The Graduate Faculty sets Graduate School policies in the Bulletin. Students should be aware that their programs might have rules and policies that are above these minimum university-wide requirements.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis admits qualified individuals to study for graduate degrees and certificates. Students with a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university may apply for admission to the Graduate School. Applicants may be denied admission if (a) they do not meet admission standards, (b) there are no available openings, or (c) applications are incomplete at the time of the decision. Application procedures and forms are available on the Graduate School’s Web site.
To receive graduate credit at the University of Missouri-St. Louis students must have been admitted to the Graduate School as Degree-seeking, Graduate Certificate, or Non-Degree seeking (or Lifelong Learner) student before registering for classes.
Degree-Seeking or Graduate Certificate Students
Applicants for a degree or graduate certificate program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, submit an application, official transcript documenting the baccalaureate degree and all other prior coursework, scores from examinations required by the program, and other evidence of academic and professional preparation required by the program. Such evidence may include standardized test results, letters of recommendation, transcripts of all academic work attempted, and writing samples.
When there are openings for new students, applicants are normally admitted given official evidence of (a) a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education, (b) an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and major field GPA of at least 2.75, (c) an acceptable score on each requisite examination, and (d) satisfactory additional materials required by the particular program. The dean of the Graduate School makes the final decision on applications, based on recommendations from the program.
Applicants may seek status as Non-Degree-seeking graduate students if they are visiting students, they do not intend to pursue a degree, or they want to participate in graduate workshops or institutes. Applicants must provide an official transcript showing completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree, with a GPA of at least 2.5.
The dean of the Graduate School admits Non-Degree-seeking students only upon recommendation of the program.
A Non-Degree student must maintain a GPA of at least 3.00.
Course work completed by Non-Degree students is not regarded as work toward a degree program. Therefore, Non-Degree students are not eligible for federal financial aid. Should a Non-Degree student apply for Degree-Seeking status and be admitted to the program the maximum hours of Non-Degree status work that can be applied to a degree program is nine semester hours. A Non-Degree student wishing to take more than nine hours may be allowed to do so contingent upon departmental recommendation. No credits taken as Non-Degree status may count as part of the residence requirement for a degree.
Non-Degree Education Certification students are exempt from the nine-hour limitation on non-degree courses because they take courses for State Department of Education certification. However, all other conditions regarding admission and registration that apply to Non-Degree students apply to Education Certification students.
Students wishing to change from Non-Degree to Degree-seeking must submit a new graduate application for review and approval by the program and the dean of the Graduate School.
Graduate Study for Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learners often want to take graduate courses without enrolling in a specific program. They may want to prepare for admission to a graduate degree program at UMSL or elsewhere, explore a new discipline, take courses, workshops, or institutes for career advancement, or simply undertake personal enrichment experiences. Status as a Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner, or graduate post-baccalaureate, allows students such flexibility. A Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner has access not only to some graduate and undergraduate classes but also UMSL’s libraries, laboratories, recreational facilities, etc.
Since graduate programs may limit the availability of their courses to students without full admission to their program, prospective Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner should check the Bulletin for course prerequisites. The graduate program director in which they wish to take courses can give prospective students more information. Programs, and directors are listed online.
The Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner program is administered by the Graduate School, which normally seeks approval from the unit before admitting students.
If a Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner is later accepted to a graduate program, up to 12 hours of credit taken as a non-degree graduate student may be applied to a graduate degree or certificate program upon approval of faculty in that program. Again, communication with the program director is critical.
Applicants who submit a transcript documenting a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a U.S. university or a university in which instruction is in the English language may be admitted to UMSL as Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner.
International students residing in the United States who do not satisfy the above requirement and are seeking admission as a Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner must provide the transcript and the same evidence of proficiency in English as required for international graduate admissions.
Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learners pay graduate educational tuition and fees regardless of whether they take graduate or undergraduate courses.
Non-degree graduate students are not eligible to receive veteran’s benefits or to hold campus-sponsored assistantships. Federal financial aid may be available to some non-degree students for preparatory coursework such as teacher certification; information is available in the financial aid office.
