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Academic Affairs

Are we doing any other online programs due to Covid-19? More in the works to accommodate those that can't do face to face?

We are offering our traditional mix of three pedagogies: face-to-face, hybrid and online. However, face-to-face classes may be modified (relocated to a larger venue, adapted to the hy-flex model where not all students attend every class, etc.) to respect social distancing protocols. Students in face-to-face courses may expect to meet for their classes at least one day per week.

Is it possible for me to take all of my classes online?

Possibly, depending on your major and the courses you need. Not all courses will be offered online, so it is best to contact your advisor if you are not yet registered. We will do our very best to work with you to facilitate your progress toward graduation.

Will the University be offering a larger online selection of upper division courses that students need to graduate, in case students do not feel comfortable coming to campus for face to face classes?

We will not be creating larger than normal courses or abandon well-established practices about good pedagogy. However, we have been monitoring enrollments and, as usual, open new sections as needed based on student demand.

Will classrooms be acknowledging social distancing?

Yes, although we will still expect students (whenever able) to wear masks.

Many advanced programs exist on campus, where it is detrimental to miss even a day’s worth of instruction. What concessions, if any, will be made for students to not attend class if they feel ill?

We will use our well-established protocol when students become ill. Please reach out to the Disabilities office if you become sick or disabled - due to any reason, so that we can help review your options and keep you progressing.

Will the University consider any face-to-face options for international students, if the university is forced to go online during the semester?

Thankfully, recent changes to previously announced regulations preclude the need for us to have to make these accommodations.

Will some sort of exception be made for students with pre-existing conditions or students who live with those who have pre-existing conditions, such as the option to pursue online classes in lieu of on-campus classes?

Please visit with Disabilities office so that we may work with you to arrange for any accommodations we can make and keep you on track to progression toward graduation.

Will students be expected to wear masks in the classroom?

Yes. Students who do not have a documented reason to prevent them from doing so will be asked to put on a face covering. If they refuse, class may be cancelled and the student referred to Student Affairs.

If it becomes necessary, would the University consider moving some classes online, and allowing some to finish face-to-face, such as labs, biology, chemistry, etc.?

Yes. We are carefully monitoring global and local health trends and will be prepared to pivot when we need to ensure continuous learning.

If a professor becomes ill or is deemed contagious, how will students continue to have class?

In any given semester, we have faculty having to cease teaching their courses for many health reasons. As always, we will find alternative qualified instructors who will follow the original course syllabus.

What will happen if a classmate refuses to wear a mask in class?

Students who do not have a documented reason to prevent them from doing so will be asked to put on a face covering. If they refuse, class may be cancelled and the student referred to Student Affairs.

Will we be able to make up class work if we are put into isolation for 2 weeks?

Faculty and advisors will work with students to enable their progression as much as possible given the course's student learning objectives.

Will classrooms have 6 ft social distancing, as recommended by the CDC?

We will follow social distancing guidelines as much as possible, although masks will still be expected.

Have the number of students in face-to-face classes been reduced for physical distancing?

In some cases, class sessions will have reduced numbers. In other cases, we have relocated classes to larger venues.

What provisions will be made to students (specifically seniors) who have limited opportunities for internships and study abroad?

In these cases, if off-campus experiences cannot be completed due to COVID related reasons, alternative experiences will be developed and substituted.

If the students don’t feel safe going back, is there an alternative for them without getting a penalty or being held back?

We would ask students to work with their advisors to find online solutions for the semester.

Are school breaks going to be different this upcoming semester like other universities such as the combining of Thanksgiving and Christmas break with online classes the last two weeks of the semester?

As of now, we have not adjusted our calendar nor have we altered any course starting or finishing times - although students may be asked to wait outside until just before their class begin and they may be dismissed from class in small groups.

Are school breaks going to be different this upcoming semester like other universities such as the combining of Thanksgiving and Christmas break with online classes the last two weeks of the semester?

As of now, we have not adjusted our calendar nor have we altered any course starting or finishing times - although students may be asked to wait outside until just before their class begin and they may be dismissed from class in small groups.

If we are moved to online classes, how will tuition reflect that? In the aspect that facilities usually available to students will no longer be available.

