The Graduate Faculty sets Graduate School policies in the Bulletin. Students should be aware that their programs might create rules and policies that are above these minimum university-wide requirements.
To receive graduate credit at the University of Missouri-St. Louis students must have been admitted to the Graduate School as either Graduate Certificate or Degree-seeking or Non-Degree seeking.
Degree-Seeking or Graduate Certificate Students
When there are openings for new students in a program, applicants are normally admitted given official evidence for
Students who are unable to provide all materials required for admission may be admitted provisionally. An approved provisional student may enroll for one semester or summer term only. The courses taken provisionally will apply in the regular way to a degree or certificate program. When all admission materials have been received, the unit may recommend regular or restricted admission or denial to the dean of the Graduate School .
Because admission to doctoral studies is limited to those of demonstrably superior academic ability, doctoral students normally are not admitted as restricted.
The dean of the Graduate School admits Non-Degree-Seeking students only upon recommendation of the unit.
A Non-Degree Student must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 3.00. A Non-Degree Student wishing to take more than nine hours may be allowed to do so contingent upon departmental recommendation.
Students wishing to change from Non-Degree to Degree-Seeking must submit a new graduate application for review and approval by the unit and the dean of the Graduate School.
Course work completed by Non-Degree Students is not regarded as work toward a degree program. The maximum hours of Non-Degree status work that can be applied to a degree program is nine semester hours. No credits taken as Non-Degree status may count as part of the residence requirement for a degree.
Since Education Certification Students take courses for state Department of Education certification, they do not need departmental approval to take more than nine hours. However, all other conditions regarding admission and registration that apply to Non-Degree Students apply to Education Certification Students.
Traveling Scholars and Inter-University Graduate
Degree-seeking graduate students at the UM-St. Louis campus may also participate in these programs.Unclassified Students
Students who are not qualified for admission to the Graduate School may be considered for admission to UM-St. Louis as Unclassified Students. Unclassified Students are considered Post-baccalaureate, 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 holding a baccalaureate degree who have not been admitted to the Graduate School shall simultaneously apply for admission as a Non-Degree graduate student. If admission is not obtained by the end of the semester, graduate credit will not be awarded.Admission of International Students
International students shall meet the 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.
Teaching assistantships will not be awarded to students whose TOEFL scores are below 570.
When it is not possible for a student to take the TOEFL examination for reasons beyond personal convenience, the unit 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 shall also provide a statement of their financial situation and of the anticipated form of support for the period of graduate study.
To remain in good standing, students shall enroll for at least one term each calendar year. Students not meeting this enrollment requirement will be dismissed from the Graduate School and required to reapply. If students so terminated reapply and if they are readmitted, they will be subject to all regulations in effect at the time of readmission.
After they achieve candidacy, Doctoral students shall enroll each semester.
International students on student visas shall enroll fulltime for each fall and spring semester.
Graduate Equivalent Hours
Three equivalency hours for hold a 0.5 FTE Graduate Teaching Assistantship or Graduate Research Assistantship; up to two equivalency hours for appointments between 0.25 and 0.49 FTE.
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.
Eight equivalency hours after achieving candidacy. This semester hour equivalency is allowed for a maximum of eight semesters.
Participation in approved required out-of-class experiences in specific programs. Advisors have the current list.
Heavier than normal loads may be permitted by the Graduate Dean, upon recommendation by the unit, for
Degree Program Plans
At least half of the credits for both master’s and doctoral degree plans shall 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 the students’ advisors. Advisors shall seek approval from the instructor, who may assign additional work commensurate with each student’s 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.
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 unit granting the degree approves the transfer.
Graduate students admitted to UM-St. Louis shall petition in advance to take courses at another institution and apply the credit toward a graduate degree at UM-St. Louis.
With prior approval, regularly admitted graduate students are permitted to take a course not offered by UM-St.Louis at Washington University, St. Louis University, or Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Leave of Absence
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
Graduate students who are employed full time may not register for more than six hours. Students employed part time must adjust their course loads according to the number of hours employed. Students may either work full time or carry a full-time load of courses, but not both. Graduate assistants may not work full time.
Petitioning Into or Out of a Course
Entering a Course in Progress
Dropping a Course
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.
The Graduate School does not recognize a D grade for a course carrying graduate credit. Therefore, grades lower than C- are recorded as F. The satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) option is not available in any courses for graduate credit.
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.
In-Progress grades maybe given in thesis or dissertation research. Additionally, the Graduate Council my approve the In-Progress grade for specific internships, practica, or project courses that allow at least six months for completion. In no case will an In-Progress grade be given for other graduate research or internship experiences. Instead, students will be given a Delayed grade if work is not completed during the semester that the course is taken.
In-Progress grades are left on the student’s record until the committee and dean of the Graduate School accepts the thesis or dissertation and the research advisor or internship director submits the final regular grade. At that time, the grade point average will be calculated to award the same grade for all hours taken in the In-Progress grade with the Delayed grade when the instructor has no basis for assigning a grade for the term(s) completed.
