Public and private. Big and small. Four-year, community and technical schools. With more than a dozen local colleges and universities, Springfield, Missouri, is very much a thriving city with a focus on higher education. Nearly 45,000 students each year choose Springfield to pursue academic paths from liberal arts and business to engineering, architecture, medicine, science and theology. Our wide array of undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs make it easy to access a lifelong education. Read more about our area’s major institutions, professional programs and great local campuses.

Missouri State University (MSU) is the second-largest university system in the state with over 26,000 students. The university’s main campus is in Springfield, with satellite locations in West Plains and Mountain Grove, Missouri, as well as Dalian, China. The university is home to the largest business college in the four-state area, and students may choose from more than 170 majors and programs. MSU made the Forbes list of America’s Top Public Colleges and received a Best in the Midwest distinction from The Princeton Review.

With more than 12,000 students, Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) is the second-largest learning institution in Springfield and one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the country. The technical school and community college offers two-year degrees and certificates in a variety of fields from medical and dental assisting to culinary arts and welding. OTC has branch campuses in Ozark, Hollister, Lebanon, Republic and Waynesville. Its Center for Workforce Development provides employers and individuals with consulting and training services designed to boost workplace performance through development of specific professional and technical skills.


Drury University continually ranks at or near the top of U.S. News & World Report’s Great Schools at Great Prices list and was awarded Honorable Mention as Best Liberal Arts School in the nation by Time magazine. Modeled after schools like Yale and Harvard, this small private institution focuses on academic and intellectual achievements with core values that integrate public service and global awareness. The university is a committed partner of Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise), a nonprofit organization empowering people throughout the world through free enterprise.

Evangel University is a private Christian university in Springfield and the official liberal arts university of the Assemblies of God (headquartered in Springfield). With more than 70 academic programs and nine graduate degrees, Evangel prepares students for leadership roles in business, government, vocational ministry, and other fields.

Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered liberal arts college that equips students for lifelong success through faith-inspired academic and campus life programs. SBU offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 80 areas of study, including pre-professional programs, business, nursing and liberal arts. SBU has been recognized for being one of America’s 100 Best College Buys since 1996 and one of America’s Best Christian Colleges since 1997. Nearly 1,300 undergraduate students attend classes at the main Bolivar campus with nearly 700 more at branch campuses in Mountain View, Salem and Springfield.

MU School of Medicine students in the simulation lab at Mercy in Springfield, Missouri.[/caption] New to Springfield are several specialized programs from the state’s largest university system, the University of Missouri. The number one provider of physicians in Missouri, University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) is working to establish the MU School of Medicine Clinical Campus in collaboration with Springfield’s CoxHealth and Mercy health systems. This new Springfield campus will allow MU to expand its medical student class size by more than 30%, while providing more than 300 additional physicians for the state. The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy is also in the process of establishing Springfield’s first Doctor of Pharmacy program on the campus of Missouri State University. The new UMKC program will begin in fall 2014.

As two nationally recognized top 100 integrated health systems, CoxHealth and Mercy health systems have a strong commitment to healthcare education—specifically when it comes to their respective colleges in Springfield, MO.

For over a hundred years, Cox College has prepared individuals for a career in healthcare. Today, the private college offers a variety of degrees including an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s in nursing and associate’s degrees in radiography and medical assisting. The college offers bachelor’s degrees in diagnostic imaging with specialties in computed tomography, diagnostic medical sonography, echocardiography, interventional radiology, magnetic resonance imaging and mammography. The college also offers master’s degrees in occupational therapy and nutrition diagnostics.

Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences is a joint venture between Mercy Hospital and Southwest Baptist University. Here, students can earn associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing as well as a paramedic bridge and a licensed practical nurse bridge. The school also offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in health sciences and an associate’s degree in radiography.