MU Pride points

Top students

MU’s 35,441 highest-ever enrollment in fall 2014 includes record numbers of international (2,417), minority (5,486) and out-of-state students (10,855). MU Tigers graduate, on average, in 4.1 years.

Mizzou has almost twice as many Bright Flight Scholars — students who score in the top three percent of all Missouri students taking the ACT or SAT — as any other college or university in Missouri. The number of high-ability students with 30 or above ACT scores at MU increased by 26 percent (fall 2014 compared to fall 2013).

The quality of entering Mizzou freshmen continues to rise. The 2014 class has an average ACT score of 25.9, compared with the national average of 21 and state average of 21.8.

MU retains 86.2 percent of its students for their sophomore year, higher than the national average of 79.9 percent and state average of 75.7 percent.

MU’s graduation rates far exceed national and state averages for four-year public institutions. The six-year rate for Mizzou is 69.4 percent compared to the national average of 57.7 percent and state average of 55.2 percent.

MU students have high pass rates on national exams. Recently, 91 percent of law students passed the bar exam on the first try while 100 percent of teacher education students, 98 percent of veterinary students, 100 percent of medical students, 94 percent of nursing students and 100 percent of health professions students passed their national licensure and certification tests.

MU graduate students perform many of the hands-on aspects of research and go on to top-level work throughout society. Mizzou’s 7,787 graduate and professional students make up 22 percent of the university’s enrollment.

MU’s NCAA Division I athletic program has 520 student-athletes in 20 sports, many ranked in the top 25 nationally.

MU ranks second in the Southeastern Conference based on average Academic Progress Rate, which is determined by eligibility and graduation of student-athletes.

Global university

MU’s founders established the first state university in Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase territory, sharing his ideal that “diffusion of knowledge among the people” is essential for a free society.

MU's establishment in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi River started a long tradition of firsts. MU has the world’s first School of Journalism (founded in 1908), Missouri’s first and only College of Veterinary Medicine (founded in 1946), the first engineering program west of the Mississippi (founded in 1849) and the nation’s first College of Education at a public university (founded in 1868).

Based on quality of teaching, research and scholarship, MU is one of only 34 public U.S. universities — and one of only two institutions in Missouri — invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU).

Many states fund separate research and land-grant universities, but Missouri combines those roles at its flagship institution. MU is both a land-grant university with a mission to serve the public good and the state’s largest public research university.

Classified with American universities that offer the most educational opportunities and highest level of instruction, MU is designated “Research University/Very High” and “Community Engaged” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

MU has agreements outside the U.S. with many educational, corporate and government entities. These partnerships help the university attract external funding and top faculty and students.

MU has 2,417 international students from 122 countries, the largest enrollment of any Missouri higher education institution. During the 2013-14 academic year, international students and their families supported U.S. innovation, enriched American culture and contributed $26.8 billion to the U.S. economy.

MU has more than a century of history in international relations. Two Chinese students were among 64 in the School of Journalism’s 1908 inaugural class. By 1921, faculty and alumni had helped establish one of the first journalism schools in China at St. John’s University in Shanghai.

In 1986, officials from MU, the University of Missouri System and the University of Western Cape launched a longstanding academic and research exchange program to aid South Africans disadvantaged by their government’s apartheid policies. It was the first such agreement between a U.S. university and a historically black South African university.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited MU since 1913. Many degree programs have specialized accreditation through national associations, councils and commissions.

Economic power

MU boosts the economy by performing research, generating jobs, improving graduates’ earning potential, and creating and commercializing businesses.

A $2.1 billion global enterprise, MU accounts for 70 percent, on average, of the research dollars flowing to Missouri public universities. Research generates new knowledge and jobs.

Every week, Missouri’s economy benefits as MU brings in an average of $1.9 million in private donations and attracts $2.8 million in federal research awards.

MU has about 3,100 active grants and contracts and spent $236.4 million on research in FY2013, including $111.5 million from federal sources.

Mizzou graduates more than 8,300 students annually, educating 27 percent of all undergraduates and 62 percent of doctoral students at Missouri’s public universities. Roughly one in three degrees awarded is in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or health fields.

MU alumni are essential for the state’s workforce. For example, more Missouri physicians earned medical degrees from MU than from any other university, almost two-thirds of Missouri veterinarians are graduates, and law alumni serve at every level of the state judiciary.

