Time Limits for PhD degree

Time Allowed for Passing Preliminary Exams

Students must pass both written prelims by the end of the summer after their eighth semester in residence at the University.

Time Allowed for Completing Dissertation

Students must complete the dissertation, pass the final oral exam, and deposit the dissertation within five years of becoming a dissertator.

Extension Request for PhD Students

A student who continues for the Ph.D. may request an extension beyond the 6th semester or 8th semester limit for becoming a dissertator by completing a form provided by the department. The student must describe the reasons for the request and provide a proposed timetable for completing all Ph.D. requirements. The major professor must sign the request form and write comments endorsing the request. The request should be made as soon as the need for an extension becomes apparent.

The ASC may request additional documentation as needed, and the full ASC will review the student’s record and make a decision. If the ASC rejects the request, the student may appeal to the full faculty. Students who are more than two semesters late in completing their Ph.D. requirements are at risk of being placed on probation, and students who are more than four semesters late in completing their Ph.D. requirements are normally dropped from the program.

For students entering in the fall of 2011 and later, extensions to completion of the PhD requirements must be approved or the student risks losing their good standing and thus their funding guarantee as well.

Leave of Absence

Requests to take a leave of absence or to go on part-time status should be made to the Academic Standing Committee with a supplemental letter of justification directly provided from the student’s major advisor or the director of graduate studies.  An additional petition to stop the five-year funding clock may be made to ASC at the same time with justification provided from the major advisor or DGS. An approved leave of absence or part-time status for only one semester or year will generally be deemed to merit a stopped clock, but a formal request to the ASC for approval must be made. The default is that the funding clock will continue to run. For approval of leaves or reduced effort for more than one year, the petition should advance strong justifications, and in most cases a stopped clock for two years or a leave/reduced effort for more than two years will not be approved.