Students will be expected to pay the tuition for the type of course they signed up for. We have made significant investments in online learning platforms that we plan to use to enhance learning in all pedagogies. Further, online sections often have lower enrollment caps than do traditional face-to-face courses. Finally, all facilities which can be safely open will remain so to all students.

When will these additional online options and changes to classes (hybrid) take place, or have they already? I am trying to finalize my schedule.

If you are having trouble creating a schedule, please reach out to your advisor, department head of ACTS for assistance.

What is the deciding factor to move classes online?

We will take the lead of local, regional and state health experts.

For international students whose boarders are closed, will you allow them to do their classes online? Are there any provisions being put in place for those students?

We ask that you please reach out to your advisor or ACTS as soon as possible. We are prepared to welcome international students into face-to-face classes as late as September 8th.

If a teacher or student tests positive for Covid-19, what will be the protocol? will the entire class have to quarantine? will the classes go online for 14 days? We are in multiple classes with different people so how will this work?

We anticipate our social distancing and mask policy will mitigate spread in the classroom environment. However, when there is a positive diagnosis or exposure, our Student Health Center collaborates with county health departments to determine what needs to happen in each case and for each impacted individual.

How would there be social distancing in classrooms if there’s a full class?

Classes will be split into smaller groups or the entire class will be relocated to a larger venue.

If a student has to stay home because they have Covid-like symptoms, or that they have Covid, will they be able to make up assignments without their grade affected (since students would have to possibly quarantine for at least 14 days)?

We will follow all practices and accommodations afforded to students who become ill or incapacitated in conjunction with the your academic faculty and the Student Disabilities office.

Will clear face shields be made available for all faculty to use while teaching?

Faculty will have options about face coverings and physical shields - but yes, two masks will be provided to all MSSU students, staff and faculty.

Will faculty have access to wireless mics to make it possible to record classes for hy-flex models?

Some classes may utilize audio amplification. Generally, research demonstrates that learning is enhanced when lectures are recorded using professional dedicated instruments and environments. As a result, we will not be encouraging synchronous broadcast for most classes. Instead, we are encouraging a more flipped style approach where any lectures or didactics will usually be delivered in person in face-to-face classes.

Will the all-employee meeting be done town hall style (online) in August?

We are currently exploring all safe options.

At the student town hall session, people were told faculty will be cleaning rooms in between classes. When will guidelines for this be shared?

The administration is currently working with Faculty Senate to develop options and flexibility. This decision has not yet been made, although we will be encouraging all stakeholders to take ownership in sanitizing our environment and keeping them as safe as possible.


Can I return my rental books?

Rental books can be returned anytime through the book drop on the backside of Billingsly Student Center. Spring 2020 rental books are due back by Friday, August 21.

Can I order books from the online bookstore?

Of course! You may order your books online at our website, www.mssubookstore.com. You’ll receive an email confirming your order and a second email when your order has been completed.


How do I set up an Electronic Refund (eRefund) Account?

Below is information from the Bursar's Office to show you how to set up an electronic refund account with Missouri Southern if you are due a refund.  If you have questions, you can email the Bursar's Office (bursar@mssu.edu) for answers.

Using the MSSU Payment Portal (https://www.mssu.edu/paymybill), select “Student Login”.

Then log in here, just as you would log in to LioNet or your student email:

Choose “Electronic Refunds” under “My Profile Setup”.

If you haven’t set up two-step verification, you will be asked to do so at this point. (If you have already set up two-step verification, you can skip this step.)

Select “Set up Account”

Enter your account information in the form. Be sure to enter the account number backward in the “Confirm account number” box. At the bottom of the form under the “Save payment method as” box enter a nickname for your account. Click Continue.

Next review the information you entered and read the disclosures. If everything entered is correct and you agree to the disclosures click the box next to “I Agree”. Then click “Continue”.

The next screen will show that the eRefund account has been saved. If you ever need to change your eRefund account to a new account or if you entered something incorrectly and it cannot be verified, you can update or remove the account by clicking the settings icon.

If you have any questions, contact the Bursar’s Office (417.625.9381) or email bursar@mssu.edu.

Can I drop off my payments after hours?

We have a physical dropbox on the outside of the first floor of Hearnes Hall. Students can drop off payments (please include student ID number) in the depository there 24/7.


Will there be regular ceremonies like the Green Coat ceremony?

