Admissions Criteria for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program

Applicants must meet both the general and the discipline specific criteria for admission and be recommended for admission by the doctoral faculty review group in at least a primary discipline (some primary disciplines require a co-discipline admission simultaneously). Upon approval by the graduate dean, students are admitted to the School of Graduate Studies. If a student is admitted to a primary discipline only, the co-discipline must be chosen and activated by the end of the first semester.

The general criteria for admission for Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program study are as follows:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (International applicants)
  • Undergraduate grade-point average of at least 2.75.
  • Graduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 or better.
  • Three letters of recommendation speaking to the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral-level work.
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended.
  • Statement of Purpose from the applicant.
  • Meet any discipline specific criteria.
  • Writing sample may be required.
DisciplineCoordinatorNotesApplication Deadline for FallApplication Deadline for Spring
Biomedical and Health InformaticsDr. Jenifer AllsworthRequires a second "supplementary" application through the School of Medicine.Rolling deadlinesRolling deadlines
Cell Biology and BiophysicsDr. Karen BameOnly Fall admissions.February 15 preferred.Discipline only admits in Fall.
ChemistryDr. Zhonghua PengApril 15 preferred.October 15 preferred.
Computer Networking and Communication SystemsDr. Sejun SongRolling deadlinesRolling deadlines
Computer ScienceDr. Yugyung LeeRolling deadlinesRolling deadlines
Curriculum and InstructionDr. Candace SchleinOnly Fall admissions.February 15Discipline only admits in Fall.
EconomicsDr. Scott Fullwiler2022-23 applications - GRE is waived. Applications received after March 1st will be considered, pending available spots in the Fall 2022 cohort.March 1st is priority deadline for the Fall 2022 session.October 15
Educational Leadership, Policy and FoundationsDr. Shirley Marie McCartherOnly Fall admissions.February 15Discipline only admits in Fall.
Electrical and Computer EngineeringDr. Ahmed HassanRolling deadlinesRolling deadlines
EngineeringDr. Ceki HalmenRolling deadlinesRolling deadlines
EnglishDr. John BartonOnly Fall admissions.January 15Discipline only admits in Fall.
GeosciencesDr. Fengpeng SunApril 30November 15
HistoryDr. Matthew OsbornFaculty sponsor required - please contact the Coordinator.January 15Discipline only admits in Fall.
Humanities ConsortiumDr. Larson PowellAvailable as a co-discipline only.January 15September 15
MathematicsDr. Noah RheeApril 1October 15 preferred.
Molecular Biology and BiochemistryDr. Karen BameOnly Fall admissions.February 15 preferred.Discipline only admits in Fall.
Music EducationDr. Joseph ParisiOnly Fall admissions.February 15Discipline only admits in Fall.
Oral and Craniofacial SciencesDr. Mary WalkerRolling deadlinesRolling deadlines
Pharmaceutical SciencesDr. Kun ChengFebruary 1October 1
PharmacologyDr. Hari BhatOnly Fall admissions.March 1Discipline only admits in Fall.
PhysicsDrs. Paul Rulis and Mark BrodwinRolling deadlinesRolling deadlines
Public Affairs and AdministrationDr. Arif AhmedNot taking applications for 2022.Please contact Coordinator.Please contact Coordinator.
Social Science ConsortiumAvailable as a co-discipline only.April 1October 30


Ready to Apply?


Admissions Procedure

All applicants are encouraged to review the requirements for the Primary and Co-discipline(s) by visiting the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. website. It is recommended that applicants talk to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Discipline Coordinators in their areas of interest BEFORE applying to the program. Discipline Coordinators offer valuable program, academic and application information.

Please read through all steps below before beginning your application!

To apply to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, visit

  • Select “Graduate” and “Start New Application”
    • There will not yet be an option to choose the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.
  • Complete the “Personal Info” section and “Continue.”
  • Within the “Academic Information” section, you will choose your intended starting semester.
    • Put a check mark as to whether you have previously enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UMKC.
    • For “Degree Program,” select “Interdisciplinary Studies Ph.D.” Two more drop-down menus will appear for you to select your discipline choices.
    • Click “Continue” after selecting your choices.
  • Complete the “Academic History.” Your official transcripts will be required for every institution listed here (exception: if you attended UMKC, you do NOT need to order the UMKC transcripts).
  • In the “Test Scores” section, each test score entered requires the official scores to be sent to the university.
  • Within “Letters of Recommendation,” you have the choice of your recommender uploading or mailing the letter. For an upload, the recommender will receive an email with a link. He/she needs to fill out the online form AND upload the letter.
    • Note that if you already have the letters in hand, you can upload them at the end of this process after submitting the application.
  • Complete the “Additional Information” section.
  • Complete the “Signature” section with your full name.
  • Review your application and “Submit” it.
    • Note: You cannot alter any information in the above steps after you click “Submit” here.
  • If you have other documents to submit, please use the next page to upload them under the appropriate categories (examples include a resume, writing sample, cover letter, or recommendation letters you already have).

To check your application status, please visit

Official transcripts should be sent directly to the UMKC Admissions Offices. Please check with the Admissions Office (domestic applicants) or the International Student Affairs Office (ISAO – international applicants) regarding the receipt of your official transcript(s). Your application cannot be reviewed until official transcripts have been received.

Test scores should be sent directly to UMKC from ETS-Institution code: 6872

Waiver requests for TOEFL/IELTS/GRE: Applicants must talk with the Interdisciplinary Ph.D Discipline Coordinators in their areas of interest BEFORE requesting a waiver for the official test score requirements. After talking with the Coordinators, a waiver request can be submitted in writing through the Application site. Upload your waiver request in a PDF format. Choose “Other” for the document type listed in the drop down menu.

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact the School of Graduate Studies at 816-235-1301 or

Additional Information

1. The deadlines for applications to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program vary by discipline. All application materials must be uploaded, and test scores and official transcripts must be received in Admission Offices by the earliest discipline deadline. For example, if one discipline’s deadline is February 1st and the other March 15th, then application materials must be received by the February 1st deadline.

2. The timeline for applicants to expect admission decisions varies by discipline. Most admission decisions are made approximately four to six weeks after the latest deadline. For example, if one discipline deadline is February 1st and the other March 15th, an admission decision should be received, approximately, by April 15th to April 30th.

3. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by mail. Newly admitted international applicants will receive necessary admission documentation by courier service from the International Student Affairs Office.

4. Admission decisions cannot be provided over the telephone.


To review the UMKC Catalog’s information for each discipline, visit: