Missouri State University

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Academic Programs and Advisement

General Education Program

Students studyingAn essential component of Missouri State’s public affairs mission is our general education program. This program consists of a set of academic courses that provide students with: 

  • an opportunity to develop critical thinking, problem solving, and verbal and written communication skills, which are highly sought after by employers regardless of career area.
  • students a breadth of knowledge that not only prepares them to responsibly participate in society as an informed citizen, but also compliments the depth of knowledge they will obtain in more intensive major or minor studies. 
  • the ability to intelligently discuss, evaluate and create solutions to public affairs issues, which are often complex and rarely confined to a single academic discipline.

In addition, general education courses have other benefits.  These courses allow students to explore academic areas and interests they may have never studied before, like astronomy, gender studies, religious studies, philosophy and more.  They may also provide students with excellent opportunities for exploring career interests, particularly if they are in the process of choosing a major program of study.

For more detailed information about the general education program, including areas of study and a downloadable General Education Worksheet, please visit the general education program website.

Majors and Minors

Missouri State University offers over 150 undergraduate programs, which means students have a wide variety of options to explore and choose!  With so many options, students often have difficulty making decisions regarding their major program of study.  If this sounds like your student, neither your student should despair.  We have many resources available to help students with the major selection process.

Students who have not selected a major will be assigned a professional advisor from the Academic Advisement Center.  These highly-trained advisors will meet with your student at least once a semester to encourage students to gather information about themselves and their educational and career options.  He or she will recommend a variety of courses based on your student's interests and goals to help them explore their options.  Encourage your student to be honest with their advisor about their academic strengths and weaknesses and to share their ideas and concerns about choosing a major. 

The Career Center has several resources for exploring major and career options, such as:

If students search through our many major options and find that no one major fits their educational and career goals, they might consider creating an individualized major.  Individualized majors are intended for students with a clear sense of direction, motivation and strong concept of an educational program that will best serve his or her needs; it is not intended for students who simply cannot decide on an appropriate major.  Please visit the individualized majors website for more information.

We encourage students to use all the resources available to them to choose a major which is a good fit for them.

Three- and Four-Year Graduation Plans

Students at CommencementWhile the average time to earn a bachelor's degree is now over four years, many students and their families may have circumstances that require students to finish their degree in a timely manner.  In recognition of this, each department at Missouri State has developed three- and four-year graduation plans that students can follow to finish within their desired time frame. 

Please note: these plans do not take the place of proper academic advisement.  Students should discuss these plans in depth with their academic advisor each semester to ensure they are completing necessary graduation requirements.  These plans should also not be considered guarantees of graduation in three or four years; situations such as delaying course registration, failing or repeating courses, or other factors may affect course availablity or eligibility.

Academic Advisement

As many studies have shown, few aspects of the college experience impact student success more than academic advisement.  At Missouri State, academic advisement is much more than the process of selecting courses for a future semester; it is a process by which advisors support students in making well-informed decisions regarding their educational and professional activities and goals.  Advisors challenge students to choose academically rigorous courses and programs of study that help them explore their intellectual curiosities.  They also provide students with the individual attention needed to nurture personal growth and encourage students to take full advantage of the university experience by participating in co-curricular activities.

Missouri State's committment to providing excellent academic advising is an integral part of the campus culture.  Its intensive Master Advisor training program has received national recognition from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) as an "exemplary practice" and has been adopted by numerous institutions nationwide.  For over a decade, at least one academic advisor from Missouri State has received a national advising award from NACADA, with several years seeing multiple faculty and staff advisors recognized for their excellence.  

While faculty serve as advisors in most departments and colleges across campus, several areas have dedicated advisement centers staffed by professional advisors.  These advisement centers include:

Departments such as Communication Sciences and Disorders, Fashion and Interior Design, and Nursing also have professional advisors who assist declared students in their departments.

Undergraduate Catalog

The Missouri State University Undergraduate Catalog is an essential tool for students. This online resource contains the following information:

It is important that your student read and understand the information included in the Undergraduate Catalog, as it contains a lot of information about Missouri State University . The Catalog is often an excellent place to begin looking for information.