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 Schedule of Courses contains the specific courses offered each semester with their meeting times and locations. This schedule is available online
Course schedules are generally published in mid-March for the fall semester, mid-October for the spring semester, and mid-January for the summer semester.
The university reserves the right to cancel without notice any course listed in the Bulletin or the Schedule of Courses for any semester or to withdraw any course that that does not have adequate enrollment.
Newly admitted/re-admitted students are eligible to register after the close of the pre-registration period. Enrollment dates, Semester Calendars, and courses offerings can be found online at the Registration website.
Registering for Classes: Currently Enrolled Students
Currently enrolled students are given the opportunity to preregister, by appointment, before new or returning students. Pre-registration appointment times are sent to students’ university email and can also be found by logging into MyView.
Registering for Classes: Former Students
Former UMSL students who have not been enrolled for a year must submit a reenrollment application.
Students who have enrolled but do not wish to attend the university may cancel their registration any time before the first day of the semester. Students must complete a withdrawal survey online. Cancellations may be processed at the Office of the Registrar.
Students may withdraw from school beginning the first day of classes. The refund schedule for withdrawals after class work begins can be found on the Cashier's Office website. Students who are withdrawing must complete a withdrawal survey. Withdrawals may be processed at the Office of the Registrar.
Prerequisites for a Course
Students are expected to review all courses when registering for them to assure that they meet all prerequisites. When the prerequisites include courses, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet the prerequisite. Only the department offering the course with the prerequisite can make an exception to this requirement. A course with an "academic standing" prerequisite--for example, "senior standing"-- requires that students have the class standing stated, in the example, only seniors can take that class.
Section changing is normally completed during the first week of a regular semester, the first four days of an eight-week session and the first three days of a four-week session. Approvals may not be necessary during this time. However, after the first week of a regular semester, the first four days of an eight-week session, and the first three days of a four-week session, a section change form must be obtained from the department or dean's office. The signature of both instructors is required. The form is to be submitted to the Registration Office, 269 Millennium Student Center
Students are expected to attend class regularly, and, in accordance with the UMSL Bylaws, faculty may establish penalties for excessive absences. Students absent for more than three successive classes may be reported to the dean. Students should tell their dean's office of an extended absence. An absence known in advance should be reported to the instructors of courses that will be missed. Makeup of examinations or work missed is allowed at the instructor's discretion. Students excused from class for valid reasons by their deans shall be permitted, if possible, to make up work missed; the dean must have notified the instructor in writing.
Students may enroll as auditors in any course with the prior consent of the instructor and dean of the college in which the auditors desire to be registered. They may be dropped from the course when, in the judgment of the instructor and dean, their record justifies such action. Auditors are charged full fees and receive no academic credit.
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:
- they do not meet admission standards,
- there are no available openings, or
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 baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education,
- an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and major field GPA of at least 2.75,
- an acceptable score on each requisite examination, and
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 9-12 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 and Scholar 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.
Some programs may require applicants from other countries shall to provide a course by course report from a professional evaluation organizations in the United States. All students shall provide a statement of their financial situation and of the anticipated form of support for the period of graduate study.
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:
- 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.
- 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 two fall and two spring semesters.
- 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.
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 graduate 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.
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.
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
Courses may be dropped in MyView, without faculty approval and without receiving a grade, through the fourth week of classes of a sixteen-week semester, the second week of classes of an eight-week session and the first week of classes of a four-week session. Students with specific academic holds may be required to obtain approval from their advisor to change their schedule. Semester and session calendars posted on the registrar’s website include specific deadline dates for dropping courses. Students who officially drop any of their classes may have fees reassessed and/or refunded based on the current fee reassessment schedule posted on the cashier’s website. Courses dropped during this period will not appear on transcripts.
From the 5th week to the end of the 8th week of a sixteen-week semester, students may continue to drop courses in MyView without instructor approval. A grade of “EX” (excused) will be issued on the transcript. Refer to the calendar posted on the registrar’s website for summer or winter session withdrawal deadlines. From the 9th week to the end of the 12th week dropping courses will require instructor approval. Students receiving approval to drop during this period will be issued either an EX, or “EX-F” (excused but failing) if the student was failing at the time of dropping. The EX and EX-F grades will be posted to transcripts, but neither one will be used in calculating the GPA. Students who wish to withdraw after the end of the 12th week must provide documentation of exigent circumstance and receive both the instructor’s permission and approval of the dean.
