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Missouri Western State University (MWSU) is a public higher education institution located in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Founded in 1915, the school was originally a two-year college. Today, it is a four-year, state-supported university providing high quality and affordable education to students in the state and beyond.

Overview of Missouri Western State University (MWSU)

The university strives to be the premier open access regional university in Missouri, known for transforming the lives of students and the community as a whole. Key values include services, quality, enthusiasm, freedom, respect, and courage.

The total student population at Missouri Western State University is 4,911, with 4,717 enrolled in undergraduate programs. The school employs approximately 173 full-time and 114 part-time faculty members, all of whom dedicate their time and efforts to instruction. There is also one additional professor assigned to research and public service. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio 16:1, which is below the national average reported by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2018. Notably, the institution has no graduate assistants.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 17:1
Graduation Rate 36%
Year Founded 1915

Student Enrollment

Total Students4,395


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,603
Female 2,616

Graduate Student

Male 67
Female 109

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MWSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male NA
Female NA


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Female NA

Acceptance RateNA

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Female NA

Enrollment NA

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Female NA
Application Fee NA
High School GPA NA
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts NA
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

MWSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Missouri Western State University is dedicated to providing an exceptional educational experience as an affordable price. In fact, the university has the third lowest tuition in Missouri. The cost of attendance will depend on residency and the number of credits taken. In-state undergraduate students enrolled in 15 credit hours of classes can expect to pay approximately $6,909 in tuition and fees per year. Out-of-state students, on the other hand, will pay $13,500.

In addition to tuition and fees, prospective students must plan to pay for room and board. The university projects this expense will range between $8,348 and $11,266 per year. Students will also need to account for the cost of books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.

Missouri Western State University offers assistance and support to help students pay for college. The university provides a number of automatic merit-based scholarships, as well as more than 230 types of competitive financial aid options. Students are awarded, on average, $5,485 in scholarships and grants each year. All students are also encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine the total amount of aid available. During the 2021-2022 academic year, 99% of those enrolled at the institution received some form of financial aid, but 51% still required student loans.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $13,090
Average Total Aid $8,453
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Room & Board $10,200

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,875
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $15,400
  • Books and Supplies - $1,000
  • Room & Board - $10,200
  • Other - $2,670


Missouri Western State University is dedicated to establishing a student-centered learning community that prepares individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. The institution is authorized to offer two-year associate degrees, four-year baccalaureate programs, and master’s degrees, as well as pre-professional transfer programs and one-year certificates. Students may also attend regular seminars, conferences, and workshops designed to address the needs of the community.

The academic colleges and schools present at Missouri Western State University include:

  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Business and Professional Studies
  • College of Science and Health
  • Craig School of Business
  • School of Fine Arts
  • School of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Graduate School

The retention rate for first-time, full-time, undergraduate freshmen who began their studies in 2019 was 63%. This is below the national average of 68% for the entire nation. The rate for part-time bachelor’s students was even lower, totaling at 21%. Overall, however, this data indicates that most full-time students enrolled at the university chose to return in 2020 for further education.

The graduation rate for students who began their studies in fall 2015 was 36%, with a 28% transfer-out rate. This means about half of students were able to complete requirements within 150% of normal time, which is six years. Only 19% of these reported students graduated within four years.

Missouri Western State University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The institution’s accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in January 2017. In addition to this regional accreditation, many programs possess specialized accreditation. Some notable accrediting bodies include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Education, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council on Social Work Education, and Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. Additionally, the university is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), which provides a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

Student Population Total

Student Population 4,395

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 112 Total Graduates / 16%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 93 Graduates
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator 11 Graduates
Public Health, General 7 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 1 Graduates
All Business Majors 109 Total Graduates / 15%
Business Administration and Management, General 47 Graduates
Accounting 23 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 22 Graduates
Finance, General 11 Graduates
All Education Majors 66 Total Graduates / 9%
Elementary Education and Teaching 26 Graduates
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 14 Graduates
Music Teacher Education 9 Graduates
Art Teacher Education 6 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 61 Total Graduates / 8%
Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness, General 42 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Facilities Management, General 19 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 48 Total Graduates / 7%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 47 Graduates
International/Globalization Studies 1 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 45%

Outcome & Salary

Missouri Western State University provides student success after graduation data. Of the 702 graduates from the 2019-2020 academic year, 447 responded to the institution’s survey. A total of 320 individuals were employed full-time, with another 30 employed part-time. An additional 57 were also enrolled in continuing education programs, with 12 more planning to pursue further degrees but not enrolled yet. Only 20 reported that they were still seeking some form of employment. The overall success rate reported by the university was just over 84%.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $41,200
College Grads Average Salary $63,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $60,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $630,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,239,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $52,360
10 Year Projected ROI $577,640
20 Year Projected ROI $1,186,640
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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