Truman State University


Truman State University was founded in 1867 as North Missouri Normal School and Commercial College. The school went through a number of name changes and changes in scope over the following century. In 1972 the institution was renamed Northeast Missouri State University. In 1985, the governor formally recognized Truman as Missouri’s only highly selective public liberal arts and sciences university. Ten years later, the institution’s name was changed to honor Harry Truman, the only Missourian ever to be President.

It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Its mission statement (available online at says in part that the university “is committed to the advancement of knowledge, to freedom of thought and inquiry, and to the personal, social, and intellectual growth of its students.” The Carnegie Institute classifies it as a Master’s College and University I.

Information Summary

Ranks 3rd in Missouri and 235th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 91.8
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $21,329
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 30 / 1358
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 17 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 83% / 67%
Enrollment Total (all students) 5,853


Truman State University has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are majors offered in 5 schools: including the School of Arts and Letters, School of Business, School of Health Sciences and Education, School of Sciences and Mathematics, and the School of Social and Cultural Studies. There is a pre-medical concentration offered through biology, chemistry, health, and exercise science. The pre-law concentration is offered through English, history, and political science. In addition, there are pre-professional programs in dental, education, engineering, medical technology, occupational therapy, law, medicine, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, physical therapy, special education, and veterinary medicine. The Honors Scholar Program encourages in-depth exploration of a list of topics and encourages a well-developed viewpoint of these topics. The student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1, with the average class size of 24 students. Classes in a particular major may have as few as 8 to 10 students.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges; however, the Department of Education offers only graduate programs. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as accountancy, art history, music, communication disorders, exercise science, nursing, classics, English, Russian, computer science, mathematics, agricultural science, physics, economics, justice systems, sociology and anthropology, and interdisciplinary studies.

Graduate programs are offered in 9 fields at the master’s level: accountancy, biology, communication disorders, education, English, music, leadership, counseling and bioscience informatics.

Both graduate and undergraduate students are invited to participate in the annual Student Research Conference.

The top 5 fields of study completed at Truman State University are Biology, English, Business, Psychology and Exercise Science.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Truman State University 2

Unique Programs

The School of Health Sciences and Education offers concentrations in athletic training, communication disorders, health science, exercise science, and nursing. The Speech and Hearing Clinic houses therapy rooms and materials for improvement of communicative disorders, and is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The Health and Exercise Science majors/degrees encourages students to improve the health of the people around them. The Nursing Program prepares beginning practitioners to care for patients of all ages in a variety of environments.

Truman State University has an undergraduate Honors Scholar Program. All students who meet the highly selective admissions criteria to the University are eligible to take part in the program. Students who choose to participate must take 5 Honors Courses distributed through 4 areas.

Truman State University has a required undergraduate portfolio program. Students are to include in their senior portfolio samples of their work that reflect areas such as critical thinking, interdisciplinary thinking, historical analysis, and intercultural thinking. Students also complete a questionnaire reflecting on the transformative experiences that they participated in during their undergraduate degree.

The Study Abroad program allows students to take part in semester or summer-long learning in over 50 countries. Students can also take part in unpaid or paid internships for companies or institutions in multiple countries.


The Office of Admission at Truman uses a “combined ability score” to determine admissions eligibility, which is calculated based on high school class rank percentage, grade point average, and the applicant’s percentile on either the ACT or the SAT entrance exam. To determine a “combined ability” score, the testing percentile from the highest scoring exam is added either to the high school rank percentile or the percentage from the grade point average, whichever is higher. Students with a combined ability score of 140 or greater have the best chance of gaining admission to Truman. The majority of admitted freshman have a composite ACT score between 25 and 30 (or the SAT equivalent). While this gives admissions personnel a criterion for assessing all students, admissions decisions are still determined using multiple criteria, including high school curriculum, special interests and abilities, extracurricular activities, and a personal essay. Truman requires that incoming freshman have completed four years of English, three years each of mathematics, social studies, and science, two years of foreign language, and one year of fine arts. Admission to the Nursing Program is highly competitive and there are a select number of “slots” available each year. Students interested in the Nursing Program should contact that department to determine the availability of admissions slots.The applicationfor the Nursing Program is available online.

