MU Pride points

Top students

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 quality of entering Mizzou freshmen continues to rise. The 2015 class has an average ACT score of 26, compared with the national average of 21 and state average of 21.8.

MU’s graduation rates far exceed national and state averages for four-year public institutions. The six-year rate for Mizzou is 68.7 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 7,636 graduate and professional students make up 21.5 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’s 35,448 highest-ever enrollment includes a record number of high-achieving students who scored a 30 or higher on the ACT and a record freshman retention rate of 87.2 percent compared to state (75.7 percent) and national (79.9 percent) rates. Tigers graduate, on average, in 4.2 years.

The most diverse enrollment in MU history includes 5,567 minority students who make up 17.1 percent of the student body, up from 11.3 percent in 2005. Mizzou students participate in more than 100 university-wide cultural, ethnic and religious organizations and represent every Missouri county, every state and 122 countries. 

In 2014-15, more than 50 percent of MU's student-athletes earned a grade point average of 3.00 or higher. For three years in a row, MU has ranked second in the Southeastern Conference for Academic Progress Rate, determined by eligibility, graduation and retention 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).

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.

Generous supporters worldwide invest in MU. Thousands serve in volunteer roles, and their private gifts endow resources for the future and fund scholarships, academic programs and life-changing research. In FY2014, alumni and friends made 67,751 gifts to MU totaling $118.7 million.

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

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).

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 FY2010, MU has filed 450 U.S. patents and signed 199 options and licenses for new technologies developed at the university.

From FY2010 to FY2014, university income from the commercialization of faculty inventions totaled $40.8 million, and 23 startup companies licensed MU technology.

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 on retail shelves; Nanova Biomaterials Inc. is manufacturing a fluoride dental varnish called StarBright; and Eternogen, which produces collagen-based tissue products, is now in the commercialization phase after attracting $1.5 million in investments.

During fiscal years 2012-14, MU’s Extension Business Development Program generated $2.1 billion in economic impact for the Missouri economy, helping clients increase sales by $643 million, gain $809 million in government contracts and create 19,145 jobs.

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 $247 million of spending in Columbia during FY2014, MU’s second year in the Southeastern Conference.

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities designates MU as an “Innovation and Economic Prosperity University” for exceptional tech transfer, entrepreneurship, workforce development and community partnerships.

Last year, MU’s $516 million in campus construction projects created jobs and increased spending.

Columbia, Missouri, has 115,000 residents who enjoy more than a dozen annual festivals; numerous parks and trails; and The District, a thriving downtown area adjacent to campus filled with great restaurants, shopping and galleries.

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, a 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, 17 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.

Serving citizens

The MU Health System, one of the most comprehensive health care networks in Missouri, provides patient care, educates future health professionals, conducts life-saving research and delivers policy expertise.

MU patient care is led by 550 faculty physicians trained in 117 specialty areas working at four hospitals and 50 clinics. In FY2014, staff handled 564,113 clinic visits and 59,022 emergency trauma visits, performed 22,946 surgeries and delivered 1,882 babies.

For more than 100 years, MU Extension has met the needs of residents in St. Louis, Kansas City and every Missouri county. Last year, more than 1 million people enrolled in continuing education courses and participated in research-based programs in food systems; health; environment; and community, economic, business and workforce development.

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

Each year, the College of Veterinary Medicine has more than 17,000 patient visits and conducts 96,000 tests to determine the cause of death and disease in animals.

Since starting the campus Energy Conservation Program in 1990, Mizzou has saved $60.6 million, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 52 percent per square foot, decreased energy use by 19 percent per square foot, and decreased total water use by 45 percent. In FY2014, MU recycled or reused 68 percent of its solid waste.

Three out of five Mizzou students receive some form of financial aid (excluding loans). In FY2014, MU provided $121 million in scholarships, tuition and fee waivers and paid $57.4 million on to students employed on campus.

At Mizzou, 98 percent of the $79.28 million athletic budget for FY2015 is self-generated through ticket sales, Southeastern Conference revenue, private gifts and other income. Each year, about 20 percent of this budget, or $15.6 million, is used for student tuition and housing, utilities and to support numerous campus departments.

MU is a key educator of health professionals. Faculty at the School of Health Professions, School of Medicine and Sinclair School of Nursing teach more than 5,000 students, in addition to conducting research.

MU Health Care was ranked as one of the nation’s 12 top-performing academic medical centers in the 2014 UHC Quality and Accountability Study, a tool that measures patient care quality and safety.

MU’s 35,448 highest-ever enrollment includes a record number of high-achieving students who scored a 30 or higher on the ACT and a record freshman retention rate of 87.2 percent compared to state (75.7 percent) and national (79.9 percent) rates. Tigers graduate, on average, in 4.2 years.

Student preparation

MU’s Museum of Art and Archaeology holds the state’s third most extensive art collection and is accredited through the American Association of Museums. The university also is home to Missouri’s only anthropology museum, which holds the world’s largest archery collection.

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

Consistently named a veteran-friendly school by G.I. Jobs, U.S. News & World Report and other national media, MU was the first of three institutions the country to open a full-service center for veterans and their dependents.

Mizzou’s top-tier Student Recreation Complex, one of the 10 largest facilities of its kind in the country, is a core component of student life at MU.

MU has 18 schools and colleges 307 degrees and certificates to help students reach their career and personal goals. Eighty-five degree options, including nearly 1,000 courses, are available online.

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 10 major undergraduate research programs funded by the university and via external grants.

MU students hold patents and start businesses. 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, 4,500 undergraduates volunteered 190,000 hours for 406 community and government partners through 250 courses.

By the time they graduate, 20 percent of MU undergraduates have studied abroad through 280 programs in 46 countries.

MU’s library collection is one of Missouri’s largest. Ellis Library and eight specialized libraries across campus hold 3.9 million volumes, 7.5 million microforms, 1 million e-books and 53,400 journal subscriptions.

Approximately 87 percent of MU students participate in campus activities, including more than 675 student organizations and the 1,600 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.

MU has the largest alternative breaks program in the nation. During the 2014-15 academic year, 1,468 students took 129 trips during academic breaks to work 40,000 hours on service projects in the U.S. and abroad.