When preparing an application for admission, applicants must designate which one of the disciplines is to become the applicant's primary unit for initial advising, record-keeping and receiving/sending mail in the event that admission is granted. A student's research advisor must be affiliated with the student's primary unit discipline.

Once the primary discipline has been selected by the applicant, there are two application pathways:

  1. Primary discipline areas that require the immediate selection of a co-discipline area during the application process: After a primary discipline area is selected, the applicant will be prompted to select at least one co-discipline area. Recommendation for provisional or full admission by the doctoral faculty review groups in these primary discipline areas requires at least two participating disciplines, a primary and co-discipline area, to approve the applicant’s admission.
  2. Primary discipline areas that do not require the immediate selection of a co-discipline area during the initial application: Primary discipline faculty will work with the admitted primary discipline student to select a co-discipline during the student’s first semester in the program.

Application for admission to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. study is made to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies through the UMKC Admissions Office or, in the case of international applicants, through the UMKC International Student Affairs Office (ISAO). For additional program information, applicants should contact the School of Graduate Studies. E-mail requests may be sent to umkcsgs@umkc.edu; the phone number is (816) 235-1301. Application information and an online application system are also available from the School of Graduate Studies Website: http://sgs.umkc.edu/interdisciplinary-ph-d-studies-at-umkc/  

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
School of Graduate Studies
AC 300F
5115 Oak Street
Kansas City, MO 64112-2499

The general criteria for admission for Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program study are as follows:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores will be evaluated by the disciplines [If an applicant's GRE scores are more than five years old, and other predictors of ability to do doctoral-level work in the applicant's file are marginal, the applicant may be asked to retake the GRE general test before an admission decision is made].
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) covering all college work taken prior to the bachelor's degree, or a grade-point average of at least 3.0 covering all post-baccalaureate work completed to date.
  • Recommendation for provisional or full admission by the doctoral faculty review group in participating disciplines for a primary discipline and at least one co-discipline area.

Graduates of schools outside the United States may be considered for admission to this doctoral program at UMKC, subject to the following criteria.

  1. They must have completed a course of study at least the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree.
  2. They must have above-average grades in previous college study.
  3. They are required to establish proof of adequate English proficiency as part of the UMKC admissions process. Applicants from countries in which English might be one of the official languages, but is not necessarily the first language of the majority of the population, must attain a minimum composite score of either 79 on the iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or a score of 6.0 on the IELTS to be considered for admission.1 The results of the examination must be received in the UMKC International Student Affairs Office before the application deadline. Exceptions to this policy:
    • Non-native speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (such as the United States, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbuda, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, St. Christopher (St. Kitts), St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, Uganda, United Kingdom [England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland], Zambia and Zimbabwe), provided they have spent a minimum of two years in successful full-time study there and English was the medium of instruction.
    • International transfer students from other institutions in the United States or Canada who have spent a minimum of two years in successful full-time study.
  4. In addition to 1 through 3 above, international graduate students must satisfy any program-specific admission criteria. For instance, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required for applicants for graduate study toward the M.B.A. degree. Several programs require TOEFL scores that are well above the minimum stated previously. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), including the appropriate Advanced Test, is either required or strongly recommended for all other international graduate applicants. International students planning to apply are directed to consult the appropriate degree program listing for additional criteria and medical requirements. There are detailed instructions for the application process for international students available on the International Student Affairs Office (ISAO) website: http://info.umkc.edu/ISAO/future-students/apply/

Participating disciplines may establish whatever additional criteria or higher standards they consider to be appropriate and such discipline-specific criteria will take precedence over the general criteria. Applicants should note that several discipline areas have set more rigorous admission requirements, and a number of discipline areas have established qualifying requirements for students who intend to include that discipline in their doctoral programs. These discipline-specific requirements range from specific prerequisite coursework, to successful completion of a qualifying examination, to having the equivalent of a master's degree in the area, to having higher scores on specific segments of the GRE and are listed in greater detail later in this section.

Students may apply for admission with or without meeting the general criteria of the School of Graduate Studies and any additional criteria established by the discipline areas. Meeting these criteria does not automatically make any student eligible for admission. In exceptional circumstances, students who do not meet the general criteria of the School of Graduate Studies and the disciplines may be admitted.

The School of Graduate Studies' minimum requirements for admission to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program are determined by the doctoral faculty in the academic units in which the student will be doing work, and by the UMKC doctoral faculty through representation on the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Executive Committee. Admission to the program is subject to availability of adequate faculty and other resources within an applicant's chosen disciplines and the approvals of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Executive Committee.

