Admissions Guide

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Why Choose Missouri State-West Plains?

At Missouri State University-West Plains, you'll discover what we’ve known for over 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 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!

For the past 19 years, our graduates have scored at or above the national mean on the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) test.

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. This degree also is available online.
  • 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 (AS) degrees

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

  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Pre-Engineering

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees

The AAS degree is primarily an occupationally oriented degree, allowing students to enter a particular job market after graduation1

  • Business with options in:
    • Accounting, Computer Information, Management and Technology Management
  • Child and Family Development
  • Computer Graphics and Programming
  • Enology
  • Entrepreneurship with options in:
    • Agricultural Business, Culinary Arts and General Business
  • General Agriculture
  • Law Enforcement
  • Respiratory Care2
  • Technology with options in:
    • Alternative Energy, General Technology, Manufacturing and Technology Management
  • Viticulture
  • Wine Business and Entrepreneurship

Certificate Options3

Agricultural Business, Animal Science, Applied Entrepreneurship, Basic Office Management, Certified Nursing Assistant-Allied Health4, Enology, Equine Studies, General Agriculture, Health Information Technology (with emphasis in Medical Coding), Manufacturing Technology, Natural Resources, Plant Science, Technology Management, Viticulture, Wildlife Management and Wine Business and Entrepreneurship.

More than 50 different areas of study from which to choose.

Bachelor's and Master's degrees

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

Bachelor's degrees:

  • Child and Family Development (BS)
  • Criminology (BS)
  • Elementary Education (BSEd)
  • General Agriculture (BAS)
  • General Business (BS)
  • General Studies (BGS)
  • Nursing (BSN-online)
  • Technology Management (BAS-online)

Master's degrees:

  • Business Administration (MBA-online)
  • Counseling (MS)
  • Education, Educational Technology (MSEd-online)
  • Education, Elementary Education (MSEd-online)
  • Education, Literacy (MSEd-online)
  • Educational Administration (MSEd)
  • Social Work (MSW)
  • Teaching (MAT)
  • Teaching and Learning (MATL)
  • Technology Management (BAS-online)

Specialist's and Doctorial degrees

  • Educational Administration (EdS)
  • Educational Leadership (EdD)
  • Teacher Leadership (SETL)

The degree program offerings at Missouri State-West Plains continue to expand. For the most current listing of all degrees and certificates offered, visit

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

2 Provisional accreditation

3 Some certificates are pending approval from the U.S. Department of Education for financial aid eligibility. Contact the Missouri State-West Plains financial aid office to verify eligibility for specific certificate programs.

4 Pending CBHE approval

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.

Lifetime Earning Relative to High School Graduates by Education Level

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

Source: College Board: Education Pay 2013

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.

Ninety-six percent of degree-seeking students at Missouri State University-West Plains received some form of financial aid.*

* 2013-2014 academic year

Sample scholarships for entering freshmen

Additional scholarship opportunities and details:

ScholarshipAmountMinimum ACT Class Rank GPA/4.0 ScaleDeadline
Board of Governors* $2,000per year 28 and Top 10% or 3.90 or higher March 31
Chancellor's* $1,500per year 26 and Top 20%   3.70 or higher March 31
Deans'* $1,000per year 24 and Top 20%   3.70 or higher March 31
A+ Course Fee Equal to all individual course fees not covered by the Missouri A+ Grant. Courses must lead to completion of an associate's degree.
Endowed & Restricted More than 90 scholarships available. See criteria:

* The 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.

Net price estimate

Additional cost information:

Per-year costMissouri residentNon-Missouri resident
Required student fees* $3,880** $7,450**
Room & Board*** Grizzly House $5,590 $5,590

Amounts are estimates and reflect costs for the 2015-2016 academic year.

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

20 meal-per-week plan.

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,

Financial Aid Checklist

  • Apply for admission as a degree-seeking student.
  • Complete the scholarship application and submit by the deadline. Most scholarship deadlines are March 31.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at as soon as possible after January 1 for federal, state and/or institutional financial aid.

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

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.

Other institutional scholarships

  • Arkansas Tuition Scholarship
  • Corps of Opportunity Scholarship/Work Program
  • 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 scholarship, provided they meet the Springfield campus' renewal criteria for this scholarship.

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 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.

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!

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

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 can take advantage of many off-campus housing opportunities, too! Several options are within walking distance of the campus.

Visit to find out more.

In 2013, West Plains was named to’s list of the Top 10 Best Small Towns in America.

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 many resources developed by faculty and staff to help you maximize your potential.

With an average class size of 17, you can be assured that you will receive quality instruction in a relaxed atmosphere.

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, check the web for job listings or take advantage of onsite job placement services.

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.

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.

Grizzly Tutoring Services

You’ll find tutors and study groups in a variety of subject areas 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.

VIP Center

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.

The Extra Mile

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.

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 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 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

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 course work that require hands-on experiences outside the classroom and study away opportunities that take you to such places as Europe, India, 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.

Missouri State-West Plains students have traveled to several different countries across the globe to learn about other cultures firsthand, and that list continues to grow.

The Campus At A Glance

The College: Missouri State University-West Plains is the open admission campus of the Missouri State University System.

Enrollment: Approximately 2,000 students are enrolled in both part-time and full-time studies.

Accreditation: Missouri State-West Plains is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (; phone: (312) 263-0456).

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

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

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.

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 from your high school counselor, the Missouri State-West Plains admissions office or online at

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

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.

Important Numbers

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 non-discrimination 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, national origin (including ancestry, or any other subcategory of national origin recognized by applicable law), religion, sex (including marital status, family status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other subcategory of sex recognized by applicable law), age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the University. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence, and is strictly prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

This policy shall not be interpreted in a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or of 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/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity employer. Inquiries concerning the grievance procedure, Affirmative Action Plan, or compliance with federal and state laws and guidelines should be addressed to the West Plains campus Equal Opportunity Liaison/Deputy Title IX Coordinator Brenda Polyard at (417) 255-7966 or the Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance, Park Central Office Building, Suite 111, Springfield, Missouri 65897, (417) 836-4252 or to the Office for Civil Rights.