Missouri State University - West Plains

Admissions Guide

Download the print version of the Admissions Guide (PDF 5.4 MB).
You need a PDF viewer similar to Adobe® Reader® to view and print this document.

Why Choose Missouri State-West Plains?

At Missouri State University-West Plains, you'll discover what we've known for 50 years – big opportunities come in small packages!

Nestled in the "heart of the Ozarks," Missouri State- West Plains is small enough to give you personalized attention, but large enough to get you well on your way to an exciting career!

Our small class size, dedicated faculty and caring staff create a learning atmosphere that promotes success and our state-of-the-art facilities ensure the education you receive will prepare you for 21st century challenges.

Missouri State-West Plains offers educational programs that meet a wide range of needs. You can choose from a rigorous transfer program that will prepare you to enter a four-year college or University or one of our two-year career programs that provide the technical, hands-on training you need to find employment in a variety of fields. And, with a campus in Mountain Grove and online courses, access to a college degree is easier than ever!

Students don't have to stop with an associate's degree at Missouri State-West Plains. Thanks to the Outreach Program offered by Missouri State University's Springfield campus, several bachelor's and master's degrees can be completed on the West Plains campus.

You'll find plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus, too. Missouri State-West Plains has many student organizations geared toward a variety of interests. And, you won't want to miss the exciting action of our nationally recognized Grizzly basketball and volleyball teams!

With a variety of financial aid options available, including the A+ Program, Missouri State-West Plains makes obtaining a degree even more affordable.

Want to know more? Start by scanning this admissions guide filled with information about Missouri State-West Plains and see how your new beginning can lead to endless possibilities!

Degree Programs

Associate of Arts (AA) degrees

  • General Studies: The AA in General Studies degree allows students to complete general education requirements for virtually any bachelor's degree before transferring to Missouri State University or other four- year colleges or universities.
  • Teaching: The AA in Teaching degree is designed for students wanting to transfer into a bachelor's degree program in teacher education at a four-year institution.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees

  • Allied Health
  • Business
  • Child and Family Development
  • Computer Graphics and Programming
  • Enology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • General Agriculture
  • Law Enforcement
  • Respiratory Therapy*
  • Technology**
  • Viticulture

AAS degrees allow students to enter a particular job market after graduation.

* Provisional accreditation
** Pending approval by Missouri's Coordinating Board for Higher Education

Associate of Science (AS) degrees

  • Business: The AS in Business degree is designed for students who are planning to transfer to a four-year institution to obtain a bachelor's degree in business.
  • Nursing: The AS in Nursing degree allows students to immediately enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's degree completion program.

Certificate Options

Basic Business Studies, Enology, Entrepreneurship, Law Enforcement, Small Business Development, Technology Management and Viticulture. Bachelor's and Master's degrees

  • Child and Family Development (BS)
  • Elementary Education (BSEd)
  • General Agriculture (BAS)
  • General Business (BS)
  • Nursing (BSN-online)
  • Technology Management (BAS)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Counseling (MS)
  • Educational Administration (MS & Specialist)
  • Teaching (MAT)

Through Missouri State University's Outreach Program, area residents can complete several undergraduate and graduate degrees locally in a variety of disciplines, as well as take courses leading to other degree areas.

History Of Excellence

For the past 17 years, our graduates have scored at or above the national mean on the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) test.

Financial Aid:

Ninety-three percent of degree-seeking students at Missouri State-West Plains received financial aid in 2012-2013.

Invest In Your Future

At first glance, the cost of attending college may seem out of reach, but studies show that a degree, whether it's an associate's, bachelor's, master's or higher, more than pays for itself in lifetime earning potential. When you attend college, you're investing in your future!

Missouri State-West Plains is a great place to start that investment. With fees that are lower than most four-year colleges and a comprehensive scholarship and financial aid program, Missouri State-West Plains is one of the most affordable options available.

Financial Resources

Although fees are low, Missouri State-West Plains offers a variety of federal, state and institutionally funded financial aid packages to help you cover the costs of your education. You'll find a list of the most common ones available below.

Missouri State-West Plains also is an A+ eligible institution, so graduates of high schools offering the A+ Program can use their benefits here!

Institutional scholarships

  • A+ Course Fees Scholarship
  • Arkansas Tuition Scholarship
  • Board of Governors Scholarship#†
  • Corps of Opportunity Scholarship/Work Program
  • Freshman Academic Scholarship*
  • Leadership Scholarship
  • Multicultural Leadership Scholarship
  • Non-Traditional Book Scholarship
  • RENEW Scholarship
  • Student Ambassador Book Scholarship

†Students who receive these scholarships and transfer to Missouri State-Springfield for their junior and senior years can continue the scholarships, provided they meet the Springfield campus' renewal criteria for those scholarships.

Federal need-based programs

  • Federal Work-Study
  • Pell Grant
  • Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Federal non need-based programs

  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

State financial aid programs

  • A+ Schools Program
  • Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program
  • Higher Education Academic Scholarship (Bright Flight)
  • Marguerite Ross Barnett Scholarship
  • Missouri Returning Heroes Education Act

Endowed & restricted scholarships

More than 90 endowed and restricted scholarships are available at Missouri State-West Plains.

Expected Lifetime Earnings

$2.3 Million – Bachelor's Degree
$1.7 Million – Associate's Degree
$1.3 Million – High School Diploma

Source: "The College Payoff," Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce, 2011

A+ Scholarship

Missouri's A+ Scholarship Program provides funds to graduates of A+ designated high schools to cover the costs of tuition and common fees at participating two-year colleges and vocational programs. Graduates certified by their high school as A+ eligible can use these benefits at Missouri State-West Plains.

A+ recipients also may receive Missouri State-West Plains' institutional scholarships and can apply for endowed and restricted scholarships.

Join the growing number of students who are saving money while getting a quality education at Missouri State-West Plains!

Required student fees£
Based on 15 credit hours + fees

Missouri Resident ($114 per credit hour)¥ $1,860 $3,720
Non-resident ($228 per credit hour)¥ $3,570 $7,140

Campus room & board Residence Life PG. 8-12

Residence Hall£(20 meals per week) $2,700 $5,400
£Amounts are estimates and reflect costs for the 2013-2014 academic year.
¥Per credit-hour costs may differ for specialized courses, including online, nursing and respiratory therapy.

Financial Aid Checklist

  • Apply for admission as a degree-seeking student.
  • Complete the scholarship application and return by deadline. Most scholarship deadlines are March 31.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ as soon as possible after January 1. Applications submitted before March 31 are given first priority consideration for several federal programs.

Student Benefits…

Students receive free admission to all Grizzly games, University theater events and the West Plains Civic Center pool and fitness center.

Experience Campus Life

From back-to-school picnics and dances to homecoming activities and ball games, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the exhilarating lifestyle of a college student at Missouri State-West Plains!

Start by joining one of our many student organizations. Regular meetings and sponsored activities will give you the opportunity to express yourself in a whole new way! Kick back and relax at the Putnam Student Center, where you can shoot some pool, hang out with friends, grab a bite to eat or watch TV on the big screens!

Play a pick-up game of basketball, volleyball or racquetball at the 10,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center! The center also serves as a storm shelter during inclement weather. Attend the exciting Grizzly basketball and volleyball games, which always keep students and area fans on the edge of their seats! You can help cheer them on with the Grizzly Cheer Team and show your Grizzly Pride with the latest in Grizzly wear and accessories from the Drago College Store.

You also have access to the West Plains Civic Center where you can swim in the collegiate-sized pool, work out in the fully-equipped fitness center or attend one of the many University-sponsored musical performances, stage plays, art exhibits, film showings or festivals in its theater!

Live Where You Study

The Grizzly House, Missouri State-West Plains' 60-person residence hall, gives students who want to live on campus a whole different perspective of campus life. The hall's centralized location provides quick access to study facilities, resources and computer labs and its homelike atmosphere will help students build lifelong friendships.

You also can take advantage of many off-campus housing opportunities, too! Several options are within walking distance of the campus. Visit http://wp.missouristate.edu/housing/off-campus-housing.htm to find out more.

