UMSL ranked among nation’s Top 25 Colleges for Freedom of Speech

A group of students sit in a circle to hold a class discussion in the Quad on a fall day

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression ranked UMSL No. 17 nationally on its 2024 list of Top 25 Colleges for Freedom of Speech. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis maintains a strong commitment to fostering freedom of speech and freedom of expression across its campus.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression recently ranked UMSL No. 17 nationally on its 2024 list of Top 25 Colleges for Freedom of Speech.

FIRE is a nonprofit organization committed to defending and sustaining the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought, and it worked in collaboration with College Pulse to survey college undergraduates about their perceptions and experiences regarding free speech on their campuses. This year’s survey included 55,102 student respondents from 254 colleges and universities using the College Pulse mobile app and web portal from Jan. 13 to June 30, 2023.

Michigan Technical University led the rankings, and the top 25 also included institutions such as Auburn University, the University of New Hampshire, Oregon State University, Florida State University, the University of Virginia and Texas A&M University. UMSL ranked in between Northern Arizona University and Kansas State University on the 2024 list.

“We celebrate the diverse and inclusive environment we’ve created at UMSL, and that must include diversity of background, experiences and thought,” Chancellor Kristin Sobolik wrote in a letter to the UMSL community reminding it of the university’s commitment to freedom of expression and free speech guidelines in September. “There might be views you or others find offensive, but that does not mean those views can or should be censored or prohibited. The First Amendment to the Constitution establishes freedom of expression as a founding principle of the United States, and it’s all the more imperative at an institution of higher education because of its central role in the promotion of learning, research and engagement.”


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