Jul 16, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Affairs

The policies and statements contained in the Student Affairs and Academic Affairs sections were written for the undergraduate students at Missouri Southern State University and as such may not apply to our graduate students. Please check with the coordinator of the specific graduate program for more information.

Academic Affairs

Dr. Paula Phillips Carson
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Hearnes Hall 208 • 417.625.9394

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is responsible for the administration of the instructional programs both on and off campus. The Honors Program, Writing Program, Assessment and Institutional Research Office, Spiva Library, Academic Outreach, Distance Learning, Show-Me Gold and all academic units are under its direction.

Academic Standards

Good Standing and Eligibility

Students enrolled at Missouri Southern are in good academic standing when they meet the standards of progress toward graduation as listed below. Those falling below these standards will be placed on academic probation. Persons failing to achieve normal progress toward graduation during the probationary period are subject to academic suspension. Students receiving financial aid must meet the good standing criteria listed below.

Those students competing in intercollegiate athletics (NCAA) or in organizations representing the University off campus shall be required to satisfy minimum standards of progress, as indicated below, following the completion of the first academic semester in order to maintain future eligibility in these programs.

Standards of Progress Toward Graduation*

A student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) is used to evaluate progress. If the GPA falls below the minimum standards of progress, the work is considered unsatisfactory. Courses not applicable to the baccalaureate degree are not calculated in the GPA hours. Applicable for degree-seeking students only. IEP students should refer to the IEP section of the catalog.

Progress toward a degree is computed on the following GPAs:

*For the Associate and Baccalaureate Degrees

GPA Hours   GPA
1-22 semester hours 1.5
23-44 semester hours 1.6
45-66 semester hours 1.7
67-88 semester hours 1.8
89-110 semester hours 1.9
111 & Above semester hours 2.0

Academic Probation, Suspension and Appeal

Each student should consider a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 as a warning. Those falling below the standards of progress toward graduation will be placed on academic probation. If the cumulative GPA is not raised to the minimum standard of progress during the probationary semester, the student is subject to immediate academic suspension from the University.

A student receiving academic suspension may not enroll at Missouri Southern for one semester. Re-entry may be denied by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, if the student cannot present evidence that indicates a high probability of academic success.

Students placed on academic suspension may file an appeal application through the Office of the Registrar by 5:00 P.M. on the Monday before the term begins.

Academic Bankruptcy

A student may petition the Academic Bankruptcy Committee to request one semester of academic work taken at MSSU be disregarded in computing the academic record. To be eligible for petitioning, a student must be in good financial standing, and must document the unusual conditions which justify the petition. The petition is initiated in the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Bankruptcy can never be used as a means of obtaining academic honors or athletic eligibility. Academic Bankruptcy will not remove grades from the student’s permanent record. It merely allows one semester of recorded work to be eliminated in computing the student’s GPA. Academic Bankruptcy cannot be applied to transfer courses. Once a degree is earned, a student is no longer eligible for bankruptcy.

Academic Bankruptcy is not permitted in the Intensive English Program (IEP), the IEP student should refer to the IEP policies 

Repetition of Courses

Students may only receive credit value for a repeated course once. Students may repeat courses in which grades ‘F, D, C or B ’ have been earned. When a course is repeated, the first grade will not be removed from the record, but the latest grade will be used when computing GPAs. Transfer courses may be repeated if Missouri Southern offers the same course. Once a degree is earned, a student is no longer eligible to exclude the grade of the first course in their GPA.

Honor Roll

An Honors or Deans’ List, issued at the end of each semester, contains the names of full-time undergraduate students who have a semester GPA of 3.75 or higher with no incomplete or in progress grade or a grade below ‘C.’ Courses below the 100 level are excluded from this calculation.

Academic Certificates

Selected departments have developed an academic certificate that strengthens the student’s career preparation. Certificates may be earned independently from a degree. Certificate credit and course requirements vary. The overall GPA requirement is 2.0.

Graduation Honors

In recognition of superior scholarships, the University awards honors to associate degree and baccalaureate degree graduates. Honors listed below are not earned until courses are completed, graded and posted on the student’s permanent record. Courses below the 100 level are excluded from this calculation.

Associate Degree - The student must have completed a minimum one half of the hours required for the degree in residence at Missouri Southern State University. The cumulative GPA required to receive:

First Honors 3.90-4.00
Second Honors 3.80-3.89
Third Honors 3.70-3.79

Baccalaureate Degree - Eligibility for any one of the following three honors requires the candidate to study all the junior and senior years at Missouri Southern and earn a minimum of 60 hours of credit:

Summa Cum Laude 3.90-4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.80-3.89
Cum Laude 3.70-3.79

Revised Standards for Veterans Educational Benefits

The Revised Standards for Veterans Educational Benefits as adopted by the State Board of Education on February 17, 1977, are available in the Veterans Services Office. Each Veteran should see the Veterans Representative regarding these policies.

Any exceptions to the regulations above must receive written approval from the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Credit Options

Special Policies for Financial Aid Recipients

Special policies and regulations governing financial aid recipients are filed in the Financial Aid Office, the Business Office and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Resident Credits from Institutions of Equal Standing with Missouri Southern State University

Credits transferred from accredited colleges and universities will be given full value in similar courses whenever possible. The amount of credit given for courses studied in other institutions may not exceed the amount given at Missouri Southern for the same length of time of instruction. Students may not transfer credits to satisfy more than one half of the major course requirements in a department unless the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is obtained.

Advanced Standing Examination

A student whose travel, employment, extensive readings or other unique educational experiences appear to have provided proficiency in a course required in the curriculum equivalent to that ordinarily attained by those taking the course in regular classes, may be granted permission to take an advanced standing examination. This examination may be a subject matter test of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or a comprehensive test designed by the department to cover the subject more fully than a regular final examination. In order to receive credit for a departmental examination, a student must have the following qualifications in addition to those listed above:

  1. be enrolled in the University at the time of the examination;
  2. not have taken an examination over the course within the preceding six months;
  3. not have credit in a more advanced course in the same field;
  4. be working toward a degree at Missouri Southern State University;
  5. have the approval of the chair of the department in which the course is offered;
  6. not use the examination to replace a previously earned grade.

