University College

Located in the UMKC Student Success Center

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Dr. Kim McNeley; Vice Provost

Dr. Andrea Carr; Career Development Specialist

General Information

What is a University College?

University College is an administrative structure that coordinates the overall academic experience of incoming exploratory/undecided students and continuing students in transition between majors. University College is a portal to the ultimate academic unit in which the student will be granted a degree.

Exploratory or Transitioning Student

Exploratory students are students that are simply not ready to select a major, whether at the time that they enter UMKC or after realizing their initial decisions regarding a major are not what they want.  Nationally, a large percentage of students entering colleges and universities are unsure of their academic plans.  Estimates indicate that as high as 70% of students change their major at least one time during their academic careers. 


Our mission is to offer every exploratory or transitioning student the opportunity for success through the engagement with faculty and staff, the development of educational plans, the clarification of academic and career goals, and the understanding of the skills developed through UMKC Essentials.

The University College will contribute to the University through the development of a focused community of staff, students, and faculty with a shared responsibility for each student’s achievement of advising goals and progress toward degree completion.

Explore, Network, and Decide

Exploratory students are expected to take an active role in their education through systematic exploration, networking, and active decision making.  UC student success teams will provide a supportive environment for this approach. UCollege student success teams will be made up of: the Vice Provost, Career Development Specialist, University College Instructors, Peer Academic Leaders (and other peer mentors), and key UMKC Staff Members. 

Cross-Campus Collaboration

The mission of University College is impossible without a multidisciplinary participation and collaboration among all undergraduate academic units.  Students in University College explore academic options across the University. Faculty and staff selected to support students through the exploratory process are purposely drawn from a breadth of disciplines. Close collaboration between UCollege and all academic units is critical to the successful exploration and ultimate transition of students to their most appropriate academic homes in one of UMKC’s schools.  

Academic Advising

Exploratory Advisors and UCollege Staff will partner with each student in the development and completion of educational goals; will provide cross-college academic advising and connections with potential academic units, and will facilitate ongoing support and evaluation of each student’s progress.

Engagement Expectations

  • Fostering Academic Success
    Exploratory Advisors and UCollege Staff will partner with each student in the development and completion of educational goals. Exploratory Advisors will provide academic advising and connections with potential academic units, and facilitate ongoing support and evaluation of each student’s progress.  Students are required to regularly engage with their UCollege Team and Exploratory Advisor for Strategic Planning, Enrollment Planning, and End of Term check in sessions during each term (at a minimum). 
  • Registration Approvals
    All University College students are required to secure an UCollege approval to register for classes.  To gain this approval, students must fully participate in enrollment advising expectations set by Exploratory Advisors and UCollege Staff prior to enrollment.  This advising may include contact with other academic units and/or the completion of additional assessment so that course selection may be optimized. 
    Students’ registration must include enrollment in a least one course led by a University College instructor each semester. The appropriate University College seminar and UMKC Essentials curriculum may be administratively added to students’ enrollment to ensure that students are making purposeful progress toward major selection.
  • Declaration of Major
    All UCollege students are required to complete process of a Declaration of Major with the appropriate academic unit and the University Registrar.
    All UCollege students will be advised of the advising process of the academic unit to which they are transitioning.


  • Enrollment for Term
    Students must enroll in all required courses and make appropriate selections from optional courses as discussed and documented in their enrollment advising meeting.
    All UCollege students should complete enrollment, prior to the first day of classes.  All changes to courses approved during enrollment advising should be confirmed by Exploratory Advisors and UCollege Staff.
    All UCollege students on academic probation are required to complete enrollment prior to the first day of classes.  After this day enrollment holds will not be lifted, and therefore no enrollment will be permitted for the term.
  • Adding/Dropping a Class
    Additions of courses after the first week of classes are deemed unusual and typically negatively impact students’ ability to succeed.  Students wishing to add/drop after the published deadlines must petition UCollege for an exception to normal academic policy.  Forms submitted after the published deadlines must be accompanied by an appropriate, approved petition.
    All UCollege students on academic probation are required to complete all courses required by their Exploratory Advisor and documented in their enrollment advising.

Academic Status Related To Grade Point Average

Undergraduate degree-seeking students' 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 the following regulations:

  • In general, students will be placed on academic probation whenever their official UM grade-point average falls below 2.0 (C average). First time college freshman admitted to UMKC on the basis of high school records, who have grade-point averages between 1.50 and 1.99 at the end of the first semester of either full- or part-time study will be placed on academic warning. Students on academic warning must achieve an overall 2.0 average by the end of their second semester or be placed on regular probation.
  • Students on academic probation will be restored to good standing whenever the UM grade-point average reaches 2.0 or the GPA level established by their academic units.
  • Students on academic probation must remove themselves from probation within three successive semesters (including the semester in which they originally were placed on probation). Otherwise they are ineligible to re-enroll without the approval of the academic units.
  • Students are responsible for knowing their academic status by referring to Pathway and their permanent transcript.
  • UMKC students transitioning from an academic unit into University College will be reviewed under the above stipulations.  Students on probation or dismissed (ineligible to re-enroll) from another UMKC academic unit may be admitted into University College under contracts.  In order to be admitted into University College, the student must submit a Petition for Exception including an Academic Recovery plan.  This petition must be approved prior to the first day of the term.

