Graduate Schools in Missouri | MO Graduate Programs

The “Show-Me State” and home to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis—the gateway to the west—Missouri blends highlands with plains, Southern charm with Midwestern friendliness, rich historic traditions with inspired forward-thinking creativity. Culture-rich St. Louis and Kansas City are the main urban centers but outside the city limits is a plethora of outdoor opportunities, especially in the gently rolling slopes of the Ozark Mountains. Going to graduate school in Missouri could be a welcome retreat!

Why Go to Grad School in Missouri

In the center of the Midwest, the self-proclaimed Gateway to the West state has become an enticing spot for grad students. Its laidback vibe and pleasing mix of city sophistication and wide-open rural spaces makes for a perfect place to study and stay inspired. Students going to grad school in Missouri can study a variety of topics from technology and science to arts and administration in both private and public universities.

Under its iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis is the state’s largest city and teems with historic attractions, ample green space, and vibrant cultural scene. Kansas City, with its roots in modern jazz, flows easy with a cool rhythm evident in its fountains and boulevards – more than in Rome and Paris, respectively, some say – and its music scene. You’ll find a lively vibe here, as well as some of the best barbeque in the country. Columbia sits in the middle of the state, offering a laidback university vibe with plenty of parks to study in to explore. At the foot of the Ozark Mountains is Springfield, the state’s third largest city charms with historic architecture, a bustling downtown scene, and easy access to rural pleasures.

Fun Fact

Missouri is sometimes nicknamed “The Cave State,” as it has more than 6,000 known caves. In fact, Richland has the only cave restaurant in the United States.

Life in Missouri

Urban sophistication blends seamlessly with pastoral pleasure in Missouri. Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis, and Springfield buzz with historic and modern culture. Outside the cities, an easygoing vibe prevails from the plains in the north and center to the Ozark peaks in the south. Wherever you choose to study, Missouri offers a four-season climate – colorful springs and falls, chilly winters, and hot summers. St. Louis and Kansas City both serve as major airport gateways with other cities easily accessible via regional airports. Amtrak trains connect with Chicago and to Dallas, Texas, while buses also provide transportation. Like all Midwestern states, a car is essential.

Getting Outside

In Missouri, outdoor excursions do not necessarily mean you have to take a weekend trip outside the city. St. Louis has a massive park system and other cities provide ample outdoor space for hiking, jogging, biking, and more. Outside the cities myriad state parks and historic attractions provide ample opportunities to experience Missouri’s diverse scenery. Hike, bike, or backpack the more than 1,000 miles of trails in Missouri state parks; ride horses in Lake of the Ozarks State Park or in Castlewood State Park; or get remote in the wild confines of Trail of Tears State Park. Go caving, camping, swim, fish, and more in the Ozarks. Lakes and rivers throughout the state provide plenty of cool respite during the hot summers.


Literature, music, film, history and sports are prominent in Missouri culture. Many country singers, jazz musician, and rock and roll performers are from Missouri, and music history is celebrated in the clubs and theaters of Kansas City and St. Louis. Mark Twain and T.S. Eliot come from St. Louis and the city retains a strong literary community. Historic sites include the massive Anheuser-Busch Brewery complex in St. Louis; the Gateway Arch, also in St. Louis, Harry S. Truman Historical District, in Independence; and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, a Civil War site in Republic. In fact, the state has many Civil War sites to explore. Like sports? The state hosts professional hockey, football, and baseball teams that have long traditions.

The Food Scene

The more interesting dining scenes are found in Kansas City and St. Louis. In these places you’ll find such local staples as barbecue pork steaks, barbeque, thin-crust St. Louis-style pizza, and much more. Fine dining in a variety of savory flavors exist throughout the cities, as well. In the smaller towns, you’ll find typical Midwestern hearty fare—burgers, eggs, potatoes, etcetera. Hometown specialties include:

  1. The Slinger Burger: A burger bowl with 2 fried eggs, hash browns, a hamburger patty, all smothered in chili, onions, and cheese.
  2. Toasted Ravioli: Breaded and deep-fried ravioli, served sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Gerber Sandwiches: A toasty, open-face sandwich with garlic butter, ham, Provolone, and paprika, served on French bread.
  4. Concrete Custard: An ultra-thick frozen ice-cream custard made of eggs and honey.
  5. Gooey Butter Cake: A coffee cake made with yellow cake batter and cream cheese.
  6. St. Paul Sandwich: A white-bread sandwich with egg foo young, pickles onions, lettuce, tomato and mayo.

