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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 Deadlines

Fall Semester: December 15th

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
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts of all college credit
  • A statement of purpose (personal statement)
  • Official language examination scores (International students only)
  • Official GRE scores (University Code: 6875; HDFS Code: 4602)*
  • Resume or curriculum vitae

*Please note: GRE scores are not required for applications submitted for the Spring and Fall 2021 semesters.

HDFS uses a paperless application system, so please scan and upload all documents to the Graduate Studies online application system.

In general, statements should be about 2-4 pages in length, should demonstrate your fit within the department, and answer the following questions:

  • What do you want to study at graduate school?
  • Why do you want to study it?
  • What experience(s) do you have in your field?
  • What do you plan to do with your degree once you have it?
  • 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)

In addition, it is important to note that these statements do serve as your writing example for graduate faculty to review. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your writing skills as well as your passion.

Recommendations are submitted through the Graduate Studies online application. Once you create an account and begin the application, you will be prompted to submit contact information for your letter writers. Specifically, you will enter the names and e-mail addresses of your letter writers into the system and an e-mail form will automatically be sent to them. The e-mail also contains instructions for how to upload his or her recommendation letter. Make sure that you have an updated e-mail address for each letter writer and enter it carefully in the application system.

  • A grade point average exceeding 3.0 (on a 4.0 system) for the last 60 hours of the Bachelor’s degree.
  • GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile on two of the three subtests (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing).
  • International applicants must submit TOEFL scores of at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (internet-based), with no subsection below 54 (paper-based) or 20 (internet-based). IELTS scores will also be accepted, with a minimum score of 6.5 and no subsections below 6.0.

  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 week of January 25-29.
  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.

*There can be some down time in this process where you are waiting to hear back from us. 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 (see below).

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A representative for the department checks the application system each day and compiles applications for review as soon as they are complete. For on-campus students, applications are reviewed by the faculty all at once after the deadline has passed. For online students, applications are reviewed by faculty committees as soon as they are complete.

You can check the status of your application by logging into the Graduate Studies online application website and reading the information on your applicant dashboard (the home page after you log in). There you can find information about whether:

  • Transcripts and test scores have been received.
  • Letters of recommendation have been received (and who sent them).
  • Your application fee has been paid.
  • The application is complete and pending a decision by the department.
  • The application has been accepted by the Graduate School.