The Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing


The Missouri Academy is located on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University in the town of Maryville. It was founded in 2000 as a college within the University focusing on the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Since 2003, the Dean of the Academy has been Cleo Samudzi, PhD. The Missouri Academy, which is publicly funded by the state of Missouri, is a two-year program that students enter after finishing their sophomore year in high school. The program is co-educational and enrolls roughly 85 students a year, making a total population of 170 students between the two grades. A student graduating after two years receives a high school diploma, an AA degree (Associate of Science), and 75-80 college credits. The majority of the graduates move on to other colleges and universities with advanced standing as sophomores or even juniors, though a significant number (typically at highly selective schools) matriculate as freshman.


The Academy is 100% residential; students are required to live in a special dormitory and are supervised by seven full-time Residential Counselors. Missouri residents receive free tuition, pay $2,100 per year for room, and pay $3,200 per year for all meals. Non-residents, whether from other states or other countries, pay $8,500 per year for 38 credits, $4,200 for room, and $3,200 for board. Roughly 50% of all applicants are admitted, with all but a handful entering the program. Applicants’ average ACT scores are above 26. Seventy-five percent of the students are Missouri residents; among the international students, the largest number hail from China, Korea, and Panama.


Students at the Missouri Academy are taught by Northwest Missouri State University professors, in classrooms alongside the “regular” college students. The curriculum is diverse, although over 2/3 of the courses are from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Computing. Students also have required courses in English, Communications, History, Political Science, and the Humanities, in addition to a Seminar in the first year and a Colloquium in the second. Students choose a small number of elective classes from areas such as Music, Foreign Languages, Economics, Health and Wellness, Art, Philosophy, and Psychology. All Academy students must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 2.75 in order to graduate. Typically, 75% to 90% of an entering class successfully completes the full two-year program.


Student life is much more structured for the 16-17 year-old Academy students than for the older students at Northwest Missouri State. Participants live in a special dormitory on campus and must respect a series of curfews during the week: signing-in at 6:00 p.m. before heading to dinner or early-evening activities, and staying in the dorm after 8:00 p.m., the floor after 10:00 p.m., and their rooms after midnight. Weekend schedules are more liberal, but an Academy student needs to sign out with at least one peer when going off campus during the day, and with two or three others if doing so at night. There is a “no-tolerance” policy towards the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs, though in 10 years fewer than five students have been asked to leave for disciplinary reasons. Students enjoy a full range of extra-curricular activities including music, intramural sports, debate, Model United Nations, hiking, canoeing trips, and more.


The Missouri Academy actively recruits high school sophomores who have already taken the ACT or SAT, or have participated in summer programs such as the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. The Academy advertises in high school newspapers and the popular press, interviews students who show an interest in accelerating their education, and reaches out to talented foreign students wishing to study in the U.S. Some graduates stay at Northwest Missouri State, some transfer to other public universities in Missouri or out of state, and others gain admittance to private colleges and universities throughout the Midwest and on both coasts. The Academy’s website is Contact the program via (877) 398-4615 or