Article II. Admission, Advanced Standing and Classification

The following minimal requirements are established for general admission of undergraduate students. Certain specialized and professional undergraduate programs accept a limited number of students or have unique requirements for admission. Admission to one of the campuses of the University does not guarantee acceptance to these programs.

1. Freshman Admission to MU

Admission to MU is selective and is based on the student's probable success at the University. Admission is based upon high school curriculum and ACT/class rank combination.

  1. High school curriculum. A student planning to attend MU is expected to follow a college preparatory curriculum which includes at least 17 units of credit (1 unit = 1 year in class) as follows:

    • Four units of English, one of which may be in speech or debate. Two units, emphasizing composition or writing skills are required.
    • Four (4) units of mathematics (Algebra 1 or higher). This requirement may be satisfied by the completion of courses in middle school, junior high, or senior high.
    • Three (3) units of science (not including General Science). The three units of science must include a laboratory course and must include units from at least two of the following areas: physical science, biology, physics, chemistry, and earth sciences. This requirement may be satisfied by the completion of courses in middle school, junior high, or senior high.
    • Three (3) units of social studies.
    • One (1) unit of fine arts, to be taken in visual arts, music (e.g., band orchestra, music appreciation, music theory), dance or theater.
    • Two (2) units of a single foreign language. This requirement may be satisfied by completion of courses in middle school, junior high or senior high.

    The University seeks a heterogeneous student body reflecting diversity of race, ethnicity, age, geography, (including international students) and physical disability. Factors given prime consideration for admission to undergraduate study are an applicant's previous academic success and the quality of the record presented. Applicants who do not meet the criteria set forth in sections 1 and 2 may be considered by applying to the Director of Admissions. Additional factors considered for admissions include:

    • Extensive extracurricular activity involving school, church, or community.
    • Outstanding talent and/or abilities.
    • Number and scope of college preparatory courses taken.
    • Evidence of marked improvement over time in high school academic record.
    • Significant work experience and/or family responsibilities.
    • Supporting evidence attesting to one or more of the above in student's own hand (in the form of an essay).

2. Special Admissions Cases

  1. Early admission from high school. Superior high school students may be admitted before they have graduated from high school. There are two types of early admission:

    1. If the student has completed all of the requirements for graduation from high school, but will not receive a high school diploma until the student's class graduates, eligibility for admission will be determined by the procedures established for regular admission from high school. Certification by the high school principal or counselor that graduation requirements have been met is required.
    2. If the student has not completed all of the requirements for graduation from high school, a test score and a high school class rank must be presented. The combination of the test score and class rank will be evaluated on the basis of a standard that is higher than the standard for regular admission from high school.

    In either case, students are admitted on an individual basis and an interview may be required. The following information is required from each applicant:

    • Application for admission.
    • High school transcript.
    • Letter of recommendation from high school principal or counselor.
    • Written parental approval.
  2. Dual high school - University enrollment. Superior high school students may be admitted in a special student category for the purpose of taking one or two University courses concurrently with their final year or two of high school. Students from high schools in the local areas are served by this option. Students must submit a regular application for admission along with a special request which includes high school recommendation and written parental approval. Students are admitted on the basis of academic standards that exceed those required for admission from high school. Admissions are limited and governed by space available in, and prerequisites for, the desired course or courses.
  3. Trial admission. Graduates of Missouri high schools who do not meet the standards for regular admission from high school may be admitted on a conditional basis, in the summer session, to MU. The student must enroll in the beginning math and English courses, and if "C" grades or better are earned, the student is permitted to enroll the following semester.
  4. GED high school equivalent. An individual may apply for admission on the basis of scores on the General Education Development (GED) tests after the individual's high school class has graduated. Applicants in this category are admitted on an individual basis.
  5. Graduates of accredited high schools who have been out of high school for a number of years or for a similar reason do not have a record of rank in high school class are required to have a minimum ACT composite of 24.
  6. Admission from non-accredited high schools. Graduates of high schools which are not accredited by recognized regional accrediting associations or approved by recognized state agencies, e.g., the University of Missouri Committee on the Accreditation of Non-Public Schools, are required to have a minimum ACT enhanced composite of 24.

3. Admission of Transfer Students

[effective Fall Semester 2006; approved 2/12/04; amended 5/19/05; approved 1/24/08; amended 5/30/10]

The following minimal requirements are established for general admissions of transfer students. They do not include more stringent requirements that may be established by the faculties of the individual schools, colleges or campuses, or the requirements of special programs within some schools. It is the responsibility of the transfer student to check with the school, college, department or program concerning more specific requirements. Students from other University of Missouri campuses are accepted for transfer if they are in good standing (2.0 or better GPA); consequently they are treated as exceptions to the standards below and noted by *.

