Missouri’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Interested in attending a STEM school in Missouri? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Missouri’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Missouri

Tuition costs in Missouri fall below the national average, allowing students access to many affordable options. For example, at Missouri State University, the second largest public school, tuition fees are around $7,000. Students of actor John Goodman’s alma mater can major in fields like religious studies, history, and business, and even have the option of earning an associate degree in arts or a bachelor’s in business at the university’s sister school in China. Missouri also offers more than 40 private schools.

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Tuition and student populations vary greatly among these schools, but students who attend these higher education institutes also have the option to attend classes at other campuses. For example, Saint Louis University, a college with Jesuit roots, has campuses in both St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Additionally, Missouri offers special loan forgiveness programs for nurses and other health professionals, including dentists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians, who work in designated, high-need areas.

When you aren’t exploring one of its 6,000 caves, chowing down on some barbecue, or taking in a live jazz performance, Missouri can serve as the perfect place to begin a road trip. The Show Me State is bordered by eight other U.S. states, making it ideal for students love travelling and planning weekend getaways. During the week days, students can continue on their road to success by pursuing their degree at one of Missouri’s 72 higher education institutes.

See where Missouri’s many roads can take you while earning your degree at one this state’s top learning institutions.

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What are Missouri’s Colleges & Universities?

Missouri’s Best Overall

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How do we determine Missouri's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. There are 10 research universities in Missouri, all of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 40%.

Best Research Universities in Missouri for Undergraduates

  1. #1

    Washington University in St. Louis

    #67 institution's historical influence
    #20 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

    Saint Louis, MO

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    What is Washington University in St. Louis known for?

    Washington University in St. Louis’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    University of Missouri

    #98 institution's historical influence
    #1169 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Columbia, MO

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    What is University of Missouri known for?

    University of Missouri’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Saint Louis University

    #343 institution's historical influence
    #714 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/27

    Saint Louis, MO

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    What is Saint Louis University known for?

    Saint Louis University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Law
    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Missouri University of Science and Technology

    #727 institution's historical influence
    #1443 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1325/29

    Rolla, MO

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    What is Missouri University of Science and Technology known for?

    Missouri University of Science and Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    William Woods University

    #3323 institution's historical influence
    #1166 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    Fulton, MO

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    What is William Woods University known for?

    William Woods University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
  6. #6

    Missouri State University

    #1214 institution's historical influence
    #1219 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/24

    Springfield, MO

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    What is Missouri State University known for?

    Missouri State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    University of Missouri–St. Louis

    #2030 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    Saint Louis, MO

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    What is University of Missouri–St. Louis known for?

    University of Missouri–St. Louis’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Maryville University

    #3455 institution's historical influence
    #991 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/22

    Saint Louis, MO

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    What is Maryville University known for?

    Maryville University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    University of Missouri–Kansas City

    #665 institution's historical influence
    #1389 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Kansas City, MO

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    What is University of Missouri–Kansas City known for?

    University of Missouri–Kansas City’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Lindenwood University

    #2385 institution's historical influence
    #1325 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/22

    Saint Charles, MO

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    What is Lindenwood University known for?

    Lindenwood University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

Find the Best Research Universities in Missouri for your Major

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