Since FY2008, MU has filed 465 U.S. patents and signed 257 options and licenses for new technologies developed at the university.

Mizzou’s licensing income from the commercialization of new technologies has reached $46.9 million since FY2008, a 112 percent increase compared to fiscal years 2002-07. In the last eight years, 25 startup companies have licensed technology invented by MU scientists.

Examples of recent commercialization ventures: Organovo, based on MU’s 3-D bioprinting technology that builds living tissues, is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange; Beyond Meat, a soy-based meat substitute, is available from retail grocers nationwide; and Eternogen, which will offer collagen-based products for minimally invasive surgical applications, is now in the commercialization phase after attracting $1.5 million in investments.

The MU Life Science Business Incubator helps launch startup companies based on faculty and student innovations and also recruits young companies to Columbia to collaborate with MU researchers. Twenty-five companies are now located at the incubator after four years of operation.

During fiscal years 2000-12, MU’s Extension Business Development Program generated $2.5 billion in economic impact for the Missouri economy, helping clients increase sales by $986 million, gain $857 million in government contracts and create 25,235 jobs.

Athletic events generated $188.7 million of additional spending in Columbia during FY2013, MU’s first year in the Southeastern Conference. SEC membership increased Mizzou’s economic impact by $44.8 million compared to FY2012.

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities named MU to its inaugural list of 16 “Innovation and Economic Prosperity” institutions, a designation that recognizes exceptional tech transfer, entrepreneurship, workforce development and community partnerships.

Groundbreaking discoveries

MU has pushed the frontiers of research and scholarship for nearly two centuries. Faculty inventors and creators share discoveries with students and link Missouri industry, agriculture, emerging businesses and innovative ideas.

MU is one of only six public institutions nationwide that can claim a medical school, veterinary medicine college and a law school on the same campus. Faculty and students also have immediate access to agriculture and engineering colleges along with the largest nuclear research reactor on any American campus.

As the state’s major public research university, MU spends about $236 million annually on scientific research. The university also provides extensive end-market support of critical industries, such as conducting clinical trials and testing animals to determine the cause of death and disease.

Known for collaborative, interdisciplinary research, MU has incomparable expertise and resources on a global scale in four areas: Food for the Future, One Health/One Medicine, Media of the Future and Sustainable Energy. We call it The Mizzou Advantage.

With 120 plant scientists, 18 agricultural research centers statewide and MU Extension innovations for farmers, Mizzou is improving global food security.

Examples of first-rate interdisciplinary research environments at MU include the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

The Coulter Foundation partners with MU to fund $1 million annually in biomedical research to develop new products and devices that improve the lives of patients.

Mizzou has the nation’s most powerful university research reactor and is the largest U.S. supplier to pharmaceutical firms of radioisotopes for diagnosing and treating cancer. Scientists in nuclear medicine and other disciplines invented Therasphere® for liver cancer, Quadramet® for bone cancer pain and Ceretecfor brain imaging.

Mizzou is home to some of the world’s best nanoscientists, who work with particles at the nearly unimaginable scale of one billionth of a meter to fight cancer and other diseases.

MU has delivered the benefits of research for decades. Faculty conducted landmark studies in crop rotation that led to advances in sustainable agriculture and developed Mo17, the basis for much of today’s hybrid corn; performed the world’s first pediatric angioplasty to correct heart defects in babies; and improved the quality of life for arthritis sufferers by showing that regular exercise is the best treatment for the condition.

Recent faculty contributions include a new process to repair damaged knees; a cancer treatment using gold nanoparticles; hand-held X-rays; advances in older adult care; a heartburn drug called Zegerid; new knowledge to strengthen families; a breakthrough using gene therapy to treat muscular dystrophy; and innovative journalism technologies.

Mizzou improves human and animal health by offering leading-edge medical treatments through 286 clinical trials.

Solutions for a better life

MU’s statewide health system treats patients from every Missouri county, educates future health professionals, conducts life-saving research and provides policy expertise.

The MU Health System is one of the most comprehensive health care networks in Missouri. In FY2012, staff handled 553,300 clinic visits and 22,108 inpatient admissions, performed 22,774 surgeries and delivered 1,728 babies. The system also educated 4,676 students, residents and fellows via the School of Medicine, Sinclair School of Nursing and the School of Health Professions.