Like all graduate students, Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner must maintain a 3.0 GPA. If the cumulative GPA is less than 3.0, the student will be given one automatic probationary semester. If, after one semester of probation, the student’s cumulative GPA does not reach 3.0, the student may be granted a second probationary semester only upon approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. (Summer sessions are not counted as probationary semesters.) If the student fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 following the second probationary semester, the student will be made ineligible to enroll as a non-degree or degree-seeking graduate student.
If at any time a student’s term or cumulative GPA falls below 2.0, the Non-Degree Graduate Lifelong Learner will be ineligible to enroll as a non-degree or degree-seeking graduate student.
Inter-University Graduate Exchange Students
Inter-University Graduate Exchange students are Washington University and St. Louis University students who enroll on their home campus for UMSL courses not offered on their own campus.
Degree-seeking graduate students at UMSL may also participate in these programs if their advisors and the Graduate School approve their requests. Certain restrictions apply.
Students who are not qualified for admission to the Graduate School may be considered for undergraduate admission to UMSL as Unclassified Students by applying as an undergraduate non-degree student. Unclassified Students are considered Post-baccalaureate undergraduates, are not admitted to the Graduate School, may not take graduate-level courses, and do not receive graduate credit. Credits earned by an Unclassified Student may not later be considered as graduate credits should the student subsequently be admitted to the Graduate School.
Enrollment in Off-Campus and Continuing Education Courses
Students who have been admitted to the Graduate School may enroll in off-campus graduate courses without further application.
Students with a baccalaureate degree who have not been admitted to the Graduate School must be approved for admission as a Non-Degree graduate student to take Continuing Education courses for graduate credit.
Admission of International Students
International students must meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, international students whose native language is not English and who have spent less than two of the last three years in an English-speaking country are required to submit scores from an internationally accepted standardized examination before a decision is made on admission International Admissions information is available from the Office of International Student Services. Phone 314-516-5229; Fax 314-516-5636; e-mail: email@example.com.
Teaching assistantships will be awarded only to students with demonstrated oral English proficiency. Normally international teaching assistants may not teach during their first semester on campus.
When it is not possible for a student to take the required examination for reasons beyond personal convenience, the program to which the student has applied may develop alternate ways for that particular student to demonstrate English language competence prior to admission. The graduate dean must approve such alternative metrics.
Applicants from other countries shall provide a summary of their educational experience as a basis of comparison of their backgrounds with those of U.S. applicants. They must also provide materials required to obtain an appropriate visa, including a statement of their financial situation and the anticipated form of support for the period of graduate study.
Dual Enrollment for Senior Undergraduates
With the approval of the divisional and graduate deans, seniors who have a 3.0 cumulative g.p.a. and are within 15 hours of completing graduation requirements for the first bachelor’s degree may dually enroll as an undergraduate and a non-degree graduate student and earn up to six semester hours of graduate credit. For students in education, the 15 hours to complete graduation requirements do not include the hours required to complete undergraduate student teaching.
Courses taken while dually enrolled may not be counted for both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. Consult with divisional deans for additional requirements. 2+3 students are not eligible for dual enrollment.
Dual enrollment forms must be completed and approved by the Graduate School prior to registering for the graduate level courses. Dually enrolled students are required to register for the graduate level courses using the graduate career in MyView.
Students who have been admitted to the Graduate School may enroll in classes in any term within one calendar year after admission. New students are strongly urged to seek advising before registering. If an advisor is not assigned, then the graduate director in the program should be the student’s first contact in the department. A current list of graduate program directors is found on the Programs page of the Graduate School website.
To remain in good standing, most students must enroll for at least one term each calendar year. Students not meeting this enrollment requirement will become inactive and be required to reapply. Information on re-enrollment requirements is on the Graduate School Website. If students reapply and are readmitted, then they will be subject to all regulations in effect at the time of readmission.
Doctoral study is an exception to the normal enrollment requirement. After they achieve candidacy, doctoral students must enroll each fall and spring semester until the degree is completed.
International students on student visas must enroll fulltime for each fall and spring semester.
Final Semester Graduate Exam Fee
Graduate students must enroll in the semester in which they graduate. If they have completed required course work, thesis, or dissertation credits, then they must enroll in “Graduate Exam”.
The minimal fulltime course load is nine credit hours for a regular semester and/or the eight-week summer session.
