Common Questions about Online Master's Programs

You may start your degree program in the Spring, Summer, or Fall terms. Applications need to be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the term for which you are applying.

Yes. Students may start in the summer, fall or spring semesters.

Admission is based on an applicant’s undergraduate grade point average, the extent to which our programs match the applicant’s academic objectives, and the applicant’s potential for graduate study as reflected by transcripts and letters of recommendation. In general, the applicant’s undergraduate grade point average must be 3.0 ("B") or better, although in exceptional cases we might admit a professional who has practiced in the field for years, if her or his grade point average is less than 3.0. Admission is not contingent upon having a specific type of undergraduate degree. Applicants who hold a graduate degree must have earned a 3.0 in that degree program to be admitted.

Fill out the application and pay the application fee through the ApplyYourself website You also must submit a letter stating your goals, 3 letters of reference, and unofficial transcripts through the ApplyYourself website. If you are admitted by the department, you must request for official transcripts to be sent to the Graduate School from ALL the previous universities or colleges you attended. They can be mailed to:

Graduate Admissions
University of Missouri
210 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-1160

Go to the MU graduate school website to begin the online application

The GRE is not required for online students.

The online certificate programs take 1 to 1 ½ years to complete, while the online degree programs can be completed in 2 years as a full-time student.

Full-time enrollment in Graduate School is 9 credits in Fall and Spring and 6 credits in the Summer. Most online students are part-time, however, and take between 3 and 6 credits per term. Students may be limited to 3 or 6 credits by their advisers.

You need to be enrolled half-time (4 credit hours) to qualify for federal aid as a degree-seeking graduate student. This is the minimum amount of credit hours required for loan deferment status as well.

The price for the 2015-2016 academic year (fall, spring and summer) is approximately $520 per credit hour. Books and other course materials are not included in this cost. Please see the Cashiers website for the most current tuition rate.

There is no thesis requirement, but there is a project or internship requirement for the online degree programs. There is no thesis, final project, or internship requirement for the certificate programs.

There is an online commencement. If you are close enough to Columbia to attend graduation, it is possible to "walk" at the graduation ceremony.

To receive more information, please contact:

Ashlie Lester, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Human Development and Family Science
411 Gwynn Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211 (preferred)
(573) 882-1301


Lindsey Murphy
Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Human Development and Family Science
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211