In order to provide prospective students with the best chance at having a great education, we have compiled this list of the top universities and colleges in Missouri. Some schools may excel at online programs while others may focus exclusively on the traditional, on-campus aspect of higher education. Regardless of the delivery format, these schools excel at providing a quality education for their students.
Online degrees can offer the same level of quality as those earned through traditional education in the classroom. In addition, online programs offer flexibility for those students who are juggling work, family, and who may otherwise be unable to attend on-campus classes. Thanks to online degrees and courses, more students can attend college and graduate, enriching the lives of various members of our society.
The following list is a ranking of the best schools in Missouri offering online and traditional on-campus programs and courses. These schools have a variety of options, including certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and even graduate degrees. Courses may be offered in the form of traditional, face-to-face learning, fully-online classes, and hybrid classes, mixing traditional, on-campus learning with online learning. Without further ado…
|1||City Vision University||Kansas City, Missouri|
|2||Truman State University||Kirksville, Missouri|
|3||Missouri State University-Springfield||Springfield, Missouri|
|4||Northwest Missouri State University||Maryville, Missouri|
|5||Southeast Missouri State University||Cape Girardeau, Missouri|
The Best Colleges in Missouri
City Vision University
City Vision University is a Christian University offering online bachelor’s degrees in business administration, nonprofit management, missions, Christian ministry and leadership, and addiction studies. CVU addiction courses qualify in most states for certified addiction counselor credits and they are approved by the Association for Addiction Professionals. Students in bachelor’s degree programs have to complete 120 credits, each course lasting eight weeks. CVU require online students to have university-approved proctors when taking tests in order to maintain the integrity of exams. The social service programs have an on-site training component which can also be completed as a supervised internship.
Truman State University
Founded in 1867, Truman State University was named after Harry S. Truman, former president of the United States. When it was founded, the school’s aim was to prepare school teachers through experiential learning. Today, TSU is one Missouri’s top public liberal arts colleges thanks to its selective admissions, courting only the state’s brightest and highest achieving students. Offering programs and degrees in the fields of engineering, medicine, law, and others, TSU is one of the best options when it comes to choosing a college.
Missouri State University-Springfield
Missouri State University-Springfield offers a variety of online certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs. The school makes sure their online students are well taken care of by allowing them access to financial aid, career counseling, technical support, and other resources. All online courses are delivered through Blackboard, where students can find their course syllabi, turn in assignments, and participate in class discussions. The school also offers on-campus and off-site test proctoring services, access to the school’s career center and library.
Northwest Missouri State University
Northwest Missouri State University offers fully-online degree programs. Classes can be taken during the fall and spring semesters or during the shorter summer terms. Through the school’s personal student home page, students can access their online classes, contact other students, contact their instructor, and access their assignments. Instructors can also give direct feedback through the course grade book.
Southeast Missouri State University
Founded in 1873, Southeast Missouri State University offers a number of program options for its online student population. The school offers 12 undergraduate degree programs, 17 graduate degree programs, 11 minors, 5 certificate programs, and two specialist degrees – all through their online school. Students going for the Bachelor of Arts in Social Science can choose one major and one minor concentration, with a focus on sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, psychology, history, or criminal justice. This program is not the only one with flexibility: the other bachelor’s programs in general studies and interdisciplinary studies let students choose an area of emphasis and shape degree programs according to their interests. Resources available to online students include access to an online writing lab and online advising.
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University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri offers a number of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as education specialist programs. Online courses are taught by the same professors who teach their on-campus counterpart. The school offers online students a number of resources such as financial aid, advising, technical support, and free tutoring through the Student Success Center. Online students will use Blackboard to access their online courses and student e-mail. Students can order textbooks, access grades, pay bills, and add/drop courses through MyCentral.
Originally established as the Logan College of Chiropractic, Logan University offers an online bachelor’s degree in human biology as well as an online bachelor’s degree in life science. The school also offers graduate programs and non-degree coursework online. Students in the human sciences major are prepared to either enter the workforce or continue their education in graduate programs in the fields of osteopathy, chiropractic, medicine, podiatry, or dentistry. Students are required to complete an internship/capstone project with a focus on health science, pre-dentistry, pre-allied health profession, or pre-med. Students who are enrolled at least half-time are eligible for financial aid. Other resources include academic guidance and free counseling for students and their dependents.
