collage of students, staff, and faculty

Admissions Guide

New Beginnings … Endless Possibilities.


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?

Two students walking outside of Hass-Darr Hall in Spring

At Missouri State University-West Plains, you’ll discover what we’ve known for nearly 60 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; one of our two-year career programs that provide the technical, hands-on training you need to find employment in a variety of fields; or one of our certificate programs that will give you the skills you need to advance in your chosen career path.

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 Grizzly Athletics programs. Our men’s basketball and women’s volleyball programs are nationally recognized, and our new women’s softball and esports programs are generating a lot of buzz!

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.

various classrooms and faculty

Jason McCollom
"The small class size enables me to get to know students individually and guide them step-by-step through major assignments. From this personalized instruction, students succeed at a higher rate."

Dr. Jason McCollom
Associate Professor of History

Student Resources

Average Class Size: 12

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


ASCEND Program

The ASCEND (Autism Support Can Empower New Directions) Program is designed to help students with autism transition into college and toward a life of personal success and independence. The program, which is the first of its kind in this region, offers specialized support services for those who wish to embark on a traditional college degree path to reach personally chosen goals. A core team of highly trained individuals will offer students structured support, scheduled guidance, individualized coaching, and peer and graduate mentoring that will help the students develop independence and self-advocacy.

Career Development Center

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

student in the Drago bookstore

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 28,000 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.

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.

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.

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 or Mountain Grove.

Areas of Study

Student reading course documents on her iPad

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
  • 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
  • Engineering Technology
    • Mechatronics
    • Pre-Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Technology

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 options are available in many of these subject areas.

  • Agriculture
  • Business: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources and Management
  • Child and Family Development
  • Community Behavioral health Support
  • Computer Graphics & Programing
  • Enology
  • Health Information Technology: Medical Coding, Medical Assistant, Healthcare Data Analytics, Healthcare Reimbursement
  • Hospitality Leadership: Culinary Arts and Management
  • Law Enforcement
  • Technology: Advanced Welding & Fabrication Technology, Advanced Industrial Maintenance, General Technology, and Manufacturing Management
  • Viticulture
  • Wine Business & Entrepreneurship

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

students walking outside in spring

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.

Students at a computer, welding, and at a machine drilling

Office of Workforce Development

The office of workforce development offers 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 programs to benefit industries and employees, alike, engaged in technology-focused and technology-enabled automated manufacturing.

Students seeking the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Technology can select options in the Terry L. “Bo” Pace Advanced Welding & Fabrication Technology Program, Advanced Industrial Maintenance, or Manufacturing and Technology Management. Courses are offered at the new Terry L. “Bo” Pace Industrial Science Center and the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT)

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-Online); 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

Mountain Grove campus

Girl studying outside in the spring

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.

Missouri State University

Missouri State campus drone shotWhile 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.

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 study away 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.

Emily Redus
“Don’t write off Missouri State-West Plains. For a school its size, it has so much to offer in academic and travel opportunities. I made lifelong friends in the short couple of years I was there.”

Emily Redus
MSU-WP Alumna
Registered Dietitian

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 study 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) Witt
MSU-WP Alumna
Fair Housing Testing Coordinator/Community Education Specialist

Grizzly Cheer Team

Experience Campus Life

Students outside of Hass-Darr Hall

There are 30 student organizations on campus and 5 athletic teams

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!

girls softball team

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.

students sitting in an outdoor patioPlay 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, volleyball or softball games, or tune into the esports action online! The teams 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!

Kody Miller
“At MSU-West Plains I made some lifelong friendships and professional relationships that have helped me be successful in my career.”

Kody Miller
MSU-WP Alumnus
Owner/Barber, Misfits Barber Co.

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 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 in a Grizzly House roomExperience 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 watching a show• Four-person suites • Community room complete with pool table, 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


graduating students

Invest in Your Future

97% of students receive financial aid (Fall 2021 freshmen)

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 at the financial aid web 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’s A+ Program website.

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

Net Price Estimate

Additional cost information:

Per year cost Missouri resident Non-Missouri resident
Required student fees+ $4,950* $9,180*
Room & Board** - Grizzly House $6,500 $6,500

+Amounts are estimates and reflect costs for the 2022-2023 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: $96,700
  • Master's Degree: $77,800
  • Bachelor's Degree: $64,800
  • Associate's Degree: $46,100
  • High School Diploma: $38,700


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 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

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

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 Dennis Crider

West Plains, Missouri

Heart of the Ozarks, Settled in 1838, Population 12,184; 18 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*

  • 64 MO counties
  • 25 states
  • 8 countries

Become A Grizzly

Open Admissions Campus of the Missouri State University System

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

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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! Visit or 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.