five students on Kellett porch

Admissions Guide

You've reached that fork in the road where the direction you choose could change the trajectory of your life. Which way is best? How do you make such an important decision?

Let us help! for 60 years, students have charted their path to a successful future at Missouri State University-West Plains. Our campus is small enough to provide personalized attention but large enough to offer a wide array of two-year degree and certificate options to meet your educational goals. 

Dr. Lancaster shaking hand of graduate

Our dedicated faculty and caring staff make our students their number one priority. And our state-of-the-art facilities are designed to help students obtain the skills they need to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

It's time to choose. Let Missouri State-West Plains help you chart your path to success!


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.

Areas of Study

Associate of Arts Degree (AA)

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

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.

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.


Certificate are awarded after students complete short term training programs that concentrate on specific fields of expertise.


The number of degree programs at Missouri State-West Plains continue to grow. The most current listing of all degrees and certificates is available online.

Some programs may be waiting for U.S. Department of Education approval for financial aid eligibility.

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.

three images of three different faculty

Experience Campus Life

students outside Hass-Darr Hall by flags

Picnics, ball games, student organizations, swimming, working out, video games, homecoming activities - it all adds up to the exhilarating lifestyle of a Grizzly!

Facilities in the Carol Silvey Student Union at Hass-Darr Hall, the Student Recreation Center and the nearby West Plains Civic Center give our students plenty of room to have fun and enjoy their downtime.

Grizzly Athletics

The Grizz Cheering with the crowd

Stay up with all the action of our Grizzly Athletics teams, who compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association. They always keep students and fans on the edge of their seats!

Men's: Basketball and Baseball (coming in fall 2024)
Women's: Volleyball and Softball
Co-Ed: Esports and Grizzly Cheer Team

Student Resources

Missouri State-West Plains provides students with several FREE support services to help them on their educational journey.

three students in the advising office

Academic Advisement Center

Staff will guide students in selecting the right classes to meet their goals.

ASCEND Program

The first-of-its-kind program in south-central Missouri offers autistic students specialized support in reaching their educational goals.

three students in the advising office

Career Services

Students can find help with career counseling, resumés and job searches.

Computer Resources

Computer labs can be found in several convenient locations across campus, and technical help is available at the help desk in the Lybyer Technology Center.

student in the Drago bookstore

Drago College Store

Students can reserve textbooks, purchase other classroom supplies and pick up some Grizzly Gear at the store in Hass-Darr Hall.

Garnett Library

Electronic and online resources and a physical collection of more than 25,000 volumes are available to students.

student with a tutor

Grizzly Tutoring Services

Students can seek individual assistance or join a study group in a variety of subject areas at the Shaw Writing Center and Grizzly Math lab.

Student Professional Services

student in veteran center

Students can access several professional services, including medical visits, counseling sessions, crisis intervention and other basic needs.

Veterans Center

Veterans and their dependents who are eligible for military benefits can receive enrollment assistance and specialized support.

Workforce Development

student grinding a metal pice he welded

The office of workforce development offers short term training, job training, professional development, continuing education and customized business solutions to guide individuals toward successful careers and to help businesses focus on increased productivity.

Utilizing state-of-the-art facilities, students can pursue programs in technology-based fabrication, business and professional development, health care, information technology, and more.

Whether you are looking for a career change, career advancement or a registered apprenticeship opportunity, we can provide the right learning experience for you.

Learn more:

Mountain Grove campus

Shannon Hall building in Mountain Grove, Missouri

Our Shannon Hall facility in Mountain Grove offers students in that region the opportunity to complete the Associate of Arts in General Studies degree even closer to home. Classes required for the degree are offered on a rotating schedule. Students eligible for the A+ Program can use those benefits at Shannon Hall.

Students also receive free membership to the Mountain Grove YMCA with their BearPasss ID, and they may participate in activities and organizations on the West Plains campus. Free tutoring also is available.

Learn more:

Gohn Hall in Summer

Bachelor's & Master's Degrees

MSU Outreach

Missouri State University’s Outreach Program in Gohn Hall, offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees locally and additional courses leading to other degree areas.

Learn more:


Missouri State-West Plains graduates who transfer to MSU in Springfield will find a smooth transition within the MSU System.

Learn more:

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.

Learn more:

Micaela Wiehe
"Missouri State University-West Plains gave me the option to begin my college journey while staying close to home and saving a lot!"

Micaela Wiehe
AA General Studies, Darr Honors Program
- Missouri State University-West Plains

BS in Modern and Classical Language-Spanish
- Missouri State University

MA World History
- Missouri State University

PH.D. Latin American History
- Penn State University (In progress)
Teaching Assistant, Penn State University

Residence 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 the Grizzly House.

Our residence hall 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 outside the Grizzly House

Nestled in the heart of campus, the 60-person Grizzly House residence hall gives students the opportunity to experience all aspects of campus life in a friendly atmosphere. The Garnett Library, Hass-Darr Hall and classroom buildings are within walking distance.

Invest in Your Future

graduating student receiving her diploma

93% of first-time, full-time freshmen receive financial aid (excluding students receiving student loans, Fall 2022)

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 at the financial aid web page.

A+ Scholarship

Through Missouri’s A+ Scholarship Program, graduates of A+ designated high schools can receive funds 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.


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.

Net Price Estimate

Additional cost information:

Per year cost Missouri resident Non-Missouri resident
Required student fees+ $5,544* $7,630*
Housing & Food**+  $7,114 $7,114

+Amounts are estimates and reflect costs for the 2023-2024 academic year.
*Amounts based on 28 credit hours, half seated & half online.
**Cost is an average of the price of living with the university's 19 meal-per-week plan and the estimated cost of an additional two meals per week, as required by the U.S. Department of Education. A full overview of the cost of attendance can be found at

Median Earnings by College Levelα

  • Professional Degree: $100,048
  • Master's Degree: $81,848
  • Bachelor's Degree: $69,368
  • Associate's Degree: $50,076
  • High School Diploma: $42,068

αSource: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "Education Pays," 2021

Federal Need-Based Programs

  • Federal Work-Study
  • Pell Grant
  • Subsidized DirectLoan
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Federal Non Need-Based Programs

  • Federal Plus Loan
  • Unsubsidized Direct 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 110 scholarships available. See

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
  • Multicultural Leadership Scholarship
  • Promise Scholarship
  • Student Ambassador Book Scholarship

Additional scholarship opportunities and details:

Financial Aid Checklist

  • Be admitted 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.

Water Mill photo by Melissa Wharton

West Plains, Missouri

Heart of the Ozarks, Settled in 1838, Population 12,184; 19 city parks;

on the square in downtown West Plains, Missouri 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

Become A Grizzly

students cheering in Grizzly House lounge

As the open admissions campus of the Missouri State University System, becoming a Grizzly is easy!

Students come from

  • 65 MO counties
  • 28 states
  • 8 countries
students in the Admissions Office

Admissions Checklist

three students walking by library in the fall

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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.