Graduate College

Graduate College

Carrington Hall, Room 306
901 S National
Springfield MO 65897
Phone: 417-836-5335
Toll-free: 1-866-767-4723

Julie Masterson
Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate College
Carrington Hall, Room 306

Carrisa Hoelscher
Interim Associate Dean of the Graduate College
Carrington Hall, Room 306


The Graduate College mission is to be an advocate for graduate education and provide quality service to graduate programs, faculty, and students with the goal of developing individuals who have advanced abilities to address issues of significance for the quality of life.

Role and Scope

The Graduate College acts to assure that postbaccalaureate education at Missouri State University has a high level of academic quality so that students are motivated and educated to be independent leaders in their professions and communities. To this end, the Graduate College fosters an instructional environment that enables excellence in teaching, research and creative activities, and encourages involvement with the community at large. These activities are central to a robust graduate education climate.

The Graduate College coordinates a diverse group of graduate programs that have in common the challenge to aid student progress toward a maturity of thought and discipline-related capabilities. The College functions to support both existing programs and the development of new programs in those disciplines congruent with the University themes and where the university has the vision and capacity to serve the needs of the public.

In fulfilling its mission, the Graduate College works in partnership with the seven Missouri State University colleges. Within each college there are academic departments that offer graduate programs and have graduate faculty. The graduate faculty are committed to research, teaching, and service at the graduate level; they affirm the values of teaching and mentoring graduate students in the practice of their disciplines. A major aim of graduate education is to develop the resourcefulness and responsibility of individuals by enhancing their ability to handle effectively the materials and affairs of life, and to judge critically the value and limitation of information.

The Graduate College assists students in making the best use of the university's resources, in utilizing resources to engage in research and applying knowledge to the solution of problems, and in developing an environment in which critical thinking and problem-solving behaviors are nurtured.

Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is the faculty governance structure that recommends policies governing graduate study to the Dean of the Graduate College. Each department offering a graduate program has one faculty representative on the Graduate Council. Each interdisciplinary program also has a representative on the Council. The Graduate Council acts on curriculum matters, new programs, general policies and appointments to the Graduate Faculty. The Graduate Council is proactive in representing the needs of graduate education and proposing strategies to allow the Graduate College to fulfill its mission.

Graduate Faculty

Appointment to the Graduate Faculty is required for persons to teach courses open only to graduate students and to guide graduate students as advisors or as members of graduate advisory committees. Faculty members holding an earned terminal degree, with recognized competence in an area of specialization appropriate to graduate study, and meet the approved departmental criteria, may be approved as members of the Graduate Faculty. Normally, the Graduate Faculty is composed of individuals with the academic rank of Assistant Professor or higher in departments that offer graduate degree programs or supporting graduate courses. A limited number of faculty members without earned terminal degrees, but who are widely recognized as leaders in their academic disciplines, may become members of the Graduate Faculty. Faculty who are not full time employees of Missouri State University can become members of the Graduate Faculty through the same process, after being appointed as an Adjunct Faculty member through the Office of Human Resources. Refer to the Graduate Faculty Appointment web site for recommendation forms to initiate the process for Appointment to Graduate Faculty.

Graduate Student Senate

The purposes of the Graduate Student Council are to enhance communication among graduate students, to be a liaison between students and the Graduate Council, and to promote the general interests of graduate students.

Meetings are open to all currently enrolled graduate students in good standing at Missouri State University. The president of the Graduate Student Council (or designee) is a representative on the Graduate Council and is responsible for conveying the ideas, requests, questions and proposed policies from/to the Graduate Student Council. The Graduate Student Council provides a representative to the Faculty Senate, two representatives to the Senate of the Student Government Association, and makes appointments to several other committees. In addition, they sponsor several awards for graduate assistants and graduate mentors.

Frank Einhellig Graduate Interdisciplinary Forum. Annually, in the spring semester, the Graduate Student Senate, in conjunction with the Graduate College, co-hosts the Frank Einhellig Graduate Interdisciplinary Forum (IDF). This public affairs event allows graduate students to give oral and poster presentations of their research and creative projects. This forum is a tremendous educational experience for graduate students; participation is voluntary. Approximately 200 students present each year. For complete information on the IDF, see (under Interdisciplinary Forum).