Graduate Equivalent Hours
In calculating credit hours for full-time enrollment, students may seek approval for the following semester hour equivalents:
1.) Three equivalency hours for holding a 0.5 FTE Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Research Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship, or Graduate Instructor position; up to two equivalency hours for appointments between 0.25 and 0.49 FTE.
2.) Three equivalency hours in the semester the student is preparing for comprehensive examinations. This semester-hour equivalency is allowed for a maximum of two semesters.
3.) Eight equivalency hours after achieving candidacy. This semester-hour equivalency is allowed for a maximum of two fall and two spring semesters.
4.) Eight equivalency hours for dissertation work. Once the graduate dean has approved a dissertation proposal, students may request equivalency hours until the eight-year time limit has expired.
5) Participation in approved required out-of-class experiences in specific programs. Please see your advisor for the approved list.
During the regular semester, students may not enroll in more than 12 hours. Normally no more than three credit hours may be taken in any four-week period.
Heavier than normal loads may be permitted by the graduate dean, upon recommendation by the program director, for a) students whose cumulative UMSL GPA is substantially above the program average; and b) students in good academic standing for whom an overload of one course will permit them to graduate during the term in which the overload is taken. Students are normally not allowed to take an overload in their first semester in Graduate School.
Degree Program Plans
It is expected that graduate students will consult regularly with their advisors to plan a course of study that ensures timely completion of the requirements.
At least one-half of the credits for master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral degree plans must be from 5000-level courses and above.
Within the major department, students normally may not take a 3000-level course for graduate credit. However, outside the department, a 3000-level course may be taken for graduate credit with the approval of students’ advisors. Advisors must seek approval from the instructor, who may assign additional work commensurate with graduate status.
Courses numbered from 0 to 2999 may not be taken for graduate credit. No course applied to an undergraduate degree may be allowed in that student’s graduate degree.
Credit for Courses Taken Prior to Enrolling in a Graduate Program at UMSL
Transfer credit shall be granted only for approved graduate courses for which a grade of at least B-, or equivalent, was achieved from an accredited institution.
Degree credit may be allowed for up to three credit hours for institutes, workshops, clinics, and Continuing Education courses only if offered by an appropriately accredited institution of higher education. Only such courses that award a letter grade may be applied to a graduate degree.
Students may transfer up to 18 hours of work on a Graduate Certificate Program Plan to a Master’s or Doctoral Program Plan, if the program offering the degree approves the transfer.
Credit for Courses Taken at Other Universities After Enrolling in a Graduate Program at UMSL
Graduate students admitted to UMSL must petition in advance to take courses at another institution and apply the credit toward a graduate degree at UMSL.
With prior approval, regularly admitted graduate students are permitted to take a course not offered by UMSL at Washington University, St. Louis University, or Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
The maximum time allowed for completion of a master’s or educational specialist degree is six years after the first course enrollment. Graduate work completed outside these time periods may not be included in the degree program except under extraordinary circumstances and then only after recommendation from the gradfuate program for approval by the dean of the Graduate School. An exception to the time limitation may be approved in advance with an authorized leave of absence.
Leave of Absence
Graduate students who are forced to interrupt their studies for a period of one or more years should request a leave of absence from the university. In consultation with their advisors, students shall define the program modifications that the leave of absence requires. Requests must indicate the reason for leaving and the expected date of return to the university. Approval of the dean of the Graduate School is required.
The leave of absence is designed to suspend the requirement for continuous enrollment. It does not affect the maximum time limitation set for a degree program unless a specific exception is approved.
Undergraduate Enrollment in 5000-Level Courses
Under special circumstances undergraduate students in good standing at UMSL may enroll in 5000-level courses for undergraduate credit. Approvals from the advisor, department chairperson, academic dean, and dean of the Graduate School are required. In rare cases, students subsequently admitted to the Graduate School may petition for graduate credit for 5000-level courses that they took as undergraduates, as long as those courses were not applied to their undergraduate degrees.
Only students who have previously paid fees may attend a class. Instructors are not authorized to allow students to attend classes if fees have not been paid. Students may not register and pay fees after the prescribed dates.
Enrolled students may preregister for the next term during regular preregistration periods. Registration is not complete until all university fees are paid.
Petitioning Into or Out of a Course
Students must receive the approval of their adviser and the course instructor to enroll in or withdraw from a course after registration.
