The state of Missouri is located in the Midwest region of the United States. Missouri shares borders with Tennessee, Iowa, Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. In addition, it contains portions of the Missouri River, Ozark Mountains, Ohio River, and starting points for the Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, and Pony Express. Today over 6 million people reside in the state of Missouri. The state’s largest cities include Kansas City, St.Louis, Columbia, and Springfield. The state is famously known for the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The state has played an integral role in American society, particularly during the Civil War, as a border state located along the Mason-Dixon Line. Missouri is home to a variety of music, cultural, and entertainments events each year.
For the sake of this list, a “college” is considered any accredited public or private not-for-profit institution that offers four-year degree programs. Campus crime stats, graduation rates, and student retention rates were taken from U.S. Department of Education annual reports. Campus crime rates are based on the number of crimes per 1,000 residents.
# 1 Columbia College – Missouri
The liberal arts and sciences college known as Columbia College is located in the city of Columbia, Missouri. Every year, about 2,100 undergraduates attend the school. Columbia was originally founded by the Christian Church Disciples of Christ and maintains those affiliations today. Students choose from academic programs related to art, business administration, criminal justice, computer science, mathematics, education, humanities, nursing, and adult education programs. The school has consistently ranked high for its academic rhetoric as a liberal arts college in the Midwest. Student athletes can participate in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
#2 Park University
Parkville, Missouri is home to Park University. The private school welcomes nearly 9,500 students each year, almost 1,000 of whom are graduate students. Park University has been accredited by the North Central Association of College and Schools. Park has a unique reputation for providing courses to members of the U.S military. Student athletes can participate in sports such as basketball, cross country, track & field and volleyball as part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
#3 Maryville University
The private school Maryville, University is located in St. Louis County, Missouri. About 2,800 students choose from over 90 degrees as bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees. Students hail from all 50 states and 47 countries. Schools include the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, Walker College of Health Professions, John E. Simon School of Business, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing, and the School of Adult and Online Education. Students can take advantage of the recently renovated library with over 54,000 square feet and more than a quarter of a million volumes.
#4 Webster University
Webster Groves, Missouri is home to Webster University, a non-profit private school. The student body consists of a total of 22,000 students pursuing degrees in business, liberal arts, fine and performing arts, and education. Students hail from all 50 states and 140 additional countries. In the early 1940s, Webster University became a pioneer in racial integration in the educational system. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs among others. While main campus is located in a suburban setting, additional international campus locations include Switzerland, Austria, Thailand, China, and Ghana. Student athletes compete NCAA Division III sports.
#5 Evangel University
The private Christian school of Evangel University is located in Springfield, Missouri. A total of 2,000 students attend classes on the 80-acre campus. The school is well-regarded for its Teacher Education Program, facilitated by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Evangel University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. In addition to academics, students can choose to participate in over 50 student-run organizations.
#6 Central Methodist University – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
The coeducation liberal arts college of Central Methodist University – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, or CMU, is located in Fayette, Missouri. Students, totaling 3,400, pursue bachelor’s, master’s and associate’s degrees. Campus stretches 55 acres and includes residence halls and academic buildings, in addition to the Morrison Observatory, Swinney Conservatory, Puckett Field House, The Little Theatre, and the Phillips Recreation Center. Student athletes participate in Division I NAIA sports.
#7 Ozark Christian College
Joplin, Missouri is home to Ozark Christian College, a small non-profit private college. Approximately 650 students attend the college each year. Ozark is associated with the Restoration Movement of Christian churches and churches of Christ. Most academic programs focus on Christian History, the Bible, ministry, and music. Student athletes participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball within the Midwest Christian College Conference. Ozark Christian College is accredited by the American Association of Bible College (Association for Biblical Higher Education).
#8 St. Louis College of Pharmacy
St. Louis College of Pharmacy, or STLCOP, is an independent school located in St. Louis, Missouri. Academics incorporate liberal arts and sciences into a curriculum focused on professional study of pharmacy. Undergraduates total about 700 students, and graduates make up an additional 650 students. Most pharmacists in the St. Louis area have earned their degree from the college. St. Louis College Pharmacy has been ranked for one of the strongest pharmacy degree programs in the country. Graduates report an average annual income of approximately $119,281. Student organizations include dance team, a literary magazine, Greek Life, and International Students Organization (ISO).
