Graduate College

Graduate College


Carrington Hall, Room 306
901 S National
Springfield MO 65897
Phone: 417-836-5335
Toll-free: 1-866-767-4723
Fax: 417-836-6888

Julie Masterson
Associate Provost and 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 post-baccalaureate 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 six 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 degree 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.

Graduate Interdisciplinary Forum. Annually, in the spring semester, the Graduate Student Council, in conjunction with the Graduate College, co-hosts the 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 100-140 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 Current Student Resources).

Graduate Procedures and Policy

Admission to Graduate Study

Contact for graduate admission information:

Graduate Admissions
Missouri State University
Carrington Hall, Room 308
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 for the foregoing reasons is a matter left solely 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.

Masters and Specialist Admission Requirements

The minimum standards for admission to graduate study are documented in this section. 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. Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission.

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 an overall grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale overall; 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 verbal and quantitative score of 875 or higher on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test* or 290 or higher on the GRE Revised General test; OR
  2. a bachelor's degree from a college or university not accredited by an agency recognized by Missouri State University, a grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale overall, OR at least a 2.75 GPA on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of academic course work; AND a combined verbal and quantitative score of 875 or higher on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test* or 290 or higher on the GRE Revised General test*; 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.

*Percentile rank scores on the GMAT, MAT, LSAT, or MCAT that are comparable to the stated GRE level will satisfy the minimum criterion.

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. Submission of scores from the GRE or comparable standardized exam for their discipline.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.00 in their most recent degree, either cumulative or for the last 60 credits of that degree, or have demonstrated success in previous graduate work.
  3. Strong writing skills to ensure success in the program, as evidenced by submission of a "Statement of Interest/Goals", a prior research/term paper, or other writing example specified by the department.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation (at least two from academic/professional references).

Test Requirements

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are primarily administered as computer-based tests. GRE and GMAT scores are acceptable for 5 years. Scores more than 5 years old are accepted only with the recommendation of the program director. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will not send out TOEFL scores older than 24 months. MSU Graduate College will not accept unofficial scores.

Arrangements for taking the GRE test in Springfield can be made by contacting Sylvan Learning Center at 417-882-0740 or 800-300-0740. In addition, arrangements may be made to take the GMAT by contacting Pearson Professional Centers at 417-881-3069.

Other information can be obtained in the following ways:


Telephone: 609-771-7670 or 1-866-473-4373
Mailing Address:
Educational Testing Service
PO Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000


Telephone: 703-668-9600 or 1-866-505-6559
Mailing Address:
Graduate Management Admission Council
11921 Freedom Drive, Suite 300
Reston, VA 20190


Telephone: 609-771-7100 or 1-877-863-3546
Mailing Address:
Educational Testing Service
PO Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000


Telephone: 323-255-2771
Mailing Address:
825 Colorado Blvd.  Suite 221
Los Angeles, CA 90041


The Miller Analogy Test (MAT) is offered on a monthly basis by the MSU Testing Center 417-836-6417. Arrangements for taking the MAT can also be made by contacting:

MAT Customer Relations
19500 Bulverde Road
San Antonio, TX 78259
Telephone: 210-339-8710 or 1-800-622-3231

Application Deadlines and Fees

Some graduate programs have specific deadlines that must be met in order to be considered for admission; applications received after those deadlines might not be considered. Check program listings in the Graduate Catalog and with your program to see if your program of interest has a specific deadline.

Missouri State does adhere to semester deadlines to avoid late fees. It is important to note that, in most cases, you should submit your application well before these deadlines, especially if you are considering a graduate assistantship. The "priority" deadlines are as follows:


 Deadline Date

Fall Semester

July 20

Spring Semester

December 20

Summer Semester

May 20

A $35 non-refundable application fee is required of all first-time applicants applying for admission to the Graduate College. Students applying for readmission (who have completed classes at Missouri State University as a graduate student) are not required to submit a fee. 

Admission Procedures

Graduate students are highly encouraged to apply at least 6 to 8 weeks before the start of the semester.

The application materials required by the Graduate College include (but is not limited to) the Application for Graduate Admission, the application fee, and official transcripts showing course work for the bachelor's degree and any graduate-level work. Academic programs may require additional materials be submitted by the student directly to the program. Please see the Graduate College and program admission requirements in the Graduate Catalog for further information.