After a student has taken a departmental examination, the professor will transmit the grade to the Vice President for Academic Affairs Office. If performance is equated as a ‘C’ grade or above, the Registrar will record the credit. The credit granted will be based on applicability and will carry the grade of “CR”.

International Baccalaureate

Missouri Southern will grant up to 30 semester hours or the equivalent of one full year of university study, to those who have completed study in the International Baccalaureate curriculum in high school. Missouri Southern will grant university credit and advanced placement for International Baccalaureate courses completed at the higher level with a score of four or greater. Students with such backgrounds should contact the Admission Office for a detailed analysis of credits and standing. The credit granted will be based on applicability and will carry the grade of “CR”.

Advanced Placement Test (AP)

Missouri Southern participates in the Advanced Placement Program sponsored by the College Entrance Examination Board. Credits are granted for course areas in which a student has completed Advanced Placement Examinations with a score of 3, 4 or 5. The credit granted will be based on applicability and will carry the grade of “CR”.

High School Dual Credit

Missouri Southern will accept credits earned from a regionally accredited college or university while the student was in high school. These credits are subject to regular transfer credit evaluation, and students must submit an official college or university transcript to the MSSU Office of Admission. Dual credits cannot be awarded based on a high school transcript.

Correspondence Course Credit

Missouri Southern accepts credit earned by correspondence from regionally accredited institutions. No student will be permitted to apply more than 12 hours of course work in correspondence toward his/her degree. The credit granted will be based on applicability and will carry the grade of “CR”.

Course Credit for Military Service and Schooling

Military Service students who have completed a minimum of one year of active military service may be granted credit to meet the KINE 0103  requirements of the general education curriculum. These requirements will be satisfied if the DD214 form is submitted to the Missouri Southern Office of the Registrar. Credit may also be granted for KINE 0220   and KINE 0101   as well as specific military schooling as recommended by the American Council of Education. The credit granted will be based on applicability and will carry the grade of “CR”. The veteran must present documentation designating the military course, date and site of the course. For Military Withdrawal Policy, please refer to the Withdrawal section.

Validation Examinations

If Missouri Southern refuses to accept a student’s earned credit in a course because of the method in which the course was taken or because the institution at which the course was taken was not accredited, the student may apply for a validation examination. In order to qualify for a validation examination a student must:

  1. be enrolled at Missouri Southern State University at the time the examination is taken;
  2. present the necessary evidence to prove that the course was taken;
  3. get approval from the school dean and the chair of the department in which the course is offered; and
  4. initiate the proceedings within the first eight weeks after entering the University.

The student initiates the request for examination at the academic department. The school dean and the department chair will appoint a professor to construct, administer and evaluate the examination. The result is reported to the Registrar who records the credit if the scale is ‘C’ or above and carry the grade of ‘CR’.

Retro Credit Policy

Missouri Southern will award retro-credit for certain qualifying subjects. The credit granted will be based on applicability and will carry the grade of “CR”. Students should contact the appropriate academic department to inquire about courses that qualify. Maximum allowable credits vary by department.

Credit for Life/Work Experience

Credit may be earned for career and professional experiences that are documented through the portfolio process. The availability of credit depends on the relevance of the students’ experiences to their major as determined by the department and the school dean. The application process and initial advisement begins with the advisor for Experiential Credit. For information contact: 877.837.8527.

Degree Requirements

Catalog Time Limit

A candidate for a degree may use, as a basis for degree requirements, the general catalog issued for any year following the date of the candidate’s first completed registration at MSSU provided it is not more than six years prior to the date the degree is to be conferred. The candidate must have been in residence at MSSU and earned credit during the year of the catalog selected.

Transfer Student: The MSSU catalog in effect at the time of the transfer student’s initial enrollment in the sending institution (transfer school), will govern the transfer student’s degree requirements. The catalog used may not be dated more than six years prior to the date the degree is to be conferred. The transfer student must have been enrolled in a previous school and earned credit during the year of the catalog selected.

Developmental Courses

Occasionally, scores obtained from the placement tests indicate a student may not be successful in college. The university reserves the right to require these students to take developmental courses in mathematics, composition, study skills or intensive English prior to participation in regular college level classes. Courses below the 100 level are not applicable to the baccalaureate degree and are excluded in honors calculations and calculation of the standards of progress toward graduation.

Course Numbers and Levels

Course Numbers:


0 - 99

Not applicable toward the Baccalaureate Degree


Lower Division


Upper Division



Immediately following each course title is a letter abbreviation of the semester in which the course is usually offered. Students and faculty should use this as a guide in considering future enrollment. However, this should not be interpreted as a contract. Missouri Southern reserves the right to deviate from this commitment when enrollment or other factors dictate.