Application Procedure

The deadlines for applications varies by discipline.
Although new students in most disciplines may be accepted in all terms, some disciplines will only consider applications for the fall term.

Applicants are responsible for:

  1. Submitting a completed Application for Admission or Readmission to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Studies form to the UMKC Admissions Office, or in the case of international applicants, to the UMKC International Student Affairs Office (ISAO). All applications must be accompanied by the appropriate non-refundable application fee ($35* for domestic applicants or $75 for international applicants). *The application fee will be $45 beginning July 1, 2017.
  2. Uploading the following supplementary materials (shown below) into the online application site. 
    • A narrative statement / Statement of intent outlining professional background and educational plans.
    • Three letters of recommendation. (The applicant provides referee contact information in the online application site. The referee receives an email invitation to upload the reference letter into the site.)
    • Any supplemental material requested by the discipline(s). Note that several disciplines require professional writing samples, tentative outlines of plans of study, or other supplemental materials to complete the application packet. Applicants should consult the discipline-specific information to determine whether supplemental materials are required by the disciplines they select.
    • Resume / Vita
  3. Having the following supplementary documentation sent to the UMKC Admissions Office or in the case of international applicants, to the UMKC International Student Affairs Office (ISAO):
    • Official test scores (GRE, TOEFL, etc.). The applicant must request the testing agency to send official GRE test scores to the School of Graduate Studies. According to the Educational Testing Service:
      • GRE test scores are part of your reportable history for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30). As of July 1, 2015, GRE scores earned July 1, 2010, to the present will be available in your reportable GRE score history.
      • Scores from individuals who tested between July 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011, were purged from the GRE database in mid-July 2016.
    • Official transcripts from all colleges attended. All applicants must submit an official transcript from the school where their bachelor's degrees were obtained. This transcript must show all courses, grades and credits attempted or completed at the undergraduate level. Unless the transcript of the degree-granting institution shows the complete record of undergraduate work taken at all other schools, an official transcript from each of the other institutions must be supplied. In addition, applicants must submit an official transcript from each school where other coursework has been taken or degrees have been obtained after the bachelor's degree.
    • Waiver requests for TOEFL/IELTS/GRE: Applicants must talk to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Discipline Coordinators in their areas of interest BEFORE requesting a waiver for the official test score requirements. After talking with the Coordinators, a waiver request can be submitted in writing through the online application system as an additional document.

International applicants must submit the following additional forms:

  1. Official Statement of Finances form (Guidelines: http://info.umkc.edu/ISAO/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Admission-Requirements-Financial-Statement-Guidelines040816.pdf
  2. Affidavit of Support – if a friend of family member is providing Statement of Finances
  3. If transferring from another U.S. institution:
    1. Transfer-In Form
    2. Copy of passport
    3. Copy of visa
    4. Current I-20 or DS-2019
    5. I-94 Form

All credentials submitted in support of the application for admission to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program become UMKC property. They will not be returned to the applicants and UMKC cannot copy them for release to a third party.

The deadlines for applications to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program vary by discipline. All application materials must be received by the earliest discipline deadline. (For example, if one discipline’s deadline is February 1st and the other March 15th, then application materials must be received by the February 1st deadline.) Applicants who have not completed the Supplementary Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application (iSAP) will receive automatic emails until all required materials are uploaded into the iSAP system and the application is marked ‘Complete’ by the student. If required test scores, transcripts, recommendation forms or supplementary documentation appropriate to the applicant's discipline selections are missing at the application deadline for the disciplines, the application will not be reviewed by the faculty review groups in the specified disciplines for admission in the term requested.

An applicant can expect the review and recommendation process to take approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the latest discipline deadline. For example, if one discipline deadline is February 1st and the other March 15th, an admission decision should be received, approximately, by March 31st to April 15th. The faculty review groups in some disciplines review all applications as a group, while in other disciplines, applications are reviewed and acted upon on a revolving basis, as received. The review and recommendation process within the disciplines varies in length depending upon the disciplines' review policies.

For questions about the contents of their admission files, or to determine whether their official transcripts or test scores have been received, applicants may contact the Admissions Office (816) 235-1111 or admit@umkc.edu. International applicants may check on the status of their applications by contacting the ISAO at http://www.umkc.edu/isao/ (816) 235-1113 or isao@umkc.edu. Applicants may also contact the School of Graduate Studies, (816) 235-1161 or umkcsgs@umkc.edu for information on the status of their applications.