Admissions Checklist

Students desiring admission into a graduate degree program must take the following steps:

1. Access the Missouri State University Graduate Catalog
  • Review the admission requirements for the Graduate College and the program to which you are applying to in the Graduate Catalog.
  • If the program you are applying to requires standardized test scores (e.g. GRE*, GMAT, or MAT), register to take the standardized test required by the program through the appropriate testing agency. More information on standardized test scores can be found in the Graduate Catalog section Test Requirements.
  • After you have taken the standardized test, have an official copy of your test scores sent directly to the Graduate College by the appropriate testing agency.
2. Standardized Test Scores

*School Code for GRE is 6665.

3. Complete the Application for Graduate Admission
  • Online at  We highly encourage you to apply for admission online. By applying online, you will help speed up the processing of your application.
  • Paper application available on the Graduate College website.
  • In person in the Graduate Admissions office located in Carrington Hall, Room 308.

NOTE: Some programs require applicants to go through another application process first before completing the Application for Graduate Admission with the Graduate College. Please review the Graduate Catalog to find out if the program you are applying to does this before completing the Application for Graduate Admission. Programs include Audiology, Nurse Anesthesia, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and Speech Pathology.

4. Application Fee
  • If you are a first-time degree-seeking graduate student, pay the $35 non-refundable graduate application fee. If submitting an application after the priority deadline, the graduate college cannot guarantee the processing of the application before the start of classes.
  • Students applying online will be prompted to pay the fee by credit card or electronic check.
  • Students applying by paper application must send a check or money order made out to Missouri State University along with their paper application. Students must write their full name and birthdate on the check or money order.
  • You are not required to pay the application fee if you have completed classes at Missouri State University as a graduate student.

NOTE: Your application will not be processed if the graduate application fee has not been paid.

5. Transcripts
  • Submit to the Graduate College one (1) official transcript showing course work for the bachelor's degree and any graduate-level work. At minimum, the bachelor's transcript must show the last 60 hours of course work or the necessary additional undergraduate transcripts are required. Missouri State University transcripts do not need to be requested.

NOTE: Transcripts are not considered official unless they are received directly from the institution where the coursework was completed. A transcript that is hand-delivered by a student is considered unofficial even if it does have a seal from the institution or received in an unopened envelope. In addition, students sending transcripts while coursework for a bachelor's degree is in progress will need to send another official copy showing that they have been awarded a bachelor's degree.

6. Additional Materials
  • Check with the program to which you are applying to see if you must submit additional materials such as letters of recommendation, resume, or departmental/program application are required for admission to the program. These materials should be sent directly to the program.

NOTE: The Graduate Catalog lists the contact information for each program and what additional application materials the program needs from you.

7. Send Graduate Application Materials
  • Please have Graduate College application materials (e.g. application fee, official transcripts, and official standardized test scores) sent to:

Missouri State University
Graduate College
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897

Phone: 417-836-5331
Toll-free: 868-797-4723
Fax: 417-836-6200

Remember to send additional application materials required by the program directly to the program you are applying to.

8. Graduate Application Complete
  • As soon as all your graduate application materials have been received, the Graduate Admissions office will evaluate your application materials to determine if you meet the Graduate College's admission requirements as outlined in the Graduate Catalog.
9. Graduate Application Sent to Program/Department
  • If you meet the Graduate College's admission requirements, your graduate application materials (Application for Graduate Admission, official transcripts, and standardized test scores if required) will be sent to the program/department you applied to for an admission decision.
  • If you do not meet the Graduate College's admission requirements, you will be notified by mail and/or email by the Graduate College.
  • Once your graduate application materials have been sent to the program/department, contact the program/department to find out where they are at on making an admission decision on your application.
10. Admission Decision
  • The program/department will submit an admission decision on your graduate admission application to the Graduate Admissions office after reviewing your graduate application materials and any additional materials required by the program/department.
  • The Graduate Admissions office will process the admission decision on your application and you will be notified by mail and/or email of the admission decision.

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 2018

Summer 2018 or Fall 2018

Summer 2018

Fall 2018

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

Spring 2019

Summer 2019 or Fall 2019

For example, a student who is scheduled to graduate with his/her bachelor’s degree in Fall 2018 should list Spring 2019 on his/her accelerated master’s degree application. He/she will be able to receive mixed credit (credit that counts toward a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree) during his/her undergraduate semesters by completing a Mixed Credit form, but will not be considered a full-time graduate student until the Spring 2019 semester.

If admitted to an accelerated master’s degree program and your bachelor’s degree graduation semester should change, please notify the Graduate College 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 the readmit graduate application. No additional application fee will be required.

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 non-degree seeking, post-master's 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 the readmit graduate application and provide any additional materials which are needed by the department/program. No additional application fee will be required.

