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Applying to Online 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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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
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts of all college credit
  • Personal statement
  • Official TOEFL examination scores (International students only)

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.

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.

  • In the online application system, enter names and email addresses of recommenders. The system will send emails with specific instructions to each recommender.
  • The Family and Community Services and Youth Development Master of Arts applications require three letters of recommendation.
  • Appropriate recommenders include research, teaching, or employment supervisors, former professors or advisors, or others who can assess your potential to succeed in graduate-level work.
  • All graduate certificate applications require one letter of recommendation.
  • 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.

* 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.