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

  1. Residence: The following minimum requirements must be met in residence at Missouri Southern: (1) 30 hours completed with MSSU; (2) one-half of the credit both required for the major and in the major department. Courses required for the major but not offered in the major department are not included; (3) one-half of the upper division credit both required for the major and in the major department.
  2. Credit Hours: At least 120 semester hours of college credit applicable to a Baccalaureate Degree are required for graduation.
  3. Grade Point Average (GPA): The following minimum cumulative GPAs are required for all Baccalaureate Degrees; some programs require a higher GPA. The GPA excludes not applicable to Baccalaureate Degree (NABD) courses:
  1. a 2.0 GPA for all credit hours attempted;
  2. a 2.0 GPA for all the courses required for the major, both inside and outside the major department;
  3. a 2.0 GPA for all courses, required and elective, taken in the major department.
  4. Refer to the department offering the major for minimum GPA requirements of specific programs.
  1. Upper Division Hours: A minimum of 39 semester hours of courses numbered 300-499 must be completed.  Transfer courses will be granted lower or upper division attributes based on how the course was originally taken.
  2. Modern Language: All students expecting to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree must successfully complete 10-12 hours of the same modern language.
  3. Writing: Students will complete the writing goals established by the faculty in their selected major. Students graduating with the Bachelor of General Studies degree or the Bachelor of Applied Science degree will be required to complete one course beyond ENG 0101  and ENG 0102  from the list of approved courses with a significant writing component.
  4. General Education Curriculum Requirements: Missouri Southern has a general education requirement curriculum program that contributes toward the development of the whole person, as an individual and as a member of society. Transfer students should refer to the Transfer Student section of the catalog regarding the General Education requirements.

Click here  to see Baccalaureate Degree General Education Curriculum Requirements.

298-498 Classes

Classes numbered 298 or 498 may not be counted toward General Education Requirements credit.


All students will be required to declare their degree sought, their major, their status and whether they will attend half-time or full-time. A major provides in-depth study of a discipline and prepares the student for a career or advanced study. Advisors are assigned within the academic department according to major. Students may apply for more than one degree, excluding the Bachelor of General Studies, provided the major differs.

Academic Minor

Selected departments have developed an academic minor that in conjunction with the MSSU baccalaureate major strengthens the student’s career preparation. A minor requires at least 18 semester hours of prescribed courses. At least six semester hours must be upper division and at least nine semester hours must be in residence. The overall GPA requirement is 2.0. A student may not earn a minor in the same field as the major. Minors should be declared as early as possible but may be added at any time, including after a baccalaureate degree from MSSU has been earned. Applications to add a minor after a degree has been earned are available through the Office of the Registrar.

A Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) Degree

The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) is an alternative for students who do not wish to pursue an existing major. Two versions of the BGS are available. The General BGS requires that a student complete all General Education Requirements and other degree requirements. To pursue this option the student should consult with an advisor and declare the BGS as a major. The Directed BGS also requires that a student complete all General Education Requirements and other degree requirements including upper division. Additionally, a committee of faculty works with the student to combine courses from several areas to create a distinctive program. To pursue this option the student should declare the BGS as a major and consult with the dean of the school most closely associated with the course work. The dean will appoint a faculty committee to help the student structure the Directed BGS.

Students with prior baccalaureate degrees from MSSU are not eligible to apply for a BGS.

Associate Degree

Click here  to see Associate Degree General Education Curriculum Requirements.

General education curriculum courses required for the Associate of Science degree typically do not completely fulfill the general education curriculum requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree.


  1. Graduation Requirements: The responsibility for satisfying all requirements for a degree rests with the student. Advisors, faculty members and administrators offer help to the student in meeting this responsibility.
  2. Time of Graduation: A student may complete graduation requirements at the close of any semester. Formal commencement exercises are held and degrees are conferred at the close of the fall and spring semesters. Students who will complete graduation requirements at the close of summer semester may participate in spring commencement exercises.
  3. Degree Candidacy Application: Generally students should apply for graduation at least one semester prior to the semester in which graduation is anticipated. The application process is initiated at the Office of the Registrar. Graduation application deadlines are published each year by the Office of Academic Affairs and failure to meet these deadlines may result in delayed graduation.
  4. Senior Assessment: Graduating seniors may be required to complete a general education curriculum and a departmental exit assessment before the baccalaureate degree is awarded.

State Legislation Requirements

Section 170.011 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri,2015, prescribe that all candidates for a degree issued by the colleges and universities of Missouri must have “successfully passed an examination of the United States Constitution and in American history and American institutions required hereby as a condition precendent to his graduation from the college or university.”

All students who have completed the general education curriculum requirements with courses taken at Missouri Southern meet the requirements of Missouri law.

School Laws of Missouri, 1974, require that persons cannot be granted a certificate or license to teach in the public schools of Missouri unless they have satisfactorily completed a course of two or more semester hours in the psychology or education of the exceptional child. This requirement can be met by taking EDUC 0302  or EDUC 0304 .

General Regulations

Classification of Students

  1. By Class:
  Freshman: 0-29 Hours
  Sophomore: 30-59 Hours
  Junior: 60-89 Hours
  Senior: 90 and above
  Special Admission: See Special Admission  
  1. Postgraduate:

Persons having completed a Baccalaureate Degree but taking courses for the purpose of teacher certification, job preparation and additional degree or personal profit.

  1. Full-time:

A student enrolled for 12 or more semester hours.

  1. Half-time:

A student enrolled in 6-11 semester hours.

  1. Less Than Half-time:

A student enrolled in fewer than 6 semester hours.

Concurrent Enrollment

A student who is enrolled in residence at Missouri Southern and who desires to earn credit concurrently at another institution or through correspondence, extension or advanced standing examination must secure advanced approval from a school dean. Financial aid recipients should contact the Financial Aid Office.

Combined Degree Programs

Missouri Southern State University has established a combined degree program for Medical Laboratory Science. Specific requirements for this program are included in the program descriptions. Combined degree programs operate under the following regulations:

  1. Complete 94 hours at Missouri Southern State University. Transfer credit will be considered, but the last 30 of the 94 hours must be earned at MSSU.
  2. The 94 hours must include the completion of the General Education Requirement Curriculum requirement.
  3. Sixteen out of the last 94 hours must be upper division (300 and 400 level courses).
  4. All applicable “Requirements for Graduation” as stated in the Missouri Southern State University catalog must be met including the application for degree candidacy and the filing of credentials with the Career Services Office.
  5. A transcript from the institution with which a combined degree agreement is arranged must be provided in order to complete the requirements for a degree.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

A student may receive a second Baccalaureate Degree after completing the first degree and all the requirements of the second degree. A student may not earn the same degree more than once, even though the majors differ. The residency rules apply. See item A-I under Baccalaureate Degree requirements.

