General Information

Campus and Columbia

The University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Mo., as the first public land-grant university west of the Mississippi River and the first state university in Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase territory. MU provides all the benefits of two universities in one — it's a major land-grant institution and Missouri's largest public research university.

Considered one of the nation's top-tier institutions, Mizzou has a reputation of excellence in teaching and research and is the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System.


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With a population of more than 125,000, Columbia is Missouri's fifth-largest city and serves as both the county seat of Boone County and the location of the University of Missouri. More than half of Columbians possess a bachelor's degree and more than a quarter hold graduate degrees, which makes Columbia the 13th most highly educated municipality in the United States.

Columbia is roughly equidistant from St. Louis and Kansas City. The city has been ranked as high as the second-best place to live in the United States by Money Magazine's annual list and is regularly in the top 100 list in a variety of other magazine rankings and surveys.


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