Freshman Admission Requirements

Op5.01-3 Freshman Admission Requirements

You will qualify for admission to Missouri State if you are (or will be) a graduate of an accredited high school and meet both the core curriculum and selection index requirements described below.

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 section of this policy.

High school core curriculum

The high school core curriculum requirement is based on recommendations of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. Students who earn high school credit for courses taken prior to their freshman year will receive credit toward high school core requirements if the previously earned credit is included on their official high school transcript.

English/Language Arts

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.

Social studies

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.

Acceptable courses: biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, botany, zoology, integrated science, physical science, earth science, environmental science.
Unacceptable courses: general science, consumer science.

Fine arts

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.

Academic electives

Three units.

Acceptable courses: Must be selected from foreign language and/or the areas listed above or computer science. Two units of a foreign language are strongly recommended.
Unacceptable courses: physical education, accounting, family studies, keyboarding, vocational courses.

Additional electives

Additional elective credit to bring total to 24 units (required of Missouri high school graduates).

Selection index

If you successfully complete the high school core curriculum upon graduation from high school, you will qualify for admission if you meet the requirements in the scale below.

How to use this scale

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
    Class Rank Percentile GPA
    (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 21 1060
    40 to 47 2.63 to 2.84 22 1100
    34 to 39 2.50 to 2.62 23 1130
    Below 34 Below 2.50 Not admissible
  3. 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.

Other student types

Students with transfer credit

If you have completed courses for college credit during high school or after, you are required to provide transcripts from each regionally-accredited college or university where you have enrolled as part of the admission process.

If you have completed college credit at another college or university following graduation from high school (with the exception of the summer immediately following your graduation), you will be considered a transfer student. Transfer student admission requirements are determined by the number of credit hours you have completed at the time of application:

  • Transfer students with fewer than 24 hours of college credit must meet the requirements of this freshman admission policy.
  • Transfer students with 24 hours or more of college credit must instead meet the requirements of the transfer admission policy.

Homeschooled students

Homeschooled students should refer to the admission policy for homeschooled students.

Students with high school equivalency diploma

Students who receive a high school equivalency diploma (e.g., GED) should refer to the admission policy for students with a high school equivalency diploma.

International students

Eligibility of international students is determined by the international student undergraduate admission policy.

Students who graduated three or more years ago

Students who graduated from high school three or more years previously are exempt from the selection index and core requirements.

Right to limit enrollment

The university reserves the right to limit enrollment and to admit students on a space-available basis. Students are encouraged to apply early.

Freshman admission alternatives

As a selective admission institution, our objective 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 or call 417-255-7955.


If you have questions, please call the Office of Admissions at 417-836-5517 or 800-492-7900, or write to: Office of Admissions, Missouri State University, 901 S. National Ave., Springfield, MO 65897.