Transcript Below “C” Average

Students who are accepted with a below ‘C’ transcript and who are below the minimum standards for progress will be placed on Academic Probation. Missouri Southern transfers all grades from any equally accredited institution including both ”D’s” and “F’s”.

Maximum Credit Hour Load

To enroll in more than 18 semester hours during a semester or in more than nine hours during a summer session, a student, with the exception of music majors, must obtain prior written permission from the school dean. Music majors may carry as many as 20 semester hours without permission from their dean. Honors Program students may carry as many credits as approved by the Honors Program Director.

Reinstatement Policy

Following the deadline for tuition and fee payment, the Bursar’s Office will drop students for non-payment. Students must apply to seek re-enrollment to their current class schedule. Students with documented extenuating circumstances, who miss the deadline may file an appeal through the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Office.

Students seeking reinstatement must prepay at the Bursar’s Office the estimated full amount of tuition, fees and books. The receipt for payment must be presented in the Office of the Registrar in order to receive a reinstatement application. Students must obtain instructor approval for each class before the application can be processed. Reinstatement forms are due to the Office of the Registrar no later than the third Friday of the fall/spring term.

Late Enrollment

Enrollment in a regular semester after the first week of classes or after the third day of classes in the summer session is not advisable and is permitted only with special permission from the appropriate department chair and instructor (for each class). Students must pre-pay for these classes prior to enrollment. Any student enrolling after classes begin will pay a late enrollment fee.

Adding Courses - Special Registration

A student may add a course in the appropriate department office, but only upon the approval of an advisor. A fee will be charged each time a student changes the program not at the request of the University. No course may be added after the first week of classes in a regular semester or after the third day of classes in the summer session without special permission. No courses shall be added after the conclusion of special registration.


Instructor Drop for Non-attendance

Instructors are required to request the drop for non-attendance, by the Registrar, of a student who has not attended their class during the first two weeks of the full term; no later than the second Thursday of the fall/spring term and the first Thursday of the summer term. Regardless, it is ultimately the students’ responsibility to properly withdraw from classes.

Withdrawal from a Single Class With a Grade of ‘W’

A student may initiate the withdrawal from a course in the Office of the Registrar. Deadlines cited in the Schedule of Classes apply. Withdrawn students are no longer permitted to attend the class.

Withdrawal from All Classes

A student who wishes to completely withdraw will initiate withdrawal in the Financial Aid Office (Hearnes Hall). A student who completely withdraws from the University prior to the last week of classes in a regular or summer semester will receive a grade of “W” in all courses in which the student is enrolled. Withdrawn students are no longer permitted to attend classes. If the last date of attendance precedes the official withdrawal date, the earliest date will be used as the separation date. A student who leaves school without officially withdrawing will receive grades of ‘F’ in all courses.

Military Withdrawal Policy

Persons involuntarily called to active duty in any branch of the military services of the United States while enrolled as students at Missouri Southern State University will be released from their academic responsibilities without penalty. The following options are available:

  1. Complete Withdrawal*

A student called to active duty may request to be withdrawn from all classes and receive a full refund of tuition paid for class enrollment. Students selecting this option will follow the normal process for a Complete Withdrawal from the University. A copy of their orders must be submitted along with the Total Withdrawal form to receive a refund.

  1. Incomplete Grade

A student called to active duty may contact course instructors to explore the option of receiving an “IN” (incomplete) grade for the course. The normal procedures for an incomplete grade will apply. The approval of this option is left to the discretion of each individual instructor.

  1. Single Course Withdrawal*

A student called to active duty may request to be withdrawn from a single course past the normal published deadlines so long as the active duty orders were not received prior to the published deadline. Students are to complete the Single Course Withdrawal form. The military orders must be submitted along with the Single Course Withdrawal form to receive a tuition refund.

  1. Transfer to an On-line Course

A student called to active duty may request to be transferred to an on-line version of the same course if available and acceptable by the instructor of the on-line course. Additional on-line fees will be applicable. Students must contact the Office of the Registrar for assistance.

*Grades of “W” will have the following transcript notation: “Called to Active Duty”. Room and Board: The refund of fees paid for room & board will be prorated. Students must contact Residential Life for assistance. Special Course Fees: The majority of these fees are not refundable.

The intention of the policy is to insure that based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education and the American Council on Education that no service member suffer a loss of funds or educational opportunity because s/he was called to serve.

Class Attendance

Faculty members are encouraged to keep records of attendance in all regularly scheduled courses at Missouri Southern. The primary objective of student and professor is the student’s attainment of course goals. It is recognized that students who achieve those objectives are normally those who attend class or participate online regularly. The professor, when giving a final semester grade, bases his/her evaluation on how well the student has achieved the course goals.

For financial aid purposes, if a student misses any class for ten (10) consecutive working days or does not participate in an online class, the faculty member will submit The Last Date of Attendance form to the Office of the Registrar. Online forms are available on LioNet.

Students who miss a class do so at their own risk and must assume the responsibility for work missed because of class absences. Professors are willing to assist students whose absences are caused by valid illnesses, University approved activities and extenuating circumstances. The professor may require whatever evidence is needed to support the reason for absence.

The attendance record is significant to the total record and is useful in guidance and counseling. When absences are excessive, the professor will report the fact to Student Affairs and they will in turn counsel with the student. Any student earning a grade of “F” must have the last date of attendance recorded on the Grade Roster. All students who stop attending class or participating in an online class should also have the last date of attendance recorded on the Grade Roster.

Students should be aware that absence from class invariably has a built-in penalty of lower academic achievement. Excessive absences usually result in failure to achieve the course goals.

