Introduction to UM-St. Louis

The University of Missouri-St. Louis is one of four campuses that constitute the University of Missouri.   Established in Columbia in 1839 on the ideals of Thomas Jefferson, the University of Missouri became a land-grant institution upon passage of the Morrill Act by Congress in 1862.

The university remained a single-campus institution until 1870, when the Rolla campus was opened. In the 1960s a movement began across the country toward creation of public universities located within metropolitan centers. That movement marked the most significant change in higher education in the twentieth century, and the University of Missouri‑St. Louis is a product of that educational development. Two campuses were added in 1963. The private University of Kansas City became the university's Kansas City campus, and an entirely new campus was started in St. Louis.

The notion of a major public institution serving the St. Louis area evolved from a dream to a solid reality, which today exceeds the expectations of those who created it. Since the doors of the old Administration Building opened nearly 40 years ago, UM‑St. Louis has become the largest university serving St. Louisans and the third largest university in the state. The university has grown from 30 faculty in 1963 to more than 1300 faculty members and more than 1,000 staff members, committed to the future of the St. Louis area through teaching, research, and service.

One of the keys to this university's development as an outstanding institution has been the careful selection of faculty over the years. UM‑St. Louis has attracted some of the top authorities in many fields. More than 90 percent of the full‑time regular faculty hold doctoral degrees, a figure that far exceeds the national average. These professionals develop new theories and new procedures, and in so doing attract millions of dollars each year in research funding.

Student enrollment has grown from 600 in 1963 to more than 15,500. The numbers have changed, but not the spirit. Faculty and students are still most concerned with the education of new talent, which is the basis for the future social, intellectual, and economic health of Missouri's largest metropolitan area. From its beginning on what was once the site of a country club with a single building, UM-St. Louis has grown to a large modern campus of more than  320 acres with more than 60 buildings used to support academic and other University activities.

The curriculum has grown to include 47 undergraduate programs, 33 master's programs, seven preprofessional programs, 2 education specialists, 14 doctoral programs, and one professional degree program. Programs address the particular needs of older students returning to school; of students pursuing pre‑architecture, pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy, pre‑engineering, or pre-journalism courses, and of students interested in urban careers.  Many opportunities exist for students to combine their academic course work with internships that often lead to job offers.

Mission Statement

The University of Missouri-St. Louis is the land-grant research institution committed to meeting diverse needs for higher education and knowledge in the state’s largest metropolitan community.  It educates traditional and nontraditional students in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs so that they may provide leadership in the health professions; liberal and fine arts; science and technology; and metropolitan affairs such as business, education and public policy.  University research advances knowledge in all areas, and through outreach and public service, assists in solving, in particular, problems of the S. Louis region and beyond.

Academic programs are enriched through advanced technologies and partnerships that link UM-St. Louis to communities, institutions and businesses regionally, nationally, and internationally. Its special commitment to partnership provides UM-St, Louis with a leadership role among public educational and cultural institutions in improving the region's quality of life, while its unique relations with two- and four-year colleges and universities promote seamless educational opportunities.

Academic Structure

UM-St. Louis consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Education, College of Fine Arts and Communication, Graduate School, Pierre Laclede Honors College, College of Nursing, College of Optometry, School of Social Work, UM-St. Louis/Washington University Joint Engineering Program, and the Division of Continuing Education.

College of Arts and Sciences
Classes in the College of Arts and Sciences offer students the opportunity to engage in creative and critical thinking, learn to appreciate pattern in complexity, reflect on important issues of the past and present, and hone their ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Across the curriculum, the College emphasizes “Learning through Research,” an approach in which students actively identify and analyze a variety of intellectual approaches and forms of information.

The campus’ oldest and largest college, Arts and Sciences takes special pride in its professional faculty  of nearly 220, all of whom hold earned Ph.D. degrees or other appropriate terminal degrees.

Whether completing general education requirements or pursuing a specific degree, undergraduate students have the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned faculty members.

 Student participation in internships with the university’s public and corporate partners paves the way for subsequent employment.  Collaborative research by students and faculty similarly expands both intellectual horizons and prospects for graduate study and professional careers.

Alumni of the College of Arts and Sciences include physicians, lawyers, teachers, political leaders, scientists, corporate executives, college and university faculty, psychologists, social workers, and a host of other professionals.

College of Business Administration
Through its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the College of Business Administration expands student capability in communication, analysis, and judgment, enabling its graduates to deal effectively with today's complex economic environment. The college maintains a balance between the specialization of professional courses and the diversity of liberal arts.

College of Education
Consistently one of the top two institutions in the state in preparation of educators, the College of Education provides undergraduate and graduate programs to support and sustain educational leaders. Its programs emphasize state-of-the-art technological applications to enhance teaching and learning as well as collaboration among university, school, agency, and corporate partners.

College of Fine Arts and Communication
The College includes the departments of Art and Art History, Communication, Music, and Theatre, Dance and Media Studies. The faculty and alumni of the College have distinguished themselves as scholars visual artists, teachers and performers.  The University’s new $55 million Performing Arts Center that opened in the fall of 2003, provides two world-class venues for performances.  In addition, three galleries offer space for display of student and faculty artwork as well as visiting exhibitions.