Additional information about the Graduate Student Council and the IDF may be obtained online at (under New and Current Students).

Graduate Procedures and Policy

Admission to Graduate Study

Contact for graduate admission information:

Graduate Admissions
Missouri State University
Carrington Hall, Room 306
901 S. National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897
Telephone: 417-836-5331
Fax: 417-836-6200

Admissions decisions are made by each graduate program, based on its admissions requirements, selection criteria, program capacity, and the quantity and quality of the applicant pool. Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission. When discriminatory, unfair, or unethical behavior is alleged, the admission decision can be appealed to the Head of the Department in which the graduate program is offered, and if unsuccessful, to the Dean of the Graduate College.

The university reserves the right to suspend or reverse an admission decision in the event that an applicant is charged or convicted with a crime or ethics violation prior to becoming a "student" (which occurs upon the first day of class attended), or the application package becomes suspect or incomplete (eg., letter of reference withdrawn, application document falsified, job history fabricated, etc.). The decision to suspend or reverse an admission decision is left to the discretion of the graduate program. This decision can be appealed to the Head of the Department in which the graduate program is offered, and if unsuccessful, to the Dean of the Graduate College.

Admission Procedures 

All graduate applications to MSU are collected through a centralized application service (CAS). Admission requirements and program deadlines are included in each CAS application. Applicants need to provide program-required materials, submit official transcripts showing coursework for the bachelor’s degree and any graduate-level work, and pay the application fee through the CAS. Required materials and fees vary by program and by CAS.

The chart below indicates the CAS to which students should apply based on desired program.

Program CAS
Doctor of Audiology CSDCAS
Doctor of Nursing Practice NursingCAS
Doctor of Physical Therapy PTCAS
Master of Athletic Training ATCAS
Master of Science in Nursing NursingCAS
Master of Occupational Therapy OTCAS
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics DICAS
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies CASPA
Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology CSDCAS
Master of Social Work SocialWorkCAS
Dietetics Internship Graduate Certificate DICAS
Post-Master's Nurse Educator Graduate Certificate NursingCAS
All other MSU graduate programs GradCAS

Masters and Specialist Admission Requirements

Op5.01-4 Graduate Students Admission Policy

The Graduate Council sets the minimum standards for full admission to graduate study. Additional requirements and higher standards may be stipulated for specific graduate programs, and applicants should check for such requirements in the departmental section of this catalog.  The minimum requirements for graduate admission are:

  1. A bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by agencies recognized by Missouri State University, AND a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale; OR at least a 2.75 grade point average on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of academic course work; OR at least a 2.75 grade point average on a minimum of 9 hours of graduate credits; OR have a combined score of 290 (875 under the old scoring system before August 1, 2011) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination; OR
  2. A bachelor's degree from a college or university NOT accredited by an agency recognized by Missouri State University, a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale; OR at least a 2.75 grade point average on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of academic course work, AND a combined score of 290 (875 under the old scoring system before August 1, 2011) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination; OR
  3. A bachelor's degree from a college or university recognized by Missouri State University, AND recommendation in writing by both the department head of the student’s desired major area and the dean of the college in which that discipline is located, and the approval of the Dean of the Graduate College.

Doctoral Admission Requirements

The standards for admission to a doctoral program are more stringent than for a master's program, in accordance with the higher demands of the degree. The admission standards for a particular program may be even higher than the following university-wide standards, and a program may have additional requirements. Therefore, applicants must review the section in this catalog that pertains to their particular doctoral program of interest, and contact the department for admissions criteria. As a minimum, applicants for a doctoral program must meet the following. Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission.

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.00, either cumulative or for the last 60 credits of that degree.
  2. Submission of a standardized test score may be required. Check individual program requirements.

Accelerated Masters Admission

Undergraduate students who apply for an accelerated master’s degree must submit their application for the semester after which he/she will receive a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s Degree
Graduation Semester
Accelerated Master’s Degree
Application Semester
Spring 2023 Summer 2023 or Fall 2023
Summer 2023 Fall 2023
Fall 2023 Spring 2024
Spring 2024 Summer 2024 or Fall 2024

If admitted to an accelerated master’s degree program and your bachelor’s degree graduation semester should change, please notify the Graduate Admissions ( as soon as possible so that your information may be updated.

