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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.

Blackboard 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

• Is there an application charge?

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

• What are the English requirements for studying at MSSU?

To join our regular academic courses, you must have evidence of English proficiency from one of the categories below:
  • TOEFL (min 68), IELTS (min 6.0), Duolingo (min 95)
  • You are required to send us proof of your English language proficiency. We recommend you take one of the listed tests above and send us your score. We do accept other forms of proof. Contact our International Admissions Department if you have any questions about English proficiency.

• Is there a place on campus for International Students to live?

We provide our International Students with an opportunity to mix with natives by sharing on-campus living with local students. You can also live alone in a single dorm, or choose to live with students from your home country – whatever you are most comfortable with. Visit our Residence Life page for more information about on-campus housing.

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

Please send the following materials with your application:

  1. Your proof of English proficiency
  2. A copy of the photo page of your passport
  3. Proof of finances, showing ability to pay for 1 year’s tuition at MSSU.
  4. Translated transcripts from high school and college/university if applicable.

• What immunizations do I need before I arrive?

We require all students – including international students – to be immunized against Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), and Meningitis. You must be up-to-date with all immunizations and have these records available to send to us before your are admitted.

• How do I find out how my home country’s grading/testing system converts to US scores to meet admission requirements

If you have college transcripts, send them to a 3rd party evaluator. They will evaluate all your documents and convert grades to an American 4.0 grading scale.

Have them send your scores to us at:

International Admissions
Missouri Southern State University
3950 E Newman Rd
Joplin, MO 64801

*This process can take up to 6 weeks so be sure to complete this step well in advance.

• Where can I find more information about Joplin?

Check out VisitJoplinMO.

• What items should I bring for my trip?

We recommend that you bring or have delivered to your dorm

  • A personal laptop, a phone, calculator, and any other technology
  • Decorations and organizational boxes/bins/shelves
  • Twin XL sheets and/or blankets

• What requirements do I need to qualify for the F1 student visa?

You must meet the following criteria to qualify for an F1 student visa:

  • A foreign residence that 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 that 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 Visa before applying to MSSU?

No, you will apply to MSSU before you apply for the F1 student visa. Acceptance into our university is the first step you must take before you are eligible to apply for a student visa.

• Are there many international students at MSSU?

Yes, we host students from all over the world. We are a university with a unique International Mission, which means we are very focused on bringing in students from all over the world and growing our own understanding of other cultures.

• 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 adviser 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. Speak with an Academic advisor here once you arrive to go over your courses to see what will count.

• Do you offer any scholarships for International Students?

It’s our mission to make studying abroad as affordable as possible for you. Click here to see information on our scholarships.

• 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. After completing your education in the United States, you are allowed to stay in the country for 60 days until your visa expires.

• Will I be able to take classes to improve my English while at MSSU?

Yes. We offer an Intensive English Program which works with our International Admissions Office to provide interested International Students with a chance to learn more about the English language and American culture. Students from a variety of English language backgrounds, from beginner to advanced. Through this program, you will have opportunity to learn English with other International Students, through hands-on classwork and by attending events hosted by your Friendship Family, a local family who will invite you to dinner and work with you on your English conversational skills.

• Can I legally work in the U.S. while in school?

During your first year here, you will not be able to accept work off-campus. After a year, you will need permission from USCIS to seek employment off-campus. At any time during your study here, you are eligible to work on-campus for a max total of 20 hours per week. We offer many opportunities for students to work on-campus. Visit Hire-A-Lion to browse open positions on campus. For more information about working while on a student visa, check out this resource.

• Will I need a passport?

Yes, a passport is required for international travel and study. Check your country’s requirements to get a passport in time for your departure.

• How do I get to MSSU?

We are located in Joplin, Missouri. The easiest way to get here is to first book a direct flight to the Joplin airport. You will need to fill out an airport pick-up 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 either before you leave your home country or at the airport. If you bring your native currency to Joplin, you will not be able to find a place locally to convert your currency. You can use any ATM in Joplin to take money out of your native bank account and automatically convert it to USD paper bills, although there is a fee charged by the bank. Make sure you let your bank know you will be abroad so your account is not put on hold.

• I have a Green Card. Am I considered an International Student?

No, you are considered a ‘resident’ of the United States and you will pay domestic tuition prices.  You also qualify to apply 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!