Study Where You Live

Missouri State-West Plains sits in the heart of West Plains, Mo., where hospitality and small-town charm are the norm. West Plains has become the commercial and social hub of south-central Missouri, offering a vast array of shopping and entertainment opportunities. In 2013, West Plains was named to Livability.com's list of the Top 10 Best Small Towns in America.

The pristine streams and hardwood forests of the Ozarks provide an excellent place for adventures in the great outdoors. With a variety of streams, rivers and lakes nearby, as well as a national forest, you'll find plenty of fun, recreational activities to help you get away from it all!

Maximize Your Potential

Once you arrive at Missouri State-West Plains, you'll want to make the most of the educational opportunities available to you. The best way to do that is by taking advantage of the variety of resources developed by faculty and staff to help you maximize your potential.

Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS)

AACCESS' trained and caring staff will guide you in selecting the appropriate classes to meet your educational and career goals. You'll also find tutors and study groups in a variety of subject areas to help you come up with the right answers.

Garnett Library

An impressive collection of electronic resources, including online journals, full-text databases, ebooks, electronic reference titles and a physical collection of over 44,000 volumes are available to help you make the grade. The library has a computer lab and experienced librarians to help guide you to the resources you need.

Drago College Store

You'll find textbooks, classroom materials, computer software, study supplies and a variety of University souvenirs and Grizzly apparel you can't do without.

Career Services

Utilizing the office's computer lab and published information, you can search and apply online for financial aid and scholarships, explore career options, check the web for job listings or take advantage of on- site job placement services.


This federally-funded program provides personalized, comprehensive academic support services to low income, first generation and disabled college students in an effort to increase their postsecondary educational success.

VIP Services

Veterans Incentive Program (VIP) Services helps veterans navigate the enrollment process, as well as provides specialized support to veterans as they complete their studies. Missouri State-West Plains has been recognized as a "Military Friendly School" by Victory Media.

Well-Qualified Faculty

One of the best resources available to students is Missouri State-West Plains' well-qualified faculty. Not only have they excelled in their fields of study, they are dedicated to sharing their knowledge with you! They make teaching their number one priority and they take a personal interest in their students, going the extra mile to help them succeed. Because of that commitment and the campus' small class size, you'll find the opportunity for more one-on-one attention.

You Matter…

With an average class size of 18, you can be assured that you will receive quality instruction in a relaxed, personal atmosphere.

Be Challenged…

At Missouri State-West Plains, there are plenty of opportunities to reach higher and improve your individual strengths as you study with like-minded student scholars.

William & Virginia Darr Honors Program

The William and Virginia Darr Honors Program is expressly designed for the student-scholar who enjoys active learning.

Interdisciplinary in nature and in focus, the Darr Honors Program strives to foster an educational experience that lays a foundational understanding of the world's most influential ideas, stimulates creative and critical thinking and cultivates the growth of a learning community on and off campus and in and out of the program itself.

The program, which is made up of two honors- specific courses and enhanced general education classes, incorporates intensive reading, writing and discussion among classmates and faculty that encourages students to think outside the box. Students who successfully complete the program earn the Associate of Arts in General Studies degree with a Specialization in Honors.

Graduates of the program include attorneys, bankers, engineers, nurses, ministers, military officers, business owners and managers, elementary and high school teachers, a pharmacist, a college communications professor, even an aspiring screenwriter in Hollywood! Honors program graduates are automatically eligible for admission into the Honors Program at Missouri State University in Springfield. The AA degree also transfers to most other four-year colleges and universities.

For more information about the program and requirements for admission, call the honors program office, 417-255-7965 or visit http://wp.missouristate.edu/academics/darr-honors-program.htm.

Travel The Globe…

Missouri State-West Plains students have traveled the globe and learned about other cultures firsthand.

Journey Beyond The Campus

Sometimes, the best way to learn something new is to experience it firsthand. At Missouri State-West Plains, you'll find many opportunities to go beyond the campus to learn and grow.

Field trips to natural landmarks in the area; projects and course work that require hands-on experiences outside the classroom; and study abroad opportunities that take you to such places as Europe, Ireland, the United Kingdom, even China, bring the lessons taught in the classroom to life and give students a better understanding of the world around them.

