The University of Missouri (also, Mizzou, MU, or University of Missouri–Columbia) is a public land-grant research university located in Columbia, Missouri, U.S. It was founded in 1839 as the first public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River. As the largest university in the state, it enrolled 32,777 students in 2016, offering over 300 degree programs in 19 academic colleges in the 2014–2015 school year. It is the flagship campus of the University of Missouri System, which also maintains campuses in Rolla, Kansas City, and St. Louis.
MU is one of the nation’s top-tier R1 institutions and one of the 34 public universities to be members of the Association of American Universities. There are more than 300,000 MU alumni living worldwide with over one half continuing to reside in Missouri. The university was ranked 103rd among national universities in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings.