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Admissions FAQs

New Freshman

• Are freshman required to live on campus?

We require all freshman under 21 to live on campus unless they are married or live with parents/guardians.

• What is the application fee for new freshman? Can I get a fee waiver?

The application fee is a non-refundable charge of $30. If you are eligible for free/reduced lunches, please have your high school counselor fill out a fee waiver form and email it to admissions@mssu.edu.

• What are LioNet and Blackboard? How do I log in to them?

LioNet is where you find your student information, such as your class schedule, grades, booklists and financial aid information.

Bl ackboard is used mostly by professors to post course information such as your class syllabus and assignment guidelines. Your professors may have you submit assignments through Blackboard, also.

To log in to LioNet or Blackboard, use the first half of your student email address (leave off the @mymail.mssu.edu) and your PIN, which is in your student portal.

• Where do I get my books for classes?

You may purchase books at the bookstore located on the main level of Billingsly Student Center. You may rent books from Book Rental in the basement of Billingsly Student Center, near Card Services.

• How do I get my Lion Card?

You can get your university-issued ID card in Card Services in the basement of Billingsly Student Center. Your Lion Card may be used to purchase books, check out books from the library, order food from the Lion’s Den, gain entrance into the Rec Center, etc.

• Can I park on campus?

You may park in any spot not marked as a Faculty/Staff parking space. You may get your parking pass from Card Services in the Billingsly Student Center basement. Card Services will need to know if you live on- or off-campus, and they will need your driver license number and your license plate number. Parking fees are included in your tuition costs.

• How do I accept financial aid?

You can accept financial aid, scholarships, grants and loans through LioNet under the Self-Service Menu.

• Can I change my major/minor or add another?

You can change your major/minor at any time. Making changes could affect your degree progress, though. To get an idea of how changing your major/minor will affect your degree progress, you can create a “what if” scenario through Degree Works on LioNet before you go through with making the change. Speak with your advisor for more information.

• Can I test out of classes?

Go to our page on CLEP testing to see if you qualify to test out of certain courses.

Transfer Student

• Do I need to send my current/previous university transcripts before applying?

Please have each college/university you’ve attended send Admissions your transcripts directly in order for them to be considered official. Transcripts may be emailed to admissions@mssu.edu or mailed to:

MSSU Admissions
3950 E. Newman Rd.
Joplin, MO 64801

• Will my classes transfer for full credit?

Please check out our transfer guide to see how your credits will transfer.

Since we compare your specific courses to courses we offer, we cannot guarantee all your credits will transfer. However, if any of your credits do not automatically transfer when you apply, you can petition a specific course for credit within the relevant department. The decision to accept or decline the petitioned credit will be left to the department chair and/or dean.

• What is the application fee for transfer students?

The application fee is a non-refundable fee of $30.

Graduate Student

• Where do I send my undergraduate transcripts?

Please have your previous schools send your official undergraduate transcripts to:

MSSU Admissions
3950 E. Newman Rd.
Joplin, MO 64801

• What documents do I need to send you when I apply?

The documents you will need to send us may vary from program to program. Along with your application, please send your official undergraduate transcript(s), your FAFSA and a professional resume/CV. Some departments require a statement of purpose declaring your expectations and desires for achievement within your field.

• Is there an application charge?

When you apply, you will need to pay a non-refundable $35 application charge and an additional $25 transcript evaluation charge.

• Can I start the program in the spring or summer semester?

Unless your program states otherwise, our post-graduate programs always start in the fall semester. When you apply, you will apply to start in the next available fall semester, regardless of when you submit your application.

• I haven't finished my undergraduate degree yet. Can I apply for admission in advance?

If you have set an expected date for completing your undergraduate degree and will graduate before the start date of your post-graduate program, you can submit an application for graduate studies.

We advise students not to submit an application more than a semester before your expected graduation, as grades and circumstances can change. If you do submit an application before you graduate, please have your official undergraduate transcript sent to us as soon as possible.

• Do you accept equivalent life experience in lieu of an undergratudate degree for post-graduate admissions?

While we generally do not accept applicants without a bachelor’s degree, if you feel your case is unique, you should contact the director of your desired program to discuss options.

• My undergraduate degree was completed in a field that is not very relevant to the post-graduate degree I’m applying for. Will I still be accepted?

