10 Best Colleges in Missouri
The Ozark State is known for far more than the famed Gateway Arch, the Twin Cities, barbeque, and top sports teams. Yes, Missouri is also the place where some of the top colleges and the universities in the U.S.—and the world—enroll thousands of students every year.
So, without further ado, here’s CollegeVine’s ranked list of the top 10 colleges and universities in Missouri.
Our Ranking Methodology
When constructing our list of the 10 best colleges in Missouri, we primarily focused on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). Additionally, we examined data such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance, among many others. You can check out our full rankings here.
Best Colleges in Missouri
1. Washington University in St. Louis | WashU
Location: Saint Louis
Acceptance Rate: 15%
Middle 50% SAT: 1470-1570
Middle 50% ACT: 32-35
Undergrad Enrollment: 7,700
Across the schools and colleges of Architecture, Business, Art, Arts & Sciences, and Engineering, undergraduates pursue a wide range of disciplines at WashU, a top-15 U.S. News ranked university. The school has graduated notable researchers, physicians, authors, actors, and many other esteemed professionals.
Approximately 80% of undergraduate students pursue multiple majors and/or minors. Students also gain global perspectives and pursue interests beyond the classroom, with roughly a third studying abroad.
“We are a community where you can be an individual and achieve exceptional things,” the university says. “We are committed to learning and exploration, to discovery and impact.”
2. Saint Louis University | SLU
Location: Sain Louis
Acceptance Rate: 58%
Middle 50% SAT: 1180-1370
Middle 50% ACT: 25-31
Undergrad Enrollment: 9,700
One of the oldest Catholic universities in the U.S., SLU was founded in 1818. Today, it has a sister campus in Madrid, Spain. Offering 89 undergraduate majors, SLU is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 programs for 15 of its graduate and undergraduate programs by U.S. News.
Community service is central to an SLU education—the community provides more than 1.6 million service hours every year, contributing to its reputation for making a difference.
3. St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Location: Saint Louis
Acceptance Rate: 71%
Middle 50% SAT: 1108-1313
Middle 50% ACT: 24-28
Undergrad Enrollment: 300
Founded in 1864 as University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is dedicated to educating future pharmacists. STLCOP is home to the larger university’s flagship Pharm.D. programs, which prepare students who enter as undergraduates or as P1s.
STLCOP is the third-oldest and 10th-largest college of pharmacy in the nation. Along with the larger university, it seeks to educate the “whole student” through a challenging, healthcare-focused curriculum.
4. College of the Ozarks
Location: Point Outlook
Acceptance Rate: 12%
Middle 50% SAT: 1193-1300
Middle 50% ACT: 21-26
Undergrad Enrollment: 1,500
Founded in 1906, College of the Ozarks was initially a high school, then a junior college, before becoming a four-year college in 1965. Now, there are more than 30 undergraduate majors across fields like agriculture, child studies, conservation and wildlife management, hospitality management, theatre, and more.
College of the Ozarks embraces a unique approach to education, offering the opportunity for full-time students to work at one of 100+ campus jobs or industries to help pay for their tuition, while the remaining portion of expenses is covered by scholarships. That means students graduate debt-free.
5. University of Missouri | Mizzou
Acceptance Rate: 78%
Middle 50% SAT: 1090-1290
Middle 50% ACT: 23-29
Undergrad Enrollment: 22,400
Offering more than 300 degree programs across 12 schools and colleges, UM Mizzou provides hands-on learning opportunities, study abroad, alumni mentorships, and much more. Over 93% of graduates have a successful career outcome six months after spring graduation. UM Mizzou is governed by a Code of Conduct upholding the university’s mission and values. Outside of the classroom, it is well known for its D1 Tigers, especially its top-ranking football team.
6. Webster University
Location: Saint Louis
Acceptance Rate: 56%
Middle 50% SAT: 1008-1243
Middle 50% ACT: 21-27
Undergrad Enrollment: 3,000
Across 50 residential, metro, military, and international locations, Webster offers an inclusive, accessible education. The university is comprised of five colleges and schools and offers in-person, online, and hybrid programs. Students can also choose between semester and 8- or 9-week course options. The school was also ranked among U.S. News’ Best Colleges for Veterans.
7. Drury University
Acceptance Rate: 68%
Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1280
Middle 50% ACT: 22-29
Undergrad Enrollment: 1,400
Drury seeks to help students become “flexible, innovative, and creative problem solvers.” Small class sizes, robust study abroad programs, and more than 70 majors and programs are just some of the perks of attending the university.
One of the first universities in Missouri to offer continuing education and evening courses, today, Drury has many unique characteristics. Its Master of Architecture program is one of few liberal-arts-based architecture programs in the U.S. Meanwhile, its communication, arts administration, and education departments offer a “4+1” program that allows students to earn their bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in five years. Outside of the classroom, students participate in an award-winning orchestra, a World Cup-winning Enactus team, and much more.
8. William Jewell College
Acceptance Rate: 46%
Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1270
Middle 50% ACT: 22-29
Undergrad Enrollment: 800
Jewell’s philosophy is based on three pillars: Critical Thinking, Community, and Meaningful Lives. The college seeks to help students grapple with diverse ideas and find their purpose through their education. Along with traditional pathways, Jewell has several unique programs, including two honors programs. It also offers a three-year accelerated degree that allows undergraduates to complete their degrees early.
9. Truman State University | TSU
Acceptance Rate: 65%
Middle 50% SAT: 1080-1358
Middle 50% ACT: 24-30
Undergrad Enrollment: 5,500
Exemplary liberal arts and sciences distinguish TSU as a university. The school embraces a holistic approach to education, evidenced by its strong learning outcomes. The university has top academic programs, along with more than 230 clubs and organizations. TSU has been ranked the #1 public school in the Midwest for 25 years by U.S. News. It has also been named a top 10 “Best Buy” public school by Fiske Guide to Colleges.
10. Rockhurst University
Location: Kansas City
Acceptance Rate: 66%
Middle 50% SAT: 1110-1255
Middle 50% ACT: 22-27
Undergrad Enrollment: 2,300
Established in 1910, Rockhurst continues to adhere to the Jesuit tradition it was founded on, while offering programs across more than 50 areas, under the umbrellas of Business & Leadership, Communication, Education, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Humanities, Performing & Visual Arts, Service, and STEM.
Along with academics, Rockhurst instills a commitment to leadership and service in their students, while also emphasizing lifelong learning.
What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?
Hoping to attend a top school in Missouri or somewhere else in the country? In order to find out your real chances of admission, check out CollegeVine’s free chancing engine, which will take into account your personal statistics—plus give you free tips to improve your odds.
Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list of colleges inside and outside of Missouri. By providing your odds of acceptance, you can strategically assign safety, target, and reach schools and put yourself in the best position to get into a college that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!