MU welcomes more than 5,150 freshmen

Overall enrollment steady as the fall 2023 semester begins; retention and graduation rates increase.

Aug. 21, 2023
Contact: Uriah Orland, 573-882-6212,

More than 5,150 new freshmen joined the University of Missouri community on Monday, up 3% from last year, as the university officially welcomed students back to campus for the fall 2023 semester. Preliminary first-day figures show undergraduate enrollment held steady with more than 23,000 students. Preliminary total enrollment is 30,667 students.

“The University of Missouri continues to be a great place to get a high-quality education, and we’re excited about the continued growth of our undergraduate enrollment,” said Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri. “With a proven focus on academic excellence, innovation and student success, MU is one of the best values among public research universities. We’re excited to welcome new and returning students to the university; we’re looking forward to an outstanding academic year.”

In addition to new students, Mizzou is welcoming a record percentage of returning students.

“Our first-year retention rate of over 91% is an all-time best for Mizzou and is a direct result of the work of our students and the support they receive from our student success teams across the university,” said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies.

In recent years, Mizzou has made strategic investments not just in recruitment, but also in student retention and success — meaning students stay on track and finish their academic journeys with strong outcomes. 95.4% of graduates have a successful career outcome within 6 months of graduation.

“The fall semester is always an exciting time of welcoming new and returning students to campus,” said Kim Humphrey, vice provost for Enrollment Management. “We continue to see an increase in student enrollment, and this year we have about 8,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students attending MU for the first time.”

MU continues to rank among the best value of flagship universities, being ranked No. 1 among flagship universities in neighboring states (Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee), according to U.S. News & World Report.

Student success is a key priority for MU, and the university continues to attract the best students in the state, producing more graduates in medicine, law, veterinary medicine, health sciences and education than any other public university in Missouri. Spring 2023 saw another increase in the six-year graduation rate at 75%, the highest in the institution’s history.

Official enrollment figures will be finalized later in the semester.

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