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

International students should apply online at:

For more information, please contact:

International Services
Missouri State University
301 S. Jefferson , Suite 101
Morris Center
Springfield, MO 65806 U.S.A.
Telephone: 417-836-6618
Fax: 417-836-7656

Deadlines for applications and all required materials are June 1 for the fall semester courses (beginning in August), October 1 for the spring semester courses (beginning in January), and March 15 for summer semester courses (beginning in June). Also, please check specific program deadlines as programs may have earlier deadlines for application materials.

Missouri State University is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 for non-Immigrant Student Status) will be provided upon completion of all admission requirements and receipt of required financial statements.

International students making application to graduate study at Missouri State University are required to submit the following:

  1. International Student Application: available online.
  2. International Student Application Fee
  3. All Graduate College and degree-program admission requirements including grade point average and appropriate test scores.
  4. Verification of financial support in an amount determined by the University as stated in the application materials.
  5. Complete official academic records including proof of degree attained.The applicant must have completed all requirements that are equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree in an accredited, licensed, or recognized college or university and have appropriate undergraduate training to pursue the graduate degree of the applicant's choice. If your transcripts have previously been evaluated by World Education System (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE), or the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), you may choose to include that credential evaluation in your application for consideration and in order to expedite processing of your application.
  6. Standardized examination scores. Applicants to certain programs must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Please check the specific program admission requirements.
  7. Applicants whose primary language is other than English are required to submit appropriate proof of English proficiency (see table below). Students may be exempt at the discretion of the International Services Offices if they have successfully completed one or more years of university level study in the United States.

 Proficiency Method

Minimum Score 





Missouri State ELI

Level 602

For applicants who do not meet the TOEFL or IELTS requirement, Missouri State University offers a full-time intensive English Language Institute on campus. An online application is at For more information contact:

English Language Institute
Missouri State University
Morris Center, Suite 201
301 South Jefferson Avenue
Springfield, MO 65806 U.S.A.
Telephone: 417-836-6540
Fax: 417-836-4784

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.

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 post-baccalaureate 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 post-baccalaureate 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 post-baccalaureate student is not required to furnish the application fee or transcripts and there is no minimum grade point average for admission. Enrollment as a post-baccalaureate student does not guarantee future admission into a specific degree program.

Post-baccalaureate students may take either undergraduate or graduate courses. Graduate courses taken as a nondegree-seeking graduate student (post-baccalaureate 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 post-baccalaureate 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 post-baccalaureate classification are not eligible for financial aid. Students who first register in the post-baccalaureate 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 post-baccalaureate 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 (minimum hours for different programs range from 30 to 83). Keep in mind that courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be used on the Program of Study 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 (applies to all programs except the MBA, MAcc, MHA; Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies; MS in Applied Behavior Analysis; MS in CIS, MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice; MS in Cybersecurity; MS in PAS and MS in Project Management);
  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 on the Program of Study 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, to be directed by a faculty member from their discipline with Graduate Faculty in Research status.
  6. In addition, each project will be supervised by a Doctoral Research Committee. Each will consist of at least two (2) additional faculty members with Graduate Faculty status (research, clinical/practitioner, or performance). For doctoral students who are completing a doctoral thesis, their committee will also have a fourth member from outside the department who has Graduate Faculty status in Research.
  7. Presentation of the research results (thesis or project) at a forum approved by the department (except in Doctor of Nursing Practice).
  8. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in all course work associated with the degree.
  9. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive exam, as specified by the department (except in Doctor of Nursing Practice).
  10. Students must complete all degree requirements within an eight-year period (excluding time spent in the United States Armed Forces).
  11. 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.  The advisor’s name and phone number are listed on the Admission Recommendation which notifies a student of acceptance into a program.  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.  A student can view the audit the first day of classes for 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. 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, or doctoral degree.

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 under the Academics Tab, Commencement Channel, in 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). A special permission form is required which includes approval by the student's advisor, department head, and the Graduate College.

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 Anthropology (MS)
  • Biology (MS)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology (MS)
  • Chemistry (MS)
  • Communication (MA)
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Early Childhood and Family Development (MS)
  • Educational Technology (MSEd)
  • Elementary Education (MSEd)
  • Geospatial  Sciences in Geography and Geology (MS)
  • Global Studies (MGS)
  • Health Administration (MHA)
  • Health Promotion and Wellness Management (MS)
  • History (MA)
  • Literacy (MSEd)
  • Material Science (MS)
  • Mathematics (MS)
  • Natural and Applied Science (MNAS)
  • Nursing, MSN)
  • Plant Science (MS)
  • Project Management (MS)
  • Public Administration (MPA)
  • Public Health (MPH)
  • Religious Studies (MA)
  • Secondary Education - English, history, and mathematics areas of emphasis only (MSEd)
  • Special Education. Autism Spectrum Disorder Emphasis (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.