Transcript Dispute Policy

Students with a dispute on their academic transcript shall be granted one year from the end of the term in which the notation appears, to submit a written appeal regarding the notation in question. Appeals may be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Grades And Grading Policies

Grading System

A student’s grade is officially recorded by letter. At Missouri Southern, the following grades and their numerical equivalents are used:

Grade   Grade Points
A Outstanding 4
B Above Average 3
C Average 2
D Minimum Passing 1
F Failing 0
W Withdrawal  

The current policy for the ‘W’ grade is as follows:

  1. Course withdrawals will be permitted through the second week for full-term courses and the first two days for part-of-term courses of the semester without any grade recorded.
  2. Course withdrawal during the third through the eleventh week of the semester will be indicated by a ‘W’ posted to the record for full-term courses. Students have the first two days of the course for part-of-term courses.
  3. Course withdrawals are not permitted after the eleventh week of the regular semester (or its equivalent). A student who stops attending class without officially withdrawing is in jeopardy of receiving an ‘F’ in the course.
  4. A student who completely withdraws from the University prior to the last week of classes in a semester may receive a grade of ‘W’ in all courses in which the student is enrolled.

Credit/No-Credit System of Grading

Students in some programs may register to take certain courses on a credit/no-credit basis. In such cases, “Credit” or “No-Credit” will be recorded rather than a letter grade and these courses will not be counted in GPAs. This program will permit a student to explore course work outside of the major without jeopardizing the GPA. The minimum performance level required to receive credit in a credit/no-credit course is a grade of ‘D.’ Students may be eligible to enroll for certain courses on a credit/no-credit basis under the following conditions:

  1. That such registration be approved by the advisor and the chair of the department through which the course is offered.
  2. That the student has attained sophomore rank or higher (30 or more hours).
  3. That the student has achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  4. That such enrollment be limited to one course per semester.
  5. That the total enrollment on a credit/no-credit basis be limited to no more than three courses or 10 credit hours in any student’s degree program.
  6. That the courses involved are not part of the student’s major or minor and are not specifically required as part of the student’s degree program. (Hours beyond the minimum required for the major or minor may be taken on a credit/no-credit basis.)
  7. That the courses involved are not part of the General Education Requirement Curriculum requirement.
  8. Registration for credit/no-credit courses will be completed prior to the final date for changing registration by adding a course.
  9. After a student has enrolled in a course under the credit/no-credit option, that individual may not subsequently change to a graded basis in that course.

This policy does not apply to those courses regularly designated as credit/no-credit courses such as Recital Attendance, Student Teaching and ISEP, Bilateral Exchange and the Missouri London/Greece programs and Life/Work experience.

Incomplete (IN): A grade of ‘IN’ may be reported if a student is unable to complete the work of the course within the semester for a valid reason such as illness, death in the family, an emergency, etc. It is not intended as a substitute for an ‘F’ and does not entitle a student to attend the class during a subsequent semester. Incomplete grades are approved at the sole discretion of the instructor. Students must make arrangements prior to the end of the course to receive an IN grade. An incomplete must be made up by the end of the next semester (excluding summers) or it will be converted to an ‘F’ automatically. Both credit and grade points for that course are suspended until the incomplete is converted to either a passing grade or an ‘F’. A student may not graduate with an incomplete grade.

In Progress (IP): A grade of ‘IP’ will be given in a situation in which a student is unable to complete the work of the course within the semester for a valid non-emergency reason, such as a research project or internship that overlaps two semesters. It is not intended as a substitute for an ‘F’ and does not entitle a student to attend the class during a subsequent semester. In Progress grades are approved at the sole discretion of the instructor. Students must make arrangements prior to the end of the course to receive an IP grade. An ‘IP’ must be made up by the end of the next semester (excluding summers) or it will be converted to an ‘F’ automatically. Both credit and grade points for that course are suspended until the ‘IP’ is converted to either a passing grade or an ‘F’. BSE majors will not be able to begin student teaching if an ‘IP’ grade is in force. A student may not graduate with an ‘IP’ grade.

Audit (AU): A student may audit a class for no grade and no credit. A Request to Audit must be filed in the Office of the Registrar by the end of the second week of class. Acceptable performance, attitude and attendance as determined by the professor are expected. Regular fees and enrollment procedures are required. A student may not change enrollment from audit to credit nor from credit to audit. An audit means only that a student registered for the course. It does not imply any level of proficiency or knowledge.

Change of Grade: A change is initiated by the faculty member by filing a Change of Grade form, approved by their dean, with the Registrar. No change of grade is to be made without good cause. Exceptional cases will be reviewed by the school dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Change forms must be submitted within one year.

Independent Study: Independent study courses are special courses which may be taken by students at the discretion of the faculty advisor and the appropriate college officials. These courses are designed for the individual who desires to explore a topic more completely than can be done in a regular course offering. Students may enroll in independent study courses for a total of three hours for the associate degree and a total of six hours for the baccalaureate degree providing they:

  1. have completed:

30 hours toward the Associate Degree
90 hours toward the Baccalaureate Degree

  1. have a minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA;
  2. have permission of the advisor, department chair and the school dean in the area of independent study.

Midterm Grades: Missouri Southern will post midterm grades during the eighth week of the term for full-term classes. These grades are viewable through LioNet and are informational only. Midterm grades do not appear on the academic transcript.

Posting of Grades: Public posting of a student’s name and grade or student number and grade, without the student’s approval, is a violation of the Buckley Amendment (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, FERPA) which does not allow disclosure of recorded data or information without the individual’s written consent.

Official Transcript: An official transcript of the student’s academic record bears the Registrar’s signature and the University seal. Missouri Southern assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of a transcript after it leaves the Office of the Registrar.

Up to two weeks must be allowed after the close of a semester for the issuance of an up-to-date transcript reflecting the most recent semester. Four to six weeks is necessary for the posting of recently awarded degrees. The transcript request must be submitted at www.mssu.edu/student-affairs/registrar/transcripts.php. No transcript will be issued unless all bills at Missouri Southern are paid or are current according to agreement with the Bursar’s Office.

