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Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Facts

Last updated on March 26, 2017

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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. John Jasinski
  • Northwest’s main 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 graduate and completion degrees in education and business
  • Northwest-St. Joseph at the Historic Green Acres Building offers graduate degrees in education, business and science

Enrollment Statistics

(Based on fall 2016 enrollment data)
  • 6,530 students
  • 5,628 undergraduate
  • 36% out-of-state
  • 10% international enrollment
  • 13% domestic students of color enrollment
  • Students represent 39 states and 35 countries
  • Average ACT Score: 22.5
  • Average High School GPA: 3.38
  • Average Admissions Index: 129.72

Academic Information

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest offers 127 undergraduate majors, 73 minors, 18 pre-professional programs, 40 graduate programs, five graduate certificate programs, three certificate programs, three specialist programs and a cooperative doctorate in educational leadership with the University of Missouri-Columbia.
  • Operates on trimester academic calendar
  • 71% freshman retention rate, considerably higher than national and regional averages
  • 97% of undergraduates and 99% of graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, based on 2013-14 data
  • Northwest's student loan default rate is 8.0%, compared to the Missouri average of 11.5% and national average of 11.3%
  • 59% graduation rate, which is in the 89th percentile of Northwest's national peer group
  • Average class size of 27
  • 74% 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
  • 50% of Northwest’s regular courses are web enhanced
  • 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • 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 $7,300 during their four-year academic career.

Student Life

  • 90% of first-year students at Northwest rate their experience as “good” or “excellent,” and 87% of seniors said they would choose Northwest again if they could start over their college career, according to findings in the 2012 National Survey of Student Engagement
  • 41% of students live on campus
  • 83% of students actively participate in one or more of Northwest’s 150-plus student organizations
  • 14% of students participate in Greek Life
  • Students have about 1,200 opportunities to build their resumes on campus through student employment
  • Northwest was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Northwest has been named to the honor roll six times since its inception in 2006.


  • Division: NCAA Division II
  • Conference: Mid‑America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) 
  • Mascot: Bobby Bearcat
  • Colors: Green and White
  • Men’s varsity sports: football, basketball, baseball, track and field, cross country and tennis
  • Women’s varsity sports: basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, track and field, cross country, tennis and golf
  • 79% Student-Athlete Academic Success Rate
  • 62% 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
  • 2013 Bearcat football starting quarterback Trevor Adams named Division II's male student athlete of the year
  • Women's basketball team advanced to the 2011 NCAA Division II Final Four
  • 2010, 2012 and 2013 Universal Cheerleaders Association national champions
  • 1998, 1999, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2016 NCAA Division II football national champions, four-time national runner-up 
  • In 2017, the men's basketball program won its first NCAA Division II national championship; it made Northwest the first Division II institution and the third in NCAA history to win national championships in football and men's basketball in the same academic year.


  • More than 70,000 alumni and friends
  • 20 Alumni Chapters throughout the United States and one in Japan
  • In FY16, The Northwest Foundation raised $7.5 million, which included nearly $6.1 million in cash contributions, and awarded a record $856,000 in scholarship to 1,210 students.
  • Prominent alumni include Jean Jennings Bartik, who helped program the world's first electronic computer.