Jesse Hall and the Columns

About Mizzou

The University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Mo., as the first public university west of the Mississippi River and the first state university in Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase territory. Today, MU is a $2.1 billion enterprise and an important investment for the state and nation.

MU provides all the benefits of two universities in one: It's a major land-grant institution with a statewide mission of service to citizens and Missouri's largest public research university. Considered one of the nation's top-tier institutions, Mizzou is the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System. It is one of only 34 public universities, and the only public institution in Missouri, to be selected for membership in the Association of American Universities.

The state’s most comprehensive university, MU offers more than 300 degree programs through 19 colleges and schools and is one of only five universities nationwide with law, medicine, veterinary medicine and a nuclear research reactor on one campus.

Mizzou has a diverse enrollment with 35,000 students from every county in Missouri, every state in the nation and 120 countries. The favorite classroom for the best and brightest, Mizzou attracts more valedictorians, Curators Scholars and Bright Flight Scholars than any other college or university in Missouri. Twenty-six percent of MU freshmen come from the top 10 percent of their high school classes.

MU’s nationally prominent faculty bring discoveries into the classroom, publish more than 1,600 books and scholarly articles each year and spend about $235 million annually on scientific research; they account for 70 percent of the research dollars flowing to Missouri public universities. Ninety-two percent of full-time, ranked faculty hold doctorates or the highest degree in their field.

MU students are uniquely prepared for success in life as global citizens. For example, Mizzou is nationally known for its campus writing program, learning communities and first-year experiences. The National Science Foundation has recognized MU as one of the top-10 universities in the country for undergraduate research opportunities. In fact, experiential learning is an essential part of an MU degree. Real-world media experience, or the Missouri Method, in journalism and a problem-based curriculum in medicine are two examples. Students also participate in Missouri’s largest study abroad program and contribute 180,000 hours of community service each year.

Mizzou graduates more than 8,000 students annually, granting 25 percent of all bachelor's degrees, 23 percent of master’s degrees and sixty-five percent of all doctoral degrees earned at Missouri's public universities. Roughly one in three degrees are in math, engineering, information technology, health and other science fields.

Designated a botanic garden, MU’s 1,262-acre main campus features more than 42,000 plants and trees and is an important outdoor laboratory for 10 academic programs. Many university buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Popular media consistently call Columbia, Mo., one of America’s best places to live because of its excellent quality of life. Mizzou is by far the largest employer in the area with more than 13,000 full-time employees.

Citizens across the state connect with Mizzou by participating in Extension programs in every county, visiting MU Health Care specialists, competing in state competitions in MU facilities and cheering on the Missouri Tigers at athletic events. A member of the Southeastern Conference, Mizzou's NCAA Division I athletic program has 20 sports, many ranked in the top 25 nationally.