Entering a Course in Progress
Students wishing to enter a course in progress must have the approval of the instructor and their adviser. Only under exceptional circumstances may students enter courses after the first week of the semester.
Dropping a Course
Students may drop courses before the end of the fourth week of a regular semester the second week of an eight week session, or the first week of a four week session without receiving grades. At the end of this period and until the end of 12 weeks (or from the third through the sixth week of the summer session), students may withdraw from courses with "Excused" grades providing they are passing the course and have the approval of the instructor and their adviser. Otherwise, a grade of F is given. Students who stop attending classes without officially dropping courses also receive grades of F.
The registrar will furnish transcripts of credits to a student upon written request. Transcripts are furnished to students' parents or guardians or other parties or institutions only if students have filed written consent with the registrar. There is a charge per transcript. UMSL students or alumni transferring to another University of Missouri campus may ask the UMSL Director of Admissions to furnish a transcript to the appropriate Office of Graduate Admissions.
Requests for transcripts by organizations either financially supporting a student or with fee compensation programs are not honored unless the student has filed a consent form with the registrar, authorizing the release of such records.
Faculty teaching graduate courses have complete discretion in assigning grades.
Point assignments for grades are as follows;
A = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = 2. 0
C- = 1.7
F = 0
FN = 0
EX = Excused
DL = Delayed
IP = In Progress
S/U = A or B equivalent
The satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) option, which is an option for undergraduate students, is not normally available in courses for graduate credit. S/U grades may be given only for thesis, dissertation, specific internships, practica, or project courses as requested by a program, with prior approval from the Graduate Council. Courses on the S/U grading system will carry no points toward calculation of the grade point average.
Students who stop attending classes without officially dropping courses receive grades of F or FN, depending on the amount of work completed.
Students may enter courses as auditors but may not change from audit to credit or credit to audit after the first week of class. Auditors are charged full fees and receive no academic credit.
Delayed grades may be given when a student’s work is of passing quality but is incomplete because of circumstances beyond the student’s control. Although delayed grades do not affect a graduate student’s grade point average, they are an important factor in evaluating academic progress. Delayed grades must be removed within two regular semesters after the time recorded or they automatically become F grades. In such cases, course instructors may subsequently change F grades to other grades on their progress in a sequential course and indicate that a grade will be assigned at the end of the sequence. Some programs assign the Delayed Grade for dissertations or theses in progress. Students must complete all Delayed grades to be approved to graduate.
When students do not complete any graded assignments but do not oficially withdraw from the course or the university, instructors may assign an FN. The F for Non-Participation cannot be changed to a grade and will be treated in GPA calculations as an F.
Graduate Grade Appeals
In case of disputes regarding grades, graduate students shall follow the university Grade Appeal Process by first contacting the Department Chair. The policy is available on the Academic Affairs’ Website.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
UMSL calculates three types of GPA. At the end of each semester, the Term GPA is calculated on the courses attempted that semester. The Cumulative GPA on the transcript includes all courses taken at UMSL for graduate credit, including courses that may not be a part of the degree program or certificate. The Degree Program GPA includes only the grades of those courses that are part of the degree program. The Degree Program or certificate GPA must be at least 3.0 for a student to receive a graduate degree.
Grade modification is not an option for graduate students.
Failure to make adequate progress jeopardizes students' potential to complete the degree as well as their financial aid. To provide students notice of inadequate progress at the end of each semester, graduate students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 in a minimum of nine credit hours are placed on probation. A program may also place a student on probation if it regards the student’s progress as unsatisfactory. The Graduate School will inform students of their probation, with copies sent to the graduate director of the program, the Graduate Admissions Office, and the Financial Aid Office.
If at the end of the probationary semester the cumulative GPA is at least 3.0 and the student is making adequate progress toward the degree, then the probationary status is removed. A probationary student who fails to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 may, on the recommendation of the program, be allowed a second probationary semester.
Upon recommendation of the program director, the Graduate School may dismiss any graduate student who does not make adequate progress. A student who is on probation for more than two semesters during his/her program of study will be dismissed, unless the dean of the Graduate School approves an exception request for continuation from the program director. The Graduate School is responsible for notifying students, with copies sent to the graduate director of the program, the Graduate Admissions office, and the Financial Aid Office.