City Living

Within the steady rolling countryside of rivers, farmland, and hills, these four cities showcase the best of urban living in the “Show-Me State.” Outdoor excursions, barbeque, culture, and a variety of graduate programs make these cities worth checking out.

  1. Kansas City

  2. St. Louis

  3. Springfield

  4. Columbia

Kansas City

Savory barbeque, live jazz, more boulevards than Paris, more fountains than Rome—Kansas City, Missouri, unfolds with a city-sophisticated style mixed with an earthy Midwestern bonhomie. It’s a beautiful city, too, from Downtown’s River Market and Crossroads Art District to historic districts like Strawberry Hill and Washington Wheatley. Food is a major topic of conversation, especially when it comes to barbeque, of which is ubiquitous throughout the city. Diners, Mexican, Italian, and sophisticated fare round out the palate-pleasing mix. And if its culture that you’re looking for, check out the Kansas City Museum, Airline History Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The city also has a rich performing arts scene, and hosts many Broadway touring shows. Nightlife? Music clubs and concerts venues around town create a rich music scene – you’ll hear the coolest jazz in a scene that certainly rivals New York, especially in the 18th and Vine Jazz District, as well as rock and other genres. Swanky lounges, bars, and clubs round out the after-hours mix. The sports scene here includes the always competitive NFL Kansas City Chiefs and MLB Kansas City Royals, plus hockey and soccer clubs. Weekly markets, art events, city parks, and the famous Kansas City Zoo provide relaxed respites from graduate study.

St. Louis

To be sure, the largest city in Missouri welcomes residents and visitors to an urban playground of green spaces, historic neighborhoods, a vibrant performing arts scene, and a tantalizing menu of restaurants – especially in The Hill, Delmar Loop, and Downtown. Stroll the tree-lined streets past Victorian homes in Lafayette Square and Park or take a leisurely bike ride or jog in South Grand and Tower Grove Park. The Peabody Opera House, the Fabulous Fox Theater, and the Sheldon Concert Hall are among the stylish venues to see everything from concerts to Broadway shows. Art lovers can wander through the City Museum or the Contemporary Art Museum, while history buffs can check out the exhibits Museum of Westward Expansion, which sits under the stunning Gateway Arch. Watch the MLB St. Louis Cardinals or the St. Louis Blues hockey team for your sports fix. Want more? Its proximity to more outdoor excursions and easy access could make it a perfect city to settle in during and after graduate study.


As the third largest city in Missouri, Springfield – like St. Louis – is also a gateway: it sits at the foot of the gently rolling slopes of the Ozark Mountains. This stunning pastoral adventure notwithstanding, Springfield has its fair share of unique attractions, an exciting and varied culinary scene, American heritage sits, and more. Check out the Archery Hall of Fame, Civil War Library at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, and Lew’s Ozark Fishing Museum. Downtown is a cool place to hang day or night, as it’s jammed with bars, shops, parks, fountains, and nightclubs. The historic of Commercial Street is booming and buzzing with coffee shops, cafes, bars, and boutiques. And of course the Ozark Mountains are just outside the city, with plenty of opportunities to hike, bike, camp, or just chill and take in the views.


Home to the University of Missouri, Columbia certainly lives up to its university vibe, with its eclectic mix of culture, shopping, parks, dining, and more. Katy Trail State Park is a favorite for joggers, bikers, and fitness lovers. The Blue Note historic theater is one of the best places in the state for live music in a variety of flavors. And if its flavors you’re looking for, you’ll have no problems indulging in casual staples like pizza and burgers as well as proper vegan fare and organic options. Downtown Columbia draws for shopping, restaurants, and theaters – look no further than The District on the corner of Broadway and Ninth Street, which buzzes nightly with activity. A busy calendar of cultural and sports events round out the mix of things to do.

Fun Fact

Jazz thrives at 18th and Vine in Kansas City. During the 1920s, the area around the intersection was the place for music and nightlife in the region.