Dropping or withdrawing from a course may adversely impact scholarships, financial aid, and progress toward graduation. Students are strongly urged to discuss these possibilities with the financial aid office and their academic advisors before dropping or withdrawing.
Students registered in a course in which they fail to meet a minimal level of participation as deemed by the instructor will be issued a grade of “FN” (Failure, Non-participation). The FN grade indicates that the student is not regularly attending class or is making little or no attempts on assignments or activities and may be violating the terms of financial assistance. This grade is equivalent to an F for GPA calculations.
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.
Transcripts are not issued to or for students who have financial obligations to the university until those obligations are paid in full.
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 will be placed on probation. A program may also place a student on probation if faculty regard 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.
Each course bears a distinguishing number that identifies it within the department or academic unit and indicates, broadly, the expected level of students taking the course. To understand the course level, refer to the following guidelines:
Courses that do not count toward the minimum requirements for any degree.
Courses open to undergraduate students, primarily focused toward freshmen; courses count toward the minimum for given degrees.
Courses open to undergraduate students, primarily focused toward sophomores; courses count toward the minimum for given degrees
Courses open to undergraduate students, primarily focused toward junior; courses count toward the minimum for given degrees.
Courses open to undergraduate and graduate students, primarily focused toward seniors; courses count toward the minimum for given undergraduate degrees; depending on the specific program, courses may count for a given graduate degree.
Graduate courses; also open to post-baccalaureate educator certification candidates and undergraduate seniors with permission from the Dean of the Graduate School. Courses count toward the minimum for given graduate degrees.
Graduate courses open to master’s degree and doctoral students. Courses count toward the minimum for given graduate degrees.
Graduate courses open to doctoral students and master’s degree students with special permission. Courses count toward the minimum for specific graduate degrees.
Courses open to optometry degree seeking students.
The university credit unit is the semester hour, which represents a subject pursued one period weekly for one semester of approximately 16 weeks or for a total of approximately 16 periods for one term. Generally, a course valued at three semester hours meets for three periods weekly for one semester, a twocredit course two periods a week for a semester, and so on. Normally, the lecture or recitation period is 50 minutes long and the laboratory period one hour and 50 minutes.
The number of credit hours is listed as units in the online Schedule of Courses. If the credit is variable (to be determined in consultation with the instructor) it is shown by minimum and maximum units, such as Research 1 – 3 units. In the Bulletin, credit hours are included in parentheses after each course title e.g., Research (2-8).
Examinations may be given only at regular class meeting times or as designated by the Senate Committee on Curriculum and Instruction.
The period designated for final examinations is an important component of the academic term. It provides faculty with a final opportunity to evaluate student learning and attainment of course objectives. Faculty members are encouraged to meet with students during the final examination period.
A faculty member who gives an in-class final examination may give this examination only on the day and at the time designated in the official final examination schedule. A majority vote of the students to the contrary does not change this policy.
A student may submit a written request for a change in the scheduled time of the final examination for a limited number of documented hardship reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to, being scheduled to take more than two examinations on the same day, illness, military obligations, and religious practices. Except for emergencies, this request should be presented directly to the instructor at least two weeks before classes conclude. If the request is denied, the student may request additional consideration from the chairperson/area coordinator/program director and, if denied, to the dean of the college sponsoring the course.
Students may not repeat for grade point average or credit hour purposes courses in which grades of A, A B+, B, B, C+, or C have been earned. Subsequent grades in such a course that is repeated will not be included in the GPA calculations. The course hours will be counted only once in calculating hours toward a degree.
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
- F-EX = Excused but failing
- DL = Delayed
- S/U = A or B equivalent
The satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) option is not normally available in courses for graduate credit. S/U grades may be given only for specific courses as requested by a school or college, 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. A Satisfactory grade is defined as an A or B equivalent.