Institutional Effectiveness

Josephine Welsh
Plaster Hall 321 • 417.625.9349


The mission of the Center for Assessment and Institutional Research is to collect, analyze and disseminate data and information. These efforts are carried out for the University at large, as well as academic and non-academic program development, implementation and evaluation for both internal and external customers.

Activities of the Center

Missouri Southern is committed to measuring outcomes of curricular and co-curricular programs. Both the General Education Requirements and the majors in each academic department are assessed each year. Federal, state and local reports of institutional data are prepared and archived in this Center. Analytical and descriptive reports are generated to support institution decision making and for use by many external constituents. Quantitative and qualitative data are compiled in order to help evaluate the effectiveness of academic and non-academic programs.

Distance Learning

Scott Snell
Webster Hall 109 • 417.623.3188


Missouri Southern’s Department of Distance Learning exists to provide online students and faculty with online classes and a fully supported online learning environment. Offering instructional design, marketing, multimedia production, and academic advising that is consistently perceived as professional, knowledgeable and up-to-date, this department helps facilitate high quality and satisfactory learning experiences for students seeking flexible access or degree completion in selected undergraduate programs.

Quality Assurance

The Department of Distance Learning and online faculty at Missouri Southern take great pride in the quality of our online offerings. Each online course is reviewed annually, helping to ensure a rewarding and worthwhile learning experience for our online students. Look for Distance Learning’s Certified Quality badge in your online course! This badge guarantees your online class has met MSSU quality standards and best practices.

Faculty Dedication

Online faculty at Missouri Southern are dedicated to the success of our online learners. It is the goal of all faculty teaching online at Missouri Southern to provide online students with learning experiences equivalent to those of the campus classroom. To that end, faculty are committed to providing their online students regular and substantive interaction. Online students at Missouri Southern can expect rigorous academic activities, regular communications, timely inquiry responses and grades, and substantive feedback from their instructors.

Online Learning with Blackboard

Students taking online classes at Missouri Southern will enjoy challenging and engaging learning experiences within Blackboard Learn™, our online learning management system (LMS). With an Internet connection and browser, students can read announcements, watch and listen to audio/video presentations, retrieve course documents and handouts, participate in discussions, take exams and quizzes, turn in assignments, and receive feedback from their instructors. Blackboard Learn™ is an industry leader in online learning, providing instructors and students the absolute latest in teaching and learning technologies, providing instructors and students the absolute latest in teaching and learning technologies.

Online Tutoring

Online students at Missouri Southern have access to online tutoring 24/7 with Smarthinking™. With online academic tutoring services from Smarthinking™, students get on-demand, individual instruction and support from expert tutors across a wide variety of subjects. Students connect to live educators from any computer that has Internet access, no special software installation or equipment is required.

A Smarthinking™ account is automatically created for every online student at Missouri Southern. Students can access their personal tutoring account by clicking the “Smarthinking Online Tutoring” link in any online course.

Online Testing

Assessments in online classes at Missouri Southern can be completed online. Students taking online classes requiring proctored tests, which are tests that must be taken in the physical presence of a testing monitor, will be provided the option of completing such exams online. To take advantage of this option, students will need a reliable internet connection and computer with audio/video capabilities. Students also have the option of completing proctored exams at physical testing locations.

Academic Outreach

Brett Meeker
Hearnes Hall 315 • 417.625.9785


The mission of the MSSU Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment Program, in collaboration with area high schools, is to provide geographically feasible and affordable access to quality university-level undergraduate education to high-performing high school students in order to enrich the high school educational experience as well as foster a smooth transition from high school to a four-year university.

Student Eligibility

Student eligibility information is available through the Missouri Department of Higher Education website. Please visit http://dhe.mo.gov/cota/dualcredit.php for the most up-to-date student eligibility information.

Dual Credit

Dual credit enables qualified high school students to take University-level courses taught by qualified high school instructors. Students simultaneously receive academic credit for the course from both the high school and MSSU.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment enables qualified high school students to take University-level courses taught by an MSSU faculty member while simultaneously enrolled in the high school and MSSU. Credit is typically only awarded at the university level; however, students may be eligible to earn high school credit for such courses with approval from the high school district.

Continuing Education

The MSSU Continuing Education program provides students with both personal and professional enrichment opportunities. The Community Education Program allows students to experience the joys of discovery and intellectual achievement that make MSSU an exceptional place to learn and grow. The Professional Education Program allow students to enhance their professional skills through workshops, seminars, short courses, conferences and programs.

Honors Program

Dr. Michael Howarth
Taylor Hall 206 • 417.625.3005


The Honors Program serves Missouri Southern State University by recruiting academically talented, motivated students and engaging them in enhanced education opportunities and challenges designed to promote their continual development as scholars and citizens.


The Honors Program will be recognized as a leader in academic excellence by both the University and the community and will serve as a model by which students are enabled to exemplify the fulfillment of the University’s mission and values.


Intellectual Curiosity: The Honors Program promotes interest leading to inquiry, the pursuit of diverse knowledge and a respect for varied ways of learning.

Community: The Honors Program fosters personal, supportive contact between and among its students and faculty while encouraging students to participate in all aspects of campus life.

Student-Centered Learning: The Honors Program provides challenging, active learning opportunities in all areas of the curriculum.

Critical Thinking: The Honors Program provides students with experience in objectively analyzing and interpreting information, opinions and beliefs.

Scholarship: The Honors Program promotes academic excellence in all areas, with an emphasis on scholarly research.

Service Learning: The Honors Program facilitates the maturation of students as citizen leaders through service to the community and individual reflection.

International Experience: The Honors Program prepares its students to be global citizens by emphasizing cross-cultural experiences.

