Admission Requirements and Deadlines

To be considered for admission directly from an accredited high school, students must meet the following minimum high school core requirements and selection index.

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 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, including one during the senior year. Students who complete algebra prior to their freshman year must complete at least three additional units in grades 9-12.

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 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 example above, 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 990 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 17 920
    71 to 74 3.41 to 3.49 18 960
    64 to 70 3.25 to 3.40 19 990
    56 to 63 3.04 to 3.24 20 1030
    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: 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.

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.

Still not sure?

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.

Admission information for other student groups

High school dual credit students

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.

Adult students

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.


Students who choose to take the General Educational Development (GED) or the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) examination will be considered for admission on the basis of their combined high school equivalency diploma test score and their ACT (or SAT) scores according to the table below.

Students who  are 22 years of age or older and who have received a passing score on the GED or HiSET and thus received an equivalency diploma are exempt from the ACT/SAT requirement.

Students who have enrolled in another college or university subsequent to receiving their equivalency diploma will be considered for admission under the transfer admission policy.

ACT Composite or SAT Total* GED - prior to 2014 GED - 2014 and forward HiSET
17   920 2820 - 4000 680 - 800 75 - 100
18   960 2790 - 2810 668 - 679 71 - 74
19   990 2690 - 2780 656 - 667 67 - 70
20   1030 2590 - 2680 644 - 655 63 - 66
21   1060 2480 - 2580 632 - 643 59 - 62
22   1100 2400 - 2470 620 - 631 54 - 58
23   1130 2310 - 2390 608 - 619 50 - 53
24   1160 Passing scores required

*Sum of Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score and Math score.

Information on taking the GED can be found at

Information on taking the HiSET can be found at

Students are encouraged to begin the process at least six months prior to the beginning of the semester for which they plan to apply.

Homeschooled students

Homeschooled students are evaluated for admission under the freshman admission policy as are other students and thus must meet both the core curriculum requirement and selection index requirement.

Homeschooled students are expected to provide detailed transcripts similar to those provided for traditionally-schooled students. The transcript must include the name of each class, the semester in which it was taken, the amount of credit it is worth, and the grade received. It should also include a cumulative grade point average. Transcripts sent prior to graduation must also include in-progress courses. A cumulative GPA must also be provided. The final transcript must show a graduation date. The university may request additional information or documentation to supplement the transcript.

Important deadlines

Date Deadline
  • May 1 - National Day of Decision
  • May 1 - Confirm intent to enroll by paying the $125 confirmation fee
June, July, August Attend SOAR (Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration)
July July 1 - Official final high school transcripts due to certify admission status and scholarship eligibility. Transfer must include graduation date.
  • August 16–18 - Welcome Weekend
  • August 19 - Classes begin