The flagship of the University of Missouri system, and the first public university west of the Mississippi River, the University of Missouri-Columbia was shaped by Thomas Jefferson’s principles of higher education, like the University of Virginia and other early public universities. In 1870 the university expanded with the Morrill Land Grant, adding agricultural and mechanical science education that helped make Mizzou the global STEM and humanities institution it is today. A top-tier public research university with the highest Carnegie Classification status and U.S. News & World Report national ranking, the University of Missouri is central to life and education in the Midwest, transforming every field of study with world-class research and the highest quality of undergraduate and graduate education.
The University of Missouri is one of the nation’s foremost public research universities, the most comprehensive university in Missouri, and a major part of Missouri’s economy, worth over $2 billion. More than 300 degree programs, including almost 100 fully online degrees, make Mizzou one of the nation’s leading universities. Mizzou is home to the state’s leading professional schools, and is one of the few institutions with schools of medicine, law, veterinary medicine, agriculture, and engineering all in one location. The University of Missouri Health Care system, made up of five hospitals linked to the university’s health programs, is the state’s foremost educational medical complex. The Sinclair School of Nursing is also one of the most prestigious in the Midwest.
Mizzou is a groundbreaking institution in more than medicine. The University of Missouri established the first School of Journalism in the US, which remains a national model for journalistic education, while the Trulaske College of Business was one of the first AACSB-accredited business schools, as well as one of the first to offer doctorate degrees in business, professionalizing business education. The School of Engineering is one of the nation’s best, and Mizzou is home to the largest educational nuclear reactor in the US, making it a destination for nuclear scientists.
With well over 30,000 students, student life at the University of Missouri is incredibly varied and dynamic. Students come to Mizzou from all 50 states and 120 nations, and the university has one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation in terms of ethnic, racial, and national origin. Mizzou students are also highly accomplished, as the university attracts the highest-achieving students in Missouri (including the highest ACT scores in the state). Hundreds of student-led organizations help students find their way on a big, busy campus, including cultural groups, honor societies, and special interest clubs.
Mizzou, of course, is also nationally known for their NCAA Division I athletics, including regional and national championship-winning basketball, football, and wrestling teams. The Mizzou Tigers’ mascot is Truman the Tiger, named for Missouri native Harry S. Truman. The University of Missouri is also known for originating the tradition of homecoming, holding the first homecoming celebration for its football game against rival University of Kansas in 1911. The tradition has since spread to nearly every college and university in the US.