The Missouri Scholars
Academy is a residential school that operates seven days
each week, enrolls only academically gifted students and
provides a curriculum different from that found in the
traditional public or private school. It offers unique
opportunities for students to enhance their academic skills;
assimilate the accumulated knowledge of the culture; relate
to contemporary issues; deepen understanding of themselves
and their unique abilities; and engage others in
critical-thinking and problem-solving activities.
The Academy's curriculum is
designed to give participants an opportunity to pursue
studies that differ from traditional educational programs.
Guest lecturers, forums, and other events during the academy
reinforce and extend the curriculum. The curriculum is
organized into three areas of study:
Area I: Academics
On the basis of personal interests and abilities,
each scholar will select one course of study from the four
major academic offerings: mathematics, science, social
studies and humanities. Scholars will spend three
hours each day, six days a week, in intensive academic
pursuits in their academic major.
Area II: Academics
Scholars will study a second academic field for one
hour each weekday afternoon. Ordinarily, they will
enroll in a field different from their major. Scholars
will receive Area I and Area II information shortly after
their acceptance into the Academy.
Area III: Personal
and Social Dynamics
The curriculum in this area relates to the unique
personal and social situations faced by gifted students.
The goal is to provide scholars with insights into their own
special needs and abilities, as well as the responsibilities
they have to themselves and to society. All students
will attend an Area III class one hour each weekday
Back to Top
Faculty and staff for the
Academy are selected from among highly qualified applicants
representing public and private schools, colleges and
universities, private businesses and other organizations.
The staff is chosen on the basis of the scholars' needs and
interests and an applicant's abilities, interests and
willingness to participate with scholars in rigorous and
Neither grades nor credit
will be given; however, all scholars successfully completing
the program will receive a special certificate of
commendation. College applications often provide
students an opportunity to explain their participation in
special programs like the Missouri Scholars Academy.
While the 2017 Missouri Scholars Academy will be fully funded by State of Missouri, and we gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the citizens of Missouri and the ongoing support of the legislature.
It is suggested that scholars will need approximately $20 per week for personal expenses. Scholars are strongly discouraged from having large sums of money in the residence hall. Cash may be deposited with resident assistants. Scholars should bring three rolls of quarters for vending and laundry machines. ATMs are available on the MU campus.
Scholars are financially responsible for any damages in the residence hall caused by inappropriate behavior.
The official telephone number of the 2016 Missouri Scholars Academy will be determined in late May 2016 and will be provided to all scholars. It will be staffed every day from 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM. Emergency telephone information will be distributed on opening day, as scholars check in.
MSA 2016 scholars will be housed in Mark Twain Residence Hall, a modern facility very near classrooms and auditoria used by MSA. Most of the academy classes and extracurricular activities will be held nearby. Male and female participants will be assigned to separate floors and will usually share a room with another participant. Academy officials will make room assignments and will reside on each floor during the Academy. Each scholar will be issued an identification card that will allow “card swipe” access to his/her residence hall room. Supervision of the residence hall will be provided by a hall coordinator and several resident assistants (RAs), each of whom will work closely with about 20-25 scholars. In addition, regular University security procedures will ensure a safe environment for participants.
With very few exceptions, MU residence halls do not have individual land-phones. Scholars who bring cell-phones will be allowed to use them on their residence hall floors only. In most cases, this will mean after the day’s activities are over and before “Light’s Out!” Scholars who do not have cell-phones will be able to make collect or credit-card calls from the few land-phones that are on each residence hall floor. For those who want a longer version of the Cell Phone and Other Technology Policy, click here.
It is important for everyone to recognize that MSA allows making new friends while maintaining appropriate contact with family. Over-dependence on cell-phones and other electronic devices will inevitably and negatively affect the quality of a Scholar’s experience at
Family members will receive clear instructions on how to contact their children should unforeseen events occur.
MU Residence Halls are also equipped with vending
facilities are available in the residence hall. The
University will supply fresh bed linens each week and fresh
towels periodically. A blanket and pillow for each bed
will also be provided. Since the hall is
air-conditioned, scholars are encouraged to bring a light
Scholars will be expected
to keep their room neat. Room inspections will be
conducted periodically. There is to be no cooking in
the rooms, but small amounts of food may be kept in closed
containers. Participants will be served three meals
each day in one dining hall; multiple menu selections will
be offered at every meal, thereby meeting the needs of most
special diets. Scholars with special dietary or other
health needs should indicate these on the questionnaire they
will receive. The MSA medical office maintains a refrigerator for medications which require refrigeration. Refrigerators are neither needed nor allowed in individual rooms. Periodic “care packages” from home with cookies and other light snacks that can be shared with scholars’ house members are always welcome!
The academy will provide an
identification card for each scholar, using a wallet-size
photo furnished for the scholar. The identification
card will be used for obtaining meals, using the University
library, cashing checks and participating in the University
of Missouri campus programs. Scholars are
advised to bring one additional form of identification.
