Jun 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Academic Information

Graduate Appeals/Petitions

A graduate student may appeal certain decisions related to policy stated in the Graduate Catalog. The appeal begins by completing a Petition to Graduate Studies. The petition is submitted to the appropriate office in Graduate Studies and reviewed by a Graduate Studies representative, or in some cases by the Graduate Council. Input and recommendation from the school or academic unit where the student is active may be requested. Schools and academic units will designate the individual(s) authorized to review the appeal.

If the student is not satisfied with the appeal decision, the petition plus any additional information is again reviewed by the appropriate Graduate Studies representative and forwarded to the Graduate Council for review. The Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Studies may request the Graduate Council to review exceptional cases or those in which there is a conflict of interest without first rendering a decision. The decision of the Graduate Council is final in all appeals submitted to it by the student or the Graduate Studies representative.

To ensure compliance with federal and state laws, codes, regulations, and accreditation requirements, the following policies are not subject to appeal by the student:

  • The minimum graduate grade point average required for admission to the University of Central Missouri as a transfer graduate student.
  • The minimum graduate grade point average required for appointment as a graduate assistant.
  • The minimum graduate grade point average required to be re-appointed as a graduate assistant.
  • The minimum overall UCM graduate GPA required to receive a graduate degree or certificate.
  • The minimum number of semester credit hours required to receive a graduate degree or certificate.
  • The maximum hours of C grades that can be applied toward a graduate degree or certificate.
  • The maximum hours of transfer credit that can be applied toward a degree or certificate.
  • The minimum number of required semester credit hours taken at the 5000/6000 level at the University of Central Missouri to receive a graduate degree or certificate.

Credit Hours

Academic units are measured in credit hours. Most classes are worth three credit hours, but credit hours may vary from 0 to 5 or more, depending on the course. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is not less than: (a) one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (b) at least an equivalent amount of work for other activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward the award of credit hours; or (c) institutionally established reasonable equivalencies for the amount of work as described above as represented by verifiable student achievement of intended learning outcomes.

Applying Transfer Credit to a Graduate Program

Upon approval, a student may transfer graduate credit from another institution to a UCM graduate program.  Transfer credit is limited to a maximum of 50 percent of the required hours for a graduate certificate, nine credit hours of a master’s degree, and six credit hours of an Education Specialist degree.

Requirements for transfer credit include:

  • Course must have been taken for graduate credit.
  • Course must have been taken at a regionally accredited institution recognized by UCM.
  • Course must be applicable toward a graduate degree at the university granting the credit.
  • Course must not have been used to satisfy requirements for a degree or certificate granted by another institution.
  • Course must be applicable to a student’s UCM graduate program.
  • Course must be a grade of B or higher to be transferred.
  • Transferred credit will not contribute to the GPA at UCM.  The grade will be posted with a grade of “CR”.

Procedures for transfer of credit:

  • A final official transcript including the courses to be transferred must be submitted via the student application portal.
  • The graduate program coordinator will review and evaluate the transfer credit. If the credit is approved for transfer, the program coordinator will submit a substitution form in MyCentral to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Upon approval, the Registrar’s Office will post the approved transfer credit as “CR” (credit) to the student’s UCM transcript. This indicates that credit, but no grade, is awarded for the course.  The course will appear on the Central Degree Audit.
  • UCM reserves the right to accept or reject any credit for transfer.

Other Types of Credit

Credit earned by correspondence (not including distance learning, Internet and web-based courses) may not be applied toward graduate program requirements. In certain instances, academic schools will evaluate official work-related certifications and licenses granted by fully-accredited national and state boards and officially recognized professional organizations to determine whether or not graduate credit may be awarded toward the fulfillment of graduate program requirements.  The academic value of the certificate or license must match an existing course in the program’s curriculum.  

To initiate the procedure students must request an assessment from the academic program to determine if credit is possible and provide documentation supporting the request for credit.  In the event that a certificate or license was not obtained, academic schools reserve the right to test competencies and performances in these areas and to determine the hours and the nature of the credit to be assigned, if any.  The academic school will then submit a petition to the Vice Provost of Academic Programs and Services for approval of the credit toward the degree.  Academic schools reserve the right to not accept work experience of any type toward credit in their programs.  Students must be currently enrolled as a degree or certificate-seeking student at UCM to be awarded these types of credits. Credit will be posted after the enrollment period for the semester has ended (typically during the second week of the semester).

This type of credit is denoted with a CR on the Central Degree Audit and transcript.  A student may petition for a maximum of nine semester hours of credit in this category, but are limited to a total of nine semester hours of combined credit between this earned credit category and transfer credit.

Academic Load

The normal load per semester for a graduate student is 9 to 12 semester credit hours. A full-time graduate student is one enrolled in six or more credit hours per fall and spring semesters or six semester hours in the summer session. Most of UCM’s graduate degrees require 30 credit hours. Some programs require additional hours.

A graduate student may enroll in a maximum of 16 credit hours per fall or spring semester and a maximum of 12 credit hours during the entire summer semester, including both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.  Some programs limit students to fewer credit hours per semester.  Under extenuating circumstances, students with at least a 3.50 graduate grade point average may submit a petition to Graduate Studies (WDE 1900, 660-543-4729) office through their academic school to enroll in more than the maximum number of credit hours. Approval must be granted prior to the semester that the student wishes to enroll for more than the maximum hours.  

If students are enrolled for coursework at other institutions of higher education while concurrently enrolled at UCM, the total number of semester hours taken in any enrollment period may not exceed the maximum specified for a full-time, resident student at UCM.

International students must enroll in a minimum of six semester credit hours per semester. Of these six hours, only three hours may be in online coursework.  Please note that full-time status for UCM’s Intensive English Program is six credit hours (20 contact hours) per 8-week session.  The International Student Services (ISS) office must approve concurrent enrollment for any international student prior to the beginning of each semester. To meet concurrent enrollment requirements, international students must be enrolled in a minimum of six semester hours of work at UCM and at least six semester credit hours of work at another SEVIS-approved higher education institution for a minimum total of 12 semester credit hours of work in a semester.

Summer Course Load Policy

The maximum course load is 12 credit hours for the entire summer semester. While UCM recognizes six (6) hours as full-time status during the summer for graduate students, students must be enrolled in at least 3 credit hours to receive Federal Loans. Under extenuating circumstances, graduate students with at least a 3.50 graduate grade point average may submit a petition to the Graduate Studies office through their academic school to enroll in more than the maximum number of semester hours. Approval must be granted prior to the semester that the student wishes to enroll for more than the maximum hours.

International students are not required to enroll in summer hours unless they are in the first semester of their academic program at UCM.  International students beginning their academic program in the summer must complete a minimum of six credit hours for the entire summer semester.  Please note that full-time status for UCM’s Intensive English Program is 6 credit hours (20 contact hours) per 8-week session.

Class Attendance

Class participation and attendance are essential for student success. The University has no provisions whereby a student can enroll and receive credit at the University of Central Missouri without having attended and/or participated in class. This principle applies to all courses for which credit is awarded regardless of mode of delivery.

Students are expected to attend all lectures, seminars, laboratories, and fieldwork for each registered class, and to complete all work assigned by the instructor for the course. Advance arrangements for unavoidable absences should be made with the instructor whenever possible. When absent for three days or more, a student may ask the Office of Student Experience and Engagement (660-543-4114, ADM 214) to send an informational note to his/her instructors. Neither absence, nor notification of absence, relieves the student of the responsibility for the fulfillment of all course requirements.

Make-up of course requirements missed because of extenuating circumstances shall be worked out between the instructor and the student upon the student’s initiative. Instructors are required to allow the student the opportunity to earn full credit for missed work when a student is absent because of participation in approved university activities, university programs (that the student is required to attend), or when absence has been verified by the Office of Student Experience and Engagement. A student must contact his/her instructor on the first day the student returns to class. Instructors may stipulate special attendance requirements in the course syllabus, whenever they do not conflict with the student’s right to make up missed work as described above.

When absent due to extenuating circumstances such as documented medical issues, a death in the family, or military order, a student may ask the Office of Student Experience and Engagement to verify the absence. If the absence is verified, the student will be provided a written electronic notice which (s)he may distribute to faculty. It is the responsibility of the student to make the request within a reasonable time frame, distribute the documentation to faculty within two days of receiving it, and to make arrangements with faculty to make up all missed work.

The University Health Center (UHC) does not provide medical excuses and/or Time-In Time-Out slips to students for the purpose of being excused from class. When medically indicated, the health center may recommend a student not attend class. Student Experience and Engagement will be contacted by UHC staff to communicate the recommended absence to the student’s instructors.

To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, students must have a documented record of attendance in the classes for which they enroll. Registration for classes is, in itself, not sufficient to prove attendance. A student who receives or otherwise benefits from federal or state financial aid, but has no documented record of attendance in the class(es) for which (s)he is enrolled, is not eligible to have received/benefited from the aid, and will be required to repay all the federal and state assistance credited to his/her UCM account for the semester.  For information on the return of federal funds, review the Student Financial Services policy.

Students who are not reported as absent during the Enrollment Validation period and never attended a course will receive an “F” grade and are financially responsible for the course. UCM does not have an administrative drop policy to remove students from courses after the Enrollment Validation period.

Field Trips

At times, field trips are planned in conjunction with course assignments. Students in classes for which such trips are planned are to be given sufficient advance notice to make necessary arrangements for absence from the campus. Field trips are not scheduled during final examination periods nor can they be required by an instructor. Work missed in other classes may be made up, although instructors are not required to provide tutoring. All arrangements are subject to the limitations of university liability coverage.

When transportation is provided for the class, faculty may arrange for wheelchair accessible transportation by contacting Accessibility Services (Elliott Student Union 224, 660-543-4421).

Final Examinations

Final examinations are given at the end of each semester according to a published schedule. Permission to take an examination out of scheduled hours is granted only in special cases, with the approval of the instructor of the class and the Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement. Any student who has three final examinations scheduled on any one day may request permission to move one of the examinations to another day during the final examination period. There is no charge for this, but approvals must be secured as described above. Resolution of conflicting examination schedules, as well as arranging make-up examinations, must be made with class instructors.

Final Grades and Transcripts

Final grades can be reviewed online in MyCentral. A student number and password are required to access MyCentral. Grade reports are not mailed or e-mailed to students from UCM. Official transcripts are processed by the Registrar’s Office for a fee. Unofficial transcripts are available for free to students in MyCentral. Unofficial transcripts do not show degrees or certificates earned. Students who have a financial hold on their account may not place orders for official transcripts or view unofficial transcripts in MyCentral. The Central Degree Audit in MyCentral has a Course History feature that is similar to a transcript and is available to students who have financial holds.

Central Degree Audit (DegreeWorks)

The Central Degree Audit (also called DegreeWorks) is the degree audit reporting system used at UCM. The Central Degree Audit produces a report that reflects a student’s degree or certificate requirements in a given catalog year and degree or certificate program. It includes both transfer credit (if awarded) and UCM credit and shows a student’s progress toward graduation. This report designates the number of credit hours earned, both cumulative and UCM grade point averages, and a listing of courses completed.

Students can access their Central Degree Audit in MyCentral. 

In addition to the Central Degree Audit reflecting the student’s current academic program, students may run a “what-if” degree audit as a way to explore how their current courses completed would apply to different programs or catalogs.

Degree audits may include double majors. Students pursuing double degrees can view two different degree audits, one for each degree.

Students should run a copy of their Central Degree Audit prior to enrollment in future semesters to see what requirements are remaining. After enrollment, a second degree audit should be run and saved to ensure that the courses scheduled fulfill degree requirements as expected.

Deviations from program requirements must be approved in writing by the school chair or graduate program coordinator and submitted to the Office of the Registrar to be reflected on the Central Degree Audit. No substitutions are permitted for courses required in the degree program when a student has earned a grade below a B in the course.  Schools may require students to take an aptitude or qualifying examination before making any exceptions to the Central Degree Audit. Students should check specific program requirements listed elsewhere in this catalog and with the graduate program advisor.

Degree/Certificate Revocation Policy

It is the policy of the University of Central Missouri that a degree or certificate may be revoked when it is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that:

  • A degree/certificate had been erroneously conferred when all requirements had not been satisfied at the time the degree or certificate was granted.
  • A degree/certificate had been erroneously conferred as a result of an act of academic dishonesty.

The university president is charged with developing procedures to implement this degree/certificate revocation policy. The President, the Provost, and the faculty will develop such procedures including the appropriate levels of procedural due process extended to the degree or certificate recipient.

Unauthorized Persons in Classrooms

Persons who are not officially enrolled in a course may not attend any class session without the prior consent of the instructor and the school chair. In unique situations, the instructor and the school chair may, at their discretion, approve a request for a child/guest to attend a class session.  In these instances, the student is responsible for supervising the child/guest and for any inappropriate behavior.

Students who have a “U” grade (unfinished work) from a prior semester may finish only the portion of the course remaining. They may not sit through an entire course again in order to complete the unfinished work. Students who need to attend the entire class must re-enroll in the course and pay fees accordingly.  An individual who wants to attend a class for no academic credit may do so by following the University’s policy on auditing courses.

Change of Degree or Program

A student may initiate a change from one degree program to another degree program by submitting an Application for Change of Major to the Graduate Studies Office.  Graduate credit earned in one degree program is not applicable to a different degree program. In the event of a change in the degree program, a student must meet all requirements of the new degree program.  A student should consult with faculty advisors for specific details.  A student may initiate a change from one degree program to another degree program only if they are in good academic standing with a cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.00 or above.

Comprehensive Examinations

Academic programs may require students to take a comprehensive examination. Students should check specific program requirements listed elsewhere in this catalog and with the graduate program advisor.


While multiple offices are involved in supporting all scholarly activities on campus, Graduate Studies are charged with centralized support, which is performed in conjunction with the University Research Council and the Graduate Council.  An additional area involved is the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity (OSPRI).  OSPRI also maintains information about funding opportunities, assists in proposal development and submission, and ensures compliance with award management and reporting.  OSPRI is located in the Wared Edwards 1900; 660-543-4264; researchreview@ucmo.edu.

Research Involving Human Subjects - In order to comply with federal regulations and to protect the health and safety of human or animal subjects involved in research, all research protocols involving the use of human or animal subjects must be in compliance with Academic Procedures and Policies #9: Procedures for Human or Animal Subjects Review. In all cases involving human or animal subjects in research, an application must be completed and approved in advance by The Human Subjects Review Committee or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before the research may start. Information and applications are available at ucmo.edu/humansubjects.

Animal Research - Federal law requires that all research projects involving the use of selected mammals and birds be conducted to ensure humane treatment of animals. Accordingly, all such projects, regardless of the funding source, must be approved in advance by the Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee. Forms are available at ucmo.edu/osp.

Thesis and Research Papers

Schools determine whether or not a thesis or research paper is to be a required part of a master’s degree program.  Students who are seeking an Education Specialist degree are required to complete a thesis or a research paper.  

Thesis - A thesis is the result of research, scholarly, or creative activity that gives evidence of independent, critical, and creative investigation. The thesis demonstrates the ability to define and develop a problem; to understand and synthesize relevant literature; to use appropriate methodology; to analyze and interpret data; and to draw reasonable conclusions based on the investigation. Students completing a thesis may obtain a copy of the UCM Thesis Manual

Students who begin a thesis, complete thesis course credit hours, and then later decide not to complete the thesis requirement may not use thesis credit hours as program electives.  Additional credit hours may be required for degree completion.

Research Papers - Research papers report scholarly findings discovered through library investigation or provide a synthesis of research specific to the area of study. All theses and research papers are presented in an accepted publication style.

Graduate Program Advisors

When a student is accepted into a program, the graduate coordinator will appoint a faculty member as the student’s graduate program advisor. The faculty advisor, the student, and the Graduate Studies Office will be notified of this appointment. The student shall seek the advice of the program advisor about enrollment, program planning (including any changes), qualifying examinations, the Program of Study (if applicable), the Central Degree Audit, research studies and/or thesis, comprehensive examinations, and eligibility for graduation.