Missouri Western State University has a proud tradition of providing a high quality, affordable education to students in the state of Missouri and beyond. More than 25,000 alumni have transformed their lives, and the lives of their families, through the power of a Missouri Western education.
From its founding as the St. Joseph Junior College in 1915 to becoming a comprehensive, master's granting university in 2005, Missouri Western has remained committed to being a University where all students, from all backgrounds, have the opportunity to succeed.
Students hail from throughout the United States and more than 30 countries. Missouri Western alumni live and work around the world. From its humble beginnings in 1915, Missouri Western continues to deepen its impact on the community, region, nation and world.
Missouri Western is a four-year, state-supported institution providing a variety of degree programs through the college of liberal arts and sciences, the college of professional studies, the School of Fine Arts, the Craig School of Business and the Graduate School. The University is authorized under Missouri statutes to offer professional master's degrees, four- year baccalaureate programs, two-year associate degrees, pre-professional transfer programs and one-year certificates. In addition, the University offers continuing education courses, seminars, conferences and workshops suited to the needs of the community and serving groups through the Western Institute.
A griffon, which is half lion and half eagle, was chosen in 1918 as the mascot of St. Joseph Junior College, the institution which later became Missouri Western State University. The mythical creature was selected because it was considered a guardian of riches, and education was viewed as a precious treasure. Its wings are spread in the shape of the state of Missouri to signify the union of the college with the state.