The following general campus regulations pertain specifically to the master's degree. Master's students also should refer to Graduate Academic Regulations earlier in this catalog section for regulations common to all graduate degrees at UMKC and to specific degree program requirements in other sections of this catalog.

Advisor/Supervisory Committee

Upon admission to a graduate program, a student seeking a master's degree will contact the appropriate department chairman of the College of Arts and Sciences or the graduate officer of the professional school or program. This person will assign the student an advisor who is a member of the graduate faculty. When research and a thesis are degree requirements or the student has selected a thesis option, the Arts and Sciences department chair or the school's graduate officer will appoint two additional faculty members to serve on the graduate student's supervisory committee. The chair and a majority of the members of a master's student supervisory committee must be full members of the graduate faculty.

Qualifying Examination

If required, a qualifying examination must be passed before a master's program is filed with the graduate officer. The department or school will notify students of the time and date of the examination. The results of the qualifying examination will be reported to the registrar. With the approval of the advisor and the supervisory committee, if such exists, students may take the qualifying examination a second time.

Master's Degree Program of Study

In consultation with the advisor or the supervisory committee, the master's student plans a program of study in accordance with the minimum requirements listed here and the specific degree requirements listed elsewhere in this catalog. Forms for specifying individual programs of study are available from the principal graduate advisor or graduate officer of each academic unit. Students should file this program of study with the departmental principal graduate advisor (College of Arts and Sciences) or the graduate officer in their academic units before 60 percent of the coursework applicable to the degree is completed. In the College of Arts and Sciences, the principal graduate advisor secures required departmental approval and forwards the program of study to the graduate officer of the college.

After the proposed program has been approved, as required by the academic unit, the unit's graduate officer will distribute copies of the program of study to the registrar, the student's advisor or chair of the student's supervisory committee, the principal graduate advisor (Arts and Sciences) and the student.

The approved master's degree program of study must include a minimum of 30 graduate credits. No more than 40 percent of the credits on the program may be 300- and 400-level courses. At least 60 percent of the credits must be at the 5000 level or higher. Further, up to six credits may be allowed for Research and Thesis (5599). Other demonstrations of skills considered by the department or school as comparable to the thesis may be accepted. No more than 40 percent of the courses applied toward a master's degree program of study may be in the non-thesis research, directed studies, readings or research and thesis categories. Such courses normally fall in the 5500 to 5599 range, but the numerical designations may vary among academic units.

Program Changes

Subsequent changes in the program of study must be approved by the student's advisor, the supervisory committee and the appropriate dean or department chair. The graduate officer will inform the registrar of such changes. If cumulative changes in courses or degree requirements exceed four, a new program of study should be filed.

Dual Degree Programs at the Master's Level

Dual-degree programs allow students to simultaneously pursue degrees at the master's level in two fields of study. Students must complete at least 80 percent (rounded up) of the credit hours required for each degree separately. Students must satisfy admission, course and examination requirements of both degree programs.

Transfer Credit Policy for Master's Degrees

A maximum of 20 percent of the graduate credit hours appearing on the program of study (rounded up) may be transferred from a recognized graduate school for a master's degree at UMKC. Such transfer credits must meet with approval of the student's supervisory committee and appropriate principal graduate advisor (College of Arts and Sciences) or graduate officer and be in accordance with all of the following criteria:

  1. The coursework must be:
    • Offered by an accredited school.
    • Applied toward a graduate degree at the host institution and taken for graduate credit.
    • Approved by the appropriate graduate faculty.
  2. A grade of B (3.0) or higher for 300- and 400-level courses and C (2.0) or higher for 5000-level courses or other courses restricted to graduate students only must have been earned. (CR or P will be accepted on receipt of a statement from the institution where credit was received of letter grade equivalent meeting grade standards as stated above.)

Transfer credit may be allowed for correspondence courses, provided the credits meet the criteria outlined in 1 and 2 above. Transfer credit will not be accepted for research and thesis/dissertation hours (defined by UMKC), travel experience or work/life experience. Foreign university transfer credit must meet the above criteria as attested by the registrar.

A majority of the coursework applicable to any graduate degree at UMKC must be completed at UMKC. UM traveling scholar credits are not considered transfer credits. However, the sum total of credits from other UM campuses, and other transfer credits (not more than 20 percent of the total credits) cannot exceed 14 credits on a 30-credit master's degree program, or a proportional equivalent (approximately 46 percent) on programs exceeding 30 credits; and must be within the limits stated above.

A student who has been awarded a master's degree at UMKC or another regionally accredited graduate school may petition the faculty to apply up to six hours of graduate credit earned on the first degree toward meeting the requirements of a second master's degree. Credit, so approved, not from UMKC will be subject to all preceding transfer credit criteria.

See the sections on specific degree programs for requirements pertaining to transfer credit for educational-specialist and doctoral degrees.

After approval of the program of study, graduate credit may be earned at another institution only with prior approval of the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Forms to request such approval are available from the Registration and Records Office. A current catalog of the institution where the course is to be taken or an official catalog description of each course must be attached to the request form. The official transcript for such work must be forwarded to the Registration Office upon completion of the course.

Final Master's Competency Examination

The final master's competency examination, if required, will be written, oral or both at the discretion of the school or department, and will be passed no later than three weeks prior to the anticipated date of graduation. Students will submit a request for the examination to the advisor no less than two weeks before the examination is to be taken. The candidate's supervisory committee chair will report the results of the final competency examination in writing to the candidate and to the principal graduate advisor (Arts and Sciences) or graduate officer, who will then inform the registrar.

Thesis Definition

A thesis is a process that results in an original composition that involves quality work and creativity. This may include definition of goals or research questions, a review of the existing literature or background information, collection of data or information to present as results, and a discussion of results and findings, and citations.  The research and final document should be of appropriate scholarly quality, as judged by the thesis committee.

Thesis Preparation and Approval

For regulations pertaining to thesis preparation and approval, the reader is directed to Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Approval Process, included under Graduate Academic Regulations in this section.

Final Thesis Examination and Supervisory Committee Approval

The format and procedures of the final examination in defense of the thesis are determined by the supervisory committee and its chair. This examination may not be administered when UMKC is not officially in session. The defense of the thesis is approved when a majority of the supervisory committee members recommend approval and sign the Report of the Result of Final Master's Thesis Examination form and the committee approval page in the thesis.

Within 48 hours of the defense, the supervisory committee chair shall report the results of the final thesis examination in writing to the candidate and to the departmental principal graduate advisor (Arts and Sciences) or graduate officer, who then informs the registrar.

Deposit of Approved Thesis with Libraries

For regulations pertaining to deposit of approved thesis with libraries, refer to Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Approval Process, included under Graduate Academic Regulations in this section.