Faculty in each master's degree program determine any eligibility standards beyond the minimum for admission to the Graduate School.
All master’s degree students shall be enrolled for credit for access to university resources, including advisement, data gathering, or examinations.
Full-time status for all graduate students is defined as at least nine credit hours of course work. Individual programs may require higher enrollments.
A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required for all master's degree programs. Specific programs may require a greater number of hours.
The final two-thirds of the courses in a master's degree program must be completed at UMSL.
All courses included in a master's degree program, whether taken at UMSL or at another institution, shall have been completed within six years after enrollment in the first course.
Credit From a Certificate Program
Students who have completed course credits in certificate programs may transfer those credits into a master’s degree program with the program’s consent, as long as the credits fall within the time limitation set for master’s degrees. If the master’s degree is in a different program from that awarding the certificate, then no more than one-third of the credits from the certificate program may apply to the master’s degree. Multi-disciplinary programs may seek programmatic exceptions to this limit when the program undergoes the approval process.
Dual Master's Degrees
With approval of the program and the Graduate School, students who have completed one master’s degree may transfer appropriate credits to a second master’s degree program. The number of transferable credits may not exceed one-third of the credit hours required by the second program. Subsequent transfers of the same courses to a third degree are not permitted.
With approval of the programs involved and the Graduate School, students may simultaneously pursue two master’s degrees under the following conditions: (a) No more than one-third of the credit hours required by either program may be applied to both programs; (b) Students must obtain approval of both programs before completing 12 hours in either program.
Multi-disciplinary programs may seek programmatic exceptions to the one-third limit when the program undergoes the approval process by addressing specific allowable transfers between those two degree programs.Master's Degree for Doctoral Students
Doctoral students may receive a master’s degree in their program for work they have completed toward to a doctoral degree. The program establishes the requirements for such a master’s degree. However, the requirements should, in principle, be similar to those for master’s degrees offered by the program.
Doctoral and educational specialist students may also receive a master’s degree for work they have completed toward to a doctoral or Ed.S. degree in another program provided (a) they apply no more than two-thirds of the master’s degree courses to their doctoral degree program; (b) they have been admitted to the master’s degree program; and (c) they have obtained the approval of the advisors from both programs and from the Graduate School. Credit from the master’s degree must constitute less than half the total credits required for the doctorate.
Multi-disciplinary programs may seek programmatic exceptions to these limits when the program undergoes the approval process.
Filing the Degree Program Plan
A master’s degree student shall filewith the Graduate School a program plan approved by the program director before completing the first two-thirds of the credit hours required in the program. Students may petition the dean of the Graduate School to change the plan after it has been filed.
Comprehensive Examination, Scholarly Paper, or Exit Project
Each program requiring a comprehensive examination for the master’s degree informs the Graduate School of (a) the number of times the program will allow its students to take a comprehensive examination, and (b) the period of time that the program will allow between the first and final attempt to pass the examination.
Programs recommend Graduate Faculty members to serve on committees for capstone projects. The graduate dean shall review and may appoint the committee.
Master’s degree students who write a thesis must submit to the dean of the Graduate School one copy of the thesis by the posted university deadline, normally six weeks before the end of the term in which graduation is sought. The chairperson of the thesis committee is responsible for verifying that the final draft of the thesis is acceptable to the graduate dean and the thesis committee.
Students disseminate the thesis according to current Graduate School procedures.
Application for Master's Degree
To receive the master’s degree, students who have met all degree requirements must apply for graduation by the end of the fourth week of classes during the fall or spring term or by the first day of the eight-week session during the summer term.
Educational Specialist Degree Requirements
Each educational specialist degree program shall determine any eligibility standards beyond the minimum for admission to Graduate School.
All educational specialist degree students shall be enrolled for credit for access to university resources, including advisement, data gathering, or examinations.
Full-time status for all graduate students is defined as at least nine credit hours of course work. Individual units may require higher enrollments.
A minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate credit is required for all educational specialist degree programs. Individual programs may require a greater number of hours.
Normally, at least one half of the courses in an educational specialist degree program must be completed at UMSL.
All courses included in an educational specialist degree program, whether taken at UMSL or at another institution, shall have been completed within six years after enrollment in the first course.