Teacher Certification

Students in any graduate classification who wish to seek teacher certification should contact the Teacher Certification Office (417-836-8772). This office provides a program evaluation service for initial certificates (evaluation fee required), and advisement and assistance to gain additional certifications and/or additional endorsements. Official transcripts from all previous colleges attended are required for students seeking initial certification.

Those desiring Missouri initial certification in any area authorized by the State Board of Education must:

  1. successfully complete Supervised Teaching;
  2. satisfy all Missouri teacher certification requirements which are in effect at the time of certification;
  3. have a cumulative combined (both Missouri State University and transfer) GPA of 2.75 or higher;
  4. receive a departmental recommendation for the certification area(s);
  5. successful completion of Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA) as established by the Missouri Board of Education;
  6. complete professional education courses with a GPA of 3.00 (Missouri State University and transfer combined) and no grade lower than a C;
  7. complete certification subject area(s) courses with a GPA 3.00 on Missouri State University and transfer combined on a 4.0 scale.

Students seeking initial certification may be required to complete all required Missouri Educator Gateway (MEGA) assessments.

In some cases, part or all of the Missouri teacher certification requirements can be met with appropriate graduate courses. Students should inquire about these opportunities in secondary and special education. It may be advantageous to couple those courses meeting certification with a graduate degree program.

Master of Arts in Teaching: This a secondary education program that provides a pathway to a masters degree while also obtaining teacher certification. Refer to the description of this degree program for more information.

Special Education Certification: Students interested in pursuing initial certification in Special Education may enroll in a combined certification/Masters degree program. Students selecting this pathway will need to apply for admission to the MSEd, Special Education, and work with their advisor to develop an appropriate Advisor-Approved Program of Study. Students seeking special education certification will need to choose from the following program options within the MSEd in Special Education.

  • Special Education, Alternative Certification Track (SEACT). This program allows students to earn initial certification in Mild/Moderate, Cross Categorical Special Education (K-12).
  • Blindness and Low Vision Track. This program allows students to earn initial certification in Blind and Partially Sighted (Birth to Grade 12).
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

Selected graduate courses are taught on-site or by Interactive Video (ITV) delivery at several locations in the Missouri State University 24-county service area. Off-campus course locations include the Missouri State University West Plains Campus, Missouri State University Mountain Grove Campus, Lebanon, Nevada, Neosho, and locations as demand necessitates. The MBA program is delivered via ITV to West Plains, Lebanon, and Nevada. Refer to the Missouri State Outreach website for more information.

Joplin Graduate Center

Missouri State University provides graduate education to students in the Joplin region through a variety of courses offered at the Joplin Graduate Center located on the Missouri Southern State University campus. Most courses are offered with the instructor on-site, while others utilize the Interactive Video (ITV) distance learning system. Five degree programs can be completed through work at the Joplin Graduate Center:

  • Master of Science in Education, Elementary Education
  • Master of Accountancy
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Arts in Teaching 

In addition, selected graduate courses in educational administration, reading, special education, counseling, and several other disciplines are offered each semester. Information on course availability can be obtained through the Graduate Center office in Joplin (417-625-3133) or the Missouri State Outreach website.

Bull Shoals Field Station

The Missouri State University Bull Shoals Field Station is located on a tract of land overlooking Bull Shoals Lake in Taney County, Southwest Missouri. The nearby terrestrial and aquatic habitats are mostly undisturbed, comprising an ecosystem with considerable biodiversity. The Field Station provides a wide range of opportunities for research endeavors of graduate students in the natural sciences. Certain class activities and service programs utilize the Field Station as an integral component of the educational experience. For further information contact the Field Station Director, Dr. Janice Greene (417-836-5126;

Inter-University Collaborations

Missouri State University and Missouri Southern State University Joint Master Of Arts In Teaching

The two Universities cooperate in offering the Master of Arts in Teaching program in Joplin.  This alternative and innovative masters/certification program is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. It provides students the opportunity to earn teacher certification in one of 20 different areas of secondary education while also completing a masters degree. Students completing this partnership program in Joplin receive a diploma issued by Missouri State University signifying completion of the cooperative program with MSSU. Refer to the Master of Arts in Teaching section of this catalog (Department of Reading, Foundations and Technology) or the Teacher Certificate Office (417-836-8772).

