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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 Graduate School’s online application system. You also must submit a letter stating your goals, 3 letters of reference, and unofficial transcripts through the application website. If you are admitted by the department, you must request for official transcripts to be sent to the Graduate School.
The GRE is not required.
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 terms 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 (4.5 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. Please visit the Financial Aid website for the most up-to-date information.
For up-to-date tuition costs, please see the Great Plains IDEA website.
For the Master’s programs, students must complete either a comprehensive exam or an internship. For certificate programs, no thesis, internship, or exam is required.
There is an online commencement for Master’s students. 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
106C Gentry Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-1301
Amy Barrett
Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Human Development and Family Science
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211