#9 Hannibal – LaGrange University
Hannibal, Missouri is home to Hannibal-LaGrange College, a four-year liberal arts school. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, HLGU enrolls about 1,150 students each year. Students can choose from 30 majors, including computer information systems, education, criminal justice, accounting, Bible, pre-chemistry, and sociology.
#10 Missouri Baptist University
Missouri Baptist University is situated in Creve Coeur, Missouri and is home to approximately 4,900 students. It’s an evangelical Christian university spread out over 81 acres and also includes many satellite campuses in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Students pursue both undergraduate and master’s degrees, including a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts. Students can participate in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, including baseball, bowling, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, track and tennis.
#11 Southwest Baptist University
The private institution of Southwest Baptist University welcomes 3,500 students every fall. Affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention, SBU maintains campuses in Bolivar, Mountain View, Salem, and Springfield, Missouri. The university hosts six colleges, including the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Education and Social Sciences, and the Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry, among others. Campus includes Plaster Stadium and Athletic Center, the Harriett K. Hutchens Library and the Felix Goodson Student Union plus residence halls and academic facilities. Extracurricular clubs include Nursing Club, Bike Club, small group ministry, Habitat for Humanity, and the Society of Art.
#12 Washington University in St. Louis
The Washington University in St. Louis, or WUSTL, enrolls almost 4,000 students each year. Washington University is well-regarded for its graduate programs and amenities as a top research facility. The school presents a rigorous academic program, with roughly a 13.7% acceptance rate for incoming freshmen. In particular, the School of Medicine and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work have highly ranked programs. Other colleges include the School of Design & Visual Arts, Business, Arts & Sciences, School of Law, the School of Social Work and Public Health and the School of Medicine. Washington University is home to a variety of research centers that have participated in studies such as the Human Genome Project.
#13 Missouri University of Science & Technology
The Missouri University of Science & Technology is situated in Rolla, Missouri. About 8,900 students attend the school each year. Most common areas of study include science, engineering, and mathematics, as well as arts, humanities, business and social sciences. The school has ranked particularly high nationwide for its academics and relative affordability. Student athletes participate in NCAA Division II sports or intramural sports. Students can also become involved in student media and Greek Life.
#14 University of Missouri – St. Louis
The public University of Missouri-St.Louis enrolls about 13,500 students each year. Among those students, 3,200 are undergraduates. Students pursue degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels in schools like the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business Administration, and the College of Education. The university is home to a variety of research centers as well as student media studios, residence halls, and academic buildings. Greek Life consists of six sororities and fraternities.
#15 Fontbonne University
Clayton, Missouri hosts the liberal arts school Fontbonne University, which has a Catholic affiliation. Fontbonne belongs to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and welcomes over 3,000 undergraduates and graduates each year. Students can pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Student athletes play within NCAA Division III sports, including baseball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, track & field, and volleyball. It’s also a member of the St.Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
#16 William Woods University
The coeducational school of William Woods University is set in Fulton, Missouri on a rural campus. Approximately 3,800 students attend the school each year. The school was originally founded in 1870 under the name Female Orphan School, in response to children orphaned during the war. Today, the school serves men and women as well as non-traditional students. The school is a member of the North Central Association, under accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Special academic opportunities include the American Sign Language program, equestrian studies program, and a degree in homeland security. Students can become involved in over 40 extracurricular activities including athletics, volunteer opportunities, and cultural and faith-based groups.
#17 Truman State University
Truman State University, or TSU, is a liberal arts school situated in the small town of Kirksville, Missouri. About 6,200 students total enroll in the university, including approximately 350 of who are postgraduates. Student pursuing a bachelor’s degree can choose from 48 different programs. Campus includes many frequented spots including the Quad, the Bell Tower, and the Pickler Memorial Library. Colleges include the School of Arts and Letters, the School of Business, the School of Health Sciences & Education and the School of Social & Cultural Studies. Students can join over 250 student organizations including campus media, religious groups and service-oriented clubs.
#18 Northwest Missouri State University
Maryville, Missouri hosts Northwest Missouri State University, a public school open to undergraduate and graduate students. About 6,400 students attend the school each year. Campus encompasses the Missouri State Arboretum as of 1993. Student athletes can participate in NCAA Division II athletics; Northwest Missouri belongs to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Other student organizations include the Blue Key Honor Society, religious clubs, performing groups, and Greek Life organizations.