Readmission Requirements

The procedure for readmission of a graduate student who has not maintained continuous enrollment (summer excluded) is based on the period of absence:

Applied and/or accepted, but never attended or completed a class as a degree-seeking graduate student.

  • If the time period has been less than one (1) year, students may send an email to Graduate Admissions ( requesting his/her graduate application and/or admission semester be changed.
    • Program exceptions are: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Counseling, Nurse Anesthesia, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, Psychology, and Social Work. Contact the appropriate program director for more information
  • If the time period has been more than one (1) year, students will need to submit a new graduate application.

Previously attended and completed a graduate class as a degree-seeking graduate student.

  • Complete a new graduate application.

Former Missouri State University graduate degree recipients.

  • Students returning to take additional graduate classes and are not seeking an additional degree may be readmitted under the nondegree-seeking student classification. Contact Missouri State Outreach at 417-836-4126 or by email at for information regarding this process.
  • Students who wish to pursue an additional graduate degree will need to complete new graduate application and provide any additional materials which are needed by the department/program.

NOTE: Any graduate student who wishes to pursue a second undergraduate degree at Missouri State University should contact the Office of Admissions (Undergraduate) at 417-836-5517 or

International Student Admission

Op5.09-2 International Graduate Students

Graduate Admission Requirements

Missouri State encourages applicants from around the world. To apply for admission, please follow these required steps:

  1. The International Student Application and Fee
    If you believe you are able to meet all requirements, we invite you to complete and return the "International Student Application" with the $55 USD application fee (non-refundable). We must receive the application and fee before we can begin processing.
  2. Academic Requirements
    You must have completed a U.S. bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution, with a 2.75 (U.S. scale) grade point average for the last 60 credit hours. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for admission requirements for each individual graduate program. Official proof of any degree, diploma, certificate and/or transcript must be submitted for your file in the original language and a translated copy. If you have completed less than one year of study at a post-secondary institution, regardless of location or length of time attended, you must request these records as well. You must request official documents from each school you have attended. Official documents: To qualify as official, documents must be sent to the Missouri State Office of International Services directly from the issuing institution. Official copies of all documents must arrive before you file can be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies for admission consideration.
  3. Proof of English Proficiency
    Proof of your proficiency in English is required if your primary language is not English. Persons who have completed one or more years of university level study in the U.S. may be exempt at the discretion of the International Services Office. Proof can be provided in two ways:
    1. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*
      The TOEFL score minimum requirement is 79 or more for graduate applicants. You must request that original copies of these scores be sent to Missouri State directly from the Educational Testing Service. If you have a computer-based score, check here to see the equivalent paper based score: TOEFL Concordance Tables
    2. Graduate Study
      Students applying for graduate study (including those who have completed an undergraduate degree but do not yet meet the English requirements for graduate admission), should request an application to the Missouri State English Language Institute.

      Graduate Students

      Test Minimum Score
      (Internet-based test)
      Score of 79 or more
      IELTS Score of 6.0 or more
      Missouri State
      English Language Institute (ELI) program
      Completion of EAP Graduate Capstone
  4. Graduate Required Tests
    Tests Applicants to the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Accountancy programs must take the "Graduate Management Admission Test" (GMAT)*. Some graduate programs require the "Graduate Record Examination" (GRE)*. Scores for the appropriate test must be on file prior to admission.

    *Information and registration forms for the tests are also available at many U.S. Embassies and Consulates, offices of the U.S. Information Agency, and offices of international education organizations, such as the Institute of International Education (IIE), the African-American Institute (AAI), and the American-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST).

  5. U.S. Transfer Recommendation Form 
    You must complete the transfer recommendation form if you are currently in the U.S. as an international student and are planning to continue your education at Missouri State. You must submit the transfer recommendation form to your current international student advisor who will mail or fax it to Missouri State International Services office. We cannot complete the I-20 Form until it is received. Be sure to sign the transfer form before submitting it to your current international student advisor.

