To be considered for admission directly from an accredited high school, you must meet the following minimum high school coursework requirements and selection index.
Do I meet the high school core curriculum?
The high school core curriculum requirement is based on recommendations of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. If you earned high school credit for courses taken prior to your freshman year, you will receive credit toward high school core requirements if the previously earned credit is included on your official high school transcript.
Four units of coursework emphasizing college preparatory composition, research skills, analysis of literature, and other content of comparable or greater rigor. Speech and debate courses may be included.
Acceptable courses: English or language arts, literature, speech, debate, journalism (if writing intensive). Unacceptable courses: student publications, broadcast media, theater.
Three units of coursework emphasizing college preparatory algebra and other content of comparable or greater rigor are required. Four units are recommended.
Acceptable courses: algebra I, geometry, algebra II, trigonometry, pre-calculus, math analysis. Unacceptable courses: computer math/programming, pre-algebra, general math, consumer math, business math.
Three units of coursework emphasizing American history, Missouri government and Missouri history as required by state statute (Missouri residents only), geography/world civilizations, and other content of comparable or greater rigor.
Acceptable courses: world history, American history, American government, state/regional history, principles of democracy, civics, psychology, sociology, economics, political science, geography. Unacceptable courses: family relations, human development, consumer education, personal finance.
Three units emphasizing college preparatory biology, chemistry, and other content of comparable or greater rigor. One unit must be a laboratory course.
One unit emphasizing visual arts, instrumental or vocal music, dance, theater, or other content of comparable or greater rigor. Graduates of accredited Missouri high schools meet this through completion of the fine-arts requirement for graduation.
Acceptable courses: art, music (band, orchestra, choir, music appreciation or music theory), dance, drama, theatre appreciation. Unacceptable courses: speech, debate, mass media, arts and craft.
Additional elective credit to bring total to 24 units (required of Missouri high school graduates).
What's the selection index?
If you have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, then you meet the selection index requirements and a test score is not needed for admission purposes. If you do not have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, please refer to the selection index requirements described below.
Using your class rank percentile and GPA on a 4.00 scale (see below if your school does not use a 4.00 scale), determine which will place you higher on this scale. For example, if your class rank percentile is 40 and your GPA is 2.90, you would use the line based on your GPA. If your school does not rank, your GPA will be used to determine your eligibility. If your school provides both a weighted and an unweighted GPA, the highest will be used to determine your eligibility for admission. Students with a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher will be admitted without a test score on file.
Follow the line you identified in step 1 across the scale to determine the minimum ACT or SAT score you must have. Using the example above, a student with a class rank percentile of 40 and a GPA of 2.90 would need either an ACT composite or ACT superscore of 21 or higher or an SAT total or SAT total superscore of 1060 or higher.
A student who submits only one test score will be considered based on that score, either an ACT composite or SAT total. ACT composite is the average of the four subsection scores. SAT total is the sum of evidenced-based reading and writing score and math score.
A student who submits multiple scores will be considered based on ACT composite or superscore (calculated as the average of the highest ACT English, Reading, Math, and Science subject tests taken from all ACT tests taken and sent to the University), whichever is higher, or SAT total (sum of the evidence-based reading and writing score and math score) or superscore total (calculated as the highest combined evidence-based reading and writing score and highest math score from all SAT tests taken and sent to the university).
To calculate your class rank percentile: Subtract your rank in class from the number of students in your class then divide that number by the number of students in your class. For example, if you are ranked 24th in your class of 200, your class rank percentile is 88 [(200 - 24) ÷ 200 = 0.88 or 88th percentile].
If your school does not grade on a 4.00 scale: If your school uses a standard grading scale with an A or A+ at the top of the scale and an F equal to 0, convert your GPA to a 4.00 equivalent by multiplying your GPA by four and dividing that number by the scale your school uses. For example, if you have a 10.50 GPA on a 12.00 scale, your converted GPA equivalent is 3.50 [(10.50 x 4) ÷ 12 = 3.50]. If your school uses a percentage (100 point scale), this formula is not valid. Your GPA will be converted by the Office of Admissions when you apply.
Class Rank Percentile
(on a 4.00 scale)
ACT Composite or ACT Superscore
SAT Total or SAT Superscore Total
56 or above
3.00 or above
Test score optional
Test score optional
48 to 55
2.85 to 2.99
40 to 47
2.63 to 2.84
34 to 39
2.50 to 2.62
I don’t meet the selection index. Are there any alternatives?
As a selective admission institution, our goal is to admit students with demonstrated potential for academic success. We recognize that some students have potential for success not clearly evident through standard measures of class rank, grade point average and test scores. If you do not meet the requirements listed above, please review our freshman admission alternatives.
The Missouri State University system includes an open admission campus in West Plains. Students who do not qualify for admission to the Springfield campus may begin at the West Plains campus, which offers programs that enable students to transfer seamlessly to Springfield. For information on the West Plains campus, please visit WP.MissouriState.edu or call 417-255-7955.
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I’m not a freshman. What are my admission requirements?
You are considered a transfer student for admission purposes if you have enrolled in another regionally accredited college or university following your graduation from high school (excluding the summer immediately following your high school graduation), regardless of the number of credit hours you completed. Your eligibility for admission will be based on the number of transferable credit hours you have earned. Transferability of credit is determined by our undergraduate transfer credit policy.
If you have earned 24 or more hours of transferable credit following your graduation from high school, then you will qualify for admission if you have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher on your transferable credit.
If you have earned fewer than 24 hours of transferable credit following your graduation from high school, then you must meet our freshman admission requirements. You will also be required to participate in our freshman orientation program.
Students are required to provide transcripts from each regionally-accredited college or university where they have enrolled as part of the admission process.
Students who graduated from high school three or more years previously are exempt from the selection index and core requirements.
Students who have earned dual credit in high school are evaluated for admission under the freshman admission policy. All dual credit students must submit an application for admission and meet published deadlines to be considered for admission and scholarships.
If you are ready to come back to school, Adult Student Services staff will assist you through the admissions process. Adult students with no prior college since graduating from high school pursuing an undergraduate degree must meet the same high school core requirements as entering freshmen. The selection index requirement is waived if high school graduation was more than three years ago.
You might be on a less traditional high school route, such as homeschooling. If you choose to take the General Educational Development (GED) or the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) examination, you will be considered for admission based on your HiSET score and ACT (or SAT) scores according to the table below.
Are you 22 years of age or older and received a passing score on the GED or HiSET? Then you have received an equivalency diploma and are exempt from the ACT/SAT requirement.
Have you enrolled in another college or university after receiving your equivalency diploma? Then you will be considered for admission under the transfer admission policy.
GED - prior to 2014
GED - 2014 and forward
Test score optional
2820 - 4000
680 - 800
75 - 100
Test score optional
2790 - 2810
668 - 679
71 - 74
Test score optional
2690 - 2780
656 - 667
67 - 70
Test score optional
2590 - 2680
644 - 655
63 - 66
2480 - 2580
632 - 643
59 - 62
2400 - 2470
620 - 631
54 - 58
2310 - 2390
608 - 619
50 - 53
Passing scores required
*Sum of Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score and Math score.
Need information on taking the GED? Check out ged.com.