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Study in Missouri, United States

State overview

Located in the United States Midwest and home to more than six million people, Missouri offers both big city living and small time country sights.

Home to the Great Plains two largest cities in St Louis and Kansas City, Missouri is the most populated state in the area. However, it still has plenty of open spaces and wild terrain, particularly in the Ozark Mountains with its winding roads and rolling hills.

This is barbecue territory, so international students on graduate programs in Missouri should jump on the scene and get to know the friendly locals – you’ll always be well fed.

Education profile

Missouri is home to several high class institutions where you can study a postgraduate course. The main public university system is the University of Missouri System, with its flagship institution being the University of Missouri in Columbia.
You can study a graduate program in Missouri at:

Professional, or ‘terminal’, masters are designed to lead to employment rather than further study. Popular courses include: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.).

Academic masters, however, are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study. Popular courses include: Master of Education (M.Ed.), and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.).

Both last between one and three years, depending on the subject.

Doctoral degrees are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation. 

Immigration and visas

Before coming to study a postgraduate course in Missouri, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa.

The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in Missouri you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.

Life in Missouri

Studying a graduate program in Missouri means that you are likely to live in one of the state’s two largest cities – St Louis or Kansas City. Missourians in both cities love a barbecue, so expect to head out to grills across the city to get your fill. This is the perfect way to introduce yourself to your new city.

Both Kansas City and St Louis have big music scenes, particularly in jazz and blues. Saxophonist Charlie Parker was born in the Kansas City and many bars still have live music daily. If Irish bars are your thing, then Kansas City’s large Irish population will be sure to give you a traditional welcome.

As the native state of Mark Twain, Missouri has a strong literary history with both Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer set in the state in his home town of Hannibal.

Working in Missouri

Missouri is a middle ranking economy in the US, with its major industries including aerospace, transportation, food processing, manufacturing and publishing.

Agriculture remains an important industry in the state, with more than 100,000 farms producing, beef, pork, dairy products, corn and cotton. Missouri has the second highest concentration of farms in the United States after Texas.

Mining also forms an important industry in Missouri, particularly lead mines. Other key mining resources include coal and limestone.


The easiest way to settle into university life in Missouri is to live in accommodation provided by your institution, whether that is halls of residence accommodation or off-campus apartments. Most universities have a dedicated housing department who will be able to advise you on costs and the type of accommodation they offer.

If you prefer to live off campus, most universities will be able to offer you a list of reputable agents where you can find private accommodation, as well as an idea of the best places to live.

Weather and climate

Missouri has a typically Midwestern climate with cold winters and hot, humid summers. Missouri is a state which typically experiences extremes of temperatures, with summer highs hitting 35C plus and winter lows well below freezing.

Missouri also experiences plenty of thunderstorms and tornadoes, with tropical cyclones also common in the autumn.

What to do next

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