Major Missouri Industries

Students going to grad school in Missouri can pursue a variety of post-graduate opportunities including technology, business administration, health care, agriculture, and government. St. Louis is home to nine Fortune 500 companies, while Kansas City could be a place to pursue government opportunities.

Explore Graduate Schools in Missouri

Prospective graduate students can find a variety of schools in Missouri. You may find one that suits not only your area of study but also one that has an environment that fits your lifestyle. The following partner schools are just a few highlights:

Popular Graduate Programs in Missouri

Missouri offers an array of graduate school opportunities mostly centered in the cities St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. However, throughout the state, many smaller communities offer myriad opportunities to pursue a graduate degree in Missouri. Here are some of the top options for study at the graduate level from among our many sponsored listings.


One of the more interesting technology programs in Missouri is the Master of Science in Customer Analytics at Washington University, designed to position students to excel as big data moves to the forefront of the boardroom. The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems at Missouri State University combines classroom and distance learning with a curriculum for both experienced IT managers and technical staff making the transition to managerial roles. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, the Master of Science – Health Informatics graduate program works with self-motivated professionals working in the healthcare and information technology fields, providing them an increased understanding of the transforming potential and complexity of advanced information technology applied to healthcare organizations. The Cybersecurity Leadership graduate program at Drury University in Springfield provides students with a strong foundation in risk and risk management, which could be perfect for small business owners.


At Washington University in St. Louis, the Master of Science in Finance provides students with in-depth training in securities research, asset management, derivative pricing, and fixed income for students pursuing specialized finance careers. The Executive Master of International Business at St. Louis University seeks to provide experienced business professionals with the knowledge and skill to manage operations in the complex international business environment. At Drury University in Springfield, the Master of Arts in Communication program blends theoretical understanding of ethical and effective communication principles with cutting-edge knowledge of new communication technologies and social media. The goal of the Master of Accountancy program at Missouri State University is to develop well-rounded accounting professionals who are prepared for a variety of careers in public, private, or governmental accounting or for pursuing a doctoral degree.

Science & Engineering

The Master of System Integration degree at Washington University could be perfect for professionals who wish to increase their knowledge and skills related to the expanding field of multidisciplinary systems engineering, analysis and integration. At Northwest Missouri State University, the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science program targets students working in business or government who wish to use GIS technology for managing geographic data and solving geo-spatial problems, and who need in-depth knowledge that goes beyond the mechanics of using GIS software. For those interested in aerospace engineering, the Aviation Safety program at the University of Central Missouri offers a broad spectrum of study in subjects such as Air Transportation, Aviation Management, Aircraft Accident Investigation, and Airport Planning and Design. At Truman State University, the Biology graduate program uses its modern facilities and nearby field settings for students to conduct biomedical research.

Health & Medicine

Rockhurst University in Kansas City offers an MBA in Health Care Leadership for Physicians, which focuses on the specific issues relevant to physicians. At Logan University in Chesterfield, the Nutrition and Human Performance Master’s Degree program teaches students to analyze diet and health status, assess nutritional deficiencies and food allergies, and learn how to offer patients evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. The Master of Science in Nursing program at University of Missouri – St. Louis offers four functional role options: Nurse Educator, Nurse Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner. At Missouri State University, the Physical Therapy graduate program helps prepare to students to examine patients with impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in order to determine a diagnosis and prognosis relevant to physical therapy.

Find a Graduate School in Missouri

Want to pursue a graduate degree in Missouri? You’ll find many schools and settings from which to choose. It’s simple! Choose graduate programs in Missouri based on your preferences. Then apply with the on-page form. You’re ready to go!

Discover Top Missouri Cities for a Graduate Program

PopulationMedian Household IncomeMedian Gross Rent% of person having a bachelor’s degree or higher
Kansas Cityi459,787$45,275$78931.3%
St. Louisii319,294$52,389$72429.6%

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  • Grantham University

  • Northcentral University

  • A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

  • National American University

  • Rockhurst University

  • Washington University in St Louis

  • University of Missouri - St Louis

  • Research College Of Nursing

  • Barnes-Jewish College

  • Lincoln University (MO)

  • Berean University Of The Assemblies Of God

  • Missouri Valley College

  • University of Missouri - Columbia

  • Park University

  • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences