UMKC Catalog


General Graduate Academic Regulations - Requirements for Graduation

Program of Study

Graduate education is intended to answer the personal needs of students and the special needs of society not satisfied through undergraduate training. Graduate degrees indicate that the holders have sufficiently mastered a program in a particular field to pursue creative projects in that specialty. The degrees are awarded for completion of a coherent program -- formalized as the program or plan of study -- designed to assure the mastery of specified knowledge and skills. Forms for specifying individual programs or plans of study are available from the principal graduate adviser (Arts and Sciences) or graduate officer of the academic unit.

Students may elect to fulfill either the degree requirements in effect at the time of their original admission (provided there has not been a lapse in attendance at UMKC of more than two consecutive terms) or the degree requirements in effect at the time of advisement into a planned graduate program of study.

No course at the 300- or 400-level taken on a credit/no credit basis; no 300- or 400-level course with a grade below B- (2.7); and no 5000-level or higher course with a grade below C (2.0), will count toward any advanced degree program. Additionally, 80 percent of the credits for the degree must be passed with a grade of B (3.0) or better. Students admitted to the combined J.D./MBA program must receive grades of B or better in 80 percent of Bloch School courses. Because of different grading standards,the transferred law hours are not included in the 80 percent calculation. Degree programs may have requirements which are more stringent. If so, the program requirement takes precedence over the campus minimums.


Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Approval Process

Formatting Regulations:

Some master's degree programs have a thesis requirement and some have a thesis option. All Ph.D. degree programs at UMKC require a dissertation. The School of Graduate Studies, guided by the Graduate Officers Committee, establishes the format regulations for theses and dissertations (T/Ds) at UMKC. Degree candidates are responsible for familiarizing themselves with and adhering to the standards of the latest edition of the "Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations" edited by Kate Turabian. They also must become familiar with the special format regulations for title page; abstract format and length; approval page; order of manuscript sections; paper; page numbering; heading levels; margins; and type style and size; which are outlined in the "University of Missouri-Kansas City Guide to Formatting Theses and Dissertations" which is available online at Bibliographic references must follow Turabian guidelines unless the student's academic program has an alternate bibliographic reference format approved by, and on file with, the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates should check with the principal graduate adviser in their respective academic units to determine the approved bibliographic reference format standard for their degree programs. Any variances from the standards outlined in the "University of Missouri-Kansas City Guide to Formatting Theses and Dissertations", Turabian and discipline-approved bibliographic reference styles must be requested in writing and approved in advance by the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. A copy of the dean's official letter authorizing exceptions to formatting standards must be included as an appendix to the T/D.

The School of Graduate Studies provides formatting workshops at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. In addition, degree candidates may schedule individual conferences with the school's T/D Formatting Specialist during the first four weeks of the fall or spring semester and the first two weeks of the summer term to make sure they have interpreted the formatting guidelines correctly and to seek guidance on specialized formatting problems. Candidates should call the School of Graduate Studies office, (816) 235-1161, for time and place of workshops or to schedule a formatting conference.

Supervisory Committee Review and Approval of T/Ds:

Approval of the T/D begins with the degree candidate's supervisory committee. Candidates work closely with their research advisers while writing the various sections of the manuscript. The candidate's supervisory committee shall ensure that the scholarly content and style of the T/D is in keeping with recognized standards of the chosen discipline(s). Graduate degree candidates should periodically provide all members of their supervisory committee with preliminary drafts of the T/D for review and comment. Final drafts of the T/D, which incorporate all substantive revisions supervisory committee members have previously requested, should be submitted to all members of the candidate's supervisory committee at least eight weeks before the expected date of graduation. For both master's and doctoral-level degree candidates, when the supervisory committee members feel the work is complete and ready for final defense by the candidate, the committee members notify the supervisory committee chair by completing a Master’s Pre-Oral Defense form or Doctoral Dissertation Pre-Oral Defense form and forwarding it to the supervisory committee chair. The supervisory committee chair and student may then schedule a final defense of the work.

School of Graduate Studies Review and Certification of Acceptance of T/Ds:

The deadline for submitting the T/D to the School of Graduate Studies for certification of acceptance is printed in the calendar section of the schedule of classes for each term. The actual date varies, but it is approximately six weeks before the end of the fall or spring semesters and four weeks before the end of the summer session. Prior to the published deadline for the term in which the degree candidates expect to graduate, they must present the following to the School of Graduate Studies office:

  • One unbound copy of the T/D in final form, but not printed on archival quality, acid-free paper.
  • The signed Preliminary Approval of T/D by Supervisory Committee form.

T/Ds normally will not be accepted for review for graduation during the current term unless they are received in the School of Graduate Studies by the published deadline. In the school, the T/D is reviewed by a Thesis/Dissertation Formatting Specialist for conformity to the campus formatting standards and by the graduate dean for quality of content. The school's review process generally takes from two to four weeks. The candidate will be notified to pick up the T/D and make all necessary formatting corrections before resubmitting the T/D to the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates who are out of the city must make arrangements to have the copy picked up locally or returned, collect, by messenger service.

After the T/D defense, the student should submit a corrected final draft on plain paper to the School of Graduate Studies. This draft should be accompanied by the Master’s Thesis Final Evaluation forms or Doctoral Dissertation Final Evaluation forms completed by each committee member. The graduate dean will review the thesis or dissertation for certification of acceptance. If the T/D has significant formatting problems, it will be returned to the candidate without further review or certification. The candidate will be required to make all necessary formatting corrections and resubmit the T/D to the School of Graduate Studies. If this happens, the candidate's graduation may be delayed. Enrollment in an additional term of continuous-graduate enrollment may be required.

Preliminary approval forms, Master's Thesis Preliminary and Final evaluation forms and Doctoral Dissertation Preliminary and Final evaluation forms are available from the School of Graduate Studies office in the Administrative Center (5115 Oak St.) and online at

When both components of the School of Graduate Studies review of the T/D are complete, the candidate is notified. If further format corrections are required, the School of Graduate Studies will hold the certificate of acceptance until appropriate revisions are made and rechecked by the formatting specialist. The candidate then picks up the certified copy of the T/D and the certificate of acceptance from the School of Graduate Studies office and may prepare their final copy to upload to ProQuest. (See Final Thesis Examination and Supervisory Committee Approval under Master's Degrees Academic Regulations and Final Dissertation Examination under Doctoral Degree Programs (Ed.D., Ph.D., D.M.A.) later in this section.) Candidates who are out of the city must make arrangements to have the certified copy picked up locally or returned, collect, by messenger service.

Deposit of T/Ds with the Library:

The candidate makes any final revisions requested by committee members at the defense or the School of Graduate Studies and then uploads an electronic copy of the document in portable document format (PDF) to ProQuest.  The PDF copy is then transmitted to the University of Missouri system institutional repository, MOSpace, where the document is made available via the world wide web.  As an added optional service, ProQuest will handle the copyrighting process for theses and dissertations, if desired.  Students will pay an archival copy fee when they upload the document, plus an additional fee if they choose to have ProQuest handle the copyright registration.  Submission to ProQuest must be accomplished no later than the Friday immediately preceding the first day of classes for the next term.


Application for Graduation

Completing degree requirements does not automatically result in conferral of the degree. Students must request that the University review their academic record and certify that degree requirements have been met. To make this request, students must file applications for graduation with the registrar no later than the end of the fourth week of the semester in which the degrees will be completed. Students graduating at the end of the summer session must file an application for graduation no later than the end of the second week of the summer session. An approved program/plan of study must be on file with the registrar at the time the student makes application to graduate. Filing applications for graduation initiates degree checks in the Registrar's Office. The students and their advisers receive a degree checklist which indicates any deficiencies the students must clear. Students should contact their advisers if there are questions about the checklist. The application for graduation also places candidates' names in the commencement program. In addition, when completion of degree requirements have been certified by the registrar, the Registrar's Office authorizes the diploma order.

Specific term deadlines for all graduate requirements are announced in the schedule of classes for each term. Students are responsible for being aware of and meeting these deadlines.

The registrar will certify degree completion if students' academic records (transcripts) show that they have completed all of the requirements listed on the approved program/plan of study.



Advanced degree candidates are urged to attend commencement. Students should arrange for rental or purchase of a cap and gown at the University Bookstore at least six weeks before the graduation date.


Time Limit on Degree Credit for Master's and Educational-Specialist Degrees

Credit over seven years old at the time of graduation, which is included on the master's or educational-specialist program of study and has not been applied to a previous degree, may not be counted toward the fulfillment of a graduate degree program unless validated to the satisfaction of the department or school and the School of Graduate Studies. Petitions and affidavits for this purpose may be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies. A maximum of 30 percent of the student's program of study may be validated under this procedure.

In connection with an authorized leave of absence, an exception to the time limitation may be approved in advance.