Every year more than 1 million people turn to MU Extension’s research-based programs to improve their lives, communities and economies. MU Extension meets specific needs of local residents in Missouri’s 114 counties, including both rural and urban communities.

Faculty and students at the Truman School of Public Policy and MU centers and institutes make contributions to state and national policy. Examples include the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute and the Rural Policy Research Institute.

MU’s Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory conducts more than 200,000 diagnostic tests annually to help determine the cause of death and disease in animals. The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital treats 16,000 animal patients annually.

Since 1990, MU has decreased water use by 39 percent and energy use by 19 percent even though educational and general space grew by 37 percent. In FY2013 MU recycled 29 percent of its waste.

The 2013 issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, published by the American Hospital Association, credits MU with one of the top 300 most wired health systems in the nation.

Supportive environment

MU’s Museum of Anthropology has 6,000 annual visitors, 80 million artifacts and the world’s largest archery collection. It is the only anthropology museum in Missouri.

MU’s Museum of Art and Archaeology holds the state’s third most-extensive art collection and hosts 17,000 visitors annually. It is among the 4.5 percent of 17,500 U.S. museums accredited through the American Association of Museums.

Three out of five Mizzou students receive some form of financial aid (excluding loans). In FY2012, MU provided $109.9 million in scholarships, tuition and fee waivers and $56.6 million on student employment.

Almost 2,000 MU students participate in 100 Freshman Interest Groups, or FIGs. They live in the same residence hall and attend classes together, resulting in higher retention and graduation rates.

Named a veteran-friendly school by G.I. Jobs and Military Times EDGE for four years, MU was the first of three institutions nationally to open a full-service center for veterans and their dependents.

MU’s award-winning Wellness Resource Center provides more than 200 student activities in such areas as nutrition, stress reduction, alcohol and other drug abuse, smoking, and more. Mizzou’s Student Recreation Complex is one of the 10 largest facilities of its kind in the country.

In FY2013, alumni and friends made 60,178 gifts to MU totaling $103.9 million.

360 Degree Learning

MU has 19 schools and colleges 317 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their career and personal goals. Seventy options are available online, and Mizzou is investing $2.5 million for a second year to create new distance programs.

MU’s nationally prominent faculty bring discoveries into the classroom, publish more than 1,600 books and scholarly articles each year, and attract multi-million-dollar research grants.

MU gives undergraduates the skills they need to become informed citizens who can solve complex problems. Thriving graduate programs, professional schools and the ongoing discovery of new knowledge through research take a Mizzou degree beyond what liberal arts colleges can provide.

MU offers students unmatched real-world experiences, including managing a bed and breakfast (The Gathering Place) operating a floral shop (Tiger Garden), preparing income taxes for families, representing domestic violence victims in court, providing health care, working at the country’s only university-owned TV network affiliate (KOMU), performing at national venues and co-authoring articles in leading scientific journals.

Annually, hundreds of undergraduate students participate in formal research, and many others engage in research for pay or academic credit. MU has 12 major undergraduate research programs funded by the university and via external grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and others.

MU students hold patents and create startup companies. They own their intellectual property, manage an angel investment fund supported by the Kauffman Foundation, participate in the Entrepreneurship Alliance talent incubator, and win venture and pitch competitions.

The MU Office of Service Learning formally integrates community service into student instruction and learning. Most recently, 4,400 undergraduates volunteered 190,000 hours for 290 community and government partners through 250 courses.

About 1,300 MU students a year – the most of any Missouri school – prepare for global citizenship by studying or volunteering abroad. MU offers 300 programs in 50 countries; 23 percent of graduating seniors earn credit abroad.

MU’s library collection is Missouri’s largest. Ellis, University Archives and eight specialized libraries hold 3.35 million volumes, 8.1 million microforms, 708,893 e-books and 45,000 journal subscriptions.

MU students participate in annual campus competitions, including one for short films, another for music composers and one in which journalism, business and engineering students invent mobile communication apps.

Eighty-seven percent of MU students participate in campus activities, including more than 700 student organizations and the 1,400 educational, social and cultural programs offered annually.

As a botanic garden, the historic MU campus has 42,000 plants and trees in numerous thematic and special collection settings. It is an important outdoor laboratory for 10 academic programs.