Student Support: The Honors Program provides special support to its students to assist them in reaching their personal and professional goals.

Beginning with the first semester of their freshman year, Honors students participate in specially-designated Honors classes. Because admission is selective and competitive, these classes are smaller and often involve more active learning than regular classes, permitting Honors students greater and more intensive interaction with their instructors and other outstanding students.

Honors students also enjoy intensive guidance and personal attention from the Honors Director and from distinguished faculty in their area of study. Independent studies and the Senior Thesis project provide students and faculty with the flexibility they need to pursue scholarly interests and to design and implement innovative, creative approaches to learning.

Performance expectations are high. Honors students are held to the highest standards of academic performance, but are not in competition with one another. Instead, an atmosphere of openness, cooperation and intellectual adventure enables Honors students to inspire and challenge one another to the highest levels of achievement.


While students will take courses offered in Southern’s regular curriculum, the following features are specifically designed for Honors students:

Honors Forum: This course provides an in-depth discussion of a specific topic, text or other matter of interest. Students engage in critical thinking as they participate in and lead classroom discussions and presentations.

Service Learning: Honors students experience firsthand the value and challenge of community service as they simultaneously participate in and analyze the culture of a local service institution.

General Education: Special sections of required courses, such as General Psychology and English composition, are designated as Honors sections. There are a number of such courses offered each semester, and Honors students select several of these, particularly during their freshman and sophomore years, to help fulfill their General Education Requirements.

Senior Honors Thesis: Honors Scholars enhance a course in their major for Honors credit during their senior year. Working under the guidance of professors in their major field, they design and carry out independent projects investigating a topic in depth and utilizing original research methods. Each student makes a presentation of his or her research to an Honors Colloquium, which is open to a campus-wide audience. Students must complete their Senior Honors Thesis to graduate with honors.

Honors Recognition

Missouri Southern is affiliated with the National Collegiate Honors Council, The Great Plains Regional Honors Council and the national honor societies Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Chi. Most Honors students have the opportunity to participate in the activities of these organizations.

Every Honors course completed with a final grade of ‘A’ or ‘B’ is identified as an Honors course on the student’s transcript. Students who maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3, complete the required 27 hours of Honors courses and who continue acceptable progress in Honors will receive special recognition at commencement.

Honors and Evans Scholarships

All Honors Scholars are automatically eligible for an academic scholarship at Missouri Southern. In addition to competing for admission to the Honors Program, candidates are also competing for additional scholarships. The Honors and Walter and Fredrica Evans Scholarships will be awarded in varying amounts to the most highly qualified applicants as funds allow. The Evans Fellowship is a four-year renewable scholarship of $6,000 per academic year plus $5,600 each academic year for room and board; the Evans Scholarship is a four-year renewable scholarship of $6,000 per academic year; and the Honors Scholarship is a four-year renewable scholarship of $3,500 per academic year for in-state residents and $7,000 per year for out-of-state residents. Note: Students who live in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and select counties in Illinois qualify for Lion Pride in-state tuition, and thus receive a four-year renewable Honors Scholarship equal to $3,500 per year. These three scholarships are Southern’s most valuable institutional academic awards.


All students who wish to participate in the Honors Program must first be admitted to Southern. Incoming freshmen are eligible to apply if they meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Earn an ACT composite score of 28 or above, or an SAT score (CR + M) of 1300 or above.
  2. Rank in the top 10% of their high-school class.
  3. Have a GPA of at least 3.7 (on a 4-point scale) in high-school coursework.

To complete the application process the student must submit an application form, a transcript, a written essay, and two letters of recommendation mentioning the student’s strengths as a scholar. Outstanding candidates will be invited to an on-campus interview.

Students who have already completed one to four semesters of course work with a GPA of 3.5 at Southern or any other accredited college or university are also invited to apply for admission into the program, though they may not be eligible for the Honors or Evans Scholarships. Since a majority of the required 27 Honors credits must be earned in courses meeting the General Education Requirements, applicants who have previously earned more than 30 college credits will need to present a plan for completing these requirements in order to be considered for admission.

Institute of International Studies

Chad Stebbins
Webster Hall, 337A • 417.625.9736


In July 1995, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan signed into law House Bill No. 442, which directed that Missouri Southern “shall develop such academic support programs and public service activities it deems necessary and appropriate to establish international or global education as a distinctive theme of its mission.” That legislation was enacted as part of Missouri’s “Blueprint for Higher Education,” adopted by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

The faculty and administration of Missouri Southern developed over the next year the outline of a comprehensive plan of international education. Included was the establishment of the Institute of International Studies, charged with overseeing the internationalizing of the campus.

Internationalizing the Curriculum

The most distinctive aspect of Missouri Southern’s effort to internationalize the curriculum, and the one with the most tangible effect throughout the campus community, has been the designation of “themed semesters.” Each fall, a particular country or region of the world is selected to become the focus of intensive study. For the Fall 2017 semester, we will be highlighting Korea. Missouri Southern was one of 13 U.S. colleges and universities included in Internationalizing the Campus 2004: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, a major report published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, for its themed semesters. The report showcases U.S. colleges and universities that are making innovative, wide-ranging efforts to integrate global approaches to teaching into campus learning.

Study Abroad Programs

Study abroad programs also provide Missouri Southern students with additional opportunities to gain an understanding of other cultures and international issues. While many students travel with faculty on short-term programs, an increasing number are spending an entire semester abroad. Through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), students can pay MSSU tuition and room and board while attending any of 300 universities in 50 countries. MSSU also has a dozen partner universities around the world where students can pay MSSU tuition while renting apartments near the campuses. The Missouri London Program provides students with the opportunity to spend a semester at the University of Roehampton. We offer $1,000 study abroad grants to students going on the short-term trips and $1,250 grants for students spending a semester abroad.

