available based on need. Special financial aid programs for minority or non-traditional students include the Missouri Minority Teach Education Scholarship.
Financial aid recipients must have a high school diploma or GED, be enrolled as a degree-seeking student, and make satisfactory academic programs.
Graduate students may qualify for aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a tuition waiver. There are also several small scholarships specifically for graduate students in particular programs.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students may live on-campus in traditional dormitories as well as Living-Learning environments, which are focused on specific areas of academic interest and intended to immerse students in their field of study.
The school offers more than 150 student organizations including academic and honor societies, fraternities and sororities, sports clubs, and religious and service groups. Broadway productions and nationally known comedians and musical acts are common on-campus attractions.
Media produced by students include the magazine Heartland View, a weekly newspaper, and a yearbook. Students can also be involved with the campus radio station. There is a recreation center and students can participate in intramural sports.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Northwest Missouri Bearcats compete in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association of the NCAA. Intercollegiate teams include baseball, cross country, football, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball.
Since 1980, the Bearcat Hall of Fame has inducted individuals whose collegiate and professional athletic achievements make them stand out among all former Bearcat student athletes. Entire teams have also been recognized in the Hall of Fame, including the 1996 Bearcat football team (inducted in 2003).
Among the championships and awards that the Bearcats have received are numerous All-Conference awards for individual athletes, national tournament play in women’s tennis and outdoor track & field, and conference tournament play in baseball and softball.
Athletic facilities include a football stadium and track, an aquatic center, tennis courts, gymnasium, and baseball and softball fields.
The Bell of 1948 is rung on campus to signify athletic victories, the passing of a student or other university member, or any other significant or memorable event that is to be recognized by the entire campus community. One of those events is the annual Walkout Day, which is held on the Friday before Homecoming each year. On Walkout Day, students leave classes early and have a massive celebration downtown. Another celebration is Family Day, when faculty and administrators get to meet with parents and other family of their students.
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.