    Download: U.S. Transfer Recommendation Form

*To register for the TOEFL or GRE see:

To register for the GMAT see:

Graduate Classifications


Students who wish to enroll in graduate-level courses to pursue a specific graduate degree at Missouri State University. Students seeking admission under this classification can contact the Graduate College at 417-836-5331 or apply online.

Nondegree-Seeking (Unclassified)

Students who meet the general Graduate College requirements but are undecided on a specific degree or who wish to take courses for graduate credit are eligible for admission as a nondegree-seeking student.

Under this classification, students may register for courses for which they meet the prerequisite. They are not candidates for a degree and this classification does not offer assurance of future admission to a degree program. Generally, students in this classification are not eligible for financial aid. Graduate courses (600-level and above) taken as a nondegree-seeking student or a postbaccalaureate student will be counted in the student’s graduate GPA. Graduate courses taken as a nondegree-seeking graduate student may be used toward a graduate degree if later admitted, but this use is limited to 30% of the required hours in this degree. Any C+ grade or below may jeopardize a student’s ability to enter into a degree program. Students seeking admission under this classification can contact the Graduate College at 417-836-5331 or apply online.

NOTE: A student may request a change from nondegree-seeking to a degree-seeking basis, or a change from one academic program to a different academic area of study. In these cases, acceptance into the program requested is based on the review and recommendation of the department. A new graduate application must be completed indicating the new planned program of study - apply online.


Students admitted into the postbaccalaureate classification have not been admitted to the Graduate College; they have only been given permission to enroll for graduate-level courses to earn graduate credit. A postbaccalaureate student is not required to furnish the application fee or transcripts and there is no minimum grade point average for admission. Enrollment as a postbaccalaureate student does not guarantee future admission into a specific degree program.

Postbaccalaureate students may take either undergraduate or graduate courses. Graduate courses taken as a nondegree-seeking graduate student (postbaccalaureate or graduate-undecided status) may be used toward a graduate degree if later admitted, but this use if limited to 30% of the required hours in the degree. Graduate courses (600-level and above) taken as a postbaccalaureate student will be counted in the student’s overall graduate GPA. Any C+ grade or below may jeopardize the ability to enter into a degree program.

Students under this classification have completed a bachelor’s degree and are graduate students. They are therefore governed by all Graduate College policies. Post-baccalaureate students must make satisfactory progress in graduate courses and any student receiving more than 9 hours of “C+” grade or below will not be allowed to enroll in further classes.

Generally, students in the postbaccalaureate classification are not eligible for financial aid. Students who first register in the postbaccalaureate classification and later initiate the process to change to a degree program will be required to submit the Graduate Admission Application along with the application fee and necessary transcripts. The application will be reviewed by the Graduate College and the director of the degree program to which the student applied and the student will be notified of the decision.

Individuals interested in admission as a postbaccalaureate student should contact Missouri State Outreach: Continuing and Distance Education at 417-836-4126 or toll free 877-678-2005.


Students who have received a master's or higher graduate degree and wish to continue taking course work for graduate credit without pursuing another graduate degree. In this category, students should apply through the Extended Campus office or the Graduate College.

General degree requirements

By the end of the first week of the semester a student plans to graduate they must complete the online Graduate Application to Graduate located under the Student tab, My Graduate College channel, in My Missouri State

Op3.19-1 Master's and Specialist Degree Requirements

To complete a master’s or specialist degree, a candidate must:

  1. Complete the minimum number of credit hours required for the graduate program. Keep in mind that courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be used for a master’s or specialist degree;
  2. Complete at least one-half of the minimum semester hours in courses numbered 700 or higher, which signifies that there are no undergraduate parallel courses associated with them. Graduate courses provide a graduate-level experience, and differ from undergraduate courses in the expectations/requirements;
  3. No more than 49% of the required semester hours may be fulfilled by combining senior permission (up to 12 hours), courses taken prior to admission to the program (up to 30%), transfer (up to 30%), and assessment of prior learning;
  4. Attain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on all graduate work utilized in the degree program that includes Missouri State University and transfer courses;
  5. Satisfy a research requirement;
  6. Pass a comprehensive examination. (Not all programs require a comprehensive examination so see specific program requirements);
  7. Meet all additional program-specific degree requirements; and
  8. Complete all requirements within an eight-year period (exclusive of time spent in the U.S. Armed Forces).

