Taking a Gap Year

The University of Missouri allows admitted, domestic applicants to delay their first-year application for one year. A student who is approved to take a gap year does not need to submit a new application to the Office of Admissions or pay an additional application fee.


Domestic, first-year applicants who are admitted for the fall semester and have accepted their offer of admission by May 1 of their senior year may contact the Office of Admissions to request a gap year. A gap year can only be granted from one fall semester to the following fall semester. Students may also request a gap semester instead of a full year. If your gap is longer than one year, you’ll need to submit a new application for admission and pay any accompanying fees.

Students can request a gap year for the following reasons:

  • Military service
  • Unique travel or work opportunity
  • Cultural enrichment opportunity
  • Illness
  • COVID-19 related issue
  • Other (please let us know the specific circumstance)

Important note: you cannot take a gap year to enroll in another college or university or participate in a program that earns college credit. If you obtain college credit during a gap year, you must reapply as a transfer student. Submitting a gap year request acknowledges that you will not earn credit elsewhere.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

If approved to take a gap year, you will retain first-year admission status. You will be reconsidered for any automatic merit scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions using the scholarship criteria and dollar amounts being used for the financial aid year in which you are enrolling. Scholarship awarding criteria and dollar amounts are subject to change. Students who have been awarded a department-specific scholarship need to contact that academic unit’s office directly to learn their gap year policies.

If you take a gap year, you will need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the new financial aid year. If the gap year request is approved, all financial aid awarded through the Office of Student Financial Aid for the original term will be canceled. Financial aid is awarded separately for each aid year, and it may change year to year based on the information provided on the FAFSA and the FAFSA filing date. You should file the FAFSA as early as possible to maximize your financial aid eligibility.

How to Apply

  1. Accept your official offer of admission online through your Application Status Page
  2. Email the Office of Admissions at mizzouapp@missouri.edu with the following information:
    • Your first and last name
    • Your MU Student ID number
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • What semester you’re deferring your enrollment to (i.e. what semester do you plan to come to Mizzou after your gap)
    • The reason you want to take a gap year or gap semester
  3. Make sure your final high school transcript is sent to the Office of Admissions at the end of your senior year

Once we have received and reviewed your gap year request, we will notify you via email whether your request has been approve or denied. If your request is denied and you still wish to take a gap year, you will need to re-apply for admission for the following academic year.

If Approved for a Gap Year

If you are approved for a gap year but have changes to your application information (enrollment at another institution, criminal disclosure, academic misconduct disclosure, etc.), you must contact the Office of Admissions to update your application information. The Office of Admissions must receive a final high school transcript showing your high school graduation date and confirm that no post high-school college enrollment exists in order to approve enrollment eligibility for the future academic term.

You may also request a gap semester instead of a full year.

Failure to follow the guidelines established in this policy can result in the loss of first-year status, scholarships or admission to the University of Missouri.