Admission Requirements

Op5.01-3 Freshman Admission Requirements

Policy statement

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 completed courses for college credit, you must also have at least a 2.00 grade point average on those courses. Students are required to provide transcripts from each regionally-accredited college or university where they have enrolled as part of the admission process.

Homeschooled students should refer to the admission policy for homeschooled students. Students who receive a high school equivalency diploma should refer to the admission policy for students with a high school equivalency diploma.

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

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

High school core curriculum

The high school core curriculum requirement is based on recommendations of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

English/Language Arts

Four units of coursework that emphasizes 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: yearbook, dramatics, mass media.


Three units of coursework that emphasizes college preparatory algebra and other content of comparable or greater rigor. Students who complete algebra prior to their freshman year must complete three additional units in grades 9-12. Four units of mathematics 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, finance.

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.
Unacceptable courses: general science, consumer science, environmental studies.

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 a combination of two or more of the areas listed above or computer science (if algebra I is a prerequisite). 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).

Additional details

For additional details please contact your high school counselor or the Office of Admissions.

Selection index

If you successfully complete the high school core curriculum (listed above) before graduating 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 60 and your GPA is 3.30, 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.
  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 same example from Step 1, a student with a class rank percentile of 60 and a GPA of 3.30 would need either an ACT composite of 19 or higher or an SAT total of 980 or higher.
    Class Rank Percentile GPA
    (on a 4.00 scale)
    ACT Composite SAT Total (sum of evidence-based reading and writing score and math score)
    75 or higher 3.50 or higher 17 900
    71 to 74 3.41 to 3.49 18 940
    64 to 70 3.25 to 3.40 19 980
    56 to 63 3.04 to 3.24 20 1020
    48 to 55 2.85 to 3.03 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

    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: 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].

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.

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

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.