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. Delayed grades must be removed within two regular semesters (excluding summer) after the time recorded or they automatically become F grades. In such cases, course instructors may subsequently change F grades to other grades when all work has been comlpeted. A student may not graduate with any delayed grades on their transcript except in research courses required for a subsequent degree.
When students do not complete any graded assignments but do not officially 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 comprises 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 or certificate GPA includes only the grades of those used to meet degree/certificate requirements for that program. The cumulative and degree or certificate program GPA must be at least 3.0 for a student to receive a graduate degree or certificate.
Grade modification is not an option for graduate students.
Any course work transferred from other universities, including other UM campuses, will not be included in any GPA calculation.
A student who fails to earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 may request a recalculation of the cumulative GPA by substituting additional appropriate course work for courses in which a 3.0 was not earned. A maximum of two courses may be replaced during the entire graduate career at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and all courses and grades remain on the student’s record. The dean may approve the substitution if recommended by the graduate director of the student’s program.
Once a student has completed a master’s degree or certificate of advanced study, a final average for that degree or certificate is computed and cannot be modified. For that reason, courses for any graduate degree or certificate awarded may not be repeated, and no final GPA is affected by any subsequent coursework completed at UMSL.
Repeating courses may affect financial aid; applicants for Course Replacement are advised to contact the Financial Aid Office prior to applying for the replacement.
Course Replacement is not available for admission considerations or during a probationary or restricted admission period.
Master's Degree Requirements
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:
- No more than one-third of the credit hours required by either program may be applied to both programs;
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:
- they apply no more than two-thirds of the master's degree courses to their doctoral degree program;
- they have been admitted to the master's degree program; and
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.
The Master's Degree Program
Master’s degree students must meet with an advisor within the first semester of the program to design a program plan that meets program requirements and the students’ interests.
To receive the master’s degree, students who have met all degree requirements shall apply for graduation by filing an M-4 Graduation Application, which will include the student’s Degree Program, no later than the graduation deadline in the semester in which they plan to graduate.
Comprehensive Examination, Scholarly Paper, or Exit Project
Each unit requiring a comprehensive examination for the master's degree informs the Graduate School of (a) the number of times the unit will allow its students to take a comprehensive examination, and (b) the period of time that the unit will allow between the first and final attempt to pass the examination.
Units recommend Graduate Faculty members to serve on committees for capstone projects. The Graduate Dean shall review and may appoint the committee.
Graduate Program Directors recommend at least two Graduate Faculty members to serve on committees for capstone projects and examinations. The Graduate Dean shall review and appoint the committee.
Programs that offer alternatives or requirements for capstone projects or examinations are expected to post procedures that have been approved by the department. Graduate program directors shall inform the Graduate School when the department initiates or changes their procedures.
The chairperson of the capstone committee is responsible for verifying that the final project or examination is acceptable to the committee and the Graduate Dean by submitting current Graduate School forms for documenting those approvals. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to grade the project/examination.
The Master’s Thesis Committee shall consist of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty who can contribute their expertise to the thesis study. The committee chair and at least one other member shall be faculty in the department offering the degree. The Graduate Dean shall review and approve the committee membership and any changes in membership.
The thesis must be written on a subject approved by the candidate’s thesis committee and must be the candidate’s own work. The reuse of text from previous papers authored or co-authored by the student shall be evaluated by the committee prior to the thesis defense. In the thesis, the student must clearly and explicitly identify all reused text and the original source(s) of that text. If the source documents involve co-authors other than the student and the faculty advisor, the thesis must include a description of the individual contributions of each co-author of the original study. A copy of the source documents must be provided to thesis committee members and the Graduate School. Departments may choose to adopt a uniform policy on the acceptability of reused text for a specific degree program.
Regardless of the extent of any reuse of text, the thesis must maintain a uniform and consistent formatting style throughout. In matters of style and documentation, the custom of the discipline shall be followed. The student must document permission to reuse any copyrighted material.
