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Top Missouri Colleges

12 of the Top Colleges in Missouri

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Top Ranked Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective

Missouri's options for higher education are remarkably diverse.  From a large public university like the University of Missouri to a small Christian work college like College of the Ozarks, Missouri has schools to match a wide range of student personalities and interests. The 12 top Missouri colleges listed below vary greatly in size and mission, so I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking. That said, Washington University is the most selective and prestigious institution on the list. The schools were chosen based on factors such as academic reputation, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, six-year graduation rates, selectivity, financial aid and student engagement.

Compare Top Missouri Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks
KellyK / Flickr
  • Location: Point Lookout, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 1,334 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: Private, Christian liberal arts work college
  • Distinctions: full-time students do not pay tuition; "stone-cold sober" reputation; 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; students often work to cover educational costs; 1,000-acre campus
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the College of the Ozarks profile

Maryville University

Maryville University
Photo credit: Jay Fram
  • Location: Town and Country, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 3,534 (2,934 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Small private university
  • Distinctions: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 130-acre campus with woods, lakes and hiking trails; challenging curriculum; membership in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference; good financial aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Maryville University profile

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Adavidb / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Rolla, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 6,814 (5,206 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Public university with science and technology focus
  • Distinctions: first technological institution west of the Mississippi; many outdoor opportunities in the Ozarks; 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio; membership in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Missouri University of Science and Technology profile

Rockhurst University

Rockhurst University
Shaverc / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Kansas City, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 3,029 (2,120 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Private Jesuit univeristy
  • Distinctions: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 24; membership in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference; emphasis on service as well as academics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Rockhurst University profile

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University Cupples House
Matthew Black / Flickr
  • Location: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 16,317 (11,159 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Private Jesuit university
  • Distinctions: 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 23; membership in the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference; highly ranked Jesuit university; second oldest Jesuit university in the country; students come from all 50 states and 90 countries; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Saint Louis University profile

Stephens College

Stephens College
Photo Courtesy of Stephens College
  • Location: Columbia, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 1,231 (967 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Private women's liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: second oldest women's college in the country; 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 13; notable programs in the performing arts, health, and business; good financial aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Stephens College profile

Truman State University

Truman State University
DavidOaks / Wikipedia
  • Location: Kirksville, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 5,920 (5,608 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Public liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: excellent value; 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 24; 250 student organizations; strong Greek system; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; membership in the NCAA Division II Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association; no cost to apply
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Truman State University profile

University of Missouri (Columbia)

University of Missouri
Adam Procter / Flickr
  • Location: Columbia, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 31,237 (23,799 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Public research university
  • Distinctions: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; largest university in Missouri; membership in the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; active Greek system; membership in the NCAA Division I SEC Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Missouri profile

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis
黄若云 / Flickr
  • Location: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 13,575 (7,046 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Private research university
  • Distinctions: most selective and prestigious university in Missouri; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; membership in the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; high retention and graduation rates; residential college system
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Washington University profile

Webster University

Webster University
Matthew Black / Flickr
  • Location: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 19,372 (3,911 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Private university
  • Distinctions: 15 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 11; students from 50 states and 129 countries; strong international presence
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Webster University profile

Westminster College

Westminster College in Missouri
The History Faculty / Flickr
  • Location: Fulton, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 1,087 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 15 to 1 student / faculty ratio; students from 26 states and 61 countries; excellent value; location of Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Westminster College profile

William Jewell College

William Jewell College Gano Chapel
Patrick Hoesley / Flickr
  • Location: Liberty, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 1,083 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions:  11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; popular nursing and business programs; good financial aid; membership in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference (starting in 2011)
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the William Jewell College profile

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