Dean’s List – Term Performance

The Dean’s List is a recognition of excellent academic performance. Students must complete a minimum full-time program of 12 graded hours to qualify for the dean’s list with a minimum of a 3.5 grade.

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here:

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students participating in the program will:

  1. Identify and engage with relevant faculty, staff, and community contacts to further career and major exploration;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the value of UMKC Essentials and the relevance of this knowledge and skills to their academic and career goals;
  3. Demonstrate how to effectively access and interact with academic information sources (Undergraduate Catalog, Pathway, PlanMyDegree); Identify and utilize appropriate campus resources and opportunities that can contribute to his/her educational experience, goals, and campus engagement (i.e. Writing Studio, UMKC Tutoring, Peer Academic Leadership Program, and Career Services);
  4. Identify broad areas of his/her academic interests, skills, and values as a step toward major & career selection;
  5. Develop short- and long- term academic plans and initiate proactive steps toward completion; Identify and comply with relevant academic policies, processes, and procedures related to advising, course planning, and major exploration;
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the value of workplace and community diversity;
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the value of thorough and ongoing personal assessment, balanced with timely decision-making as components to career planning;
  8. Demonstrate factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trends) gained about career decision-making and development;
  9. Develop knowledge of specific skills, competencies, and points of view needed by professionals in the fields in which they hold interest; Demonstrate how to effectively utilize information sources related to possible career options (i.e. Handshake, O*Net, Occupational Outlook Handbook U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Faculty and field informational interviews);
  10. Use written and oral communication to discover, develop, and articulate plans, ideas and viewpoints regarding career and major choice;
  11. Address and interpret evidence gained from multiple sources including self-assessments (interests, skills, values), course experiences/grades work volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities, and other experiences;
  12. Define challenges and develop solutions in choosing a major/career path;
  13. Develop a personal portfolio which includes a realistic plan to reach career and major goals.

University College Requirements and Regulations

Progress Toward Decision:  Admission/Declaration

Hours Completed

  • During the term in which the completion of 45 hours credit hours of acceptable college work occurs and admission requirements have been met, students will complete the administrative process of transitioning to the ultimate academic unit in which their degree will be granted. Declaration of major and/or admission processing must be completed by 20th day of the following term.
  • Students transferring into UMKC with greater than 45 hours of acceptable college work will be required to meet all admission requirements during their initial Fall or Spring term at UMKC.  Declaration of major and/or admission processing must be completed by 20th day of the following term.
  • Students unable to make a decision regarding their major by the guidelines noted above must provide a plan for the upcoming academic semester and/or requirements and petition University College for permission to continue.
  • Purposeful/Required Course Enrollment to Support Decision-making
    • All University College students will enroll in the appropriate level University College seminar course(s) during both Fall and Spring semesters. These courses are: GEFSE 101(designated Exploratory Sections),UNIV 102UNIV 202.
    • Early and continuous enrollment in the appropriate UMKC Essentials courses, as well as, mathematics courses as required depending upon the student’s selected exploratory Major Academic Pathway (MAP). 
    • A grade of C- or higher is required in UNIV 102UNIV 202GEFSE 101 First Semester Experience, ENGLISH 110 ENGLISH 110ENGLISH 110 ENGLISH 225, and/or MATH (100 or 200 level) courses. 
    • Critical courses will be designated for each plan of study based on academic unit recommendations. 
    • Required courses for each enrollment term will be determined by the student’s Exploratory Advisor and UCollege Staff based on the student expressed academic interests.

University College Requirements focus on the completion of the UMKC Essentials that build foundational skills required for all fields.  Students select one of five exploratory Major Academic Paths (MAPs) and utilize both UMKC Essentials and specified Major Critical Courses to explore and identify their optimal academic plans (degrees, majors, and minors).  Options linked below highlight these exploratory course options by Major Academic Pathway (MAP).

Major Academic Pathways

UCollege students will focus their exploration using Major Academic Pathways (MAPs) that group majors with shared interests, skills, and similar career outcomes together.  Students will work with Exploratory Advisors and UCollege Staff to identify relevant MAPs to support their curricular and exploratory choices.  See a brief description and exploratory curriculum for the five MAPs below:

Arts and Cultural Studies

This MAP houses the majors at UMKC that have a focus on creative and expressive disciplines.  Individuals with interests in visual and performing arts and/or languages, writing, and literature are encouraged to explore these fields.

Human Behavior, Education, and Justice

Students will find areas with an emphasis on people (across the life-span, individually, and in groups) in this MAP.  Those curious to understand and impact human’s thoughts, actions, emotions, learning, relationships, and communication from various perspectives are invited to evaluate these majors.

Business and Management

The data driven understanding of the business and the financial world drives the majors in this MAP.  Students seeking opportunities to engage in areas related to management, marketing, entrepreneurship, and accounting may find interest in these disciplines.

Numbers, Engineering, Technology, and the Cosmos

Majors with an emphasis on physical, structural, and mathematical understanding are housed in this MAP.  Students with a desire to engage in fields related to technology, Earth and the Universe, engineering, and physics may be curious to explore in these areas.

Natural and Health Sciences

This MAP has a foundation in physiological, chemical, and biological processes.  People seeking opportunities in health care (patient care, administration, promotion, and prevention), laboratory science, and scientific industries may find a fit in these fields.

Roo Advising