When educational specialist students have earned a master’s degree at any institution, appropriate credits may be applied toward meeting the requirement for the specialist degree, subject to program approval. Such credits shall constitute less than half of the total credits required for the educational specialist degree. Credit for courses taken for a master’s degree is exempt from the six-year time limitation.
Filing the Degree Program Plan
An educational specialist degree student enrolled shall file an approved program plan with the Graduate School before completing two-thirds of the credit hours required in the program. Students may petition the dean of the Graduate School to change the plan after it has been filed.
Comprehensive Examination, Scholarly Paper, or Exit Project
Each program requiring a comprehensive examination for the specialist degree informs the Graduate School of (a) the number of times the program will allow its students to take a comprehensive examination, and (b) the period of time that the program will allow between the first and final attempt to pass the examination.
Programs recommend Graduate Faculty members to serve on committees for capstone projects. The graduate dean shall review and may appoint the committee.
Programs recommend Graduate Faculty members to serve on committees for capstone projects. The graduate dean shall review and may appoint the committee.
Educational Specialist degree students who write a thesis must submit to the dean of the Graduate School one copy of the thesis by the posted university deadline, normally six weeks before the end of the term in which graduation is sought. The chairperson of the thesis committee is responsible for verifying that the final draft of the thesis is acceptable to the graduate dean and the thesis committee. Students shall disseminate the thesis according to current Graduate School procedure.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
Each doctoral degree program may determine eligibility standards beyond the minimum for admission to the Graduate School.
A minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate credit is required in every doctoral degree program. Programs may require a greater number of hours for their programs, and individual students may be required to take additional hours.
Full-time status is defined as nine credit hours per semester. Programs may require higher enrollments than this. After students achieve candidacy and complete the residence requirement, they must remain enrolled during fall and spring semesters until they complete the degree. Failure to register in any regular semester will result in termination from the Graduate School. If students so terminated decide to reapply and if they are readmitted, then they will be subject to all regulations in effect at the time of readmission, and will be required to enroll for at least one credit hour for each semester since their last enrollment.
When doctoral students are enrolled for research credit, the credit amount may vary, but the student must register for all work required, and the credit total may exceed the minimum requirements.
Classification of Doctoral Students
There are two stages in doctoral degree work:
- A pre-candidate is a student who has requirements to fulfill in addition to the dissertation, including course work, and/or comprehensive examinations.
- A candidate is a student who has met all degree requirements except the completion of the dissertation.
The maximum amount of time allowed for completion of a doctoral degree is eight years after the first course enrollment.
The maximum of 12 hours of graduate credit completed as a post-master’s degree student prior to admission to a doctoral program may apply toward a doctoral degree. Inclusion of such course work is subject to program approval and must have been completed within eight years of the time the doctoral degree is awarded. Exceptions to this regulation must be justified on academically defensible grounds and approved by the graduate dean prior to filing the program plan.
When doctoral students have earned a master’s degree at any institution, appropriate credits may be applied toward meeting the requirement for the doctoral degree, subject to program approval. Such credits shall constitute less than half of the total credits required for the doctorate. For example, for a doctoral degree requiring 90 hours of work beyond the bachelor’s degree, no more than 44 credits from a master’s degree may apply to the doctoral degree. Credit for courses taken for a master’s degree is exempt from the doctoral program’s eight-year time limitation.
The majority of credits used to satisfy requirements for a doctoral degree must be completed at UMSL. The residence requirement may be satisfied with dissertation credit hours, graduate institutes, and credit courses taken through Continuing Education, as well as regular courses.
Students who enter the Ed.D. or Ph.D. in Education degree programs with an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree from an accredited university, or with an Advanced Certificate approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, may satisfy the residence requirement by completing one-third of the required credits at UMSL.
Residency normally requires that doctoral students successfully complete a minimum of 15 hours over two consecutive terms, which may include summer. The dean of the Graduate School may grant exceptions upon recommendation by the program.
Each program will determine the number of times a comprehensive examination may be taken by a student. The department or college must file with the Graduate School a statement specifying (a) the number of times the program will allow its students to take a comprehensive examination, and (b) the maximum and/or minimum period of time the program will allow between the first and final attempt to pass the comprehensive examination.
