Graduate credit, offered by a regionally accredited school, earned before entering a UMKC doctoral program may be applied to the doctoral degree if it is of acceptable quality and appropriate to the student's program of study as determined by the student's academic unit and supervisory committee. The total amount of graduate credit earned from all other academic institutions before admission to a UMKC doctoral program and applied to the doctoral degree cannot exceed half the number of credit hours, exclusive of dissertation research credits, required for the degree. For graduate coursework completed at UMKC prior to admission to a doctoral program, any number of credit hours required for the doctoral degree, exclusive of dissertation research, can be satisfied using previous UMKC graduate credit if approved by the student’s academic unit and supervisory committee. All graduate coursework, completed prior to admission and not used to earn the master's degree or educational-specialist degree, must be no more than seven years old at the time the doctoral program of study is approved.

After admission to the doctoral program, if a student wishes to take graduate coursework at another institution and apply it to their doctoral program, the student must receive written approval from the doctoral program's graduate officer and from the student's supervisory committee chair, as appropriate, before the coursework is taken. Such coursework is not considered as transfer credit. Upon completion of the coursework, the student must have the official transcript forwarded to the UMKC registrar.