School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Scofield Hall, 3rd Floor
711 E. 51st Street
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
Fax: (816) 235-5191
Statement of Purpose
The UMKC School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) is formed of ten academic departments and multiple interdisciplinary programs. Our majors, minors, and graduate programs support students in developing the most sought-after career skills – excellent communication, analysis, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. Students’ classroom experiences often expand into Kansas City with community-based learning and internships that lead to strong community connections and job placements.
Interactions in the classroom at UMKC form relationships that continue beyond graduation through our national alumni network. All students are a critical part of the conversation, not only as listeners but as valued contributors. We strive to cultivate an environment where diversity, equity and inclusivity are an integral part of everything we do. In the School of Humanities and Social Sciences we foster your academic, professional, and personal development and believe your needs, interests, opinions, passions, and dreams are all an important part of the equation.
UMKC’s innovative programs like the Professional Career Escalators, First Gen Roo Scholars, Multicultural Student Affairs, Honors Program, and our numerous student groups highlight the importance of tailoring each student’s experience. We believe every student deserves the tools to be successful. Whether you are entering college straight from high school, coming to us from another university, or reigniting your passion for learning later in life – we are dedicated to supporting you.
The council aims to provide an interdisciplinary body in which students can provide input on decisions and policies of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS). The council works to enhance student-faculty interaction and communication; allocate its authorized budget; and ensure that students' needs, desires and attitudes are correctly represented to the administration.
Fellowships & Awards
UMKC's Study Abroad and Global Engagement (SAGE) Office assists students who want to apply for major fellowships that support continued undergraduate study and graduate school. The SAGE website identifies an extensive list of these fellowships for both national and international study, including, but not limited to the Truman, Goldwater, Udall, Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall, Jack Kent Cooke, NSEP Boren, and Rotary. These are highly competitive awards that demand careful planning and a commitment of time and effort. All fellowships require applicants to have a high GPA. In addition, typical eligibility criteria include a record of community service, evidence of undergraduate research or original work, strong faculty references, and a commitment to future academic or public service. A number of the fellowships require an on-campus review and nomination before a candidate can move forward to the national competition. Most of these fellowships provide substantial financial support as well as opportunities for travel and specialized seminars with fellow grantees. For additional information please call (816) 235-5759 or visit https://info.umkc.edu/international/.
The opportunity to undertake independent study is offered by many departments in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) to students who qualify. Generally, the student receives the individual attention of a professor in the chosen field of study and completes a project that may involve any topic considered appropriate by that professor to the academic needs of the student. Typical kinds of independent study include: special reading topics, creative work in the humanities, research projects, performances in the arts or fieldwork experiences.
For scholarship information please visit http://shss.umkc.edu/affordability.
For more information regarding study abroad and related scholarships, please visit http://www.umkc.edu/international. Additionally, the UMKC Study Abroad Coordinator is available at (816) 235-5790.
In collaboration with International Academic Programs, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) helps make available to its students a variety of study abroad programs that provide an exciting way to add a global dimension to their UMKC education through exploring and sharing the cultures of other countries.
Study abroad programs are available for a summer, a semester or an academic year. Students can earn credit towards their degree, and with careful planning, they should lose no time toward graduation. Study abroad is affordable since financial aid and scholarships are applicable to many programs, and other grants and scholarships are available specifically for study abroad.
For more information regarding undergraduate research opportunities, please visit http://www.umkc.edu/searchsite.
Undergraduate research opportunities are available in many disciplines within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS). Interested students should speak with faculty members in their major department. When selecting a faculty mentor for undergraduate research, students should consider their own research or creative project ideas, courses they have taken, as well as faculty research interests.
90+ Program (Law)
UMKC's School of Law and School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) offer the motivated student a faster track to a legal education. While an undergraduate degree is usually a requirement for admission into law school, UMKC offers students the opportunity to start law school after completing as little as 90 undergraduate credit hours. Students then complete their undergraduate degree with law school credits. By overlapping credits, students can shorten the length of time necessary for completing their education by as much as one year.
A student's first 30 hours at UMKC's School of Law may fulfill as many as 30 credit hours of non-School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) electives towards an undergraduate degree. Therefore, if a student completes all of the general education, major, and upper-level requirements, leaving only elective credits to receive an undergraduate degree, the student may apply to the law school at UMKC.
If accepted, the student can start law school without having actually received an undergraduate bachelor's degree. The student will receive the undergraduate degree after earning the requisite amount of law school credits necessary to fulfill the remaining amount of undergraduate elective credits (up to 30 hours).
Any student who is pursuing a degree in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) may participate. The 90+ program does not guarantee admission into UMKC's School of Law. Participants must apply and otherwise qualify for law school admission by having a competitive undergraduate GPA and LSAT score.
Road to Admission
Any interested student should meet early and often with the pre-law advisor. Given the number of requirements that must be satisfied in such a short period of time, potential 90+ students must monitor their progress with great care.
There are a number of necessary tasks to be completed by the student in order to qualify for the 90+ Program:
- The final 30 hours prior to enrolling in UMKC’s School of Law must be from courses in UMKC's School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS).
- Requirements to be completed prior to enrollment at UMKC’s School of Law:
- All general education requirements
- All major requirements (and those for a minor if student chooses to complete a minor)
- 36 hours of junior/senior (300/400-level) coursework
- Application for Graduation: After earning approximately 60-75 credit hours, the interested student should apply for graduation in the Roo Advising Office (Scofield Room 9). A student will review their degree audit(s) with the pre-law advisor as well as faculty advisors in major/minor programs to confirm status towards degree completion. This should be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to starting law school.
- Letter of Interest: After applying for graduation and completing the audit review, students must contact the pre-law advisor to arrange to have a letter sent to UMKC’s School of Law stating that there is a plan in place that will allow the student to complete all requirements prior to enrolling in the law school the following fall. This process should be done during the student’s last year of undergraduate study.
Six-Year Law Scholars
The Six-Year Law Scholars Program allows high-achieving high school students to prepare for their application to UMKC School of Law through a selective cohort as part of the 90+ Program described above while earning their undergraduate degrees.
- First-time college freshmen who have a minimum comprehensive ACT score of 26 or an equivalent SAT score, and a minimum high school core GPA of 3.5 may apply for admission to this program by completing the general application for admission to UMKC.
- Six-Year Law Scholars will meet regularly with an advisor to ensure that they can complete their undergraduate requirements prior to application to early entry into UMKC School of Law.
Admission Expectations for the UMKC School of Law under the Six-Year Law Scholars Program
- Students who have completed at least 90 degree-acceptable undergraduate hours of credit may be admitted to the UMKC School of Law as long as they have completed all non-elective course work towards their bachelor’s degree.
- Competitive applicants to the Law School will have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher at the point at which the student applies to the Law School and an LSAT score that is equal to or greater than UMKC Law School’s 50th percentile of the most recent entering class (in 2017, 152).
- All candidates for this program must, during the Law School application process, complete a satisfactory interview with the UMKC School of Law Admissions Committee. Candidates must also demonstrate potential to be a successful law student and an absence of disqualifying character or fitness issues.
- Applicants must otherwise complete all the normal requirements of the law school application process, including but not limited to application through LSAC, personal statement, transcript, letters of recommendation, etc.
- Students admitted under this program must be able to document completion of an undergraduate degree prior to starting their second year of study at the UMKC School of Law.
Degree Requirements for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Junior/Senior-level Writing Intensive Course.
Upper-level (300/400 level) Writing Intensive courses are designated with WI, PW or LW following the course number.
Physical Education (PE) Credit
A maximum of 3 hours of one-credit activity courses in physical education may be applied toward the 120 credit-hour degree minimum.
Undergraduate Advising (Roo Advising)
Student Success Services
Applied Language Institute
5120 Rockhill Road; Haag Hall, Room 213
The Applied Language Institute’s (ALI) mission is to offer comprehensive English-to-Speakers-of-Other-Languages (ESOL) instruction for academic, personal or professional purposes as well as language acquisition and cross-cultural classes and seminars. In addition, the Institute aims to provide students with an understanding of U.S. cultures and values, particularly within the educational environment, while acknowledging and valuing students' own cultures and languages.
Our intensive ESOL program offers up to 25 hours of instruction per week in Listening/Speaking, Reading/Vocabulary, Grammar and Writing. Classes are small and offered at all levels of instruction from beginning through advanced. In addition, students have access to a multimedia language resource center. Our teaching and administrative staff is friendly, supportive, and understanding of the needs of international students in the United States.
Regular programs run from late August through December (Fall), January through May (Spring), and June and July (Summer). Additionally, the ALI offers a variety of specialized short-term and group programs that include language and cultural/academic education.
English Proficiency Requirement
Proficiency in English is essential to success in academic programs at UMKC. The ALI’s role at UMKC is to ensure that all non-native English speakers either already have, or have an opportunity to acquire, these necessary skills. Prior to enrollment, newly admitted ALI students and international academically-admitted students who have a TOEFL score below 100 or an IELTS score below 6.5 are required to take the CALIOPE English evaluation examination administered by the ALI. Based on their CALIOPE results, students must enroll in and successfully complete the ALI coursework indicated as necessary. For academic students, coursework is determined by the ALI in consultation with the student's academic unit.
The only international students exempted from this admissions policy are:
- Native English speakers from English-speaking countries such as Canada, England, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
- Non-native English speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (such as the United States, Canada, England, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand), provided that they have spent a minimum of two years of successful full-time study and English was the medium of instruction.
Grades and GPA
All ALI coursework is graded according to UMKC policies and is used in the calculation of a student’s grade point average (GPA).
- Academic Probation and Ineligibility
- Academic status is assessed at the end of every term, whether the student is full time or part time for that term.
- A summer session is considered the same as a semester for the purpose of determining academic actions.
- Students are notified of academic actions via their UMKC e-mail address.
- Students will be placed on academic probation if their GPA falls below 2.0.
- Once students are placed on academic probation, they have two semesters to raise their cumulative GPA to the level required (2.0 for undergraduate students, 3.0 for graduate students).
- During those two semesters, students term GPA must be at least 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students to be allowed to continue. (Note: some academic units may have higher GPA requirements.)
- Students who fail to meet the criteria as stated above will be ineligible to re-enroll without permission of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) Academic Standards Committee
- ALI students registered as pass/fail, who fail two (or more courses) during an academic term, will be placed on academic probation.
- Students who are placed on academic probation must not fail the same two (or more courses) during the following academic semester.
- Students who fail to meet the criteria as stated above will be ineligible to re-enroll without permission of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) Academic Standards Committee.
See the General Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of this catalog for additional information.