The University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Mo., as the first public university west of the Mississippi River and the first state university in Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase territory. MU provides all the benefits of two universities in one — it's a major land-grant institution and Missouri's largest public research university.
Considered one of the nation's top-tier institutions, Mizzou has a reputation of excellence in teaching and research, and is the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System. It is one of only 34 public universities, and the only public institution in Missouri, to be selected for membership in the Association of American Universities. MU offers more than 280 degree programs — including more than 75 online degree options — and is designated as comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Mizzou is recognized nationally and receives top rankings for its programs in many areas, including journalism, dispute resolution, family and community medicine, campus writing program and Freshman Interest Groups. As one of only six public universities in the country with medicine, veterinary medicine and law all on one campus, MU provides Missouri with an educated work force of doctors, veterinarians and lawyers.
Mizzou has a diverse enrollment with more than 33,000 students from every county in Missouri, every state in the nation and 115 countries.The favorite classroom for the best and brightest, Mizzou attracts more valedictorians, Curators Scholars and twice as many of the state’s Bright Flight Scholars than any other college or university in Missouri. Nearly one-third of freshmen come from the top 10 percent of their high school classes.
Designated as a botanic garden, MU’s 1,250-acre main campus features more than 5,000 trees and 650 varieties of plants. A number of University buildings also are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Money magazine, Men's Journal, MSN.com and others have all called Columbia, Mo., one of America’s best places to live because of its excellent quality of life. Mizzou is by far the largest employer in the area with more than 13,000 full-time employees.
Citizens across the state connect with Mizzou by participating in Extension programs in every county, visiting MU Health Care specialists, competing in state competitions in MU facilities and by cheering on the Missouri Tigers at athletic events. A member of the Southeastern Conference, Mizzou features the state’s only division I-A athletic program, where student-athletes in 20 sports compete at the highest level nationally.