A-Z Index


Last updated Feb. 2, 2024

The Location

  • Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year university located in Maryville, Mo. (population: 11,972)
  • Founded in 1905
  • President: Dr. Lance Tatum
  • Northwest’s main Maryville campus: 370 acres
  • Northwest’s campus is designated the Missouri Arboretum
  • University Farm: 448 acres
  • Rural lakefront: 315 acres
  • Northwest-Kansas City, in Gladstone, Missouri, offers and hosts professional development programming

Enrollment Statistics

(Based on fall 2023 enrollment census data)
  • 9,664 students (an institutional record)
  • 5,599 undergraduate
  • 34% out-of-state
  • 11% international enrollment
  • 12% domestic minority enrollment
  • Students represent 46 states and 34 countries
  • Average ACT Score: 20.7 (Northwest is a test-blind institution)
  • Average High School GPA: 3.46

Academic Information

  • Fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1921. 
  • A moderately selective institution, which means 80 percent of students must, on average, meet admission standards; Northwest is one of four such institutions in Missouri.
  • Offers 104 undergraduate majors and 87 minors within its bachelor degree programs, 34 master's degree programs, seven certificate programs and three specialist programs.
  • Operates on semester academic calendar
  • 79.5% freshman retention rate, considerably higher than national and regional averages
  • 97.4% of undergraduates and 99.1% of graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.
  • Northwest's student loan default rate is 1.6%, compared to the Missouri average of 1.3% and national average of 2.3%
  • 59% graduation rate, which is in the 89th percentile of Northwest's national peer group
  • Average class size of 27 with a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • 78% of Northwest classes have fewer than 30 students, 44% have fewer than 20
  • 261 full-time faculty members
  • 95% of tenure and tenure-track faculty have the highest degree in their field
  • 100% of classes taught by professionals, not graduate assistants
  • 90% of Northwest’s regular courses are web enhanced
  • Laptops and textbooks are included in tuition at Northwest, ensuring all students have access to the tools they need to be successful in the classroom. Northwest launched its textbook rental program in 1922 and the laptop rental program in 2005; the programs save students nearly $6,800 during their four-year academic career.

Student Life

  • 80% of Northwest students report they would repeat their Northwest experience, compared to 77% of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions, according to results of the 2021 Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory.
  • 41% of students live on campus
  • Over half of students actively participate in one or more of Northwest’s 150-plus student organizations
  • 14% of students participate in Fraternity and Sorority Life.
  • Students have about 1,200 opportunities to build their resumes on campus through student employment


  • Division: NCAA Division II
  • Conference: Mid‑America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) 
  • Mascot: Bobby Bearcat
  • Colors: Green and White
  • Men’s varsity sports: basketball, baseball, cross country, football, tennis, and track and field
  • Women’s varsity sports: basketball, cross country, golf, softball, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball
  • 79% Student-Athlete Academic Success Rate
  • 60% Student-Athlete Graduation Rate
  • 3.2 grade-point average among all student-athletes
  • Led MIAA in 2016 with 112 Northwest student-athletes receiving Division II Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award for earning a cumulative 3.5 grade-point average or higher for at least two years.
  • Two Northwest men's basketball players have received the Bevo Francis Award, declaring them the top player in all of small college basketball, Justin Pitts in 2016-17 and Trevor Hudgins in 2021-22.
  • 1998, 1999, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2016 NCAA Division II football national champions, making them the most of any Division II football program, and a four-time national runner-up (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
  • 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022 NCAA Division II men's basketball national champions, becoming the first Division II program to win three consecutive national championships in men's basketball. (The tournament was not played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
  • In 2016-17, Northwest became the first Division II institution to win national championships in football and men's basketball in the same academic year.
  • 14 individual national champions in indoor and outdoor track and field
  • Women's basketball team advanced to the 2011 NCAA Division II Final Four
  • 2010, 2012 and 2013 Universal Cheerleaders Association national champions


  • More than 80,000 alumni and friends
  • The Northwest Foundation awarded a record $1.5 million in financial assistance through 1,467 scholarships during FY23.
  • Northwest Foundation concluded FY21, its 50th anniversary, with the closure of its seven-year Forever Green campaign, which raised more than $55 million and exceeded its $45 million goal.
  • The Office of University Advancement is a two-time recipient, in 2017 and 2018, of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Educational Fundraising Award, presented to superior fundraising programs at educational institutions across the country.
  • The Foundation’s total assets under management are valued at about $45.5 million, while its endowment stands at about $34.3 million.
  • Prominent alumni include Jean Jennings Bartik, who helped program the world's first electronic computer.


  • Northwest is ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top public regional universities in the Midwest.
  • Northwest is nationally competitive in a variety of academic fields, having received multiple national awards and championships in forensics, business education, radio broadcasting and journalism, and agricultural sciences.
  • 2018 recipient of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. Northwest, which also earned the McAuliffe Award in 2006, is just the third institution in the nation to earn the award two times since its inception in 2002.
  • Winner of American Association of State Colleges and Universities Excellence and Innovation Awards in 2021 for Campus Pandemic Response, 2019 for Student Success and College Completion, in 2017 for Sustainability and Sustainable Development and in 2015 for International Education.
  • Safewise ranked the city of Maryville among the "Safest College Towns" for three consecutive years, and Your Local Security names Northwest the "Safest College Campus" in Missouri.
  • Named one of the “50 Most Amazing University Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in the U.S.” by
  • School of Business ranked among top 100 business schools by
  • Named Military Friendly School by Victory Media for 12 consecutive years, representing the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country for delivering the best experience for military students.
  • In 1987, Northwest became known as "The Electronic Campus" by implementing the first comprehensive networked campus in the nation at a public university.
  • The Horace Mann Laboratory School and the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families provide a clinical experience for pre-service teachers and a diverse and interactive learning environment for children ages three through sixth grade. The International Association of Laboratory Schools recognized the schools in 2021 with its award for outstanding laboratory schools. 
  • The School of Agricultural Sciences offers students hands-on experience at its 448-acre R.T. Wright Farm, which is home to beef, swine, dairy, poultry and sheep herds, as well as row, silage and hay crops. Students also gain experience at the campus orchard, Horticulture Complex, a composting facility and on the campus grounds as the Missouri State Arboretum.
  • The School of Communication and Mass Media offers students profession-based experience through two campus radio stations, a campus TV station, a semi-independent broadcast production company, and award-winning student publications including a newspaper, yearbook and online magazine. Both the Tower yearbook, an 12-time Pacemaker recipient, and The Northwest Missourian, a two-time Pacemaker recipient, are members of the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame.