MPS Graduation Requirements

  • Advisor Approved Program of Study
    • Lists classes to be counted towards the degree
    • Generally submitted in first or second semester
    • Six of the courses must be at the 700-level
  • Seminar Report Form (Research Requirements)
    • Submitted along with the research paper, also called "seminar paper"
    • Used to notify the Graduate College when the research paper has been received and approved
  • Comprehensive Examination Application
    • Submitted at the beginning of the semester in which the exam is to be taken
    • Used to notify the Graduate College when the exam has been passed
  • Application to Graduate
    • Complete the online Apply for Graduation form located under the Student tab, My Graduate College channel, in My Missouri State.

Advisor Approved Program of Study

The Advisor Approved Program of Study is a document that lists the specific courses you will need to complete in order to meet the requirements for your graduate degree. The Program of Study needs to be submitted to the Graduate College before 14 credit hours have been completed.

  • The Advisor Approved Program of Study is available for download here.
  • List the courses you intend to take to meet the degree completion requirements. In some cases you might have to estimate when you think a course will be offered. At least 6 of the courses must be at the 700-level. Only three courses can be from the College of Business. Refer to the Graduate Catalog for a complete listing of course requirements (
  • Submit the completed form to your advisor for signatory approval. The form will then be forwarded to the Graduate College for final approval.
  • You will receive a copy of the approved Program of Study from the Graduate College for your records.
  • If changes need to be made to the original Program of Study, complete and submit a Request for Change of Advisor Approved Program of Study.

Research Requirements and the Seminar Report Form

The MPS research requirement consists of two separate but closely related requirements: (1) completing a 3-credit hour research methods course and (2) submitting a final research paper or project.

Methods Course

You are required to complete a 3 credit hour, graduate level course in research methodology. The course may be taken on campus or online from any accredited university with advisor approval. Your academic advisor will assist you in making an appropriate choice for your Option Area and career path. This course should be taken early in your program of study to prepare you for subsequent graduate course work. The course that was specifically developed to satisfy this requirement for the MPS program is COM 718 Applied Communication Research Methods. There are other research methods courses being offered online and on campus that may be equally appropriate for you. If you are pursuing the Sports Management option you are required to compete KIN 733 Current Problems in Sports Administration to satisfy the research methods requirement.

Research Requirement

MPS graduate students will demonstrate research competency by producing a paper or project that is associated with completion of one of the four option area courses. Sports Management students are required to submit a copy of the paper produced for KIN 733. This does not mean that you complete a separate formal research project like a thesis or seminar paper. Submit a Seminar Report Form and a final copy of the paper as evidence of your scholarship. Please have the instructor of the course sign the report form.

Papers/Projects Description. Whatever you choose to use to satisfy the research requirement should be something you have already completed or are in the process of completing for one of your option area classes. Most graduate level courses require some sort of formal paper or class project to complete the course. The paper should be at least 15 pages in length and must contain a minimum of 15 references. The paper must be your own original work. It cannot be the result of a group effort. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Example 1. An MPS candidate who works in a Human Resource department was asked to revise the organization's policy and procedures manuals on Affirmative Action. This was a topic studied in PSY 776 Personnel Selection and in COM 617 Communication and Diversity in the Workplace. The candidate revised the documents and then wrote a paper that explained how changes in the document were influenced by the courses completed. A copy of the organization's revised manuals plus a formal paper constituted the candidate's research.
  • Example 2. An MPS candidate who works for a large software company in New Jersey completed COM 736 Communication in Organizations. The final project in the course involved an analysis of an organization's culture. This student chose to analyze his own organization. To satisfy his research requirement, the student took the paper he did for his course, made the corrections that were suggested and submitted the completed paper.
  • Example 3. An MPS candidate was very interested in community issues, especially a local controversy concerning water quality. The candidate saw a connection between what was going on in her community with COM 611 Communication and Conflict. For her class research project the candidate conducted a detailed analysis of the controversy and prepared an action plan that could be used to better manage the conflict that was developing on this local issue. The finished paper satisfied a course requirement and the MPS research requirement.

All papers submitted as evidence of original scholarship must conform to one of the following style manuals: the most recent editions of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), or The Chicago Manual of Style, or the Modern Language Association's Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (MLA).

Comprehensive Examination

You must complete an application to take the comprehensive examination. The application is available on the Graduate College website under Forms.

DESCRIPTION: The comprehensive examination is a test designed to assess your mastery of the material comprising your Option Area. It is recommended that you take this as soon as you have completed your option area classes. You must answer one essay question from each of the four courses that comprise your Option Area. You must inform the MPS Program Director which courses are being tested, and the professors who taught the courses. This can be done via email. The Program Director will request questions from professors on your behalf. It is highly encourage to ask your examining professors for advice on how to prepare for the examination.

DATES: The deadlines for fall/spring semesters are shown in the table below. However, students are encouraged to initiate and complete these steps prior to the deadline to allow greater flexibility in scheduling. At any point after the test is ready, the student can select the seven days over which he/she answers the questions (Note: Before the deadlines)

Deadlines Fall 2016 Semester Spring 2017 Semester
Submit Comprehensive Exam Application form to the MPS Program Director by: Oct. 3 Mar. 6
Submit List of courses/instructors to be included in the exam to the MPS Program Director by: Oct. 3 Mar. 6
Last date to begin examination (to ensure full 7 days): Nov. 14 Apr. 10
Last date to return the exam to the Program Director for grading: Nov. 21

Apr. 21

Summer administration of the Comprehensive Exam may be possible on a case-by-case basis. Students interested in this possibility should contact the Program Director.

ADMINISTRATION: The examination will be administered at a distance by the MPS Program Director. You will receive your exam via email on the date you select (prior to the deadline). You will have seven days to compose your answer for each of the four questions. You must return all exam questions as instructed by the Program Director within allotted time.

EVALUATION: Each answer will be evaluated by the professor who wrote the question. Each professor will have seven days to evaluate your answer and determine if you have "passed" or "not passed". In some cases, when an answer is insufficient, the professor will ask for it to be expanded/edited prior making a pass/not-pass decision.You must receive a "pass" on all four questions to successfully complete the entire comprehensive examination. If you receive one or more "not pass", you have not successfully completed the examination. You are eligible to retake the examination for any question(s) you did not pass on your first attempt. You must wait until the next semester to retake any of your questions. This gives you time to consult with your examining professor and to prepare to retake your question(s). If you do not receive a pass on your second attempt, you have not successfully completed all requirements for the degree and the degree will not be awarded. This is university policy.

For additional information about the comprehensive examination, contact the Program Director, Dr. Gerald Masterson.