Op3.19-2 Doctoral Degree Requirements

The completion of a doctoral program indicates the attainment of the highest possible training and intellectual development in one’s discipline. As such, the rigor of a doctoral degree program is necessarily higher than that of a master's degree program and is set above the level that an average student would generally be able to attain. Because the requirements for completion of a doctoral degree are discipline-specific, and often linked to national accreditation standards, some programs may have higher/additional requirements. Nonetheless, minimal university-wide standards include:

  1. All students much complete the stated courses and minimum number of required credit hours for the program. Keep in mind that courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be used for a doctoral degree.
  2. Complete at least one-half of the minimum semester hours in courses with no undergraduate parallel course.
  3. No more than 49% of the required semester hours may be fulfilled by combining senior permission (up to 12 hours), courses taken prior to admission to the program (up to 30%), transfer (up to 30%), and assessment of prior learning.
  4. Attain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on all graduate work utilized in the degree program that includes Missouri State University and transfer courses.
  5. All students must complete a doctoral research project or a doctoral thesis.
    1. A doctoral research project must be overseen by a committee that consists of at least three (3) members. The Director must be a faculty member from the discipline (usually the Department) and hold Graduate status (may be Research or Professional), and the other members must have expertise in the area of project focus.
    2. A doctoral thesis must be overseen by a committee that consists of four (4) members. The Chair (Director) of the doctoral thesis committee must hold Graduate Research Faculty Status. Two members of the committee must hold Graduate faculty status (may be Research or Professional). The fourth committee member must come from outside the department and have expertise in the area of research focus.
  6. Presentation of the research results (thesis or project) at a forum approved by the department.
  7. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive exam, as specified by the department.
  8. Students must complete all degree requirements within an eight-year period (excluding time spent in the United States Armed Forces).
  9. Students must meet all program-specific degree requirements (including research, practicum, comprehensive examination, etc.).

Op3.19-3 Advisement

Graduate students are assigned an advisor at the time of admission. In some cases, the graduate advisor will be changed once a student is fully matriculated into the program. This occurs most often when a research topic is chosen and it is appropriate for a different faculty member to direct that project. The role of the graduate advisor is to:

  1. Assist the student in the selection of course work for his/her graduate program;
  2. Evaluate transfer credits as acceptable for meeting requirements;
  3. Recommend acceptance or rejection of all graduate course work toward the program of study as shown in the student's degree audit; and
  4. Advise and assist the student in completion of all Missouri State University and departmental requirements for degree.

It is extremely important that students have early contact with their advisor and gain advisor approval before registering for classes. The advisor is a key person in helping individuals plan their graduate program, ensuring that classes fit the program, planning an appropriate class sequence, and providing other input that ensures a student is successful in their graduate program. All degree-seeking students must have the advisor complete an electronic release prior to registering via the web, in person, or by fax or mail registration.

Op3.19-4 Degree Audit

The student’s degree audit is used to show requirements necessary to complete for a degree or graduate certificate program. A student can view the audit the first day of classes of the semester after admission into a graduate program.

  1. It is essential that students meet with their advisor before registering for courses each semester.
  2. Grades of "C-" and below will not be applied to a student’s degree audit.
  3. For master's, specialist and doctorate programs, at least one-half of the minimum semester hours must be in courses with no undergraduate parallel course (i.e., courses at the 700 level or higher).
  4. Undergraduate courses may not be used on a student’s degree audit for a master’s, specialist, doctoral degree or graduate certificate program.

Op3.19-5 Research Requirement

Most of the Missouri State University master’s programs provide for either a Thesis, Seminar/Degree Paper Option, or Internship Option as the research component to be completed in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements. Refer to specific departmental regulations in this catalog regarding their research requirements.