#19 Stephens College
The all-women’s college, Stephens College, is located in Columbia, Missouri. It’s the second longest running all-women’s college in the nation today. Approximately 850 students attend the school each year. Campus is in an urban setting that stretches 86 acres. Degrees are focused in the liberal arts, within the schools of Design, Health Sciences, Equestrian Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies and Performing Arts. Student are encouraged to study abroad in places like Ecuador, Sweden, England, Ireland, Japan, and Korea.
#20 Missouri Southern State University
Joplin, Missouri hosts Missouri Southern State University, a public school. The four-year school admits about 5,600 students each year, in addition to approximately 50 postgraduate students. Besides academic facilities, campus is also home to the Leon C. Billingsly Student Center, Ummel Technology Center, Thomas E. Taylor Performing Arts Center, Bud Walton Black Box Theatre. Students can become involved in Greek Life as well as more than 70 student organizations. Student athletes can participate in NCAA Division II athletics.
#21 Avila University
Students at Avila University arrive at campus in Kansas City, Missouri. A total of about 1,400 students attend the school each year, undergraduates and graduates. Bachelor’s and master’s programs are available in 36 concentrations such as a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology and a Master of Business Administration. Campus spans 50 acres and includes a fieldhouse, theatre, student union, and library. Students can choose to be a part of 40 student clubs such as the Student Social Work Association and Student Senate.
#22 Saint Louis University
The Roman Catholic University, Saint Louis University welcomes 13,500 students each year. In addition to the Saint Louis campus, the school maintains an additional campus in Madrid. It’s considered the second oldest Jesuit university in the United States. Campus includes the Pius XII Memorial Library, the Clock Tower, the School of Law, and the Saint Louis University Museum of Art. Students can choose from over 100 programs and 80 postgraduate programs. Athletics belong in the NCAA Division I including sports like soccer, baseball, softball, cross country, and volleyball.
#23 Rockhurst University
Rockhurst University is a coeducational school in Kansas City, Missouri with Jesuit affiliations. Approximately 3,000 students attend the school each year. Rockhurst is accredited by both the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities as well as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students are encouraged to follow Jesuit principles of learning alongside public service. Campus includes the Quad, religious facilities, athletic centers, and community gathering areas. Student athletes participate in NCAA Division II athletics.
#24 William Jewell College
The four year-liberal arts school, William Jewell College, is located in Liberty, Missouri. The suburban college is home to 1,100 students each year. Once a Baptist-affiliated college, William Jewell today is independently run. Students choose from over 40 academic majors in addition to 10 professional programs. Athletes participate in NCAA Division II sports; the college also belongs to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Students can also participate in sororities and fraternities.
#25 Lindenwood University
Lindenwood University of Saint Charles, Missouri is a coeducational liberal arts school. Students totaling 12,200 can earn undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. Over 121 majors are available to students within 10 colleges. The school is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students can also aspire to honor societies and the Honors College. Extracurricular programs include Greek Life and NCAA Division II athletics.
#26 Missouri State University
Missouri State University, also referred to as MSU and MO State, is located in Springfield, Missouri. The public school of 26,000 students offers degrees such as a bachelor of science in business at a sister campus in Dalian, China. Undergraduates can choose from 150 programs and more than 45 programs are available to graduate students. The MSU College of Business has a reputation as the biggest business school in the Midwest. Students are encouraged to participate in the Study Away programs, which allows them to continue their study in all corners of the world. Athletic facilities includes the Plaster Sports Complex and the JQH Arena. Other student outlets includes the Darr Agricultural Center and the IDEA Commons (Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, and Art).
#27 Southeast Missouri State University
Approximately 12,000 students attend the public school of Southeast Missouri State University located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Additional campuses are located in southeast Missouri. The university has a long reputation for academic programs related to teacher education. Notable buildings on campus include the Foreign Language Building, Houck Field House, Houck Stadium, Kent Library, and the Seabaugh Polytechnic Building, in addition to many residence halls and academic buildings. Student athletes can participate in NCAA Division I sports. Students can also become active in Greek Life.