George A. Spiva Library

James Capeci
Interim Library Director
Spiva Library 120 • 417.625.9806

Spiva Library is the major information resource on campus, providing access to over 1 million research items in a variety of formats, including: print books and journals; electronic books and databases; and microfilm and microfiche. Collections housed in the archives include the Congressional Papers of Gene Taylor, a former member of the United States House of Representatives; Tri-State mining maps; the papers of Dr. Arrell Gibson, a noted Western historian; and MSSU archival material.


The George A. Spiva Library provides organization of and access to information essential to Missouri Southern State University’s commitment to a liberal arts education and lifelong learning, with a firm emphasis on international studies and quality classroom teaching. The library also serves as a resource for residents in the region. Professional librarians and trained support staff expedite and enhance access to information through the sharing of expertise, participation in networks, the acquisition and maintenance of resources, creation of bibliographic tools and help guides, development of instruction programs, and the availability of reference services. The curriculum and research needs of students, faculty, and staff are met by providing timely access to information in the most beneficial format. Spiva Library will maintain and enhance user-oriented services, introduce new technologies, and build collections that contain diverse points of view. These initiatives will further demonstrate the central role played by the library in supporting the mission of the University and the educational needs of our constituents.

Online Catalog

SWAN (SouthWest Academic Network) is the public catalog and available via the Internet at http://swan.searchmobius.org/.


The catalog allows a search of Missouri Southern’s materials and/or those held by other members of the SWAN cluster of institutions. SWAN has grown to include:


  • Missouri Southern State University,
  • Baptist Bible College,
  • Cottey College,
  • Crowder College,
  • Drury University,
  • Evangel University,
  • Missouri State University,
  • Ozark Christian College,
  • Ozarks Technical Community College, and
  • Southwest Baptist University.


SWAN is one of nearly 20 clusters forming MOBIUS, a consortium linking the academic libraries of Missouri. MOBIUS enables a student to borrow a book from any academic library in Missouri and expect to receive it within an average of 48 hours. The requests are delivered Monday through Friday by an independent courier. This system eliminates tedious forms and provides rapid service. The book resources available number in the tens of millions and may be borrowed by MSSU students, faculty, and staff free of charge. Five large public libraries have joined MOBIUS in resource sharing and provide additional materials for our students. Currently, over 70 libraries form MOBIUS, including academic, public and special libraries, and the Missouri State Library.


Major periodical indexes in business, education, social science, history, psychology, English, biology, nursing and many other disciplines are available to MSSU students and professors on the internet, many in a full text format. Access to these resources is available through the library’s web page http://www.mssu.edu/library/. Students and faculty may access these resources from off-campus through the proxy server using their Missouri Southern credentials. Spiva Library maintains print periodicals and microforms of back issues. Interlibrary loan requests for materials that are unavailable in-house or through MOBIUS are sent and received through an international computer network of libraries called OCLC. Periodical articles are rapidly sent and received via fax and email.


The teaching function of the library is important, as it should be in a university that prizes teaching excellence and contact with students. Every effort is made to ensure that students learn how to conduct effective research and to use information resources knowledgeably. Librarians provide tours of the library, workshops, class lectures, and individual assistance. An “Ask Us” button is located on the right side of the library’s webpage for students to live chat with library staff, view FAQs or submit a question via email. If extensive research assistance is required, please call 417.625.9342 to schedule an appointment.


Five computer labs contain over 100 workstations for student use on every floor of the library, three with scanners, and all workstations are connected to black and white and/or color network printers. A portion of the workstations have specialty software such as AutoCAD 2012 for students in specific majors. Four additional workstations are available for quick searching. Digital and analog microform readers and printers are available for viewing and printing periodical back files. Black & white and color photocopiers are located throughout Spiva Library.

AVC, Curriculum and Government Documents

Located on the top floor of the Spiva Library is the Audio Visual Center. This area includes video and audiotape materials, compact discs, DVDs, slides, kits, and miscellaneous instructional materials. The AVC provides appropriate playback equipment for the materials. Curriculum textbooks, curriculum guides on microfiche as well as young adult and juvenile books that support the teacher education curriculum are housed in this area. Spiva Library is a selective depository for federal documents, which are located on the 4th floor. The staff provides limited production services such as laminating. There is a small inventory of videocassette and DVD players and televisions, audiocassette and recorders.

Staff & Hours

Helpful staff members are stationed throughout the library to support all materials and services. The staff is composed of degreed librarians, numerous support staff members, and student workers who serve in all areas of the library.

Spiva Library hours*:

  • 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday -Thursday
  • 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday
  • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday
  • 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday

*Library hours differ during holidays, breaks and summer session.


Spiva Library works closely with the campus Disability Services Coordinator to ensure that the library is accessible to patrons with disabilities. Patrons with a disability may contact any library staff member for assistance.

Show-Me Gold

The Missouri Army National Guard Officer Leadership Program (SHOW-ME GOLD) will offer citizens of Missouri the opportunity for professional development to become officers in the Missouri Army National Guard. The officer training program will consist of credit-bearing classroom instruction, leadership laboratories, and physical training.

Student participants in the program must satisfy admissions standards of both Missouri Southern State University and the Missouri Army National Guard. Those who qualify for any of Southern’s merit-based scholarships will be eligible to apply those benefits to books, fees, and expenses.

Students will enroll in Southern’s regular academic programs, but also will take credit-bearing military science courses offered through the Missouri Army National Guard and fulfill other additional requirements.

To Learn more about the program contact:
Phone: 417.625.9690 • Email: gilbert-d@mssu.edu

Writing Program

Each department is responsible for ensuring that their graduating seniors have achieved a level of writing competency needed to perform effectively in their chosen careers. Students will complete the writing goals established by the faculty in their selected major. Students graduating with the Bachelor of General Studies or the Bachelor of Applied Science degree will be required to complete at least one course beyond ENG 0101  and ENG 0102  selected from a list of approved courses.