Admissions Guide

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Missouri State University-West Plains at a glance

  • Student population: 1,930*
  • Average class size of 16*
  • Founded in 1963
  • Over 50 areas of study
  • 25+ student organizations
  • Open admission campus of the Missouri State University system
  • 97% of students received financial aid**
  • 3 athletic teams
    • Men's basketball
    • Women's volleyball
    • Coed cheer team
  • Students come from*
    • 57 MO counties
    • 23 states
    • 13 countries
  • A+ Scholarship Program participant
  • 96% of 2018 graduates were satisfied with the quality of instruction at Missouri State-West Plains

*Fall 2017

**Fall 2017 full-time freshmen


Missouri State University-West Plains empowers students to achieve personal success and to enrich their local and global communities. As a two-year public institution, we provide accessible, affordable and quality educational opportunities.

Why Choose Missouri State-West Plains?

At Missouri State University-West Plains, you'll discover what we've known for more than 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, a growing list of online classes and several evening programs, 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 Missouri State Outreach 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!

Dedicated 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.

"The faculty and staff truly want to help students succeed and make the learning experience fun."

—Lindsey Hicks, Alumna, West Plains, Missouri, Missouri State-West Plains Admissions Counselor

Student Resources

Academic Advisement Center

Our center's trained and caring staff will guide you in selecting the appropriate classes to meet your educational and career goals.

Career Development Center

Utilizing the office's computer lab and published information, you can search and apply online for financial aid and scholarships, explore career options and check the web for job listings.

Drago College Store

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

Garnett Library

An impressive collection of electronic resources, including online journals, full-text databases, e-books, electronic reference titles and a physical collection of over 43,000 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.

Grizzly Tutoring Services

Tutors and study groups in a variety of subject areas are available to help you come up with the right answers.


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 post-secondary educational success.

Veteran's Incentive Program (VIP) Center

The VIP Center helps veterans navigate the enrollment process and provides specialized support to veterans as they complete their studies.

"The student resources on campus have helped me with searching for scholarships, scheduling classes, getting more involved on campus and finding work. Without these resources, I am not sure where I would be."

—Weston Phipps, Alumnus, Houston, Missouri, China Intern 2017, currently attending Missouri State-Springfield

Areas of Study

Associate of Arts Degree (AA)

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-Springfield or other four-year colleges or universities. This degree also is available online and at our extended campus in Mountain Grove.

Health Professions: The AA in Health Professions degree provides the general education and pre-professional prerequisites needed to pursue degrees that will allow you to become a physician assistant, physical therapist or other health professional.

Teaching: The AA in Teaching degree provides a common transfer curriculum for students seeking a bachelor's degree in elementary education at one of several Missouri four-year institutions.

Associate of Science Degree (AS)

The AS degree is intended to transfer into a pre-professional program, allowing students to move into a bachelor's degree completion program and/or enter the workforce.

  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Pre-Engineering

Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS)

The AAS degree is primarily an occupationally-oriented degree, allowing students to enter a particular job market after graduation.1

  • Business
    — Accounting, Computer Information, Entrepreneurship, Management and Technology Management
  • Child and Family Development
  • Computer Graphics & Programing
    — Game Development
  • Culinary & Hospitality Management
  • Enology
  • General Agriculture
  • Health Information Technology
  • Law Enforcement
  • Technology
    — Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Alternative Energy, General Technology and Technology Management
  • Viticulture
  • Wine Business & Entrepreneurship

Certificate options are available in many of these subject areas.

The degree program offerings at Missouri State-West Plains continue to expand. The most current listing of all degrees and certificates is available online.

1While not designed as transfer degrees, some AAS degrees can be used as the first two years of a Bachelor of Applied Science degree; however, students will need to take additional general education courses, as well as courses in the major field.

"I knew from family and friends who had already attended Missouri State-West Plains that I would be receiving a quality education that would prepare me for the eventual transfer to a four-year University."

