Guidelines and Procedures for Motion Picture, Video, Film and Photography

Thank you for your interest in filming or taking photographs on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. We are proud of our beautiful campus and its iconic landmarks.

To help ensure privacy and security and to reduce the potential disruption of campus activities, the university has established guidelines that clarify the rights and responsibilities of guests planning campus photography, filming and videography. For simplicity, any reference to “photography” in this and related documents or forms includes all forms of film, video, digital imaging and any associated audio recordings. Producers must follow this process to obtain permission for all forms of media mentioned above.

If you need information unavailable in these guidelines, please contact the Office of Reservations & Events.


Photography at the University of Missouri may not be used in any way to imply that MU endorses any individual, organization, product or activity unless such endorsement is specifically granted in writing by appropriate MU authorities.

Commercial endorsements are prohibited by the Collected Rules and Regulations under which MU operates. Please contact the Office of Reservations & Events for details.

Granting of photographic permission on campus or on any MU-owned property in no way implies surrender of the university’s right to manage and supervise its property under normal rules governing its operation. The campus is private property, and the university may request that guests leave for any reason at any time. Those photographing at MU agree, in the event of such a request, that the university’s liability is limited to the refund of any campus photographic usage fees that have been paid.

Please note that using any recognizable image of a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student-athlete in conjunction with any commercial or promotional purpose (other than university self-promotion) could jeopardize the student’s scholarship eligibility and, thus, is prohibited. For more information, contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Compliance Office at 573-882-2076.


To prevent damage to campus inlaid stone, brick floors and walkways, all photographers must ensure that appropriate precautions are taken. All photographic and lighting equipment must include protective rubber contact points.

University Identification and Appropriate Use of Campus Images

No identification of MU as a location is permitted for commercial use, except in rare instances and only when a request for the specific use has been submitted for prior approval to the Office of Reservations & Events. The request may be reviewed by the following offices: MU Licensing and Trademarks, the Joint Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing, the Division of Finance, and UM System Legal. The request will be approved only when it is deemed to be in the University’s best interests.

Identification includes but is not limited to trademarks, icons, recognizable university landmarks, and merchandise containing trademarked images/logos (such as flags, apparel, posters and miscellaneous items containing the MU logo). Identification also includes verbal references on film or video.


Drone usage on campus is permitted under University policy. Operating a drone on campus must be requested and approved in advance.

Personal Photography/Incidental Videography

Incidental photography or videography does not require a permit and is not charged a fee. Incidental photography/videography includes recording for non-commercial use, internal use, class projects or personal use. This form of photography/videography requires no special services if it does not in any way disrupt the normal functioning of the university. The resulting photographs or videos cannot be used for commercial purposes after they have been created without written permission from the Office of Reservations & Events. The University reserves the right to ask individuals and groups filming for any purpose, including those designated above, to stop all on-campus photography/videography activity if it is deemed disruptive.

Amateur photographers interested in creating images of MU for their personal enjoyment are welcome to visit the campus and photograph the exteriors of academic, administrative/support buildings and athletics complexes (see campus map). We ask that they abide by the following guidelines:

  • Refer to the Residence Hall Film Policy if photographing or filming in and around residence halls.
  • Avoid disruption of classes or other university functions. In particular, please refrain from filming the interiors of any buildings unless you have secured prior permission using the On-Campus Photo Shoot & Filming Request form.
  • Respect the rights of our students, employees and visitors not to be photographed or filmed without their knowledge and permission.
  • Students using photography or videography for coursework should review the policies and guidelines outlined by the UM System and the University of Missouri. Interviews must comply with MU News Bureau guidelines and interviewees should submit an advance request online.
Media Photography

The photo and video needs of print, broadcast and online media can be accommodated at no charge with the assistance of the MU News Bureau.

Political Photography and Filming

As a nonprofit educational institution, MU is constrained by law from endorsing any particular political candidate or party. Photographing or filming candidates or elected officials in front of recognizable landmarks and using such images in campaigns or other promotional materials can imply endorsement. Therefore, the university is unable to approve such video and photography requests. Questions concerning any proposed political use of the campus should be directed to the Director of Government Relations for the University of Missouri System.