Offices responsible for hosting events are actively seeking ways in which to provide a safe in-person experience, whenever feasible and possible.

COVID-19 Exposure

I just learned that an employee or student on campus tested positive for COVID-19. Am I at risk?

When a university employee or student tests positive, the public health department and University shall initiate contact tracing and will get in touch with anyone it identifies as a close contact. Close contact, according to the CDC’s most recent guidance, means prolonged contact (15 minutes or more) and within six feet with an individual with confirmed COVID-19 or direct contact with that individual’s infectious secretions or excretions. If you are not a close contact, you have no special precautions to take at this time, though everyone should follow prevention measures to keep themselves healthy. These measures include practicing good hygiene and social distancing, wearing a face covering, monitoring your health, and staying home if you are sick.

Will MSSU alert me if I am exposed to COVID-19?

All positive COVID-19 tests are reported to the health department as well as the MSSU Willcoxon Health Center. Both of these offices will work together to notify other health officials, as well as impacted faculty, staff, and students based on contact tracing and local health department guidance of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FERPA or and other applicable laws and regulations.

Is Wilcoxon health center staffed, prepared, and equipped to test, diagnose, and treat students with COVID-19?

Our office will be open Mon-Fri from 8:00 am -5:00 pm. We do ask for all patients to book appointments. You can make an appointment by calling 417-625-9323. If you are ill, you may be asked to enter the building using a separate access point and not the front entrance. We are able to test for COVID-19, and we can help determine when a test should be administered and at what point to ensure accuracy from your contact with someone who is positive.

Is there going to be COVID-19 testing available at the campus Health Center?

We do have testing available through an appointment. Please call 417-625-9323 to speak with a nurse.

Computer Labs

If campus closes early, will a computer lab be available for students who don't have access to a computer?

Yes, we will provide access to a computing lab(s), likely the Criminal Justice lab and possibly others in the event that campus is closed during the fall term. Similar to earlier this year, the Criminal Justice computing lab was open and available each day when the campus was closed down.


Will students have roommates?

Room occupancy will operate as normal for Fall 2021-Spring 2022.

How many days will be move-in?

Move-in will be August 13-15 between 10:00 AM-5:00 PM in Blaine Hall Lobby. Students moving in on Friday, August 13 will come during designated time based on building you’re living in for the Fall 2021. If you are part of a group that is required to return to campus prior to the official opening day of the residence halls, please contact your coach/sponsor for day and time to move into the residence halls.

Will students be tested for COVID-19 at check-in?

Every student moving into and currently living in the residence halls must meet one of four criteria below prior to being allowed to check in for Fall semester.

  1. Be fully vaccinated at the time of check-in. Students are considered fully vaccinated when it has been at least two weeks since receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those that are vaccinated must upload their documentation to Med+Proctor (the same site that meningitis and MMR vaccines are uploaded) by Sunday, August 1st by midnight. If you were vaccinated at MSSU/Willcoxon Health Center, you will still need to upload your vaccine information. If you are in the process of vaccination, and the date is after Aug 1st, please email the Health Center: COVID19HC@mssu.edu. One of the nurses will reach out with instructions. Those that upload their COVID-19 vaccine information to Med+Proctor will be entered into the weekly drawings for prizes.
  2. Have been diagnosed with and recovered from COVID-19 within 90 days of check-in. If you were diagnosed with COVID-19 within 90 days of check-in, documentation must be uploaded to Med+Proctor. This information needs to be submitted two weeks prior to arrival. If you test positive, closer than two weeks prior to arrival, you need to contact the Willcoxon Health Center at 417-625-9323 or COVID19HC@mssu.edu with your name and phone number, and one of our nurses will reach out to you for further information. If you tested at Willcoxon Health Center and were positive in the last 90 days, then you do not need to submit documentation. The university will accept either a dated copy of the positive result or a dated copy of the isolation release letter from your local public health department. Documentation must include: student’s name and date the test was taken, which must not be more than 90 days prior to arrival of the student for check-in or the date the person was released from isolation, which must not be more than 90 days prior to check- in.
  3. Have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival with a PCR COVID-19 test. You are allowed to get tested prior to your arrival. If you do test prior to your arrival, you must upload your test report to Med+Proctor at least 24 hours prior to arrival. Documentation must meet specific criteria including: showing it was a PCR test (antigen tests are not accepted), has the student’s name, the date the test was taken (NOT the date results are received) and that the test was administered no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Many communities have free testing opportunities through Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and other health facilities.
  4. Get PCR COVID-19 tested on arrival to check-in. Anyone not meeting the criteria above WILL BE tested by the university as part of the move in process at no charge to the student. You can schedule an appointment by emailing COVID19HC@mssu.edu and including your name, phone number, and arrival date. One of our staff members will then reach out to schedule your testing appointment. No food, drink, smoking, or anything in your mouth for 30 minutes prior to testing. It is a spit-based PCR test that is sent out to a local lab for processing. As you wait for your results, we do ask you to mask, maintain social distancing, and limit your amount of time in the community. If currently living in campus housing for summer and will also be staying for fall, contact the Health Center for a testing appointment.