#28 University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri is home to the University of Missouri, or MU. Nearly 33,000 students attend the school each year, as undergraduates and postgraduates. Students are offered over 300 degrees from across 19 academic buildings. MU is well-regarded for its research facilities related to medicine, veterinary medicine, engineering, agriculture, and law. The school not only belongs to the Association of American Universities but also functions as a Doctoral/Research Extensive. One of the first of its kind, the Missouri School of Journalism was founded in 1908. Student athletes participate in NCAA Division I sports.
#29 Kansas City Art Institute
Kansas City Art Institute, or KCAI, enrolls about 600 students in its fine arts and design programs each year. The school is an accredited by the National Associaiton of School of Art and Design, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, anf the North Central Associaiton of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Common academic programs include graphic design, sculpture, creative writing, digital media, and photography. Students can participate in a number of on-campus events such as the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and Atkins Museum of Art.
#30 Drury University
The liberal arts college of Drury University is located in Springfield, Missouri. Each year, approximately 5,500 students attend, including almost 4,000 graduate students. Drury is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers 54 undergraduate majors. Professional programs are carried out at the Breech School of Business Administration, School of Education & Child Development, and the Hammons School of Architecture. Drury encourages student to study abroad, including a programs in Aegina, Greece.
#31 Missouri Western State University
Around 6,000 students attend Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph, Missouri, each year. An additional 120 students come to the school to earn master’s degrees. Student athletes can participate in NCAA Division II athletics such as baseball, football, golf, soccer, and tennis. Each summer, Missouri Western State University hoses the Kansas City Chiefs training camp.
#32 Westminster College – Missouri
Westminster College is a liberal arts undergraduate school located in Fulton, Missouri. Over 1,000 students attend the school each year to pursue degrees in 36 majors, 34 minors, and 12 professional programs. Westminster has consistently ranked high as a top liberal arts school in Missouri and all of the Midwest United States. All incoming freshmen are paired with two seminar mentors to guide their academic pursuits and ease the transition from high school. Students can participate in over 70 student clubs, including honor societies and Greek Life. Students are also encouraged to study abroad from a list of over 250 countries.
#33 University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri, or UCM, is located in Warrensburg, Missouri. Each year over 14,000 students attend the school, including undergraduates and graduates. The study body hails from 49 states and 59 countries. Students can choose from over 150 programs, in addition to 10 pre-professional programs and 37 graduate programs. Common majors include, political science, communication and sociology, music, criminal justice, educational leadership and human development, and elementary and early childhood education. Students also have the option of studying in over 150 countries.
#34 University of Missouri – Kansas City
The public research university known as the University of Missouri-Kansas City welcomes 16,000 students each year. Colleges within the university include the School of Biological Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, and the School of Pharmacy, among others. Students can choose between 8 sororities and 8 fraternities as a part of Greek Life. Student athletes participate at the NCAA Division I level. The school celebrates many traditions, including pie eating contests, skits, talents shows, and car rallies.
#35 Harris-Stowe State University
The historically black school known as Harris-Stowe State University is located in midtown, St. Louis. The four-year university welcomes 1,300 students each year to pursue degrees across 31 majors, minors, and special certificates. Schools include the Anheuser-Busch School of Business, College of Arts & Sciences programs, and the College of Education. Students can participate in dozens of clubs including honor societies, Greek Life, and sports teams belonging to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
#36 Lincoln University – Missouri
Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Missouri is considered a historically black college. The school welcomes in approximately 3,000 students each year to pursue both undergraduate and graduate coursework. Lincoln University belongs to NCAA Division II sports, including football, cross country, basketball, soccer, and track & field. Students can also become involved in marching band, student media, fraternities and sororities.
#37 Culver – Stockton College
The four-year liberal arts school known as Culver-Stockton College is located in Canton, Missouri. Each year, about 830 students come to the 140 acre-campus. Campus encompasses a science center, performing arts center, stadium and library. In addition to 12-week course sessions, students also participate in a 3-week intensive course that encourage domestic and international firsthand work experience. Academics are developed within the fields of business, education, applied arts, fine arts, natural sciences and mathematics, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and the nursing program. Students can become involved in sports affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as well as Greek Life and honor societies.
#38 Missouri Valley College
Nearly 1,800 students attend the liberal arts institution of Missouri Valley College. Campus spreads over 150 acres situated in Marshall, Missouri. Students can choose from 27 academic programs accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Studies include nursing and community counseling programs. Student athletes participate in sports through the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Greek Life is also available to students through four fraternities and three sororities.