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Applying to On-Campus Graduate Programs

For questions about the application process, please contact Dr. Ashlie Lester at

For more detailed information about admissions for international students, please visit the International Center’s website.

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On-Campus Degree Program Deadline

Fall Semester: January 1

Complete the electronic application through the University of Missouri Graduate School application system. In order to complete your application, you will need:

  • Application for graduate admission
  • Application fee
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts of all college credit
  • Personal statement
  • Official language examination scores (International students only)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample

We value the uniqueness of every individual and strive to ensure each person’s success. Contributions from individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives promote intellectual pluralism and enable us to achieve the excellence that we seek in learning, research and engagement. This commitment makes our university a better place to work, learn and innovate.

In your application materials and personal statements, please discuss your experiences and expertise that support these values and enrich our missions of teaching, research and engagement.

The personal statement will consist of a personal essay (3 pages), and, for PhD applicants only, a research statement (3 pages). All statements should be double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.

Personal essay (3 pages). Essays should demonstrate your fit with the department. Consider the following questions as you craft your statement:
• What do you want to study at graduate school and why?
• What experience(s) do you have in your field?
• What are your career plans?
• What faculty member(s) do you wish to work with? (on-campus students only; it is also a good idea to contact specific faculty of interest directly)

Research statement (3 pages; only for applicants to the PhD program). Describe your previous research experiences, and how those may inform your research interests and goals.

  • In the online application system, enter names and email addresses of recommenders. The system will send emails with specific instructions to each recommender.
  • The MA/MS, JD/MA, and PhD applications require three letters of recommendation.
  • The Accelerated MA/MS application requires one letter of recommendation from an HDFS faculty member.
  • Appropriate recommenders include research, teaching, or employment supervisors, former professors or advisors, or others who have had the opportunity to evaluate your work.

We will accept formal writing, such as an undergraduate thesis, research paper for a class, literature review in social sciences, or manuscript under review.

  1. Applicant completes the Graduate Studies online application (including all documents listed above).
  2. After the application deadline, the applications are prepared for review by the HDFS faculty.
  3. The graduate faculty review applications and select competitive candidates for an interview. You will be notified if you have been selected for the interview process, scheduled for the last week of January. NOTE: Accelerated MA/MS students are not interviewed
  4. HDFS sends a decision letter to the student and notifies the Graduate School.
  5. The Graduate School reviews each applicant’s official transcripts and other academic information and makes a final decision about admission. This process takes several weeks to complete.
  6. If the applicant is approved by the Graduate School, he or she becomes an MU student and is free to enroll in courses for the upcoming semester.

*You may check the status of your application by logging back into the Graduate Studies online application and reading the information on your applicant dashboard.