Thesis option

A maximum of 6 hours of thesis credit shall be applied toward the minimum hours required for a master’s degree. Guidelines explaining the requirements for the preparation of a thesis are available in the Graduate College or online at (under Current Student Resources). Registration in a course number 799 and title designated "thesis" is limited to students pursuing completion of a thesis. A thesis is supervised by the student’s advisory committee, which consists of three to five persons. A minimum of three, including the chair of the committee, must be members of the Missouri State University Graduate Faculty. The thesis shall be approved by the committee and by the Graduate College before the degree is granted.

Seminar/degree paper option

This option requires the completion of an extensive seminar/degree paper or creative work. The advisor for the degree paper must approve the final research paper. In some cases, evidence of fulfillment of the research requirement is shown through the successful completion of a certain course. In other instances, evidence requires the advisor to complete a Seminar Report form that is approved by the Graduate College. Students should check with their academic department to determine if this form is required. Departments may or may not require an advisory committee for students electing the seminar/degree paper option for meeting the research requirement.

Internship option

A maximum of 6 hours of internship credit can be applied toward the minimum hours required for a master’s degree. Guidelines explaining the requirements for the completion of an Internship will be outlined by the department. An Internship receives prior approval, and is supervised by a MSU graduate faculty member and the internship site supervisor.

Research compliance requirements

Missouri State University requires that all research involving human subjects in any way, regardless of the source of support funds, must be reviewed by the Protection of Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) before it is undertaken. Applicants are required to complete online training before engaging in projects involving human participants. The Privacy Rule of the Human Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) contains additional requirements for anyone conducting human participant research that involves protected health information; online training is available on HIPAA for researchers. Research involving recombinant DNA techniques and other biohazards (e.g., infectious or venomous agents) must be reviewed by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). The IBC reviews the proposed research and consults with researchers on biosafety procedures; trains faculty, staff, and students involved in biohazardous research to obtain compliance with appropriate rules; and does surveillance of laboratory accidents involving biohazardous agents. The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals requires institutions to establish and maintain proper measures to ensure the appropriate care and use of all animals involved in research, research training, and biological testing activities conducted or supported by the PHS. In accordance with this policy, the University requires that all projects proposing to use live vertebrate animals be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Participation in animal care and use training is required for anyone involved in using animals in research or teaching. Students, faculty, and staff who work with animals in educational and research activities are required to enroll in the Animal Occupational Health and Safety Program. This includes those who handle or are exposed to animal tissues, fluids, secretions and/or excretions, as well as those who handle cages and other equipment potentially exposed to animal tissues or excretions.

Graduate College

Complete information on training and documentation requirements can be found online through the Office of Research Administration. All required training and documentation must be done prior to initiating research. No research will be accepted by the Graduate College if these requirements are not met.

Op3.19-6 Comprehensive Examination

The Comprehensive Exam

All graduate degrees are required to conduct a culminating assessment of student learning. Some graduate programs do this in the context of a capstone course, and others require that students pass a comprehensive examination in order to be awarded a degree. Comprehensive examinations vary in format and structure, as well as the times they are administered. In order to facilitate successful performance on their comprehensive examination, graduate programs must:

  1. provide adequate information regarding format and content of the examination and the time(s) it will be offered in order to promote optimal preparation;
  2. validate evaluation or scoring procedures;
  3. provide detailed feedback if the examination is not initially passed, including specific examples of unacceptable performance and offer additional support and in an effort to assist the student in meeting expected levels of performance;
  4. give at least one opportunity to re-attempt the examination if not initially passed within a reasonable timeline and specify the maximum number of repeat attempts allowed before recommending dismissal.

The department must forward results of the comprehensive examination to the Graduate College no later than the last day of class in a semester. These results will be entered into the University system (Banner) and will be reflected in the student’s degree audit.

Program Dismissal Due to Failed Comprehensive Examination

If a student does not pass the program’s comprehensive examination after all re-attempts have been exhausted:

  1. The student will be notified in writing that s/he is being dismissed from the program at the end of the current semester due to a failure to pass the comprehensive examination. Notification of dismissal should occur as soon as possible. Either the faculty or the student may request a meeting to discuss the dismissal decision and notification.
  2. The student may appeal his/her dismissal to the Dean of the College within five (5) business days of receiving notification of such dismissal.
  3. The student may appeal a decision to uphold the dismissal by the Dean of the College to the Dean of the Graduate College and the Office of the Provost within five (5) business days of receiving notification of the Dean of the College’s decision.
  4. A decision to uphold the dismissal by the Dean of the Graduate College and the Office of the Provost may be appealed to the President of the University within five (5) business days of receiving notification of the Dean of the Graduate College/Office of the Provost’s decision. The decision of the President is final.