Graduate School
Programs offered in the Graduate School fall into two categories: professional programs designed to develop a special competence in a particular field and academic programs designed to develop the student's command of a range of related subjects within a field. These graduate programs are structured to meet the needs of the metropolitan area and to give students the skills and professional competence to succeed.

College of Optometry
The College of Optometry is one of 17 such schools and colleges in the United States providing professional optometric education and clinical experience. Facilities are furnished with equipment and technology for the enhancement of both teaching and research. The college operates the University Eye Center on campus, the Optometric Center of St. Louis in the city's Central West End, the Harvester Eye Care Center in St. Charles County, and the East St. Louis Eye Center, jointly owned and operated by the UM‑St. Louis College of Optometry and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Pierre Laclede Honors College
Members of the Pierre Laclede Honors College major in every undergraduate program, but each student shares a commitment to a challenging, innovative general education curriculum.  The Honors program offers small seminars which emphasize critical reading and open discussion upon which students base essays and research papers.

The honors experience also requires independent study, which may be undertaken as part of the major or in the Honors College.  These projects may include guided reading, undergraduate research, and internships or public service projects.  Honors College students are also encouraged to consider exchange study, whether abroad through the Center for International Studies or in the USA or Canada through the National Student Exchange

In the Honors College, students and faculty work together to foster an intellectual climate in which democracy, diversity, civility and excellence are fundamental values.

College of Nursing
The College of Nursing offers programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is available for a student wishing to pursue a program of study leading to eligibility to complete state licensure examinations to become a registered nurse (R.N.). In addition, the accelerated track, an upper-level option designed for the associate degree or diploma-educated registered nurse or exceptional transfer student avoids repeating basic nursing course work. The Master of Science in Nursing, a cooperative program with UM‑Kansas City School of Nursing, offers studies in adult, children's, and women's health. Practitioner options are also available (adult, family, pediatric, and women) as part of the MSN program. The Ph.D. in Nursing offers studies focused on health promotion and protection, health restoration and support, and health care systems.

UM-St. Louis/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program
The University of Missouri‑St. Louis and Washington University have joined forces to offer ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering. Students who enter the program take about half of their course work--mathematics, physics, chemistry, humanities and social sciences, and some elementary engineering subjects--on the campus of UM‑St. Louis. The remaining half consists of upper-level engineering courses and laboratories taken on the campus of Washington University and taught by Washington University engineering faculty members. Students register for all courses at UM-St. Louis, pay tuition at UM‑St. Louis rates (plus a small surcharge on engineering courses), and receive their degrees from the University of Missouri.

Division of Continuing Education and Outreach
Through the Division of Continuing Education at UM-St. Louis, the research-based knowledge of our excellent faculty is brought to the citizens of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area at times and places, and in formats, that meet the lifelong learning needs of our adult students.  Partnerships with a number of community cultural and educational institutions provide greater access to public higher education and to the resources of our fine campus.

Continuing Education provides a wide variety of credit courses and noncredit professional development programs that can help adults keep abreast of new developments in their field, prepare them for a career in a new field of endeavor, or enrich their personal and family life.  Courses leading to degree-completion programs are also offered at the St. Louis Community College South County Education and University Center and on the campuses of St. Charles Community College, Jefferson College and Mineral Area College.

Office of International Student and Scholar Services of the Center for International Studies
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services assists international students and scholars with undergraduate and graduate admission, credential and transfer credit evaluations, visa and immigration advising, taxation matters, pre-arrival and cultural adaptation assistance, new international student and scholar orientation, prospective student information requests, and personal advising. The office also coordinates activities for integration of students and scholars into the community by facilitating cultural events and activities, coordinating the annual International Week, and working closely with other campus and community organizations.

Student Life
Although UM-St. Louis provides opportunities for all students through a demanding curriculum, the life of the university is not all work. There are a great many leisure‑time activities, either free or at reduced cost to students. Numerous student organizations, from the Accounting Club to Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, seek members-and leaders. Interesting speakers, concerts, film series, plays, exhibits, recitals, and a host of informal gatherings crowd each week's schedule. The St. Louis area offers still more recreational, sports, and cultural events.

The university offers a wide range of varsity and intramural sports for students, whether as players or spectators. On the varsity level, Rivermen and Riverwomen compete in most major sports. UM-St. Louis men's soccer teams have participated in numerous NCAA Division II tournaments; the team won the national title in 1973. The men's basketball, baseball, and golf teams frequently play in national tournaments. The expanding women's program includes varsity competition in basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and tennis. The women's soccer team ranks annually in the top 20 teams nationwide.

The Mark Twain athletic facility offers a state‑of-the-art fitness center, weight room, swimming pool, and basketball, volleyball, handball, and racquetball courts. Outdoor facilities include tennis and handball courts, a fitness trail, and baseball, soccer, and softball fields.

Students will find fitness activities, both organized and individual, to suit their interests and needs. Intramural sports are available to all students, with schedules designed for maximum participation.

The graduates of UM-St. Louis reflect the diversity found in a metropolitan community. The university has more than 70,000 graduates living in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Of these alumni, more than 80 percent continue to live and work in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The university is a major force in providing the region with a highly educated and diverse work force. Alumni can be found in companies and organizations throughout the region and nation.