The final defense of the thesis is normally open to the public unless the thesis chair requests that the dean of the Graduate School permit a closed meeting on the basis of an embargoed study. Deliberations among committee members may be closed at the discretion of the chair. After deliberating on the defense of the thesis, the Master’s Thesis Committee shall vote 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 the defense shall have the opportunity for one additional presentation before the same committee. The Master’s Thesis Committee shall determine the timing and format of the subsequent defense. The Master’s Thesis Committee makes the final decision on the defense, whether pass or fail, and reports the results to the Graduate Program Director, who informs the Graduate School no later than two days after the defense.
Master's degree students shall disseminate the thesis according to current Graduate School procedures. The final copy of the thesis must be typed according to current Graduate School requirements. To be accepted by the Graduate School, the copy must be legible, neat, and paginated correctly. An abstract is required. Students 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 thesis committee and the Graduate Dean by following current Graduate School procedures for documenting those approvals. The chair of the thesis committee shall determine the grade for the thesis.
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. The S-4 must be filed by the posted deadline of the final semester in the program. Students may petition the dean of the Graduate School to change the degree program 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:
- the number of times the program will allow its students to take a comprehensive examination, and
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:
- the number of times the program will allow its students to take a comprehensive examination, and
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" 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.
Students disseminate the dissertation according to current Graduate School procedures.
At the University of Missouri-St. Louis, professional doctoral degrees are rigorous and practice oriented. Professional doctorate students’ academic work focuses on scholarly responses to societal needs within professional contexts. Faculty advisors in professional doctorate programs may be scholar-practitioners who are approved as Professional/Special Appointment Graduate Faculty as well as regular UMSL Graduate Faculty. Both types of graduate faculty may assume all graduate faculty roles throughout the professional doctoral program.
Admission to the Professional Doctorate
Each professional doctoral degree program may determine eligibility standards beyond the minimum for admission to the Graduate School with the exception that professional doctoral programs may admit exceptional undergraduate students before their baccalaureate is awarded.
Professional Doctorate Credit Requirements
Each professional doctoral degree program may determine the minimum hours of graduate credit required for the degree program based on professional and/or accreditation/licensing standards.
Professional Doctorate Enrollment
Full-time status is defined as nine credit hours per semester. Units 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 the degree is completed. Failure to register in any regular semester will normally 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 professional doctoral students are enrolled for capstone 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 a student's doctoral degree work:
(1) A pre-candidate is a student who has requirements to fulfill in addition to the capstone project, including course work, clinical experiences, and/or threshold examinations.
(2) A candidate is a student who has met all degree requirements except the completion of the capstone project and any clinical or fieldwork required as a part of the capstone project.
Professional Doctorate Time Limitation
The maximum amount of time allowed to complete a doctoral degree is eight years after enrollment in the first course. Professional doctoral students who enter with any previous graduate degree or certificate may apply appropriate credits toward the professional doctoral degree, subject to program approval. Credit for courses taken for an advanced degree or post-master’s graduate certificate is exempt from the eight-year time limit.
Professional Doctorate Residency Requirement
Residency normally requires that doctoral students successfully complete a minimum of 15 hours at UMSL over three consecutive terms, which may include summer. The Dean of the Graduate School may grant exceptions upon recommendation by the program.
Students who enter the EdD degree program 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.
Professional Doctorate Threshold Examinations
Each program will determine the type of comprehensive, qualifying, or other threshold examination that is appropriate for the discipline. Units also specify the number of times a student may take a threshold examination and the maximum and/or minimum period of time allowed between the first and final attempt to pass the examination. The program must file information about the requirements with the Graduate School. An oral examination may not substitute for the standard written portion.
The Examination Committee will consist of no fewer than three members of the Graduate Faculty, including Professional/Special Appointment Graduate Faculty appointed by the Graduate Dean upon recommendation by the unit.
Advisors for the Professional Doctorate
Upon entering the program, each doctoral student shall have an assigned advisor who is a member of the Graduate Faculty, including Professional/Special Appointment Graduate Faculty. As early as possible in a doctoral student's program, but no later than when the student achieves candidacy, the unit shall recommend, in consultation with the student, an advisor for the capstone project.
Application for Candidacy
Doctoral students may apply for candidacy after passing all threshold requirements and successfully completing all course work.
