The Best Universities in Missouri

Published: November 6, 2014

If you are considering what college to attend this list will definitely help! I have ranked the top universities in Missouri based on: enrollment figures, academic rankings and graduation rates among other things.

  1. Washington University in St. Louis

     is at the top of the list of best colleges in the state of Missouri and is ranked among the top 15 colleges nationwide! WashU has some of the top graduate programs in the country. They boast the #1 social work program, the #2 occupational therapy program, and the #3 physical therapy program in America. Hats off to the Bears! WashU's Danforth campus, as well as its smaller North campus, is situated in the thriving St. Louis suburb of University City. The Academic Gothic architectural style of buildings gives this private school's enclosed campus a very rustic feel.  The Danforth campus hosted the 1904 Summer Olympics and the adjacent Forest Park was the location of the 1904 World’s Fair. 

  2. Saint Louis University

    This campus' urban setting in Midtown St. Louis puts students at the heart of the city's arts district.  is the oldest institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River. Its rich history of pioneering firsts helped it to earn a ranking among the top 35% of all 281 national universities. During the 2013 fiscal year SLU awarded $335,582,409 in scholarships. In 2014 SLU spent 53.1 million dollars in research support. This private institution has an endowment of close to one billion dollars, with an alumni network of 118,956 graduates across all 50 states and abroad!

  3. University of Missouri- Columbia

     is the flagship university within the state of Missouri with just under 35 thousands students enrolled in fall 2012. Its huge 1,262 acre campus has more than 300 hundred buildings, 23 of which or residence halls. This 175 year old institution has 18 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Even more interestingly is that the campus is a designated botanical garden! Mizzou has 20 Division I varsity Teams and is the newest member of the Southeastern Conference. School spirit runs deep in this alma mater, which led to the first homecoming celebration in America history taking place in 1911.

  4. Truman State University

    Founded in 1867 in Kirksville, MO Truman State has been referred to as, “The Harvard of the Midwest.” In 2014  was ranked among the top ten public universities by USA Today! Truman is known for its high quality education at a great value and attracts very intelligent students earning it the #30 spot on Business Insider's list of "The 104 Smartest Public Colleges in America." In 1914 Truman received accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university has received countless national recognition for its affordability and superb academics. 

  5. Webster University

    The main campus of is located about 40 minutes from downtown St. Louis in the city of Webster Groves. The school will celebrate its centennial in 2015, and within this time has earned the current ranking of the 21 among regional universities in the Midwest by US News! With only around 5,300 students at this private college the classes are very personalized.  The school has 14 Division III athletic teams but its biggest point of pride is the #1 ranked Division I Chess team in nation.

  6. University of Missouri- Kansas City

    was formed when the formerly private University of Kansas City joined the University of Missouri System in 1963. Now, according to The Princeton Review, UMKC is one of the best 159 colleges throughout the Midwest! There are more than 15,000 students enrolled. The Henry W. Bloch School of Management has received several national recognitions, and in 2011 was ranked #1 in the world for innovation management research. If you are interested in a health profession then UMKC is a good place to consider. Its online graduate nursing program is ranked #10 nationwide, while its School of Pharmacy is ranked #37. 

  7. University of Missouri- St. Louis

    is the youngest institution in the University of Missouri System. It was established in 1960 as the Normandy Residency Center located on the former grounds of the Bellerive Country Club.  Going through the campus seeing its sloping hills and open grass lawns is reminiscent of being on an 18 whole golf course. UMSL has the third largest student enrollment in the state, and is the largest of all higher education institution in greater St. Louis area. This commuter school has three different Metro Link train stops on its campus. Its brand new student recreation center is set to open in fall 2015!

  8. Northwest Missouri State University

    was established in 1905 at Maryville, MO. On U.S. News and World Report’s list of “2015 Best Colleges” it is ranked #1 moderately selective regional university in Missouri! Based on data from 2012-13 data, 97.5% of NWMSU graduates find employment or go to graduate school within 6 months of graduating. The university has a strong Division II athletic program with its football team competing in the past five national championships and winning the title in 2009 and 2013! In 2012 and 2013 NWMSU won the Universal Cheerleaders Association national championship. The Bearcats are ranked in the top five Division II schools for academics excellence.

  9. Rockhurst University

    is coeducational research institution, and was founded in 1910 in Kansas City, MO. Since its inception over 100 years ago, Rockurst has remained a Jesuit school. It is 1 of 28 member schools of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The total number of students enrolled is 2,801 with a 4-year graduation rate of 61% and a low student to faculty ratio of 13:1. They offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs. Academics are based on the seven classical modes of inquiry: artistic, historical, literary, philosophical, theological, scientific relational and scientific causal.

  10. University of Central Missouri

    UCM is in Warrensburg, MO about 50 miles away from Kansas City. Its campus is relative small consisting of 1,561 acres. The school first opened its doors in 1871 and has grown in enrollment to serve nearly 0 students from 49 states and 59 countries! UCM has a good job placement rate, as 92% of their graduates are employed within six months of earning a degree. There are 17 Division II varsity athletic teams. The school’s mascot, Mo the Mule, is indicative of the hard working tradition amongst its students and faculty.13,00

With all things considered Washington University in St. Louis is the best school in Missouri, but Saint Louis University is a close runnerup! Both of these are private institutions that are heavily research based. Truman State University is without a doubt the best public institution on this list and where you will get the most bang for your buck!