Become A Grizzly At Missouri State-West Plains

Now that you've decided you want to become a Grizzly (and we're sure you have), you can begin the admission process at Missouri State-West Plains!

As the open admission campus of the Missouri State University System, all you need to do is submit an application for admission and required high school or equivalency exam transcripts (and college transcripts if you're a transfer student), along with a $15 fee. Applications are available from your high school counselor, the Missouri State-West Plains admissions office or online at http://wp.missouristate.edu/admissions.

When you complete the admission process, you'll join thousands of students, near and far, who already have discovered that new beginnings really do lead to endless possibilities at Missouri State-West Plains!

Admission Checklist

  • Submit an application for admission and $15 fee.
  • Have your official high school or equivalency exam transcript sent to Missouri State-West Plains.
  • Have your college transcript sent to Missouri State-West Plains, if you are transferring from another college or have taken college courses while in high school.
  • Come, explore the campus and see why over 2,200 students each year make Missouri State-West Plains their college choice! Call the admissions office, 417-255-7955, to schedule your campus tour today!

Visit The Campus

When you visit, you'll find the campus is small enough to feel like home but large enough to accommodate the diverse needs of our students. Call 417-255-7955 to arrange a tour.

Students Know Best!

Our students know firsthand how new beginnings become endless possibilities at Missouri State-West Plains! See what they have to say at http://wp.missouristate.edu/spotlights.

The Campus At A Glance

Location: Missouri State-West Plains is located in West Plains, a city of 12,000 in the Ozarks Heritage region of south-central Missouri.

The College: Missouri State University-West Plains is the open admission campus of the Missouri State University System. Enrollment: Over 2,200 students are enrolled in both part-time and full-time studies.

Accreditation: Missouri State-West Plains is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (http://www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456).

Missouri State-West Plains Promise: At Missouri State-West Plains, we believe if students make a good faith effort and follow simple proven techniques, they should be successful in their studies. This belief is the basis for the Missouri State-West Plains Education Guarantee. For more information, go to http://wp.missouristate.edu/educationguarantee.

Extended Opportunities

Mountain Grove campus

Students can complete the AA degree in general studies at Shannon Hall in Mountain Grove, Mo. Shannon Hall includes several classrooms, a science lab, a computer classroom, ITV classroom, study areas, a computer lab and a library. Individual and group tutoring also are available. Call 417-547-7575 for more information.

China Internship Program

Selected students can spend a semester taking courses and serving as an intern at Missouri State-West Plains' branch campus at Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China.

Online classes

Students can take Missouri State-West Plains courses anytime, anywhere, thanks to our online "campus." Our growing list of classes offered via the Internet gives students the opportunity to pursue their educational goals from any computer in the world with Internet access.

Transferring to Missouri State University

While many Missouri State-West Plains graduates move on to other four-year institutions in Missouri and beyond, those transferring to the Springfield campus will find a uniquely smooth transition within the Missouri State University System.

Important Numbers

Main Number

Academic Affairs


Business Office

Career Services

Drago College Store

Financial Aid

Garnett Library

Nursing Department

Missouri State Outreach (Springfield)

Registration and Records

Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS)

TRIO Student Support Services

Veterans Center

Missouri State University is a community of people with respect for diversity. The University emphasizes the dignity and equality common to all persons and adheres to a strict nondiscrimination policy regarding the treatment of individual faculty, staff, and students. In accord with federal law and applicable Missouri statutes, the University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or veteran status in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the University. In addition, the University does not discriminate on any basis (including, but not limited to, political affiliation and sexual orientation) not related to the applicable educational requirements for students or the applicable job requirements for employees.

This policy shall not be interpreted in a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or military organizations associated with the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

The University maintains a grievance procedure incorporating due process available to any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against. Missouri State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Minority/Female/Veterans/Disability employer and institution. Inquiries concerning the grievance procedure, Affirmative Action Plan, or compliance with federal and state laws and guidelines should be addressed to Brenda Polyard, Affirmative Action Liaison, Missouri State University-West Plains, 128 Garfield Avenue, West Plains, Missouri 65775, 417-255-7966.