Daily mail service (Monday
through Friday) will be provided. The scholars' mailing
address while at the Academy will be:
University of Missouri
Mark Twain Hall, Room___,
Columbia, Missouri 65201
will receive his/her residence hall room assignment, along
with the name and address of his/her roommate, no later than
June 1. The Academy strongly encourages roommates to contact
each other prior to the academy in order to coordinate
arrangements for special equipment and personal furnishings. Three meals, plus a nightly snack, are provided each day. Shortly after notification of selection, students will be sent a questionnaire and asked to indicate any particular dietary, medical, or other special needs.
Family Day is Sunday, June 26, 2016. Families may arrive as early as 8:00 am to sign their scholars out or visit with their scholars in the residence hall. Special activities will be planned by the academy staff between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., beginning with a general presentation at 1:00 p.m. in the Jesse Hall Auditorium. Afterward, family members will have the opportunity to visit with the scholar's teachers and experience different activities at MSA. Family visits are not allowed at other times during the academy since the scholars have busy schedules, and activities are planned for almost every minute. Scholars will be permitted to leave the academy only on Family Day, and then only with parents or legal guardians.
The Missouri Scholars
Academy is concentrated and intensive. Classes and
enrichment activities are scheduled throughout the three
weeks, including weekends. Participating
scholars are expected to register at the beginning of the
program and remain in residence for the duration, except on
Family Day as noted above. Scholars will not be
permitted to spend the night off-campus or to have overnight
Participants will not be
excused to attend conventions, conferences, camps,
workshops, competitions, pageants or family vacations.
Leaves of absence are not permitted except in emergency
situations. Academy officials should be consulted as
soon as possible if an emergency arises.
The Missouri Scholars
Academy considers it unethical and unfair to other
candidates for a student to accept a nomination, knowing in
advance that permission will be sought at a later date to be
absent during the program. As part of the application
process, both students and parents sign a permission
agreement which includes a commitment to remain at the
academy for the three-week period. Students who do not
complete the entire program will not receive a certificate
of commendation and will not be considered alumni of the
Back to Top
Scholars are not allowed
access to automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles and other kinds
of vehicles during the three weeks of the Academy. Safety
and insurance concerns as well as additional costs for
university parking permits make having a vehicle on campus
prohibitive. Only in emergency situations will a scholar be
permitted to drive him/herself to the Academy. This
exception is permitted only with prior approval from the
A full range of
recreational facilities will be available to scholars,
including swimming pool, etc. All of these are
described in the official student handbook distributed on
opening day. Supervised activities (evening seminars
and tours) in which all scholars will be expected to
participate also will be part of the program. Sports
activities will be noncompetitive and limited to non contact
sports. University insurance regulations preclude scholars
from having access to any weightlifting equipment or use of
any campus weightlifting facilities.
The Missouri Scholars
Academy encourages scholars to enjoy healthy physical
activities and sports. We offer organized opportunities to
play basketball, volleyball, jog, swim, and make use of
limited sections of the Student Recreation Center. MSA
furnishes appropriate supplies for many of these SRC
activities. During their free time, scholars may also play
games on their own, but to preserve the safety of all
members of our community, we will strictly enforce the
- Tackling or punching is
- Games that risk
high-speed contact, either incidental or intentional,
are prohibited (including Ultimate Frisbee,
"touch" football, soccer, tag, "keep
away" and kickball).
- Games during which items
are thrown at players are prohibited (including but not
limited to kickball and dodge ball).
- Scholars may play catch
outside with soft items approved by staff, such as
frisbees, hackey sacks, tennis balls, wiffle balls, or
foam balls. Prohibited items include footballs,
baseballs and bats (including wiffle ball bats). PLEASE
DO NOT BRING THESE PROHIBITED ITEMS WITH YOU TO THE
- Scholars must wear shoes
during all activities.
- There are no tennis
facilities available for MSA participants.
We hope that in the spirit
of these guidelines scholars will always practice caution
and good sense. Any sport or activity deemed inappropriate
or dangerous may be be prohibited at the discretion of the
Academy participants will
be able to take advantage of a wide range of cultural
activities including concerts and drama productions.
Each scholar will receive a daily calendar of events
including those for which he/she must sign up in advance.
In addition to the academy
medical personnel, University Student Health Services will
be available to participants. Any consultation with
private physicians for illnesses, prescription medicine or
major medical expenses will be the family's responsibility.
If a scholar has special health or dietary needs and
medication requirements, Academy officials must be notified
prior to the start of the Academy. Scholars are asked to
provide the Missouri Scholars Academy with exact information
on personal medical insurance. A copy of relevant medical
insurance policy in effect for each scholar is required.
Arrangements will be made
for optional attendance to a wide range of religious
services in the city of Columbia. Transportation will
be provided. Scholars are encouraged to attend
services of their choice.
Scholars will have some
unscheduled time in late afternoons and evenings and on
weekends. Numerous activities will be scheduled at
these times; scholar attendance will be voluntary, but
highly encouraged, in most cases.
- Personal clothing to
include: casual dress for daily classes (see
"What is the appropriate dress?" below); dress
clothes for religious and formal activities; a jacket,
sweatshirt or sweater; swim wear; gym shoes; rain gear;
bathrobe; bedroom shoes; and personal items. Each
scholar will receive an Academy t-shirt.