University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City provides their distance learning through a number of different formats including video, blended, instructor-led online asynchronous, online asynchronous, and online-campus. Some classes may be fully-online and others hybrid. Some options will require students to visit the campus. Depending on the individual course, the student will primarily learn independently from the instructor or learn as if they were in a classroom – except the material will be delivered via the Internet. Resources available to online students include tutoring in math, science, and writing.
University of Missouri-Columbia
The University of Missouri-Columbia offers a variety of online certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs. Online classes will require the same amount of work as on-campus classes. Keep in mind that online classes may actually require more reading since a lot of material will be learned at home. However, online classes are adjusted for the time you would usually spend in class and out of class, so the workload will balance out. Online students have access to various resources and work with their instructors to clear up any questions regarding lessons and assignments.
Originally founded in 1851 as a Christian women’s college, Columbia College currently operates in 36 extended campuses over 13 states in the country and Cuba. The school offers over 800 online courses for undergraduate students and a number of fully-online bachelor’s degree programs including American studies, public relations and advertising, human resource management, computer information systems, and international business. Students wishing to study in an RN to BSN program are also in luck, as the school offers a bachelor’s degree completion program in nursing. Online students have access to a number of resources such as library access, a math center, writing center, career services center, academic advising, and tutoring.
Founded in 1875, Park University provides over 15 bachelor’s degree programs online including public administration and leadership, education, information and computer science, and criminal justice. The school also offers business degree programs in management and business administration as well as a degree-completion program in nursing. Online students have access to a number of resources such as disability services, online tutoring, virtual sessions with writing tutors, and an online “student success resources” course meant to strengthen a student’s ability to take tests, write notes, and so on. All online classes are delivered through Canvas, the school’s learning management system.
Lindenwood University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs online. Online courses can be taken in an accelerated form if the student wishes. Lindenwood uses the Canvas learning management system to deliver assignments, exams, lectures, and class discussions. Online students also have access to a number of resources including library services, academic support, and counseling.
William Woods University
Established in 1870 as the Female Orphan School of the Christian Church of Missouri, William Woods University offers a variety of fully-online bachelor’s degree programs as well as graduate degree programs. Undergraduate students can complete either a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies or a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The school also offers graduate business programs and graduate education programs online. William Woods also offers transfer programs online including a Bachelor of Science in Interpretation Studies ASL-English Degree. Students who wish to be part of this program must have completed a two-year degree in ASL interpreting or an equivalent degree before applying to the program. Once the program is completed, students can receive National Interpreter Certification. Students at William Woods also receive a guarantee from the school that the cost of their tuition will not increase as long as they remain enrolled.
Founded by Congregationalist missionaries in 1873, Drury University was one of the first universities to accept both men and women, as well as being one of the first in their region to institute evening classes and outreach to working adults, making it a pioneer in adult and distance education. Drury has a highly diverse student body of 3,500+ students who come from various ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds. Even though the school is historically affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Drury operates as an independent, non-religious institution. Within six months of graduating, 96% of Drury graduates find a job or become part of a graduate program, making Drury University one of the best options for higher learning in Missouri.
Central Methodist University
Founded in 1854, Central Methodist University offers a number of online bachelor’s degrees and online graduate programs including health science, child development, computer science, behavior analysis, and master’s of science degrees in mathematics and nursing. The MS in mathematics, as well as other degree tracks, will require the students to take their exit exams on campus. Online classes can be taken in either eight-week or 16-week formats. The school offers a number of resources for online students like access to their career development center, writing center, IT help, academic advising, and orientation for students who are not familiar with how online classes work.
Webster University offers online programs for both full-time and part-time students residing not only in the country but internationally as well. The school also offers various certificate programs, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees for students to choose from. Even though all online classes are held to the same academic standard as on-campus classes, they are also tailored to fit the online learning experience. Online students have access to their courses through WorldClassRoom, which lets them connect with other students, communicate with the same faculty that teaches the courses on campus, and have access to their course materials anywhere, anytime.
Evangel University provides their online courses in an accelerated form in order to help students who are also working professionals. They offer online bachelor’s degrees in management and church ministry, as well as a number of other undergraduate and graduate programs. The management program focuses on organization, planning, and leadership in a business setting. Students in the church ministry program learn the ins and outs of being a minister and are prepared to work in leadership roles in the church. Most programs take about 20 months to complete and students are required to complete 60 credit hours before they are able to take classes in their major.