Students who stop attending classes without officially dropping courses receive grades of F.Graduate Grade Appeals
In case of disputes regarding grades, graduate students shall follow the university Grade Appeal Process.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Failure to make adequate progress jeopardizes a student’s potential to complete the degree and 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. Graduate School shall inform students of their probation by letter, with copies sent to the graduate director of the program, the Graduate Admissions Office and Financial Aid.
If at the end of the probationary semester the cumulative GPA is at least 3.0, the probationary status is removed. A probationary student who fails to raise the accumulative GPA to 3.0 may, on the recommendation of the program, be allowed a second probationary semester. A student is subject to dismissal upon failure to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 by the end of the second probationary semester, or at my time a semester or cumulative GPA falls below 3.0.
Master’s Degree Requirements
Full-time status for all graduate students is defined as at least nine credit hours of course work. Individual units may require higher enrollments.
Credit From a Certificate Program
With approval of the units involved and the Graduate School, students may simultaneously pursue two master’s degrees under the following conditions:
Doctoral students may receive a master’s degree in their unit for work they have completed toward to a doctoral degree. The unit 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 unit.
Doctoral students may also receive a master’s degree for work they have completed toward to a doctoral degree in another unit provided
Multi-disciplinary programs may seek programmatic exceptions to these limits when the program undergoes the approval process.
Filing the Degree Program
Comprehensive Examination, Scholarly Paper, or Exit Project
Units 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 shall disseminate the thesis according to current Graduate School procedures.
Application for Master’s Degree
Doctoral Degree Requirements
After students achieve candidacy and complete the residence requirement, they must remain enrolled during fall and winter semesters until the degree is completed. 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, 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 in 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
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 unit approval and must have been completed within eight years of the time the doctoral degree is awarded. Exceptions to this regulation shall be justified on academically defensible grounds and approved by the Graduate Dean prior to filing the program.
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 unit 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 eight-year time limitation.
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 UM-St. Louis.
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.Comprehensive Examinations
Each unit will determine the number of times a comprehensive examination may be taken by a student. The department or school must file with the Graduate School a statement specifying (a) the number of times the unit will allow its students to take a comprehensive examination, and (b) the maximum and/or minimum period of time the unit will allow between the first and final attempt to pass the comprehensive examination.
The Comprehensive Examination Committee will consist of no fewer than three members of the UM-St. Louis graduate faculty appointed by the Graduate Dean upon recommendation of the unit.
An oral examination may not substitute for the standard written portion.
Application for Candidacy
The dissertation proposal must be accepted by the Graduate School before a doctoral student completes the sixth semester of study, or before the student takes more than four hours of dissertation credit, whichever comes later. That is, students who have taken more than four hours of dissertation credit by the end of the sixth semester must have successfully filed their dissertation proposal by that point. Students who have taken no more than four hours of dissertation credit by the end of the sixth semester have a later deadline: the point at which they intend to take their fifth dissertation credit.
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.
Defense of Dissertation
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.
In matters of style and documentation, the custom of the discipline shall be followed.Official Copies
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.
Filing the Degree Program
Fees for Graduate Study
The University reserves the right to change fees and other charges at any time without advance notice. Students will be charged graduate level fees for all course work taken while classified as a graduate student.Nonresident Students
A student who is admitted to the University as a nonresident must pay the Nonresident Educational Fee as well as all other required fees. The Residence and Education Fee Rules are available at: http://www.umsl.edu/services/finance/resrules.htm
The petition for a change of Missouri Resident Status is available at: http://www.umsl.edu/services/finance/res-pet.htm
Final Semester Incidental Fee
Thesis and Dissertation Fee
Laboratory Breakage Fee
Room and Board
Student Insurance: International Students (required)
Student Insurance (optional):
Payment of Fees
Policy on Administrative Cancellation of Student Registration
for Nonpayment of Educational Fees:
Policies and Procedures Related to Cancellation of Student Registration
The University Reserves the right to modify by increase or decrease the fees charged for attendance and other services at the University, including but not limited to educational fees, at any time when in the discretion of the governing board the same is in the best interest of the University, provided that no increases can or will be effective unless approved by the governing board not less than thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the academic term (semester, etc.) to which the fees are applicable and such increase does not exceed ten (10) percent over the fee level existing immediately prior to the increase, with all modification of fees to be effective irrespective as to whether fees have or have not been paid by or on behalf of a student prior to the effective date of the modification.
Personal Checks. Personal checks in payment of fees and other obligations to the university will be accepted only when the amount of the check does not exceed the amount due from the student. Any checks payable to the university which are returned unpaid will be assessed a $20 return check charge.
Credit Cards. Valid MasterCard, VISA, and Discover credit and debit cards are accepted toward payment of fees.
Quick and Easy Ways To Pay Fees:
Fee Assessment for Dropping Classes or Withdrawal
Teaching and Research Assistantships
Teaching or research assistantship appointments are made directly by the departments. Inquires and applications for assistantships should be addressed to the director of the graduate program of the appropriate department. Applications should be submitted no later than March 15 for the fall semester. Occasionally a few teaching assistantships are available for the winter semester. Interested students should contact the director of the appropriate graduate program as soon as possible.
Students receiving a.5 FTE assistantships receive a fellowship covering their residential and nonresidential educational fees (contact the Graduate School for the actual number of credit hours covered).