Acceptance into our post-graduate programs is under the discretion of the program’s director. While some programs may not require a highly relevant degree, others may be more specific. To determine if your earned undergraduate study is related enough to grant you entry to your desired program, please contact the director of the program you are considering for details.

• Do you offer post-graduate scholarships?

While we do not offer specific post-graduate scholarships through MSSU, you may qualify for a number of outside scholarships. By submitting your FAFSA, you may also qualify for government loans/grants.

• Do I qualify for financial aid?

You should qualify for a similar amount of financial aid you received as an undergraduate. Fill out your FAFSA to see which grants/loans you are eligible to receive.

• Do I need to take the GRE for admission?

We do not require GRE scores for processing our post-graduate applications.

• How many hours do I need to take to be considered full-time?

If you take nine or more credit hours a semester, you are considered a full-time graduate student. Part-time graduate students usually take 6-8 credit hours a semester.

Former MSSU Student

• Do I need to reapply to MSSU?

If you have not taken classes at MSSU in over a semester, please reapply. Do not pay the application fee since you paid it with a previous application.

• Do I need to resend my high school transcript(s) and ACT/SAT scores?

We will still have that information in your file.

International Student

• Do I need a visa to study at MSSU?

All international students must apply for an F1 Student Visa through the United States Citizen and Immigration service after you apply and are accepted to study at MSSU.

• What requirements do I need to qualify for the F1 Student Visa?

  • A foreign residence you intend to return to after finishing your studies
  • Sponsorship by a university (received by being accepted to MSSU)
  • Sufficient financial support
  • Strong ties to your home country, such as bank accounts, family members, a job offer or assets (house, land, vehicle, etc.)

*Meeting the above criteria does not automatically guarantee you will be granted a student visa. The official decision for your case will be made by a USCIS officer following your visa interview.

• Do I need to be approved for the F1 Student Visa before I apply to MSSU?

No. You will apply to MSSU before you apply for the F1 Student Visa. Acceptance to MSSU is the first step you must take before you are eligible to apply for a student visa.

• Is there an application charge?

You must pay a non-refundable $60 application charge when you submit your application to MSSU.

• What documents do I need to send you before I can be accepted to MSSU?

  • Your TOEFL scores or other proof of English language proficiency
  • A copy of the photo page in your passport
  • Proof of finances, showing your ability to pay for one year’s tuition at MSSU
  • Translated transcripts from high school, and from college/university, if applicable

• Will my classes at MSSU count toward my degree from my home university?

If you are attending MSSU through a program at your university, your advisor on-campus there will be able to give you detailed information about how your credits will carry over once you return. Not all courses have a direct equivalence.

• Where do international students live on campus?

Our international students share dorms or on-campus apartments with other international and non-international students.

• Do you offer scholarships for international students?

We will work with you to help you apply for any/all international scholarships you are eligible for.

• What immunizations do I need before I arrive?

We require all students to be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and meningitis.

• Can I stay in the U.S. after I graduate?

Your eligibility to stay in the U.S. after graduation depends on a number of factors. If you are continuing on to higher education in the U.S., you can apply to extend your F1 Visa. Additionally, you may apply for OPT. After completing your education in the U.S., you are allowed to stay in the country for 60 days until your visa expires.

• Will I need a passport?

Yes, a passport is required for international travel and study. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to obtain your passport.

• How do I get to MSSU?

The easiest way to get here is to first book a flight to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas, then book a direct flight from there to the Joplin airport through American Airlines. You will need to fill out an airport pickup service form to make sure you will be taken to your home in Joplin.

• How and when should I convert my currency?

We recommend you convert your money to USD before you leave your home country or at your airport. If you bring your native currency to Joplin, you will not be able to find a place locally to convert your currency.

• I have a Green Card. Do I count as an international student?

No, you are considered a resident of the U.S., and you will pay in-state tuition prices. You also qualify for financial aid to cover your university expenses through the FAFSA.


• What are the COVID-19 safety precautions during tours?

All campus visitors must wear a mask and maintain 6 feet between people who didn’t come to the tour with you.

• What if my tour is canceled because of weather?

We will notify you via email that your tour was canceled, and we will assist you in rescheduling your tour.

• I need to reschedule my tour. How do I do that?

Please call 417-625-9743.

• What overnight accommodations are available?

If you wish to stay overnight, we recommend you stay at one of our MSSU Preferred Hotels. Be sure to ask for the Missouri Southern Lions rate when you make your hotel reservation!