PhD Admissions

General Admission Requirements

Applicants should complete the University of Missouri’s Graduate Application by February 1 for full consideration for admission in the fall. Earlier applications are encouraged. The program is full-time, and no online options are offered.

Strong applicants have a demonstrated record of academic accomplishment, intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for discovery and a general understanding of the demands of a doctoral program. Work experience in business, management, research or similar endeavors is very welcome but not required.

Click here to read general MU graduate school admissions requirements

Prior to making admissions decisions, we encourage candidates to meet with faculty and current doctoral students. Please contact the department PhD Coordinator with questions.


Language Proficiency Requirements For International Students

All non-native English-speaking applicants are required to provide proof of English language ability.

Click here to see minimum English language proficiency test scores required for graduate admission to MU.

Every non-native speaker of English must have sufficient oral-English proficiency before taking on a teaching position. The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) provides an on-campus, computer-assisted assessment called the MACCS (Mizzou’s Assessment of Classroom Communication Skills). ITAP offers the MACCS each month except June and provides additional testing dates at the end of each semester. The assessment result is as a proficiency level from one to four.

Some non-native English-speaking applicants may be exempt from the English language requirement.

Click here for Language Proficiency Test Waiver requirements.

Program-specific admissions requirements

The School of Accountancy admits two students per year to the PhD in Accountancy program. International applicants are considered for admission, but only if they have evidence of strong English-language skills and have either studied or worked in an English-language setting. International applications from individuals who do not meet these conditions will not be admitted into the program.

Criteria for admission includes a record of outstanding prior academic performance, a minimum GMAT score of 700 and strong letters of reference. Prior graduate study and work experience are highly desirable. Students admitted to the program normally have an accounting background and some professional work experience. However, applications from highly qualified applicants without work experience and with backgrounds in other fields may be considered. Before an admission decision is made, the PhD Policy Committee requires a campus interview to ensure a good match between the program and the applicant's background and career goals.

Language Requirements for International Students

To be a competitive applicant for the School of Accountancy doctoral program, international students must demonstrate very strong English proficiency, and are unlikely to be admitted unless they have a score of 28 or higher on the “speaking component” of the TOEFL exam, or a score of 8.5 or higher on IELTS exam.

In addition, if admitted to the program, international students are required to achieve Level 3 on a language-screening test administered by the University’s International Teaching Assistant Program by the end of their first year in the program, and Level 4 by the end of their second year in the program. Failure to achieve Level 3 and Level 4 on this timeline will result in the immediate loss of the financial support package from the School of Accountancy (including tuition waiver). Note that a TOEFL speaking score of 28, or a score of 8.5 on IELTS will automatically satisfy the LEVEL 4 requirement.

To maintain the high quality of the program, we only admit PhD students on a full‑time basis to the PhD program in finance. Competitive candidates typically have strong GMAT scores, letters of reference that indicate likelihood of success in a Ph.D. program, and at least three semesters of university-level calculus. A graduate degree in business, economics, engineering, or statistics is desirable, but not required. Feel free to contact the Ph.D. Coordinator if you have any questions about applying.

Language Requirements for International Students

Graduate students need a minimum score of three on the ITAP MACCS assessment before they can work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Department of Finance. Admitted students are encouraged to enroll in one or more of ITAP’s oral-language workshops so that they can achieve the required level of language proficiency (i.e., 3P or 3 on the official scale) by the end of their first year in the PhD program.

The Department of Management does not specify a minimum GMAT or GRE score, but applicants must have taken one of those two tests for admission to the PhD program in management.

Management Language Requirements for International Students

International students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 80, with sub-scores of 17 in each category. A score of 100 is preferred. 

Admission to the PhD program in marketing is selective. Candidates typically have a GMAT score of at least 650 (or GRE equivalent), with satisfactory aptitude in both verbal and quantitative elements, and a GPA of 3.3+ in junior, senior, and graduate coursework. Those with a GMAT score of less than 600 (or GRE equivalent) should not apply. An MBA or research-focused graduate degree is strongly preferred, but not required.

Strong applicants have a demonstrated record of academic
accomplishment, intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for discovery, and a
general understanding of the demands of a doctoral program. Work experience in
business, management, research, or similar endeavors is welcome and desirable
but not required. It is strongly preferred that students whose native language
is not English either have lived for several years in an English-speaking
country or have a baccalaureate or graduate degree from a university where the
instructional language is English.

Language Requirements for International Students

The marketing PhD program accepts only the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) or the IELTS English language proficiency scores. Scores are considered valid by MU Graduate Studies for 2 years from the test date. MU Graduate Studies also requires electronic reporting of IELTS examination scores.

To be considered for admission, applicants must score a minimum of 61 on the iBT or 6.5 on the IELTS. In addition, applicants are expected to achieve subsection minimums of no less than 17 on iBT or 6.0 on IELTS (subsections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing). International students who have completed a graduate degree in an English-speaking country will be expected to meet these minimum requirements. Waivers will be granted only for exceptionally strong English proficiency.

Students teaching during their program must meet the minimum MACCS requirements for the university. Failure to demonstrate sufficient proficiency according to ITAP guidelines prior to the beginning of the third year in the marketing program and any other requirements as specified in the offer of admission letter will result in the loss of the financial support package from the Trulaske College of Business and the Department of Marketing, including tuition waiver.