To The Top
Academic progress relates to the sequence of knowledge and skills you will gain throughout the course of your graduate career.
Progress can be marked by the milestones included in academic process but also involves many evaluations of your knowledge and skills in both formal and informal ways. It is critical that you are continually making academic progress.

The Office of Graduate Studies requires all master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral students to submit an annual report of academic progress. At a minimum, the Office of Graduate Studies requires students to report on:

  • Academic Progress
  • Completion of Required Forms
  • Awards and Honors
  • Conferences Attended
  • Presentations
  • Publications
  • Service Activities
  • Creative Activities
  • Funding Activities
  • Assistantships and/or Fellowships
  • Employment
  • Job placement

Academic program faculty or administrators may require additional indicators of performance or achievement to accommodate the needs of their programs. Faculty mentors (advisors) are required to review their advisees’ annual reports to assess satisfactory progress toward degree completion. The director of graduate studies and/or department chair/director may also review student progress.

The definition of satisfactory progress and procedures for its verification may vary among departments/programs. If a department/program has instituted guidelines that differ from those applying generally to graduate students, these guidelines should be made available to students from their entrance into the graduate degree program. If a student is authorized to diverge from progress guidelines established by either the department/program or the Office of Graduate Studies, this must be documented in written form and endorsed by the student’s advisor and DGS.

If at any point in your graduate program you feel you are not making progress or have questions about how your program or the Office of Graduate Studies understands your progress, please contact your program’s director of graduate studies or an academic advisor in the Office of Graduate Studies. Please also take advantage of various services and resources that the Office of Graduate Studies and academic colleges make available to serve students.

Satisfactory Progress

The definition of satisfactory progress and procedures for verifying satisfactory progress may vary among departments and programs. Each department/program should have a written definition on file in the Office of Graduate Studies, and this policy should be communicated to graduate students during the first semester.

Academic process and academic progress are closely related aspects of a graduate education at the University of Missouri. It is important to know what these concepts mean and how they interact as you make your way through your graduate program.

Academic process might be seen as a series of milestones that mark your graduate career.

Grading & Credit

Graduate Student
Academic Progress

Both your program and the Office of Graduate Studies require that you maintain a reasonable rate of progress. Academic progress begins with matriculation into a program and concludes with the awarding of a degree or certificate.

Reasonable rate of progress is governed by both the campus-wide policies of the Graduate Faculty Senate and academic program regulations, which may be more restrictive. Dismissal on account of failure to satisfy the rate of progress policies is handled by a Request for Extension.

 

Doctoral Student
Academic Progress

A doctoral student must successfully complete the comprehensive examination within a period of five years, beginning with the first semester of enrollment as a doctoral student.

In addition, the program for the doctoral degree must be completed within five years of passing the comprehensive examination. Individual departments or area programs may stipulate a shorter time period.

Time spent in the armed services will not count toward the five-year time limit.

For an extension of this time, the student must petition the Office of Graduate Studies by submitting a request to their advisor, who in turn submits a written recommendation to the Office of Graduate Studies that has been endorsed by the department, division, or area program director of graduate studies.

Learn More

Master’s, Educational Specialist, and Certificate Student Academic Progress

The programs for the master’s and educational specialist degrees and graduate certificates must be completed within a period of eight years, beginning with the first semester of enrollment in the program in which the student is accepted. Individual academic programs may stipulate a shorter time period.

Time spent in the armed services will not count toward the eight-year limit.

For an extension of this time, the student must petition the Office of Graduate Studies by submitting a request to their advisor, who, in turn, submits a written recommendation to the Office of Graduate Studies that has been endorsed by the department, division, or area program director of graduate studies.

Learn More