  1. An applicant* who has completed fewer than 24 semester hours of college-level work must meet MU's first-time college admission requirements, have at least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, and have completed the equivalent of either Math 1120 (college algebra) or English 1000 with a grade of C- or better.
  2. An applicant* who has completed 24 or more semester hours of college-level work is eligible for admission if he or she has at least a 2.5 GPA and has completed the equivalent of Math 1120 and English 1000 with a C- or better.
  3. An applicant who does not meet the above conditions and who has not been enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking student in any college or university for at least 5 years will be accepted for transfer with a 2.0 GPA on all coursework attempted or may apply via successful completion of 12 hours of Easy Access.
  4. The holder of the Associate of Arts degree, from a regionally accredited Missouri college, will be enrolled under the following policy: A student admitted to the university, holding the Associate of Arts degree with a 2.0 GPA or better will be accepted by the University as:

    1. having junior standing, and
    2. having completed General Education requirements.

    This action does not waive nor alter any course requirements, elementary or otherwise, that are required for the particular degree sought. Note: Admission to the University of Missouri-Columbia does not guarantee admission to a specific program unless the student has completed the requirements of a signed articulation agreement.

  5. An applicant who does not meet these standards may apply by submitting to the campus faculty admissions committee such data as the committee considers appropriate. The committee, or the Director of Admissions acting under its direction, may determine who shall be admitted.
  6. This transfer admissions policy will be evaluated at the end of five years.

4. Graduate School Admission

Standards for admission to Graduate School are determined by the Graduate Faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Current admission policies are stated in the Graduate Catalog.

5. Credit by Examination

Students may earn credit by examination at MU under the following conditions:

  1. The ACT English subscore serves as a basis for placement in English and the Missouri Mathematics Placement Test (MMPT) and the ACT math subscore serve as a basis for placement and credit.
  2. All MU departmental examinations of the objective type designed for this program are maintained, administered, scored and reported by Testing Services, with cutoff scored for credit established by the departments concerned.
  3. All departmental examinations of the subjective type designed for this program are maintained, administered, graded and reported by the departments concerned.
  4. All MU departmental examinations in this program are scheduled to assure their most convenient availability to students consistent with maximum security.
  5. Examinations in the College Entrance Examination Board's College Level Examination Program (CLEP) are accepted as a basis for credit, subject to the following stipulations:

    The CLEP general examinations:

    1. Credit on the basis of these examinations may be awarded only to those students who have completed fewer than 30 semester hours of college work.
    2. Credit to a maximum of six semester hours may be granted for each of the five general examinations completed with a score equivalent to the 50th percentile or compared to the most recent national norms.
    3. Credit granted on the basis of the general examination is subject to limitations imposed by the faculties of the divisions that offer degree programs.

    The CLEP subject examinations:

    1. A maximum of three semester hours may be granted for each semester for which the examination is designed, providing it is completed with a score equivalent to the 50th percentile compared to the most recent national norms.
  6. The College Entrance Examination Board's Advanced Placement Examinations serve as a basis for credit, with a maximum of five semester hours for each examination accepted which is completed with a grade of 3 or higher.
  7. A student who has a record of enrollment in a course will not be eligible later for credit on the basis of an examination covering the same subject, nor will a student who has received credit on the basis of an examination be eligible later for credit on the basis of either a course or a different examination covering the same subject.
  8. The program of Credit by Examination is open to all MU students who have completed fewer than 90 semester hours of college work. Exception: CLEP General Examinations are limited to students who have fewer than 30 semester hours of college work.
  9. The program of Credit by Examination is administered by Testing Services with the cooperation of the academic department and the Office of Admissions under the general supervision of the Undergraduate Dean's Group.

6. Undergraduate Classification

Classification will be as follows:

7. Graduate Classification

  1. Degree candidate. A student who has a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and who meets the admission requirements established by the Graduate Faculty may be admitted to a graduate degree program by approval of the departmental faculty.
  2. Unclassified. A student eligible for admission to the Graduate School who has not been recommended for acceptance into a degree program by a departmental faculty may be admitted as unclassified. If this student is subsequently accepted into a departmental graduate degree program by the department, the credit earned as an unclassified student may be applied toward degree requirements upon the recommendation of the department.
  3. Post-baccalaureate student. A student who has a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university but who does not qualify either for admission to a graduate degree program or as an unclassified student may be permitted to enroll in a post-baccalaureate program of continuing education. Although graduate credit will be earned by completing courses numbered 200 and above, such credit will not be applicable toward a graduate degree at MU while the student is enrolled in the post-baccalaureate program. Post-baccalaureate students who complete a minimum of nine semester hours of graduate work with grades of B or better and maintain a B average may be changed to unclassified status or, with approval of the appropriate department, transfer into a degree program.