Committee for the Capstone Project
Membership Requirements. The Committee for the Capstone Project shall consist of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty, including Professional/Special Appointment Graduate Faculty, who can contribute their expertise to the study. A recognized practitioner from outside the university may serve as one of those members upon the recommendation of the unit and approval of the Graduate Dean. The Graduate Dean shall approve the committee membership and changes in committee membership upon recommendation from the program.
Duties of Members. All members of the Committee for the Capstone Project are involved intimately and participate actively in the activities of the doctoral student at all the stages of the student's career at UMSL, except, perhaps, the threshold examination. This committee normally also serves as the Oral Defense Committee.
At the University of Missouri-St. Louis, all professional doctoral degrees require a capstone project. The project must address a subject approved by the candidate’s committee; have a significant grounding in clinical, translational, or engaged scholarship; and be the candidate’s own work. Programs may permit collaborative capstone projects, but students must be able to document their original contributions to collaborative projects. Programs must submit to the Graduate School and make available for students information about the capstone project (e.g., scholarly paper, dissertation-in-practice, etc.) and all requirements expected for the project to be judged successful.
Text Reuse: The reuse of text will be evaluated by the members of the faculty committee that approves the document. Each committee member, as part of the decision to approve or disapprove the document, will decide whether the reuse presented in the document is acceptable. Departments may choose to adopt a uniform policy on the acceptability of reused text for a specific degree program. In the document, the student must clearly and explicitly identify all reused text and the original source(s) of that text. A copy of the source documents must be provided to the committee members and the Graduate School. Reuse is strictly limited to text from papers authored or co-authored by the student. The student must document permission to reuse any copyrighted material. If the source documents involve co-authors other than the student and the faculty advisor, the document must include a description of the individual contributions of each coauthor of the original study. Regardless of the extent of any reuse of text, the dissertation must maintain a uniform and consistent formatting style throughout.
Professional Doctorate Capstone Project Proposal
Before students may begin substantial work on the capstone project, the committee must have approved a proposal after a formal defense. To schedule the defense, students must have approval from appropriate compliance committees (e.g., Human Subjects, etc.). Students submit the approved proposal to the Graduate School for review and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.
An approved proposal does not imply a contract between the university and the student. For example, the project may require substantially more work than anticipated when the proposal was approved. The termination of a line of inquiry and the adoption of a substantially new capstone project requires the preparation, formal defense, and acceptance by the Graduate School of a new proposal.
Preliminary Approval of the Capstone Project
One copy of the final capstone project, 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 project.
Oral Defense of the Capstone Project
After deliberating on the oral defense of the project, the Committee for the Capstone Project 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 committee shall determine the timing and format of a subsequent defense.
Capstone examinations are open to the public, although committee deliberations normally take place privately. The decision of the Committee for the Capstone Project is final. The report of the final examination is due to the Graduate School no later than two days after the examination.
Capstone Project Abstracts
Capstone Projects are normally disseminated as PhD dissertations and require two different abstracts. The abstract forming the second page of the Capstone Project report should be no more than 600 words. UMSL’s partner for publishing scholarly projects (currently Proquest) requires an abstract of a maximum of 350 words, which is included with the campus announcement of the defense of the Capstone Project. Upon recommendation by the program, the Graduate Dean may approve exceptions to this method of dissemination.
Format of the Capstone Project
In matters of style and documentation, the custom of the discipline shall be followed. The final copy of the Capstone Project must be legible and appropriate for publication when submitted to the Graduate School. Only high quality electronic submissions are acceptable with the following margins throughout: left margin, 11/2 inches; top, bottom, and right margins, 1 inch. Upon recommendation by the unit, the Graduate Dean may approve exceptions to this method of dissemination.
Official Copies of the Capstone Project
The chair of the Committee for the Capstone Project is responsible for verifying that all the changes suggested by the committee and the Graduate Dean have either been incorporated in the final draft of the project or have been discussed further with the Graduate Dean or the committee.
Students shall disseminate the Capstone Project according to current Graduate School procedures for theses and dissertations unless an exception is approved.
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.