—Luke England, High School History Teacher, 2010 Citizen Scholar Award Recipient, AA, General Studies, Missouri State-West Plains, BS, Education, Missouri State University-Springfield, MA, History, Missouri State University-Springfield

Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT)

The GOCAT provides advanced, hands-on training in manufacturing processes to individuals looking to expand their skills in a technical field. Major manufacturers of our area, such as DRS Technologies, Armstrong Flooring, Regal and Caterpillar, helped develop the training programs to benefit industry and employees alike engaged in technology-focused and technology-enabled manufacturing.

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Technology, with options in Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Alternative Energy, General Technology and Technology Management, is available to students through a combination of seated, blended, online and laboratory courses.

Bachelor's & Master's Degrees

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

Child and Family Development (BS); Elementary Education (BSEd); General Agriculture (BAS); General Business (BS-Online); Nursing (BSN-Online); Technology Management (BAS-Online); Business Administration (MBA-Online); Elementary Education (MSEd-Online); Education, Literacy (MSEd-Online); Educational Administration (MS and Specialist); Social Work (MSW); Teaching (MAT); Counseling (MS)

Visit the Missouri State Outreach website for the most current listing of all degrees offered.

Extended Opportunities

Mountain Grove campus

The AA in general studies degree can be completed at Shannon Hall in Mountain Grove, Missouri.

Online classes

Students can take Missouri State-West Plains courses anytime, anywhere, thanks to our online "campus." Students can complete the entire Associate of Arts in General Studies degree online. Online courses are available in other degree programs, as well.

Evening classes

Missouri State-West Plains offers four degrees with classes starting at 4 p.m. or later: Associate of Applied Science in Child and Family Development, Associate of Arts in General Studies, Associate of Science in Business and Associate of Science in Nursing.

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.

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.

Travel the Globe

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 coursework that require hands-on experiences outside the classroom and study away opportunities that take you to such places as China, Europe, India, Ireland and the United Kingdom, bring the lessons taught in the classroom to life and give students a better understanding of the world around them.

Honors Program

There are plenty of opportunities to reach higher and improve your individual strengths as you study with like-minded student scholars.

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 who encourage 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 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.

Learn more at the academics website about the honors program and requirements for admission.

"I enjoy all of my courses thoroughly, but honors has really made an impact on my life. Alex Pinnon's way of teaching is admirable in that he does not teach us what to think but how to think."

–Lekisha Hernandez, Dadeville, Missouri,, Darr Honors Program almuna, currently attending Missouri State-Springfield

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Experience Campus Life

From Welcome Week and back-to-school picnics 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 exciting Grizzly basketball and volleyball games, which always keep students and area fans on the edge of their seats! 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.

Drop by the newest building on campus, Hass-Darr Hall, in between classes to have a cup of coffee and enjoy some downtime at the Carol Silvey Student Union.

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 or film showings in its theater!

Residential Life

Moving to a new place can be intimidating, but living where you study will help with your transition. Missouri State University-West Plains offers two residence halls, the Grizzly House and Grizzly Lofts. Our residence halls will help you build relationships while also providing places to study and relax.

Visit the housing website to check out the housing policy and get more information.

Grizzly House

Experience all aspects of college life by living in the Grizzly House, a 60-person residence hall located in the heart of the Missouri State University-West Plains campus. The Grizzly House provides students with a friendly atmosphere in which to live. The Garnett Library, classroom buildings and the Putnam Student Center and cafeteria are within walking distance.


  • Four-person suites
  • Community room complete with TV and DVD player
  • Free cable TV and internet
  • Computer lab
  • Lighted basketball courts
  • Laundry facility
  • Close proximity to fitness center and pool
  • Adjacent to the student recreation center
  • Separate dining facility (includes game room)
  • Security cameras and limited-access entries

Grizzly Lofts

The Grizzly Lofts, Missouri State-West Plains' residential community, gives students living in university housing a whole different perspective of campus life. Located just a few blocks from campus in the renovated International Shoe Company building, the 274-person facility features on-site dining and is a great place to enjoy the total college living experience.


  • Four-person suites
  • Private and group study rooms
  • Free cable TV and internet
  • On-site dining
  • Community room complete with TV, video games and ping pong
  • Fitness center
  • Computer lab
  • Laundry facility
  • Sand volleyball court
  • Adjacent to city walking park
  • Security cameras and limited-access entries

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 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 on this page.

"Missouri State-West Plains was incredibly affordable. The price per credit hour is low compared to other Universities."

–Dillon Cordel, Alumnus, currently attending Missouri State University-Springfield and serving as Student Government Association vice-president

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 A+ eligible by their high school 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.

More information available at the Missouri Department of Higher Education's A+ Program website.

Net Price Estimate

Additional cost information is available at the costs website.

Per year cost Missouri resident Non-Missouri resident
Required student fees+ $4,305¢ $8,355¢
Room & Board^ - Grizzly House $5,936 $5,936
Room & Board^ - Grizzly Lofts $6,300 $6,300

+Amounts are estimates and reflect costs for the 2018-2019 academic year.

¢Based on 30 credit hours + fees. Per credit hour costs may differ for specialized courses, including online and nursing.

^19 meal-per-week plan.

Lifetime Earning Relative to High School Graduates By Education Levelα

  • High School Diploma: $1 Million
  • Associate's Degree: $1.27 Million
  • Bachelor's Degree: $1.65 Million
  • Master's Degree: $1.96 Million

αSource: College Board: Education Pays 2013

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

Sample Scholarships for Entering Freshmen

Additional scholarship opportunities and details can be found on the financial aid website.

Scholarship Amount Minimum ACT Class Rank GPA/4.0 Scale Deadline
Board of Governorsβ $2,000 (per year) 28 and Top 10% or 3.90 or greater March 1
Chancellor'sβ $1,500 (per year) 26 and Top 20% or 3.70 to 3.89 March 1
Dean'sβ $1,000 (per year) 24 and Top 20% or 3.70 to 3.89 March 1
Endowed & Restricted More than 90 scholarships available. See criteria:

βThe number of scholarships available varies. 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.

Other Institutional Scholarships

  • Arkansas Tuition Scholarship
  • Corps of Opportunity Scholarship/Work Program
  • Incentive Scholarship
  • Multicultural Leadership Scholarship
  • Promise Scholarship
  • Student Ambassador Book Scholarship

Financial Aid Checklist

  • Apply for admission as a degree-seeking student.
  • Complete the scholarship application and submit by deadline. Most scholarship deadlines are March 1.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at as soon as possible after October 1 for federal, state and/or institutional financial aid.

Missouri State-West Plains federal code: 031060. Our priority deadline: March 31.

Become A Grizzly

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). Applications are available online or from the Missouri State-West Plains admissions office.

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!

Contact Us:

Call (888) 466-7897 or (417) 255-7255.


"I enjoy it here. All of the teachers know your name, and you are able to get a lot of one-on-one time if needed."

–Otha Bell, Student Ambassador Alumnus, St. Louis, Missouri, transferred to Arkansas State University-Jonesboro

Admissions Checklist

  • Submit an application for admission.
  • 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 nearly 2,000 students each year make Missouri State-West Plains their college choice! Call the admissions office, (417) 255-7955, to schedule your campus tour today!

West Plains, Missouri

Make it Happen Here

Tucked in the Ozark Mountains near pristine wilderness areas and spring-fed streams is the City of West Plains. The largest city in south central Missouri, West Plains considers itself the "Heart of the Ozarks." A small-town feel with big-city conveniences, West Plains is a place where you can enjoy all that life has to offer.

  • Settled in 1838
  • Heart of the Ozarks
  • 12,367 population
  • Mark Twain National Forest
  • 5+ city parks

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 employer. 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 Ave., West Plains, MO 65775, (417) 255-7966.