Bridal and Other Professional Portrait Photography

The University of Missouri is proud to be part of the special memories of so many brides, grooms and families. Professional photographers may use the campus for wedding portraiture by prior arrangement. Producing portraits and other photography to be used for promotional or commercial purposes requires permission as described below. Use of some locations must be scheduled for these types of photographs. Hosting a ceremony on campus must also be scheduled in advance through the Office of Reservations & Events. In each of these cases, the same policy applies, and the university charges a fee for use of the space.

Commercial Use or Promotional Reproduction

Requests for filming or photographing the MU campus for commercial use or promotional reproduction should be made in advance through the online On-Campus Photo Shoot & Filming Request. Requests must be submitted a minimum of ten business days before the photographer’s need-to-know deadline to allow time for appropriate approvals. Shooting of commercial stock photography on the campus is not permitted.

The completed request should be accompanied by one or both of the following:

  • An unabridged copy of the shooting script, with the scene(s) to be shot on campus highlighted.
  • A rough layout of the proposed ad or printed collateral showing the specific text that would be associated with any campus image(s).

Additional requirements include:

  • A location agreement for the University of Missouri Contracts and Legal teams to review and sign. This is a document gives you permission to enter private property for the purpose of recording content, whether filming, taking photos or making recordings.
  • Liability insurance is required for this type of photography, photographers must provide proof of insurance, as outlined in the Insurance section below.
  • Execution of a separate Facilities Use Agreement is also required for off campus entities prior to approval for photography.
Talent Releases

A signed talent release is required from all persons (students, faculty, staff and/or members of the public) visibly recognizable in photos, videos or audio recordings used for university-related marketing or advertising, as well as student projects. For persons under 18 years of age, a talent release must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act {FERPA)

All communications and content-including images, videos and recordings-sharing information about students or their educational records must understand and comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

All communications and content-including images, videos and recordings-sharing any individual health-related information must understand and comply with provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA releases will be   required for all photos, videos, and film taken in a clinical care area on university or affiliate hospital property.

Scout Visits

Scout visits are useful to producers and also help university officials clearly determine the needs of a production. Anyone wishing to scout locations before submitting a written photography or filming request should contact the Office of Reservations & Events. Scout visits will have an appointed MU Official for the duration of the visit. Permission for a scout visit does not constitute approval by the university for the use of its facilities.


MU may request that the production have insurance with a Missouri-authorized insurer in the amounts stipulated below and may require that the producers provide a certificate of insurance naming the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri as additional insured. (See below for exact phrasing.) The certificate of insurance must be received no fewer than seven days before shooting begins.

  1. Provide workers’ compensation — statutory limits.
  2. Provide comprehensive general liability, including personal injury liability coverage — $3,000,000.
  3. Name the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri, its officers, employees, agents and volunteers as additional insureds.
  4. Provide certificate(s) of insurance, prior to or with the signed Location Agreement, that are not subject to cancellation without 30 days written notice to the university.

Permit fees and location fees are based on multiple variables. The length of the shoot, the locations involved, the type of production and the types of MU services needed are considered in the total cost.

In certain limited instances, a permit may be issued and a fee waiver may be granted for uses such as public service announcements.

Other forms of media are not exempt from this fee and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Street closure and other permitting fees are considered separate from filming permit fees.

Location Fees

Location fees are charged in addition to permit fees and may be hourly or daily rates. Location fees do not include fees for university services such as MUPD, Parking and Transportation, Campus Facility Services and Landscape Services. The actual cost for those services is added to the total production cost.

Payments and Deposits

The university has the option to require a 50% deposit before a permit will be granted. This deposit is to be received no fewer than five business days before the beginning of the first day of shooting on campus.

Full payment for all costs incurred is due to the university within 30 days of the date of final invoice.


If written notice of cancellation for an approved permit or agreement has been received before the production begins, then the production is liable for any actual costs incurred by the university as of the time of the receipt of the cancellation notice.

The University shall have the right of cancellation if the agreement holder is deemed insolvent or, in the university’s sole opinion, fails to perform any material term in the agreement after having received written notice from the university to do so.