Op3.19-7 Graduate Transfer Credit

On a case-by-case basis, Missouri State may accept graduate credit earned at other regionally accredited institutions or well-established international institutions. Acceptance of transfer credits on a graduate degree program occurs through recommendation of the student's major advisor and approval of the Graduate College. Transfer hours may count for up to 30% of the required hours for a degree. The policy on transfer credit also applies to students who are currently enrolled in, but have not completed, a graduate degree program at another institution. As with all credits applied toward a graduate degree, transfer credits must have been earned within the eight-year time limit for a degree program. Grades on transfer courses accepted in the degree program are included in the overall graduate grade point average.

Collaborative Agreements

The limitation on transfer credit may be superseded when the university develops a collaborative agreement with another institution for delivery of an academic program. In cases where Missouri State University shares program responsibility with another institution, both institutions may teach courses that might be applied to a degree program. For more information on a specific program, see the appropriate section of the catalog.

Op3.19-8 Second Master's Degree

A student who has been awarded a master’s degree at Missouri State University or at another accredited institution may be approved to transfer up to 30% of the total hours required for the second degree at Missouri State University. All courses must be approved by the advisor. This same policy applies to a student who is admitted to and working on two degree programs at Missouri State University at the same time. All courses must be approved by the advisor. Anyone working on an advanced degree at another institution, but who has not completed the degree, may be approved to transfer up to 30% of the total hours required for the Missouri State University program of study. (See Transfer Credit).

Op3.19-9 Grade Requirements for Degree

No course with a grade "C-" or below may be applied toward a graduate degree or graduate certificate. A graduate student becomes ineligible to continue in the current graduate program if more than 9 semester hours of "C+" or lower are earned in graduate courses taken in the degree program, or if the student does not meet any additional specific degree retention requirements imposed by a department or program.

Op3.19-10 Graduation

The deadline for the Application for Graduation is the first week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. A student is advised, however, to apply in advance of the semester that they intend to graduate.

  1. Complete the online Graduate Application to Graduate located through My Missouri State.
  2. Students should work closely with the advisor to ensure that all of the degree requirements are met.
  3. Students who have completed all course work and are only working on their research component may sign up for GEN 798 (Active in Research). This zero credit course offered at a reduced fee ($75) allows the following:
    • access to the library, including online services such as interlibrary loans, MOBIUS, and restricted access databases;
    • opportunity to purchase a parking permit; and
    • access to computer services and campus email.

GEN 798 is graded as "P" (pass) or "N" (if the student discontinues participation and is dropped from the course).

Credit by Assessment (CBA)

Graduate programs may offer academic credit for existing courses to students who successfully pass a valid assessment for each course.  Departments must develop an effective method for ensuring that a student possesses knowledge and skills associated with each course that has a CBA option.  The assessments must be administered and scored by departmental faculty, and the outcome must be based on the student's performance on the assessment rather than completion of any specific extra-institutional activities.

Graduate certificate programs

Refer to the Graduate Certificate Programs website for admission requirements and procedures.

Special Academic Opportunities

Accelerated Masters

The Accelerated Masters degree option provides a transition that enables outstanding Missouri State University undergraduate students to begin taking graduate course work in their junior or senior year and thus combine components of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum.

Students must apply and be admitted to the accelerated masters program by the department and the Graduate College before enrolling for any courses to apply to the graduate degree. Graduate programs at Missouri State University offering an accelerated option are listed:

  • Accounting (MACC)
  • Agriculture (MS)
  • Applied Second Language Acquisition (MASLA)
  • Art Education (MAE)
  • Audiology (AuD)
  • Behavior Analysis and Therapy (MS)
  • Biology (MS)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology (MS)
  • Chemistry (MS)
  • Child Life Studies (MS)
  • Communication (MA)
  • Computer Science (MS)
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Cybersecurity (MS)
  • Dramatic Writing (MFA)
  • Early Childhood and Family Development (MS)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (MSEd)
  • Educational Technology (MSEd)
  • Elementary Education (MSEd)
  • English (Literature Track only) (MA)
  • Geography and Geology (MS)
  • Health Administration (MHA)
  • Health Promotion and Wellness Management (MS)
  • History (MA)
  • Information Technology (MS)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (MS)
  • International Affairs (MIA)
  • Kinesiology (MS)
  • Literacy (MSEd)
  • Material Science (MS)
  • Mathematics (MS)
  • Natural and Applied Science (MNAS)
  • Plant Science (MS)
  • Professional Studies (MPS)
  • Project Management (MS)
  • Public Administration (MPA)
  • Public Health (MPH)
  • Public Health Administration Certificate (GRCT)
  • Public Health Core Certificate (GRCT)
  • Public Health & Homeland Security Certificate (GRCT)
  • Religious Studies (MA)
  • Science Content Graduate Certificate (GRCT)
  • Secondary Education - English, Family & Consumer Sciences, History, and Mathematics areas of emphasis only (MSEd)
  • Special Education. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Comprehensive Intervention Specialist and Education of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing only (MSEd)
  • Writing (MA) - Technical/Professional Writing track only

Depending on the program, 6 to 12 hours of graduate credits will apply toward completion of the undergraduate degree requirements. This dual counting of a course for both undergraduate and graduate credit will only occur when a student completes a Mixed Credit form prior to the semester the course is taken. Students accepted into an accelerated program must complete a Mixed Credit form and submit it in person to a registration center at the time of registration. This form can be obtained on the Registration website. Completion of this process is necessary for appropriate designation of course credit; this designation is a factor in Financial Aid determinations.

Under the Accelerated Masters degree option, a student will be fully admitted to the Graduate College upon completion of the baccalaureate degree. Undergraduate students interested in the Accelerated Masters opportunity should consult the Graduate Catalog and contact their department or Graduate Admissions (417-836-5331) to determine admission requirements and procedures.

Also, Missouri State University, Evangel University and Southwest Baptist University (SBU) have entered into agreements that provide for undergraduate students at Evangel and SBU to participate in Accelerated Masters programs at Missouri State University. The SBU arrangement is limited to the Accelerated Master of Accountancy program.

Senior Permission

Missouri State University seniors and visiting degree-seeking seniors from another institution who are classified as non-degree seeking while at Missouri State University, may be permitted to take 600- and above numbered course work for graduate credit. Senior permission enrollment is allowed during the last two semesters of a baccalaureate program upon the recommendation of the head of the department in which the course is offered and approval of the Graduate College. To be eligible, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.00 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work. Courses completed for graduate credit under Senior Permission cannot be applied toward an undergraduate degree.

A senior student may enroll in a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate credit during a semester, with a maximum enrollment of 15 hours, including both undergraduate and graduate course work. Students may not complete more than a total of 12 semester hours of graduate credit under Senior Permission. Credit earned under Senior Permission can be applied toward a graduate degree at Missouri State University with this application of credits contingent upon approval of the head of the department in which the course is offered and the Graduate College. Senior Permission forms are available on Registration website and must be completed and submitted in person to a registration center at the time a student registers.

Graduate Internet Course and Program Offerings

Missouri State University offers several graduate degree programs online as well as major parts of other graduate programs.  Internet courses and programs have undergone the same academic review and scrutiny as programs offered on campus and students taking Internet courses are supported through access to a variety of campus services including advising and registration, help-desk support, and library access. Students can access their courses anytime and anyplace, thus enabling students to study and participate in discussions and other course work whenever and wherever they choose.

Note:  International Students must be enrolled in at least 9 hours to meet SEVIS requirements as a full-time student. Only 3 hours of online course work can be included in meeting this 9 hour minimum for full-time classification.

For additional information visit the Missouri State Outreach website.

Graduate Education Off-Campus

Missouri State’s off-campus courses are taught onsite by MSU faculty, commuting to the sites, or by qualified instructors from the local community approved by academic departments as having areas of special expertise. Some courses may be taught at-a-distance using our interactive video network that enables live classroom-to-classroom audio and video connections.