University Of Missouri-Columbia Cooperative Doctorate in Educational Leadership

Missouri State University collaborates in a cooperative program with the University of Missouri - Columbia (UMC) leading to an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.  Courses for the degree are offered on the Missouri State University Springfield campus and on the UMC campus. The degree is conferred by UMC. (See Department of Counseling, Leadership and Special Education for additional information.)

University Of Missouri-Columbia Doctoral Program In Plant Science

A cooperative doctoral arrangement is in place between the Darr College of Agriculture at Missouri State University and the Plant Sciences Unit at the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC).  Upon completion of the M. S. degree in Plant Sciences at Missouri State University, students can apply for admission to the doctoral program in the Plant Sciences Unit UMC. If admitted, students are eligible to compete for graduate assistantships on the UMC campus. Although enrolled in an UMC degree program, students can continue at Missouri State University and conduct doctoral research programs under the advisement of faculty at Missouri State University who hold adjunct appointments in the Plant Science Unit at UMC. For further information, contact the Agriculture college at 417-836-5638.

Inter-University Accelerated Masters Agreements

Missouri State University has collaborative arrangements with Evangel University, Drury University and Southwest Baptist University (SBU) that provide for qualified students from these institutions to be accepted and take courses in the Accelerated Masters program at Missouri State. This arrangement allows Evangel and Drury students who wish to obtain a masters degree in disciplines where Missouri State has an Accelerated Masters option to start taking courses at Missouri State University before they finish the undergraduate program. Collaboration between SBU and MSU applies to the Accelerated Master of Accountancy only. Enrollment at Missouri State University is simultaneous with students completion of the work at either Evangel, Drury or SBU. 

In a similar collaboration, Missouri State University senior students could start the Drury University M. A. in Integrated Marketing Communication. 

Dual-Degree Plant Science Programs

China Agricultural University (CAU):  Missouri State University and CAU in Beijing, People's Republic of China, have an articulation agreement where CAU plant science graduate students can complete a portion of the CAU program and then be selected to enter the MS in Plant Science at Missouri State University. These dual-degree students will subsequently complete both the CAU and Missouri State University masters degrees in plant science. (contact Dr. Wenping Qui, 417-926-4105)

Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University (NAFU):  Missouri State University and NAFU in Yangling, Shaanxi, China have an articulation agreement whereby masters students in the NAFU plant science program will complete a portion of the NAFU program and then enter the MS in Plant Science at MSU. These dual-degree students will subsequently complete both the NAFU and Missouri State University masters degrees in plant science. (contact Dr. Wenping Qui, 417-926-4105).

Alliances Between Missouri State University Academic Departments And Other Regional Universities

Chemistry:  A cooperative agreement between the chemistry departments at Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) facilitates the acceptance of masters degree graduates from Missouri State University into the doctorate program in chemistry at UMC.  Contact the Chemistry department at 417-836-5506 for details.

Mathematics:  Post-master's students may transfer up to 18 credit hours of mathematics and statistics course work taken at Missouri State University to University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) toward a doctoral program.  The course work will focus on the subject matter covered by the UMR Qualifying Examinations in Statistics or Mathematics.  For information, contact the Mathematics department at 417-836-5112.

International Program Alliances

Institutions in South America:  Missouri State University has entered into twinning programs with the Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais (IBMEC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Universidad de Las Americas (UDLA) - SYLVAN® International Universities, Santiago, Chile that offer excellent opportunities for faculty as well as graduate and undergraduate students with Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (Chile) language competencies to take part in faculty/student exchanges.

Beijing University of Technology:  Missouri State University and Beijing Tech have an agreement that facilitates joint research projects for graduate students and faculty. A particular focus is in materials science, and this relationship enhances the opportunity for students from both universities to do their thesis research in the environment and laboratory facilities of the other university.

National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU): Missouri State University's Department of Political Science and the Graduate Institute of Political Science at NSYSY in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, have a student exchange agreement. This relationship facilitates Missouri State University students taking courses at the Graduate Institute of Political Science of NSYSY, and likewise NSYSY students are aided in the opportunity for graduate studies at Missouri State.

Strategic Research and Educational Partnerships with China Universities

Missouri State University has a number of strategic partnerships with universities and institutions in China. The primary partnership universities include: China Agricultural University, Liaoning Normal University, Qingdao University, Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University, and Henan University of Finance and Economics. In addition, MSU has a research partnership with the Ningxia Forestry Institute in Yinchuan which operates the State Key Laboratory of Seedling Bioengineering. Students from the strategic partner universities qualify for the International Partners Scholarship.