UMKC Catalog


Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission

When preparing an application for admission, applicants must choose two or more disciplines of primary interest. The applicant also must designate which one of the disciplines is to become the applicant's primary unit for initial advising, record-keeping and receiving/sending mail in the event that admission is granted. A student's research adviser must be affiliated with the student's primary unit discipline.

Application for admission to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. study is made to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies through the UMKC Admissions Office or, in the case of international applicants, through the UMKC International Student Affairs Office (ISAO). For additional program information, applicants should contact the School of Graduate Studies. E-mail requests may be sent to; the phone number is (816) 235-1161. Application information and an online application system are also available from the Web site:


Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
School of Graduate Studies
AC 300F
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

The general criteria for admission for Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program study are as follows:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores will be evaluated by the disciplines [If an applicant's GRE scores are more than seven years old, and other predictors of ability to do doctoral-level work in the applicant's file are marginal, the applicant may be asked to retake the GRE general test before an admission decision is made].
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) covering all college work taken prior to the bachelor's degree, or a grade-point average of at least 3.0 covering all post-baccalaureate work completed to date.
  • Recommendation for provisional or full admission by the doctoral faculty review group in at least two participating disciplines.

Graduates of schools outside the United States may be considered for admission to this doctoral program at UMKC, subject to the following criteria.

  1. They must have completed a course of study at least the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree.
  2. They must have above-average grades in previous college study.
  3. They are required to establish proof of adequate English proficiency as part of the UMKC admissions process. Applicants from countries in which English might be one of the official languages, but is not necessarily the first language of the majority of the population, must attain a minimum composite score of either 550(PBT), 213(CBT) or 80(iBT) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or a score of 6.0 on the IELTS to be considered for admission.* The results of the examination must be received in the UMKC International Student Affairs Office before the application deadline. Exceptions to this policy:
    • Non-native speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (such as the United States, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbuda, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, St. Christopher (St. Kitts), St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, Uganda, United Kingdom [England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland], Zambia and Zimbabwe), provided they have spent a minimum of two years in successful full-time study there and English was the medium of instruction.
    • International transfer students from other institutions in the United States or Canada who have spent a minimum of two years in successful full-time study.
  4. In addition to 1 through 3 above, international graduate students must satisfy any program-specific admission criteria. For instance, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required for applicants for graduate study toward the M.B.A. degree. Several programs require TOEFL scores that are well above the minimum stated previously. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), including the appropriate Advanced Test, is either required or strongly recommended for all other international graduate applicants. International students planning to apply are directed to consult the appropriate degree program listing for additional criteria and medical requirements.

*In the United States, the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541, U.S.A., can be contacted for application forms to take this test.
Contact for information on the International English Testing System. Detailed information can be obtained from U.S. embassies, consulates general, bi-national centers and other offices throughout the world.

Participating disciplines may establish whatever additional criteria or higher standards they consider to be appropriate and such discipline-specific criteria will take precedence over the general criteria. Applicants should note that several discipline areas have set more rigorous admission requirements, and a number of discipline areas have established qualifying requirements for students who intend to include that discipline in their doctoral programs. These discipline-specific requirements range from specific prerequisite coursework, to successful completion of a qualifying examination, to having the equivalent of a master's degree in the area, to having higher scores on specific segments of the GRE and are listed in greater detail later in this section.

Students may apply for admission with or without meeting the general criteria of the School of Graduate Studies and any additional criteria established by the discipline areas. Meeting these criteria does not automatically make any student eligible for admission. In exceptional circumstances, students who do not meet the general criteria of the School of Graduate Studies and the disciplines may be admitted.

The School of Graduate Studies' minimum requirements for admission to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program are determined by the doctoral faculty in the academic units in which the student will be doing work, and by the UMKC doctoral faculty through representation on the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Executive Committee. Admission to the program is subject to availability of adequate faculty and other resources within an applicant's chosen disciplines and the approvals of the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Executive Committee.


Application Procedure

The deadlines for applications varies by discipline.

Although new students in most disciplines may be accepted in all terms, some disciplines will only consider applications for the fall term.
Applicants are responsible for:

  1. Submitting a completed Application for Admission or Readmission to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Studies form to the UMKC Admissions Office, or in the case of international applicants, to the UMKC International Student Affairs Office (ISAO). All applications must be accompanied by the appropriate non-refundable application fee ($35 for domestic applicants or $50 for international applicants).
  2. Submitting a one-page narrative statement outlining professional background and educational plans with the completed application form.
  3. Having the following supplementary documentation sent to the UMKC Admissions Office:
    • Official test scores (GRE, TOEFL, etc.). The applicant must request the testing agency to send official GRE test scores to the School of Graduate Studies. The Educational Testing Service does not report GRE scores more than 20 years old or scores more than five years old but earned since Sept. 30, 1985.
    • Official transcripts from all colleges attended. All applicants must submit an official transcript from the school where their bachelor's degrees were obtained. This transcript must show all courses, grades and credits attempted or completed at the undergraduate level. Unless the transcript of the degree-granting institution shows the complete record of undergraduate work taken at all other schools, an official transcript from each of the other institutions must be supplied. In addition, applicants must submit an official transcript from each school where other coursework has been taken or degrees have been obtained after the bachelor's degree.
    • Three letters of recommendation.
    • Any supplemental material requested by the discipline(s). Note that several disciplines require professional writing samples, tentative outlines of plans of study, or other supplemental materials to complete the application packet. Applicants should consult the discipline-specific information to determine whether supplemental materials are required by the disciplines they select.
    • Resumes / vita

International applicants must submit the following additional forms:

  1. Summary of Education Experiences by Years form.
  2. Official Statement of Finances form.
  3. If transferring from another U.S. institution, a Supplemental Information form.

All credentials submitted in support of the application for admission to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program become UMKC property. They will not be returned to the applicants and UMKC cannot copy them for release to a third party.

Once the UMKC Admissions Office or the ISAO has received the application, application fee (if applicable), and transcripts of previous work, the application file is transmitted to the School of Graduate Studies. The School of Graduate Studies notifies each applicant by mail when the application packet has been forwarded to them. If required test scores, recommendation forms or supplementary documentation appropriate to the applicant's discipline selections are missing at that time, the applicant will be advised of the date by which all materials must be received in order to have the application reviewed by the faculty review groups in the specified disciplines for admission in the terms requested. The School of Graduate Studies transmits completed application files to the doctoral faculty review groups in each discipline the applicant has indicated on the application form.

Faculty review groups usually will not take action on an application unless all supporting documentation is on file. Applicants with files that are incomplete at the time the discipline(s) review applications will be so notified and asked whether they wish to have their applications updated for consideration for admission in a subsequent term.

An applicant can expect the review and recommendation process to take approximately 30 days from the time all supporting documentation has been received. The faculty review groups in some disciplines review all applications as a group, while in other disciplines, applications are reviewed and acted upon on a revolving basis, as received. The review and recommendation process within the disciplines varies in length depending upon the disciplines' review policies.

For questions about the contents of their admission files, or to determine whether their applications have been transmitted to the School of Graduate Studies for review, applicants may call the Admissions Office (816) 235-1111. International applicants may check on the status of their applications by contacting the ISAO at Once the application has been transmitted to the School of Graduate Studies, applicants may call (816) 235-1161 for information on the status of their applications.