Student Outcome Data

The Office of Assessment has used National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) to develop a transparency framework for university assessment. This Student Outcome Data page includes key data points that highlight priority items related to student achievement and outcomes.


The University’s regional accreditation is through the Higher Learning Commission. On a 10-year review cycle, Missouri State University has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or its predecessor, North Central Association since 1915. HLC accreditation is for the entire University not specific academic programs. HLC accreditation documents from the 2015 site visit and Notification of accreditation letters are available to view on the Accreditations page from the Office of the Provost.

Student characteristics

Missouri State takes pride in welcoming students from across the country and the world. In 2018, Bears originated from 49 states as well as territories of Puerto Rico, Military overseas, the Trust Territories and the Virgin Islands (2,623 students) and 73 foreign countries (1,226 students). The Enrollment page includes percentages of undergraduates by gender, in-state or out-of-state, age, income, and ethnicity.

Student achievement

The university measures student achievement through completion/graduation rates, retention rates, pass rates on licensure exams, student activity after graduation for both undergraduate and graduate programs, General Education assessment and outcomes from assessment of the Public Affairs Mission.

Completion/graduation rates

Missouri State strives to provide all students with the tools and help they need to complete their degree program. The university measures student success and progress through completion/graduation rates, which can be found on our Student Success page on the KPI Dashboard.

Retention rates

Another measure of student achievement is retention. To view retention rates of first-year undergraduate students visit the Key Performance Indicators Student Success page.

Licensure rates

The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) requires the university to report licensure rates as one of our State Performance Funding Measures. Additionally, some Missouri State students take certification or licensure exams and may be required to pass these exams prior to graduation. Examples are included below.

Discipline-specific exams

In many programs at Missouri State University, students are required to take discipline-specific standardized exams to demonstrate their mastery within those disciplines. The primary assessment tools used for this purpose are the ETS® Major Field Tests, the Area of Concentration Achievement Tests (ACAT), locally developed exams, and, in the past, the Praxis Series™.

Students after graduation


Data are collected at the close of each semester from baccalaureate recipients according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) First-Destination Survey Standards and Protocols. A Graduate Outcomes Survey was emailed to students and distributed at commencement and follow-up efforts continued for six months post-graduation. Sources of information on career outcomes include student surveys, employer and faculty surveys, LinkedIn, National Student Clearinghouse, and MSU enrollment databases for subsequent education, and phone calls to students. Career Services will continue to collect information through mid-November 2017 and compile for the final report to the state. MDHE has not yet published a due date. Currently, we have a knowledge rate* of 91.7% through our collection methods. We anticipate the positive career outcomes rate will improve through additional efforts.


At the end of each semester, degree recipients in the Graduate College are invited to participate in a voluntary exit survey that collects a variety of information about their experience at Missouri State, including their plans after graduation. This currently provides a knowledge rate of approximately 35-40%. For ease of reference, the career outcomes** data is presented using the NACE standards described above.

Career Outcomes Rates 2016 Summer 2016 Fall 2017 Spring 2017 Summer
Undergraduate degree recipients 82.5% 72.7% 74.2% pending
Graduate degree recipients 77.7% 69.9% 72.2% 76.7%

*Knowledge rate is, per the NACE definition, the "percent of graduates for which the institution has reasonable and verifiable information concerning the graduates’ postgraduation career activities."
**Career outcomes in this table include graduates who report full- or part-time work, continuing education, and military or volunteer service.

General Education assessment

Missouri State University's Council on General Education and Intercollegiate Programs (CGEIP), a Faculty Senate sub-committee, oversees General Education through two processes—Annual Reports and Periodic Reviews.

Additionally, the Office of Assessment has recently revised the University's Quality Initiative Project (QIP) for HLC accreditation to assess General Education. In May 2018, Assessment collected student work samples from Public Affairs courses in General Education and reviewed them using revised AAC&U rubrics developed for the general education goals of information literacy (general goal 6), collaboration (general goal 7), and social and behavioral sciences (general goal 8). View the results of the 2018 Human Cultures | Information Literacy Workshop.

Assessing the University's Public Affairs Mission

Seniors with at least 102 credit hours complete the Public Affairs Scale (PAS) as part of the Undergraduate Exit Survey. This internally developed and validated scale measures students' integration of the three themes of the university’s mission in public affairs. The reports below show results from seniors who took the PAS from Spring 2012 to Fall 2016. Additional information is available on the Student Work in Public Affairs page.

Beginning in 2013, Missouri State University developed a Quality initiative Project (QIP) to assess the Public Affairs Mission. The QIP is a system for assessing (not grading) student work related to the public affairs mission. In this project, we gathered student work across all disciplines to acknowledge students' understanding and integration of the themes of the Public Affairs mission and our diversity goals.


Through the Undergraduate Exit Survey and the Graduate College Exit Survey, students are surveyed regarding satisfaction with their experience at Missouri State. The following table shows results for undergraduate and graduate students in recent semesters.

Undergraduate Students

2018 Fall


2019 Spring


2019 Fall


2020 Spring


2020 Fall


Exiting undergraduate seniors responding satisfied/very satisfied to "How satisfied are you with the quality of instruction you received at Missouri State University?" 92% 90% 91% 92% 89%
Graduate Students

2016 Fall


2017 Spring


2017 Fall


2018 Spring


2018 Fall


Exiting graduate students who agree/strongly agree with the statement "I am satisfied that I chose to attend Missouri State University for graduate study." 90% 88% 95% 89% 90%

For more information, see the Key Performance Indicator page and the Consumer Information Annual Notice page.