The Comprehensive Examination Committee consists of no fewer than three members of the UMSL graduate faculty appointed by the graduate dean upon recommendation of the program.
An oral examination may not substitute for the standard written portion.
Upon entering the program, each doctoral student will have an assigned program advisor who is a member of the Graduate Faculty. As early as possible in a doctoral student’s program, but no later than when the student achieves candidacy, the program will recommend, in consultation with the student, a doctoral dissertation advisor.
Application for Candidacy
Doctoral students may apply for candidacy after passing all required comprehensive and language examinations, written or oral, and successfully completing all course work. The program director approves the application and forwards it to the dean of the Graduate School for final approval.
Doctoral Dissertation Committee
The Doctoral Dissertation Committee consists of at least four members of the Graduate Faculty who can contribute their expertise to the dissertation study: the committee chair, and at least one other member from the program. A recognized scholar from outside the university may serve as a member upon the recommendation of the program and approval of the graduate dean. The graduate dean reviews and approves the committee membership and any changes in the committee membership.
All doctoral degrees require a dissertation as a final component of the program. The dissertation must be written on a subject approved by the candidate’s doctoral dissertation committee, must embody the results of original and significant research and must be the candidate’s own work.
Before a student may conduct substantial research for the dissertation the committee must approve a proposal after a formal defense. The student submits the approved proposal for review and approval by the dean of the Graduate School. An approved dissertation proposal in no way implies a contract between the university and the student. Depending on the outcome of the research, the dissertation may require substantially more work than anticipated when the proposal was approved. The termination of a line of research and the adoption of a substantially new dissertation project requires the preparation, formal defense, and acceptance by the Graduate School of a new dissertation proposal.
One copy of the dissertation, certified as complete and provisionally acceptable to the committee, shall be submitted to the graduate dean at least six weeks prior to commencement. The Dean of the Graduate School may seek advice and make suggestions to the committee about content and style before approving the dissertation.
Defense of Dissertation
Normally the approved Doctoral Dissertation Committee serves as the Oral Defense of Dissertation Committee. The graduate dean may appoint one additional qualified voting member to the Defense of Dissertation Committee from the Graduate Faculty within the University of Missouri System.
After deliberating on the oral defense of the dissertation, the Defense of Dissertation Committee votes on whether the defense was successful. The defense shall be deemed unsuccessful if there are two negative votes, even if outnumbered by positive votes. An abstention will be considered a negative vote. A student failing an oral defense shall have the opportunity for one additional defense before the same committee. The Defense of Dissertation Committee shall determine the timing and format of the subsequent defense.
Final examinations are open to the public.
The decision of the Defense of Dissertation Committee is final. The report of the final examination is due to the Graduate School no later than two days after the examination.
Two different abstracts are required. The publishing company requires an abstract of a maximum of 350 words that is published with the announcement of the dissertation defense. The abstract forming the second page of the dissertation should be no more than 600 words.
Only high quality copies are acceptable with the following margins throughout: left margin 1 ½ inches; top, bottom, and right margins, 1 inch. Final copies may be submitted electronically following current procedures on the Graduate School Electronic Thesis and Dissertation homepage or in person in Room 421 Woods Hall on paper. Original hard copies of the dissertation must be typed on good quality paper, and they must be legible and neat in order to be accepted by the Graduate School.
In matter of style and documentation, the custom of the discipline shall be followed.
The chairperson of the dissertation committee is responsible for verifying that all the changes suggested by the graduate dean and the dissertation committee have been incorporated in the final draft of the dissertation or have been discussed further with the graduate dean or the committee.
Graduate Certificate Program Requirements
Each graduate certificate program may determine eligibility standards beyond the minimum for admission to and enrollment in the Graduate School.
A minimum of 18 hours of graduate course work is required for a graduate certificate. At least 12 of these hours must consist of courses drawn from the list of core courses for the particular certificate program. At least 12 hours must be completed as a graduate student at UMSL. At least nine hours must be at the 5000 level or above. No more than six hours may be independent study.
Filing the Program Plan
A graduate student enrolled in a certificate program is required to file a certificate program plan with the Graduate School before completing the first two-thirds of the number of hours required in the program. Changes made in a certificate program plan after it has been filed must be submitted to the Graduate School.