UMKC Catalog


General Graduate Academic Regulations - Graduate Courses and Grading Policies

Course Designations

In general, courses numbered 5000 and above are open only to regularly admitted graduate and Ph.D. students.

Courses numbered 300 to 499 are upper division junior- and senior-level courses. Graduate students who enroll in such courses have the option of designating them, at the time of enrollment, as being "not for graduate credit." If the student chooses this option, the grade will not be included in the student's graduate grade-point average and the course may not be included on the graduate or Ph.D. program/plan of study and will not count toward a graduate degree. In order for a 300- or 400-level course to be accepted for graduate credit, students will be expected to do supplementary work (additional reading, projects, papers and contact hours with the instructor) and to demonstrate graduate-level competency and achievement in the subject. Also, students must take the course for graduate credit and complete it with a grade of B- (2.7) or better. The total number of acceptable 300- to 400-level courses to be applied to requirements for a graduate degree may not exceed 40 percent of the total number of courses applied to graduate or non-interdisciplinary doctoral-degree requirements, or one-third of the total number of courses on the approved Interdisciplinary Ph.D. plan of study.

Courses at the 100- and 200-level are not available for graduate credit and will not be applied toward the number of hours required for a graduate degree.

Courses numbered 5580 to 5589 generally are reserved for seminars, workshops and special topics. Consult individual degree programs for possible restrictions on such offerings. The course numbers 5590 to 5598 usually are reserved for non-thesis research, directed studies and readings. Courses numbered 5599 are restricted to research leading to a thesis. Considering this numbering system, no more than 40 percent of courses numbered 5590 to 5599, or other courses which fall in the categories listed above for that course number range, may be applied to a graduate degree program of study, with the exception of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. study.

Courses numbered 5695 to 5699 are restricted to research leading to a dissertation. Continuous Graduate Enrollment is numbered 5899.
Note: The numbering of graduate courses in the School of Dentistry differs from the system described above.

Course Restrictions

Policy on Admission of Undergraduates to Graduate-Level Courses:

In addition to regularly admitted graduate students, seniors who meet the requirements below, and who have obtained the necessary approvals and received permission from the School of Graduate Studies may enroll in a limited number of courses numbered in the 5000 series and above, or may enroll in appropriate 300- and 400-level courses for graduate credit.

Minimum requirements:

  • Seniors within 12 credits of graduation who have a 3.0 GPA or better in their college work; or
  • Seniors within 30 credits of graduation who have a 3.5 GPA in their college work.
To request permission to take a graduate-level course, the senior must:
  1. Obtain a request to take graduate-level course form and an advising transcript from the Registrar's Office. (Forms also are available on-line at
  2. Fill out the request to take graduate-level course form, attach a copy of the advising transcript to the form and seek written approval on the form from the course instructor; the dean or director of the academic unit in which the requested course is offered; and the student's undergraduate adviser.
  3. Once the above steps have been completed, submit the form to the School of Graduate Studies for final approval. This last step should occur no later than four weeks before regular registration.
This policy does not generally apply to 5000-level courses in the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration open exclusively to graduate students. However, Bloch School seniors may begin work on the M.B.A., M.P.A. or M.S. in accounting degree if pre-approved by the Bloch School based on their formal application and admission to the graduate degree program.

This procedure is intended to allow a degree of flexibility in planning the academic programs of degree-seeking seniors who clearly have shown academic merit and plan to pursue advanced study after graduation. This option is not available for post-baccalaureate students (code 4-E).

In all cases, eligible students may enroll in no more than six credits of graduate-level courses or courses for graduate credit through this procedure. In addition, first-semester seniors who enroll in graduate-level courses are limited to a total enrollment of no more than 15 hours for the semester. Graduate-level courses (5000 and above) are to be selected from those courses generally offered to first-semester or first-year graduate students. Courses such as special topics, individual studies and directed research designed for advanced graduate students are not eligible under these provisions.

Students may petition that the courses can be taken for graduate credit or undergraduate credit. Credit may be applied to requirements for a graduate or a bachelor's degree, but not both.

Requests by students who meet all the requirements stated above will be approved by the dean of the School of Graduate Studies or designated representative. In exceptional cases, students who do not meet the requirements stated above may present a petition to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Such petitions must be presented to the school no later than four weeks before the beginning of the term for which enrollment is sought.

Students who do not meet the above criteria but who register for a graduate-level course will be withdrawn administratively from the course. Fees paid for the course will be refunded.

Graduate-Credit, Continuing Education Courses:

Graduate-credit courses are offered on an irregular basis at both off-campus and on-campus locations through the Division of Continuing Education, in conjunction with various instructional divisions.

Students may enroll in such courses and earn graduate credit without being regularly admitted to a graduate program. However, application of such credits toward an advanced degree can be determined only after students have been regularly admitted to graduate study. Such application depends upon the acceptance of students and the course by the respective department or division offering the degree. Students are responsible for determining whether these credits will satisfy the requirements of their particular educational goals and should make such determination before registering for the course.

Grading System

The following is the grading and grade-point system at UMKC:
    Letter                          Points per
    Grade Description Semester Hour

    A The highest grade 4.0
    A- 3.7
    B+ 3.3
    B Work of distinction 3.0
    B- 2.7
    C+ 2.3
    C Average work 2.0
    C- 1.7
    D+ 1.3
    D Passing, but 1.0
    D- 0.7
    F Failure without 0.0
    NR Not Reported 0.0
    WF Withdrew failing 0.0
    W Withdrew; no -
    academic assessment
    I Incomplete -
    AT Audit -
    CR Credit only -
    NC No Credit -
    P Passing -
    S Satisfactory -

In terms prior to and including 1985, any of the above grades might be preceded by an R indicating a repeated course. These grades are not included in either total hours or the grade-point average. (Examples: RC, RD, RF.) Since 1985, all grades, including those in repeated courses, are included in the GPA calculation. For the 1993 Fall Semester, UMKC began using the plus/minus grading system for grades A, B, C and D. The grade of A+ is valid only for students in the School of Law.

Incomplete Grades

An instructor may give a grade of incomplete (I) to students who have been unable to complete the work of the course because of illness or other valid reasons beyond their control. Students who receive an incomplete must complete the required work within one calendar year to avoid an F (failure without credit). The instructor may specify a shorter completion period. A grade of incomplete is only appropriate when enough work in the course has been completed that the student can finish the remaining work without re-enrolling in the course in question, or by attending additional classes. In other instances, students should withdraw. Students cannot re-enroll in a course for which an incomplete remains on the record.

This policy is exclusive of those courses which are considered directed individual studies; internships; special topics; practicums; research and thesis; and research and dissertation courses. Because completion of such courses will quite often span several terms, incomplete grades assigned in such courses will not automatically lapse to an "F" grade after one calendar year, but will adhere to the completion period specified by the instructor.

Policy on Repeated Graduate-Credit Courses

Whenever students repeat a graduate-credit course, they must submit a course repeat form to the Registration and Records Office no later than the fourth week of the term. Students seeking graduate degrees are limited to repeating no more than 20 percent of the credits applicable toward a graduate degree. If approved by the school or department or Interdisciplinary Ph.D. supervisory committee, students may repeat a course once to improve the grade-point average or satisfy the program requirements. The second grade received will be used to calculate the grade-point average that will be used in satisfying degree requirements.