Multi-picture of Students, Athletes, Technology, Activities, Graduations

Admissions Guide

​​​​​​​New Beginnings … Endless Possibilities.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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!

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 a growing list of online 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!

Dedicated Faculty

Teachers and students in 3 separate classrooms

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.

Lacey Carter
"MSU-wp has an incredible staff and faculty who pour into their students' lives to help them succeed."

Lacey Carter
MSU-WP Alumna
Executive Director of Nursing

​​​​​​​ Student Resources

Average Class Size: 14

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.

Students in Lybyer Lab

Career Development Center

Access services to help you with career assessment, job searches and writing a resume.

students in Drago College store

Grizzly Tutoring Services

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

Garnett Library

An impressive collection of electronic resources, including online journals, full-text databases, e-books, electronic titles, and a physical collection of over 36,000 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.

Micaela Wiehe
"There are resources and opportunities for students through the university that many don't even know are there. My advice is to take advantage of all the ways you will be able to grow and learn - both inside the classroom and out!"

Micaela Wiehe
MSU-WP Alumna
Attending Penn State Pursuing a PhD in history

Computer Resources

There are eight computer labs for student use on the West Plains campus, with the main lab in the Lybyer Enhanced Technology Center. The Lybyer Lab Help Desk is the “go-to” spot for assistance with any campus technology related question.

Student Professional Services

Students can access several professional services while enrolled at Missouri State-West Plains. Medical visits, counseling sessions, crisis intervention and basic needs support is provided at no cost to our students. These services are accessible to students enrolled at West Plains and Mountain Grove.

veteran student in VIP office

VIP Center

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

Areas of Study

​​​​​​​Alex Pinnon teaching class

Associate of Arts Degree (AA)

The AA degree is designed primarily for transfer to Missouri State University or other four-year colleges and universities.

  • Child and Family Development
  • Criminology
  • General Studies: ​​​​​​​This degree allows students to complete general education requirements for virtually any bachelor’s degree. This degree also is available online and at our extended campus in Mountain Grove.
  • Health Professions
    • Physician's Assistant, Radiographer, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist
  • Human Services^
  • Teaching (Elementary Education)

Associate of Science Degree (AS)

The AS degree is designed 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
  • Computer Science^
  • Nursing
  • Pre-Engineering
  • Technology
    • Advanced Industrial Maintenance, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Alternative Energy, Computer Graphics and Programming, General Technology, Technology Management

*Pending approval by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education
^Pending approval for financial aid purposes.

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.

  • Agriculture
  • Business
    • Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Information Technology, Management and Technology Management
  • Child and Family Development
  • Community Behavioral health Support^
  • Computer Graphics & Programing
  • Culinary & Hospitality Management
  • Enology
  • Health Information Technology
  • Law Enforcement
  • Technology
    • Advanced Welding & Fabrication Technology, Advanced Industrial Maintenance, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Alternative Energy, General Technology, Information Technology, and Technology Management
  • Viticulture
  • Wine Business & Entrepreneurship

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

While 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.

Class learning on Machinery at GOCAT

Office of Workforce Development at GOCAT

The Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) houses programs that provide advanced, hands-on training in manufacturing processes to individuals looking to expand their skills in a technical field. Major manufacturers in our area, such as Leonardo DRS, AHF Products (formerly Armstrong Flooring) and Caterpillar, helped develop the training programs to benefit industries and employees, alike, engaged in technology-focused and technology-enabled automated manufacturing.

Courses are offered at GOCAT for students who are enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Technology, with options in Advanced Welding & Fabrication Technology, Advanced Industrial Maintenance, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Alternative Energy, General Technology, Information Technology,  and Technology Management. Certificates also are available.

Gohn Hall in Summer

Bachelor's & Master's Degrees

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

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

Visit for the most current listing of all degrees offered.

Extended Opportunities

Missouri State University

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Missouri State arial viewWhile 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.

Online classes

Students can take Missouri State-West Plains courses anytime, anywhere, thanks to our online “campus.” Online courses are available in almost all degree programs.

Mountain Grove campus

Student with Pam Tate in Shannon Hall in Mountain Grove, Mo

Students can complete the Associate of Arts in General Studies degree at Shannon Hall in Mountain Grove, Mo. This degree fulfills many or all the general education requirements necessary to transfer to a four-year institution. All of the courses necessary for the degree are offered on a rotating schedule, or students can choose to take some classes online or at the West Plains campus.

Travel the Globe

Honors group at Eiffel Tower in Paris

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 education abroad opportunities that take you to such places as the Netherlands, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and France, bring the lessons taught in the classroom to life and give students a better understanding of the world around them.

Nicklaus Martin
"When I first enrolled, I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do. I hadn't experienced very much outside southern Missouri. Traveling internationally with Missouri State-West Plains and taking classes that challenged me through the honors components really helped shape who I am today."

Nicklaus Martin
MSU-WP Alumnus
Sound Designer/Engineer


Darr 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. The program also offers annual experiential and service-learning short-term education abroad trips, as well as opportunities to publish, attend academic conferences and volunteer.

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:

Kori Lancaster
". . . being part of the honors program provided me with crucial critical thinking skills and greatly expanded my ways of thinking and relating to people that have proven to be beneficial in every area of my life."