Are students limited on number of guests during move-in weekend?

There will be a limit of 3 persons per resident during move-in weekend.

Will masks be required for students and individuals moving into the residence halls?

Fully vaccinated persons are not required to wear a masks. Individuals not vaccinated should still wear a mask indoor.

Should students bring any COVID-related items to campus?

We recommend all students bring thermometer to do daily self-screenings, over-the-counter medicine for fever and headaches, disinfectant for cleaning the inside of their living space, and mask in the event campus emergency policies change.

What safety precautions will the residence halls do during the Fall 2021?

The key precautions will be restrictions on number of visitor per student inside room, enhanced disinfecting of major contact areas, and no overnight guests. All these actions are subject to change based on the campus safety precautions.

What safety precautions should students do prior to coming to campus?

Prior to coming to campus, students should:

  • Do a self-quarantine at home at least a week before move-in day to reduce potential exposure.
  • Delay moving onto campus if they're experiencing a temperature of 100.4 or higher, feeling ill, or have been in recent contact with someone who as tested positive for COVID within 14 days.

What are the expectations for students if they test positive or are directed to be on quarantine or isolation?

Students directed by a health care provider to go on quarantine or isolation are expected to notify the MSSU Health Center and the Residence Life Office within 24 hours of receiving that directive.

Would students be able to park on campus side now instead of walking close to other students on their way to class?

Unfortunately, not at this time. Resident students will still be required to park on the residence hall side of campus until after 3:00pm to minimize the number of students in the parking lots at one time.


Will loaned materials like library books be sanitized?

Spiva Library has been quarantining returned items for 72 hours since the campus and library reopened on May 4, 2020. It will continue to do so indefinitely. An IMLS study on the viability of the coronavirus determined it took three days for the virus to become undetectable on the paper inside of a book or book jacket.


Does the mask policy have an end date?

Currently, there is not an end date for this policy. As long as the pandemic continues, the mask policy will be in place. The COVID-19 Task Force will re-evaluate this policy as necessary and in accordance with CDC and local health authority guidance.

Will masks be provided to students?

Yes. Two cloth masks will be provided to all students. Masks can be picked up in the Student Activities Office in the Billingsly Student Center during the week prior to classes.

Student Activities

Are clubs going to be allowed to meet face to face? And if so are there any specific health regulation we have to follow beyond masks and social distancing?

Clubs are allowed to meet face to face as long as University Covid Policies are followed.

What are the restrictions on school clubs for going off-campus to attend club events (i.e. volunteering at shelters, picking up trash, etc.)?

Clubs are allowed to go off campus to attend local events and volunteer and are encouraged to follow mask and social distancing guidelines.

Student Affairs

If a student tests positive, will the campus shut down for 14 days? Or would the campus close for a while? What would happen?

No, the campus will work with the Joplin Health Department on what precautions to take. One case would not warrant a closure of campus. Individual students or student groups will be contacted regarding potential exposures and will quarantine or isolate based upon the Health Department recommendations.

The services being provided to students such as gym access, Phelps theater and other community events will modified this semester. Will tuition for these fees be reimbursed to students?

There are no special fees for the recreation center, Phelps theatre, and other community events. There is one tuition rate, which includes access to these facilities.


Are there travel restrictions for students?

In accordance with CDC travel health notices and the local health authorities, students who have traveled outside the 48 contiguous states should serve a 14-day quarantine prior to being physically present in classrooms and activities/events. Students living on-campus may serve their quarantine in the on-campus residence facilities.

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