- Personal items to be
included at the discretion of the student: laundry bag,
laundry detergent, quarters, postage stamps, radio, alarm clock,
clothes hangers, hair dryer, extension cord, camera,
chess set, other games, musical instruments, etc. Scholars are not
allowed to bring roller blades, skateboards or weights.
- Basic classroom needs,
such as pencils, paper, notebooks, etc., will be the
scholar's responsibility (These can also be purchased at
the campus bookstore).
- The residence hall is
air-conditioned, so students are advised to bring a
- Scholars should not
bring laptop or desktop computers, DVD players, televisions, large
stereos, or walkie-talkies. Scholars will have access to
computers and other electronic equipment as a part of
their Academy activities and should not bring these
items with them. Small stereos, iPods, and other small music players are allowed.
- Cell phone use will be
limited to the residence hall floors.
- MSA provides each
scholar with clean sheets, a pillow, a blanket, two
towels, and a washcloth. Scholars may exchange their
bedding for freshly laundered sheets once each week, and
they may exchange towels and washcloths twice each week
at the free linen exchange in the Residence Hall. Scholars may bring their own linens to
supplement those provided, and are encouraged to bring
an extra towel for the pool as well as a light blanket.
See a video regarding the dress code here. The Missouri Scholars
Academy maintains a quality learning environment for
students. Dress cannot distract from the learning
environment, and students should use good judgment in
deciding what to wear.
Prohibited clothing items include:
- clothing items with
inappropriate, offensive, or unhealthy language or logos
- clothing items that do
not constantly cover the undergarments
- clothing items that do
not constantly cover the midriff, back, cleavage area,
and upper thighs, including mini-skirts, short shorts,
backless tops, strapless tops, and cropped tops
- Every scholar is
required to wear his/her academy nametag, prominently
displayed on the upper torso, for the duration of the
academy. Nametags may not be altered without the
approval of residential life staff.
- Shoes must be worn at
all times when a scholar is away from his/her assigned
floor in the residence hall.
- Pajamas and/or sleepwear
may not be worn anywhere other than the scholar's
assigned floor in the residence hall.
- Gym clothing such as
ripped-sleeve shirts and running shorts may only be worn
while engaging in planned athletic activities.
- One-piece swimwear is
encouraged. Tankinis or modest two-piece swimsuits
will be allowed. Speedos and other similarly tight
male swimwear are prohibited.
- The opening ceremony,
teacher appreciation program, and closing convocation
are semi-formal events requiring scholars to dress
nicely. For males, button-up shirts, ties, and
slacks are encouraged, jackets are not required. For
females, dresses, or skirts or nice trousers with
blouses are recommended.
Academy officials are aware
that some activities may require temporary departures from
some of the requirements listed here. Academy officials will
have final authority in determining what constitutes
appropriate dress. Items not specifically identified here
may be considered unacceptable if they draw undue attention
to any scholar or create a significant distraction. Any
scholar wearing inappropriate dress will be required to
modify his/her clothing immediately.
The Missouri Scholars Academy is a model program that often
hosts visitors from other states, the Department of
Education, the General Assembly, and the press. Students
should dress in a manner appropriate to their status as
guests of the state of Missouri.
For those who want a longer version of the Dress Code, click here.
- Possession or use of
tobacco, illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages
- Possession or use of
firearms, other weapons, or fireworks
- Destruction of property
- Breaking of any other
state or federal law
- Breaking of Academy
rules and regulations
- Refusal to comply with
directions from Academy officials
- Contact sports such as
MSA holds all members of
its community to high standards of behavior.
Each day at MSA allows scholars to choose from a wide range of extracurricular activities. These will allow scholars to sample study a broad range of topics and to investigate numerus future possibilities for personal, professional, and academic goals.
Scholars should plan to arrive at the University campus between 8:45 and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2016. This will allow time for registration and moving into the residence hall before the opening convocation at 1:30 p.m. (A detailed schedule of opening day activities and suggested arrival times will be mailed to participants in late May-early June. This schedule will include all aspects of arrival, unloading, and parking.) Tours of those parts of the campus to be used by the Academy will be conducted during the morning scholars arrive.
The opening convocation, for which formal clothing is recommended, will be in the Jesse Hall Auditorium on the Francis Quadrangle. After the convocation, a scholar/parent orientation will be held in Jesse Auditorium. Scholars are required to attend both the convocation and orientation. Parents are also encouraged to attend both events.
The first meal served at the Academy will be dinner at 5:00 p.m. June 12, 2016. After dinner, scholars will have informal meetings with the teaching faculty, resident assistants, program coordinator and other support staff members. After these meetings, a social activity will be held to introduce scholars to one another and to the faculty and staff.
A closing ceremony is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 2, 2016. Families may arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. to help Scholars move out of the residence hall. Scholars must pack their belongings, move out, and “check out” with their resident assistant in time to participate in the closing ceremony. Scholars will leave the academy after the ceremony concludes and should not plan to return to the residence hall. The residence hall must be vacated by noon.