Throughout its prestigious 165-year history, the University of Missouri Columbia has strived to maintain its reputation as a leading research institution. Shortly after its creation, it became a member of the Association of American Universities, which unites 34 leading graduate institutions in the United States. In an effort to meet the education needs in two major Missouri hubs -- that being Kansas City and St. Louis -- the University of Missouri Columbia expanded into a four-campus system in 1962, with campuses in Rolla, Columbia, St Louis and Kansas City.
In 1908 the University of Missouri Columbia established its first school of journalism. Today the academic divisions of the university include the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Human Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Health Professions, School of Law, School of Nursing and School of Veterinary Medicine.
The University is justifiably proud of the numerous awards of its students and faculty in fields of biosciences. Included among the school's prominent alumni are actors Tom Berenger, Chris Cooper, Brad Pitt; musician Sheryl Crow; playwright Tennessee Williams and the U.S. Senator Christopher Bond. The university offers over 267 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 88 Bachelor's, 92 Master's, 62 Doctoral, 16 Post-Master's Certificates and 6 Education Specialist Programs.
As of the 2004-2005 academic year, the University of Missouri Columbia was one of seventeen institutions in the United States to have a Goldwater Scholar, an Udall Scholar and a Truman Scholar among the members of its staff. It attracts more Bright Flight Scholars than any other institution of the State of Missouri. The university is unique among public institutions, due to its housing a medical school, veterinary medical school, law school and a graduate Columbia university school on one campus. More physicians of Missouri State have received the medical degree from the University of Missouri, than any other university.
About 70% of Missouri veterinarians graduated from the university. 20% of Missouri attorneys were educated at the university's School of Law. Due to its 500 programs in 60 countries, the university is a recognized leader in overseas studies. More than 800 students of Mizzou studied abroad last year.
The University of Missouri Columbia has the largest collection of libraries in the state, comprised of 3,256,755 volumes and computerized catalog in its main Ellis library branch.
The university provides the benefits of two universities: a major land-grant university and the largest public research institution. In 2004 nearly $200 million were invested in research, which translated into economic benefit for state residents. According to the data from the National Science Foundation, the University of Missouri Columbia ranks second among the members of the Association of American Universities in federal research growth.
Today the university determines its main objective in preparing the students to succeed in economy, making the state more competitive, while at the same time improving lives through constant innovations.