Maryville University of Saint Louis
Maryville University of Saint Louis offers certificate programs as well as undergraduate and graduate programs online. Online programs are made available through the school’s interactive learning platform. Classes are kept small in order to help students receive as much help from their instructors as possible. The instructors that teach the on-campus classes are the same ones who teach their online counterparts. Some of the online programs the school offers are in the fields of healthcare, technology, education, and others.
Established in 1858 in LaGrange, Missouri, Hannibal-LaGrange University moved to the city of Hannibal in 1928. Affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention, Hannibal-LaGrange University is a four-year university with a number of online programs. The school’s online bachelor programs include the ADVANCE business management degree completion program and a Bachelor of Science in nursing (RN to BSN). They also offer three master’s programs: a Master of Arts in Leadership, a Master of Education in Education Administration, and a Master of Science in Education. The school also offers a number of individual online courses. Online courses are three credit hours each and are offered in five-week and eight-week formats.
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University provides students the opportunity to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees online. Saint Louis also offers hybrid classes, allowing students to partake in the traditional classroom environment while enjoying the ease of access online courses provide. The school uses Blackboard to deliver their online courses, class discussions, assignments, course handouts, and exams. Instructors also have “virtual” office hours, which allow them to communicate with their online students in case they need help at any given time.
Missouri Baptist University
Established in 1957, Missouri Baptist University is an evangelical Christian liberal arts institution that offers fully-online bachelor degrees in sports management, healthcare management, organizational leadership, and general studies. Online students can usually complete their bachelor’s degree programs between 24 and 36 months due to the programs only requiring 120 hours of coursework. In order to complete their general education requirements, all students have to take classes in social and behavioral sciences, physical sciences, humanities, communication skills, mathematics, biological sciences, and the fine arts. Online students have access to resources through the school’s center for distance learning. All online classes are accessible through myMBULearn, the school’s online learning portal.
Culver-Stockton College offers online programs in sports management, business, and criminal justice. Students in the business program can choose to specialize in either management or accounting and finance. Students in the criminal justice program can earn credit based on any prior work experience relating to the field via portfolio applications. The school offers their online degrees in accelerated eight-week courses. Culver-Stockton College prides itself on having experienced faculty in charge of their online courses, providing students the necessary tools and help to succeed in their chosen careers.
Founded in 1833, Stephens College is the second-oldest women’s college in the nation and offers an online bachelor’s program in health information administration, which is a co-educational program. Apart from an internship, students can complete this degree completely online. Graduates can find employment in auditing, health records management, compliance, consulting, legal/privacy, and quality assurance. An additional plus for students wishing to live on campus is their pet-friendly atmosphere. Stephens College has made it easy for students to become pet foster parents by partnering with a local no-kill shelter, which makes this school a perfect place for animal lovers.
Fontbonne University is a Catholic institution with a number of online options with adult learners who need to keep working a full-time job while completing their schooling in mind. They have one undergraduate online program: a special education major with a paraprofessional pathway. They also offer a marketing minor, concentrations in finance and management, and a speech-language pathology assistant certificate for undergraduate online students. Graduate online students have the following programs available: education, instructional design and technology, an online MBA, supply chain management, and special education teaching with a paraprofessional pathway. Fontbonne also offers graduate students certificates in instructional design and technology, management and leadership, and supply chain management, as well as concentrations in reading education, management, and supply chain management – all online.
Any school from this list is an excellent place to begin your academic journey. Each of these colleges in Missouri has taken great care to provide the best academic experience that they can provide. We are always looking to make our lists and rankings stronger, to make sure that we are providing our readers with the most accurate information.
Top Colleges in Missouri Ranking Methodology
Our ranking process has focused primarily on the intersection of academic quality, the strength of their academic programs, and affordability. In addition to this, we have also taken into account the types of courses and degrees that are offered, the availability of academic and career counseling services, the availability of scholarships and financial aid to students, the quality of the faculty, including the faculty to student ratio, school accreditation, and a total return on investment.
We know that finding the best school to fit your unique needs can be a huge challenge. For that reason, we work hard to develop lists of the best schools based on the characteristics most important for you. Whether that be cost of attendance, student success, resources available, flexibility of schedule, or any other number of important factors, we’ve got you covered. For more information about our ranking process and to find lists of schools based on specific characteristics, check out our methodology page.
What do you think? Are there any colleges we missed that you believe deserve consideration for a future list. If so, please contact us today!