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Applying to Online Graduate Programs

For questions about the application process, please contact Dr. Ashlie Lester at more detailed information about admissions for international students, please visit the International Center’s website.

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Online Application Deadlines

Our online degree programs have rolling admission, so we accept and review applications year-round. Completed applications should be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the term you plan to begin coursework. This allows the department and the Graduate School time to process your application.

To apply: Complete the electronic application through the Graduate School application system. In order to complete your application you will need:

  • Application for graduate admission
  • Application fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all college credit
  • A statement of purpose (personal statement)
  • Official TOEFL examination scores (International students only)

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

Statements should be 2 pages in length and demonstrate your fit within the department. Consider the following questions as you craft about 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?

These statements provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your writing skills as well as your passion.

Appropriate recommenders include research, teaching, or employment supervisors, former professors or advisors, or others who have had opportunity to evaluate your work. You will be prompted to enter names and email address of recommenders in the Graduate School’s online application system. The system will send emails with specific instructions to each recommender.
  • Applicant completes the Graduate School online application (including all documents listed above).
  • After all application materials have been received, the application is prepared for review by an HDFS faculty committee.
  • The application is reviewed and a decision is made about admission to the HDFS graduate program. This process typically takes 1-3 weeks to complete. In the summer, decisions are sometimes delayed due to faculty availability.
  • HDFS sends a decision letter to the student and notifies the Graduate School.
  • The Graduate School reviews the applicant’s official transcripts and other academic information and makes a final decision about admission. This process takes several weeks to complete.
  • 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 School online application and reading the information on your applicant dashboard (see below).
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