Truman State University has an undergraduate admissions priority date of December 1; applications are accepted afterwards, but students who apply earlier receive priority for scholarships. The final deadline for theNursing Program is January 31. There is no application fee. Applications can be submitted online. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Office of Admission. Students usually receivean admission decision within 2-3 weeks of submitting all materials.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background. Separate online applications are available to both categories of students.

Students applying to the graduate programs at Truman State University should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying for deadlines and specific application requirements. Applications can be submitted online. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree. Most programs require a 3.0 undergraduate GPA for admission.

Financial Aid

Truman State University offers 3 kinds of scholarship awards: automatic scholarships, competitive scholarships, and talent-based awards. Automatic scholarships require no additional application and students are considered for them upon review of the student’s admission file. Competitive scholarships are available to those students who demonstrate the greatest academic aptitude and depth of involvement outside coursework. And talent-based scholarships are available to students in a variety of areas, including fine arts or athletics. Talent-based awards are the responsibility of their respective departments and applicants must contact those departments to inquire about scholarship opportunities.

Tuition at Truman State University is $6,772 per academic year for the 2011-2012 academic year for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have varying tuition costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for eligible students. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA), available online at There are several special loan programs offered by the University, including “cultural loans” for students planning to study abroad.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sorts of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

How many students use Financial Aid, and how much do they use?

The average per-undergraduate-borrower cumulative principal borrowed of those who borrow institutional; state of federal loan money was $20,777 in 2010-2011, which is less than the national average of approximately $25,000. On average, the percentage of need that was met of freshmen students who were awarded any need-based aid was 87.4 percent during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4268th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Missouri.


Truman State University is home to more than 250 student clubs and organizations, including academic and social clubs. There are seven residence halls available for on-campus living, and the Student Recreation Center offers games and entertainment programs nearly every night of the week. Truman considers academic research to be an important part of a student’s life. While classroom instruction results in the acquisition of knowledge, students learn to apply that knowledge during research. Students can also initiate research projects outside of the coursework they are enrolled in, making undergraduate research an important extracurricular activity.

Student life at Truman State University includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. There are fraternities and sororities, academic and professional groups, religious organizations, cultural organizations, political groups, and special interest groups, and three a capella choirs. Intramural sports include table tennis, basketball, and a swim meet. There is a student newspaper, a radio station, a television station, and a literary magazine.

Student Enrollment Demographics

How many students are enrolled at Truman State University? 6,101 undergraduates and graduates as of fall 2011.

How many students graduated at Truman State University? FY11 number of graduates are as follows:

Undergraduates-bachelor’s degree: 1170 Graduates-master’s degree: 217 Total degrees: 1387

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Truman State University Bulldogs compete in the NCAA’s Division II and in the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAA). Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling. Women’s sports include basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Truman is home to a first-class natatorium that includes a six-lane, 25-yard swimming pool for competition and practice in the winter and spring. Truman’s swimmers compete nationally, and the women’s swim team won national championships in 2001 to 2006, and again in 2008. Students are invited to use the natatorium for general recreation throughout the week. Stokes Stadium is home to the football team and includes Gardner Track for the track and field teams. The soccer field is located near the stadium, as are the tennis and baseball/softball facilities. Pershing Arena houses three basketball courts, with separate courts reserved for volleyball and for men’s and women’s basketball. In the last 11 years, Truman’s athletics program has finished in the top 10 of the United States Sports Academy’s Directors’ Cup, which honors broad-based athletics programs at select institutions. In 6 of the last 11 years, Truman has been the top-ranked MIAA school in Directors’ Cup finishing.

Athletic facilities at Truman State University include a natatorium, a gymnasium, a stadium and track, softball and baseball fields, soccer fields, training facilities with a weight room, and tennis courts. Among the championships and awards that Truman State University has received are several conference and tournament titles, and five consecutive national championships in women’s swimming. A number of athletes have also been honored for their academic success. As of 2011, Truman has now placed 97 student-athletes on CoSIDA Academic All-American teams, the most from any Division II program.


The bulldog became Truman State University’s official mascot in 1915. Today, the bulldog mascot affectionately known as Spike continues to represent this strong and tenacious symbol of the University’s resilience. For more trivia check out

Local Community

The population of Kirksville is approximately 17,000. It is the county seat of Adair County, and classified as a “micropolitan area.” In addition to being the home of Truman, Kirksville is also home to A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Thousand Hills State Park, and the region’s ABC affiliate station, KTVO. The surrounding environment is rural.

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