Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content

graduate studies graphic
scholarships graphic


Graduation Requirements

Graduation Deadlines

Graduate Degree General Policies and Requirements

General Requirements

To receive a master's degree a student must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit applicable on an approved program.  A student wishing to earn a master's degree must have, in addition to the minimum number of hours required in the graduate program, no fewer than 15 approved graduate or undergraduate hours in the major field (generally, this requirement is satisfied during undergraduate study). At least 15 semester hours on the approved program must have been in 5000/6000 level courses for graduate students only. A minimum of 24 semester hours of graduate credit on the approved program must have been taken through or with the University of Central Missouri (see "Transfer Credit"). 

For an Education Specialist degree, a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit beyond a master's degree is required, with at least 18 semester hours in 5000/6000 level courses and a minimum of 6 hours at the 6000 level.

Time Limitation

All courses that satisfy program requirements must have been completed during the eight-year period immediately preceding graduation.

Course Level

Most courses numbered at the 4000 level are offered for either graduate or undergraduate credit. A 4000 level course taken as undergraduate credit may not be applied or repeated as graduate credit. A 4000 level course taken for graduate credit will have different course requirements. Courses numbered at the 5000 and 6000 level are offered only for graduate credit. Students who have 10 or more semester hours of graduate credit may enroll in 6000 level courses.

Maximum Load

A graduate student may enroll in a maximum of 16 hours per fall or spring semester including both undergraduate and graduate-level courses. Maximum course loads for summer semester are 6 hours during a three-week session and 12 hours for the entire summer semester. A petition for an exception must be completed and signed by the Graduate Advisor and the Graduate Dean for course loads beyond 12 hours. A full-time graduate student is one enrolled in 9 or more semester hours of graduate credit during the fall and spring semesters and 6 semester hours during the summer session. The average enrollment for graduate students is 12 hours per semester.

Individualized Study Limitations

Not more than one-half of the credit on an approved master's degree program may be individualized study. No more than 18 hours in an Education Specialist program may be individualized study. A student is limited to 6 hours of credit in Internship on a master's degree or Education Specialist program. A student is limited to a maximum of 6 semester hours of credit in thesis or in an individual research project on a master's degree program or Education Specialist program.

Course Repetition

A student may repeat any graduate course taken at the University of Central Missouri. A student may repeat any course if it is on their Program of Study and the grade is a C. A student must repeat any course taken at UMC for which a grade of D or F is earned when the course is part of the student's approved program. No substitutions may be made on an approved program for courses in which the student has earned grades below B. All grades, including all grades received in repeated courses, are included in computing a graduate grade-point average.

Transfer Credit

Upon approval, a student may transfer a maximum of nine semester hours of graduate credit from another institution to a UCM master's degree program, or a maximum of six hours to an Education Specialist program. Requirements for transfer of credit:

  • Course must have been taken for graduate credit.
  • Course must have been taken at an accredited institution recognized by Central Missouri offering a master's degree.
  • 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 granted by another institution
  • Course must be applicable to a student's UCM graduate program and become a part of the program of study when transferred.
  • Course must reflect a grade of B or higher to be transferred.
  • Transferred credit will not contribute to the GPA at UCM. Procedures for transfer of credit.
  • The student may request courses be transferred at the time the Program of Study is filed or when a Request for Change in a Program of Study is submitted. An official transcript indicating the courses to be transferred must be on file in UCM's Office of the Registrar.
  • The student's advisor and Graduate Studies must approve the transfer.
  • Upon approval, Graduate Studies will post the approved transfer credit to the student's UCM transcript.
  • The University of Central Missouri reserves the right to accept or reject any credit for transfer.

Other Credit

Credit earned by correspondence (not including distance learning, Internet and web based courses) may not be applied toward graduate degree requirements. No work experience credit may be applied as credit toward a master's degree.


A student completing a course at UCM will receive a final grade in the course of an A, B, C, D, or F. No graduate course may be taken for Pass/Fail credit.

U Grades

An instructor may report a semester mark of U when, for justifiable reasons, the student has not completed the work of the course. During the next semester the U becomes an F unless the requirements of the course have been satisfactorily completed or the course is of an individualized nature, e.g., thesis, research report, or similar investigation.

Minimum Grade

A student must receive a grade of C or higher in each course on the approved Program of Study. Not more than six semester hours of credit with a grade of C will be applied toward degree requirements.

Excessive Low Grades

A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 to remain in good standing. The first semester a student earns below a 3.00 cumulative GPA he/she will be placed on probation. The second consecutive semester a student earns below a 3.00 cumulative GPA he/she will be continued on probation. The third consecutive semester a student earns below a 3.00 cumulative GPA he/she will be ineligible for degree. A student who becomes ineligible for degree cannot earn that degree from the University of Central Missouri.