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Missouri’s higher education system includes 13 public, four-year universities, such as the University of Missouri, 19 public two-year college, 25 independent colleges and universities, and more than 150 private for- and non-profit schools. The higher education system, which serves more than 408,000 students statewide, is coordinated by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The department is responsible for evaluating student and institutional performance, reviewing institutional missions, developing specialization among schools, creating a unified public higher education budget request to the governor and state assembly, approving of new degree programs offered at public schools, and more. In addition to its other duties, the department administered about $91 million in state financial aid to more than 72,000 students, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education.
The University of Missouri – Columbia is the largest public university by enrollment in the state and the flagship campus of the University of Missouri system. The university, founded in 1839, serves more than 33,700 students at its 1,250-acre campus in Columbia, Mo. It offers more than 280 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in journalism, economics, English, health care management, fine arts, computer science, and more. In its 2012 Best Colleges report, the U.S. News & World Report placed the University of Missouri – Columbia at No. 39 in its ranking of the top public schools in the country. The University of Missouri also offers more than 80 accredited online degree programs, including a bachelor’s degree in health sciences, master’s degrees in education and health management, and a doctorate in nursing.
Founded in 1906, Missouri State University awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to its more than 20,000 students at its campus in Springfield, Mo. The U.S. News ranked Missouri State University at No. 14 in the top public schools in the Midwest, and it placed the schools audiology graduate program at No. 57 in the country. Missouri State University’s academic programs are offered through its six colleges, including the College of Education, College of Business, College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Arts and Letters. The university also offers online bachelor’s degree completion programs in technology management, nursing, technology management, and criminology and criminal justice, as well as fully online master’s degree programs in history, business administration, early childhood and family development, and administrative studies.
With an enrollment of approximately 11,300 students, Southeast Missouri State University is Missouri’s fifth largest public, four-year university. Founded in 1873, Southeast Missouri State University offers more than 200 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in accounting, computer information systems, computer science, engineering, nursing, pre-law, political science, and more. The U.S. News placed Southeast Missouri State University at No. 22 in its ranking of the top public schools of the Midwest region. In addition to its on-campus offerings, the university also offers bachelor’s business administration, technology management, nursing, and interdisciplinary studies, and master’s degrees in business administration, organizational management, secondary education, teaching English to speakers of other languages, and criminal justice. In its ranking of the top online programs, the U.S News placed Southeast Missouri State University at No. 11 for faculty credentials and training and No. 34 for student engagement and accreditation of the top online business programs.