Missouri students are exposed to some of the best examples of current practice through the international and national contests and award programs based at the school. As an added bonus, students can network with judges and participants who are recognized as the best in their field.
- Missouri faculty judge and coordinate the City and Regional Magazine Association national annual award contest and present the awards. Student assistants may become involved in this process and have the opportunity to attend the national conference and meet the editors of top city magazines as well as attend the practical professional improvement seminars for working editors. CRMA member magazines donate subscriptions to the school for use by students and faculty, and the faculty use winning entries in writing, design, and editorial categories in their teaching. The contest is open to the approximately 75-member magazines as well as non-members, and thus is entered by more than 150 magazines every year.
- The College News Design Contest honors college newspaper and magazine designers. The Missouri chapter of the Student Society of News Design runs the contest and is host for the judging. The contest is supported by the Society of News Design.
- The College Photographer of the Year (CPoY) competition offers all student photographers opportunities to compare their work with that of their peers from colleges and universities around the world. The contest, founded by Cliff and Vi Edom in 1945, continues to be judged by distinguished working professionals. Student photographers from over 125 colleges and universities submit more than 10,000 images and multimedia projects for judging. Winners are rewarded with Nikon camera equipment, a National Geographic Magazine photography internship, financial scholarships and a variety of workshop opportunities provided by contest sponsors. The University of Missouri administers the contest with the help of Nikon Inc.
- The Missouri Photo Workshop (MPW) is the world’s oldest documentary photojournalism workshop and has been credited with solidifying career aspirations and reformatting careers of the young and mid-career professionals alike who participate. MPW has a volunteer faculty of working photographers and picture editors from metropolitan daily newspapers, (e.g., The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Chronicle), news and general interest magazines (e.g., Time, National Geographic, Sunset) and freelance photographers who serve yearly. The faculty imbues the students with the Missouri Photo Workshop approach of “to tell truth with a camera,” to respect the subjects they photograph, and to offer truthful, tough criticism.
- The National Student Ad Competition (NASC) allows senior strategic communication students the chance to work on a national client in their capstone course. Each year students from colleges and universities all across the country compete in this national competition, which is sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). As part of the competition, students gain valuable hands-on experience working on a campaign for a prominent national brand. Client campaigns have been developed for Adobe, Ocean Spray, Nissan and Pizza Hut.
- Pictures of the Year International (POYi) is the oldest and one of the world’s largest and most highly respected photojournalism competitions. POYi, however, is much more than a competition. It serves as an educational medium through its seminars, exhibits, books, online presence and work with university students. And, its rich visual archive contains the world’s great photographs of the past six decades. POYi began as a photographic contest in the spring of 1944 in Columbia, Mo., when the Missouri School of Journalism sponsored its “First Annual Fifty-Print Exhibition” contest. The 35,000+ images recognized more than 63 years as the best in photojournalism are being assembled in an electronic database, the POYi Archive.