2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Northwest Missouri State University

Students are expected to read and conform to the regulations in this catalog. The student, not the University nor faculty members, is primarily responsible for knowing the regulations and policies, and for meeting the requirements for a degree or certificate.

A copy of this catalog is issued to each new student. Students are expected to keep the catalog throughout their college career. Students are advised to study closely the course offerings available on the website and to consult with faculty advisors for planning.

The information in this publication endeavors to be as current and accurate as possible. Due to the constant change in economic conditions and in student program needs, the accuracy of the details appearing here may be affected. There may be a possibility from time to time that classes will be deleted from this catalog or from trimester course offerings for lack of sufficient enrollment.

This catalog does not constitute a contract but is for information only.

Address of all University offices:

Northwest Missouri State University

800 University Drive

Maryville, Missouri 64468-6001

Academic and Administrative Office Hours:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays)

University Information:

(660) 562-1212

Web Address:


Message from the President

Northwest students:

It is with Bearcat pride that I welcome you and invite you to explore Northwest and all it has to offer. Please use this catalog to advance your knowledge about the array of academic opportunities available at Northwest.

At Northwest, our mission is focusing on student success – every student, every day. Northwest boasts a higher freshman success rate than other moderately selective universities in Missouri, and our graduation rate is considerably higher than the national average. Furthermore, we boast significantly high undergraduate and graduate placement rates. We put a high premium on your success!

Across the nation, the buzzwords of access, affordability and accountability permeate nearly all conversations in higher education. While these terms have different meanings for different stakeholders, we at Northwest tend to look at these from a dual perspective: Our responsibility as an institution and your responsibility as a Bearcat.

Access: The traditional definition is that citizens have access to environments of higher education. However, we don’t believe our responsibility ends once you are admitted to Northwest. “Access” to us also means we provide open-door policies, student-faculty ratios ensuring access to course instructors and student services designed by and for students and available at the times you need them. Your responsibility is simple: to access faculty as advisors and mentors and to access student organizations and services. We want you to access everyone who works diligently on a daily basis to ensure the best possible learning opportunities and living environment for you. In short, Bearcats connect, and we encourage you to do so.

Affordability: We consider this responsibility every day and work to stretch every dollar we can to its fullest. That said, we focus on the highest quality for you as we help design your experiences. It’s a balancing act and we are quite proud of what we provide – as are more than 70,000 Northwest alumni and friends. Your responsibility is to be a smart consumer and to join us in respecting our environment.

Accountability: Northwest is accountable to you, taxpayers and a range of others, and our institution is managed in a transparent environment. We expect you, too, to be accountable for your experience at Northwest. Actively engage with your professors both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of services and academic support resources. Develop relationships with fellow students that will contribute positively to your ongoing success.

So, when Northwest says it will be THE university of choice for a comprehensive, exceptional student experience, what does that look like? It includes:

  • A relevant general education curriculum, known as The Northwest Core, designed to deepen your understanding of the world and how to communicate this understanding. Combined with profession-based learning experiences, it will help you appreciate the ways in which others interpret the world around us and equip you for success as citizens and as professionals in your chosen disciplines;
  • Majors and minors designed by faculty who are experts in their disciplines and shaped by industry professionals to ensure your courses meet the demands of the marketplace;
  • More than 150 student organizations in addition to numerous co-curricular, practicum and internship experiences that are profession-based and allow you to apply learning beyond classroom situations;
  • One-on-one learning opportunities with the most committed faculty anywhere as well as other academic services such as tutors and supplemental instruction to help you succeed at an even higher rate;
  • The opportunity for you to engage in the learning and living environment as much as you wish and to shape your learning plan as you progress;
  • A robust intramural program and club sports in addition to an NCAA Division II athletics program featuring championship-caliber teams;
  • A student employment program designed to augment your classroom learning, to provide professional development and to help keep your Northwest education affordable;
  • A safe environment punctuated by a campus designated as the Missouri Arboretum and focused on sustainability and alternative energy; and
  • Access and interaction with passionate and committed alumni who are dedicated to advancing Northwest and ensuring learning opportunities for you.

Notice the above does not just focus on the classroom and the ensuing catalog offerings. That’s because we view the academic experience as a comprehensive one. Research shows that engaged students are successful students, and I challenge you to truly engage in the collegiate experience. At Northwest, we consider these ideas part of the responsibilities of Being a Bearcat. Bearcats learn. Bearcats connect. Bearcats care. Bearcats practice civility. Bearcats show pride. 

Thank you for being a Bearcat. We believe in you. You believe in yourself. Together we believe in the Green and White.


Dr. John Jasinski



Northwest's Mission, Vision and Values


Northwest Missouri State University focuses on student success - every student, every day.


We will be THE university of choice for a comprehensive, exceptional student experience.


We value:

  • Student Success
  • Scholarship and life-long learning
  • Intercultural experience
  • Collaboration
  • Respect and integrity
  • Strategic thinking
  • Excellence


Northwest Missouri State University began in 1905 as Missouri’s Fifth District Normal School to provide teachers for the schools of a 19-county region in northwest Missouri. The University still fulfills that function, but the institution has now grown into a comprehensive state university that offers more than 120 undergraduate programs, 37 master’s degrees, three specialist degrees, a cooperative doctoral program and five certificate programs.

Northwest’s history includes three name changes. In 1919, the Missouri General Assembly changed the name to Northwest Missouri State Teachers College and established the privilege of granting baccalaureate degrees. On July 21, 1949, the Board of Regents changed the name to Northwest Missouri State College. The final name change occurred August 14, 1972, when the Board of Regents, recognizing the evolution of the school into a comprehensive institution, changed the name to Northwest Missouri State University.

Northwest has evolved into a vibrant and diverse learning community with an enrollment of more than 6,500 students from 39 states and 35 countries. About 700 faculty and staff are employed by the University, which offers classes on its Maryville campus, at centers in Kansas City and St. Joseph, online and through instructional television (ITV).

In 1987, Northwest unveiled its unique Electronic Campus program that was designed to accelerate student learning and enrich faculty teaching and research by placing a computer terminal in every student residence hall room and faculty office. The program was the first of its kind on a public college or university campus in the United States. Today, all full-time students are provided a fully-loaded laptop computer, enabling all students access to technology and the software they need to be successful.

Northwest serves its community and region in economic development. The state-of-the-art 46,679-square-foot Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which opened on the campus in 2009, is a mixed-use business incubator and an academic facility that fuels high-tech enterprise and creates jobs while providing academic opportunities and career paths for students. Additionally, the facility houses the University’s undergraduate program in nanotechnology and the School of Agricultural Sciences.

With its emphasis on student success - every student, every day - the university is focused on providing an exceptional student experience that places high value on scholarship and life-long learning, intercultural competence, collaboration, respect and integrity, strategic thinking and excellence.