Kori Lancaster
MSU-WP Alumna
Fair Housing Testing Coordinator/Community Education Specialist

Connect with and follow us

Learn more about our campus, keep up with the latest news and events, and get a firsthand look at life as a Grizzly! 


Students outside having fun

Experience Campus Life

Welcome Week students blowing bubbles

​​​​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!

Students studying in Hass-Darr's Student Union area

​​​​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! Grab lunch at the Putnam Student Center and hang out with friends  without having to leave campus.

Drop by Hass-Darr Hall in between classes to grab a drink and snack from the Drago College Store. Or, enjoy some downtime in the gaming lounge where you can hang out with friends, play video games, or watch TV in the Carol Silvey Student Union.

Cheer team at a Grizzly athletics game​​​​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 gear and accessories from the Drago College Store.
Civic Center pool

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 university-sponsored art exhibits, musical performances, and stage plays in its theater!

Christian Hirsch
"Connect with people and get involved with events on campus. This will make your college experience so much better, and you will make memories that will last you a lifetime. I will greatly miss the atmosphere of the campus; you truly feel like family here."

Christian Hirsch
MSU-WP Alumnus
Attending Missouri State University in Springfield
Pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture

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. Check out the housing policy and learn more information:

Grizzly House

​​​​​​​Students visiting in a Grizzly Loft room​​​​​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, Hass-Darr Hall, classroom buildings and the Putnam Student Center and cafeteria are within walking distance.


Students in the Grizzly Loft's exercise room​​​​​• Four-person suites • Community room complete with pool tables, TV and DVD player • Free internet • Computer lab • Lighted basketball courts • Laundry facility • Close proximity to fitness center and pool • Adjacent to Student Rec Center • Separate dining facility • Security cameras and limited access entries

Grizzly Lofts

Students visiting at Grizzly Lofts outside​​​​​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.


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


City of West Plains and accompanying sign

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 the next page.

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 and Workforce Development’s website.

Net Price Estimate

Additional cost information:

Per year cost Missouri resident Non-Missouri resident
Required student fees+ $4,800* $8,880*
Room & Board** - Grizzly House $6,278 $6,278
Room & Board** - Grizzly Lofts $6,950 $6,950

+Amounts are estimates and reflect costs for the 2021-2022 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.

Median Earnings by College Levelα

  • Professional Degree: $120,500
  • Master's Degree: $80,200
  • Bachelor's Degree: $65,400
  • Associate's Degree: $50,100
  • High School Diploma: $40,500

αSource: College Board: Education Pays 2019

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+ Scholarship Program
  • Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program
  • Missouri Higher Education Academic Scholarship program (Bright Flight)
  • Missouri Returning Heroes Act

Missouri State–West Plains Scholarships

Sample scholarships for entering freshmen

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 + March 1
Chancellor'sβ $1,500 (per year) 26 and Top 20% or 3.70 + March 1
Dean'sβ $1,000 (per year) 24 and Top 20% or 3.70 + 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 Scholarships

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

Additional scholarship opportunities and details:

Brady (Peterson) Sharp
"I was eager to use my A+ scholarship to fund my first two years of college . . . Now I've graduated with a master's degree and I've hardly any loans to pay back . . ."

Brady (Peterson) Sharp
MSU-WP Alumna
Speech Language Pathologist


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 Oct. 1 for federal, state and/or institutional financial aid.
  • Missouri State-West Plains federal code: 031060. Our priority deadline: March 31.

Hodgson Water Mill, Photo Credit Dennis Crider

West Plains, Missouri

Heart of the Ozarks, Settled in 1838, Population 12,367; 5+ city parks; 

Canoeing on the river, Photo Credit Dennis Crider

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.

Learn more about West Plains and the area activities and attractions by visiting

Students come from*

  • 62 MO counties
  • 28 states
  • 8 countries
Darrius Young
"The West Plains community was amazing, and I was able to build relationships with a lot of people at Missouri State-West Plains, many of whom I still keep in contact with to this very day."

Darrius Young
MSU-WP Alumnus
Associate Software Implementation Analyst

Become A Grizzly

50+ different areas of study; Average class size: 14; 94% of students receive financial aid; 3 Athletic Teams; 25+ Student Organizations on campus

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 at 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!

Jacob Petrus
"With the help of Missouri State-West Plains and its faculty and staff, I was given the tools I needed to decide where my life would lead. From getting me ready for my future career to helping me navigate life in general, I am grateful for the start Missouri State-West Plains gave me and proud to say that is where it all began."

Jacob Petrus
MSU-WP Alumnus
Finance Operations Manager

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 approximately 1,900 students each year make Missouri State-West Plains their college choice! Call the admissions office, (417) 255-7955, to schedule your campus tour today!

Contact Us:

(888) 466-7897 or (417) 255-7255.
Missouri State University-West Plains, 128 Garfield Ave., West Plains, MO 65775.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; (312) 263-0456

All content provided in this publication is intended for informational purposes and is subject to change.

Missouri State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. We encourage application from all academically qualified people interested in educational opportunities, regardless of the applicant's race, ethnicity, sex, veteran's status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.