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Southeast Missouri State University is a four-year, public institution that supports its 8,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students in pursuit of their associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. The campus, located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, supports many colleges and academic departments across a scholarly spectrum that includes arts & media, business & computing, humanities & social sciences, and STEM. There are also 40 online-only programs that prepare students from far and wide.

Overview of Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO)

When they're not buried in the books, SE Missouri State University students have ample opportunities to become well-rounded citizens of the future. Students can spend time in the University Center finding fellowship with others in clubs, organizations, or simply lounging on a sofa between classes. When there's a bit more time, students can head to the aquatic center for laps or find a fitness class to build up a sweat. Students can also find others for a pick-up game of basketball, take a jog on the indoor track, challenge a friend to racquetball, or pump iron in the weight room. On top of these excellent resources, SMSU students can also engage with others in a club or organization that centers around their favorite topics or activities.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 20:1
Graduation Rate 54%
Year Founded 1873

Student Enrollment

Total Students9,851


Undergraduate Student

Male 3,365
Female 5,264

Graduate Student

Male 477
Female 745

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Southeast Missouri State University Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 2,687
Female 4,526


Male 1,962
Female 3,757

Acceptance Rate79%

Male 73%
Female 83%

Enrollment 1,482

Male 569
Female 902
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Program Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Recommended
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline July 1
Common Application Accepted No

SEMO Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Cost is on every student's mind when they start planning for college. To that end, many are seeking a publicly funded college or university where they can receive a high-quality education for a low price. SMSU certainly fits that bill. Missouri state residents enjoy the biggest benefits and see gross academic costs of around $9,000 for a year. Out-of-state students, meanwhile, pay close to $16,000 for their classes, books, and other associated academic fees.

Since students need a place to live and good food to eat, researchers assess the living costs at SMSU, as well. In-state students tend to pay less, with living costs coming in at under $25,000 for a year. Non-residents, on the other hand, pay under $31,000. The total gross cost for residents is thus $34,000, and $47,000 for non-residents. However, this is only part of the story.

Once the financial aid office applies all of their grants and scholarships, the net cost falls dramatically. In fact, the average net price for all SMSU students is a mere $13,000. For the lowest-earning households, that figure drops to under $11,000 and, for households that report earnings in excess of $110,000, the net price tag is only $18,000, including all living expenses.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $13,291
Average Total Aid $8,798
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $9,974

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,715
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $15,285
  • Books and Supplies - $644
  • Room & Board - $9,974
  • Other - $4,941

SEMO Academics

Missouri is home to many notable colleges and universities, not the least of which is Southeast Missouri State University. Our researchers decided to put SMSU's reputation to the test by investigating its educational statistics to sort the facts from the hype. To that end, they evaluated the school's retention rate, graduation rate, and student-to-faculty ratio, among other statistics. They chose the retention rate because that reflects how many first-time, full-time students return to campus for their second year. A high retention rate indicates satisfaction with the school's faculty, curriculum, and campus resources. Since SMSU reports a terrific retention rate of 74%, it's clear that the school has much to offer. Then, researchers discovered that 54% of students work hard and graduate, which is a strong number from a public university.

Since the student-to-faculty ratio is 20 to 1, it's clear that students enjoy manageable class sizes, which can facilitate learning and growth. Even first year students are sure to find smaller class sizes in required courses such as English Comp and College Algebra, or the equivalent requirements at SMSU.

Student Population Total

Student Population 9,851

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 244 Total Graduates / 14%
Business Administration and Management, General 109 Graduates
Accounting 39 Graduates
Finance, General 35 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 30 Graduates
All Education Majors 229 Total Graduates / 14%
Elementary Education and Teaching 60 Graduates
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 48 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, General 24 Graduates
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 21 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 180 Total Graduates / 10%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 100 Graduates
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 29 Graduates
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General 26 Graduates
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 13 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 9 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 133 Total Graduates / 7%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 64 Graduates
Organizational Communication, General 54 Graduates
Health Communication 15 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 132 Total Graduates / 7%
General Studies 132 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 48%

Outcome & Salary

Students and their families are interested to learn what sort of return on their educational dollar is available with a degree from Southeast Missouri State University. While nobody can promise any specific job or salary, the university does survey recent graduates to get an idea of what might be possible. At the top of that list are the engineering technology students, who report a median starting salary of $65,000. The fifth highest degree, accounting, reports a median starting salary of $55,000. Both of these figures are pure salary and do not account for any possible bonus or other forms of compensation, such as benefits.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $40,700
College Grads Average Salary $61,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $62,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $610,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,231,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $53,164
10 Year Projected ROI $556,836
20 Year Projected ROI $1,177,836
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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