School of Professional & Continuing Studies

Web Site:

As the region’s only public research university, UMSL serves students who are in many ways nontraditional in their demographic makeup, their approach to higher education, and their educational needs. Meeting the needs of these nontraditional students while extending the expertise of the university to the community is the mission of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies (PCS).

Through PCS, the university's colleges, schools, and centers administer a wide variety of credit courses, noncredit programs, and problem-oriented research for the benefit of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. Programs are offered both on and off campus and online. Research, generally of an applied, urban-related nature, is designed to solve specific problems of client groups.

Arts and Sciences

In partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, PCS offers credit courses and noncredit programs that reflect departmental disciplines in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The array of educational programs includes archaeology, fiction and nonfiction writing, foreign languages, preparation for MCAT and LSAT, interdisciplinary conferences, study tours, and continuing education for social workers.

The Center for Entrepreneurship & Economic Education promotes the understanding of economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship through education and outreach to children and adults. The Center offers credit and noncredit professional development for educators, educational programs for students, and other learning programs for the community. The Center also develops educational resources and provides consulting to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

The Advanced Credit Program provides an enrichment experience for university-bound secondary students by offering freshman-level courses for college credit in selected high schools.

The SUCCEED program is a post-secondary program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 18 through 25 years. Program participants can earn a Chancellor’s Certificate by completing the two-year residential program.

Business Administration

PCS credit and noncredit programs through the College of Business Administration are offered in several areas, including financial planning, human resource management, and customized courses designed to meet individual client needs. Certificate programs are offered, as well as preparatory courses for professional certification programs in financial planning and human resources. CoBA’s newest certificate program is the Digital Media Marketing Certificate, which offers marketers a chance to amplify their skills in the digital world by learning social media, web analytics, mobile marketing, media buying and more.


The College of Education, which is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for the preparation of teachers, counselors, and administrators, offers an array of graduate and doctoral programs. Through the university’s School of Professional & Continuing Studies, courses and programs are offered for both practitioners and those considering the field of education as a career. Many credit courses are available at sites throughout the metropolitan area, and professional development conferences and institutes are specially designed to help practitioners stay current in their fields of study. Programs also can be tailored to meet the specific needs of groups or organizations and can be offered on-site or at other convenient places and times.

The Transition to Teaching Program provides a special certification route for individuals who currently hold bachelor degrees and who want to enter the teaching profession. The program is job-embedded and individuals work full-time in classrooms while taking their certification coursework.

The Collabitat, a hub for education innovation, is a unique space that brings together practitioners from all education sectors, university faculty and researchers, new and bold education innovators, and leaders from diverse fields. Serving as an incubator and co-working space as well as a flexible space for professional development, the Collabitat offers credit and noncredit courses as well as consulting and facilitation services. Professional development will not be the typical “sit and get” format. Design thinking and bias toward action is integral to Collabitat programming.

The College of Education is the academic partner for the Teach for America program in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions. This program offers coursework toward Missouri teacher certification as well as opportunities to concurrently obtain a Master of Education degree. Admittance is done through the national and regional Teach for America offices, and admittance to the UMSL Graduate School.

Fine Arts and Communication

PCS works with the College of Fine Arts and Communication to offer a variety of high-quality credit and noncredit programs in the visual arts, performing arts, and communications. These programs are designed to enhance knowledge, celebrate community, and strengthen connections with regional cultural institutions such as MADCO (Modern American Dance Company), Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Notifi Records. CoFAC’s newest programs include the Certificate in Digital Photography and the Certificate in Audio Recording, which is designed to prepare participants to develop technical skills related to the production of high-quality sound recordings.

Graduate School and Public Policy Administration

The Nonprofit Management & Leadership Program offers comprehensive education and training for professional staff, board members, and other leaders of nonprofit and voluntary organizations, as well as students and others wishing to explore a future in the field. Through PCS, the program offers noncredit seminars, workshops, and conferences, both on and off campus.


The College of Nursing offers an RN–BSN program that provides a seamless articulation to facilitate obtaining the BSN degree for registered nurses on campus, online and off campus each semester. Currently, the college offers the RN–BSN courses at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Charles Community College, Forest Park Community College, West County Continuing Education Center and Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. The MSN/FNP Program is offered at various outreach sites, depending on interest.


The College of Optometry offers COPE-approved advanced higher education programs that meet the requirements of state boards for individual relicensing. The dissemination of research data along with interactive panel programs of discussions of current issues are developed to advance clinical vision care.

Off-Campus Sites

PCS offers credit courses leading to degree completion at various metropolitan sites, including St. Charles Community College, Mineral Area College, Jefferson College, St. Louis Community College South County Education and University Center, and St. Louis Community College at Wildwood and at Forest Park.

Computer Education & Training Center

The Computer Education & Training Center develops and teaches applied computer courses that provide students the computer skills necessary to meet current and future technological challenges in the workplace. Classes cover a wide range of topics to meet a variety of skill levels and interests, while new courses are developed that address specific educational needs in the community. To help individuals explore a new career, update current computer knowledge, or demonstrate skills to current or future employers, the CETC offers 11 specialized Chancellor's Certificates.

Creating Whole Communities

Creating Whole Communities is a partnership of UMSL, MU Extension, and our region’s neighborhoods. This partnership aims to connect university resources, including research, expertise, and training, with the needs and priorities of residents and communities in the St. Louis region. Creating Whole Communities sponsors seminars, forums and conferences; convenes teams to respond to key urban issues; develops research and practice resources on critical community issues; and provides partnership opportunities for faculty, students and communities.

J.C. Penney Conference Center

This large conference facility at UMSL houses a 435-seat auditorium, as well as six large and three small conference rooms, designed to provide an excellent academic environment and maximum convenience for course participants. A complete conference staff provides administrative support for seminars and conferences, as well as coordination for special hosted programs each year.

Lifelong Learning @ UMSL

Lifelong Learning @ UMSL serves members ages 50 and older, which is a rapidly growing demographic with changing needs and demands. The program is primarily based on the principles of andragogy – learning strategies focusing on adults. The Lifelong Learning program focuses on enriching the group by empowering the individual, collaborative and active learning, practical applications, and is life-centered rather than content-centered.

Campus Testing Centers

The Campus Testing Center and the Online Testing Center are administratively housed in PCS. In March 2014, the Campus Testing Center moved to 93 J.C. Penney Conference Center (JCP), adjacent to the Online Testing Center. The Campus Testing Center provides proctored testing by appointment for students to take make-up class exams or to test under conditions where special accommodations are needed and authorized. Students may also take campus level exams (e.g., Major Field Exam) outside the scheduled group sessions for a fee, as well as independent study course exams and various standardized exams. The Online Testing Center, located in room 94 JCP, is available for proctored exams using MyGateway (or other online assessment programs).