2.4 Dissertation Completion Time

Students are expected to complete their dissertations and apply for their degrees within six years.

If a student has not completed the degree at the end of the seventh year, the program may grant a one-year extension. The program must submit notice of this extension to the Dean, no later than August 1 of the seventh year (before the eighth year). The notice must contain a completion timeline signed by both the student and the dissertation committee chair or co-chairs. Students who enroll for this extension year will be responsible for some tuition, as detailed in Financial Information - 2.2 (A).

If a student has not completed the degree at the end of the eighth year, the student may continue work for at most one additional academic year and only with approval from the Dean. To obtain approval, the program must submit a request to the Dean no later than August 1 of the eighth year (before the ninth year). The request must:

  • Outline the reasons the student has not completed;
  • Consider whether the student needs to repeat any part of the qualifications for candidacy or obtain approval of a new dissertation prospectus; and
  • Present a detailed completion timeline signed by both the student and the dissertation committee chair or co-chairs. Students who enroll for this extension year will be responsible for some tuition, as detailed in Financial Information - 2.2 (A).

Effective Date

This policy is effective starting fall semester 2017. It applies to all students who started their programs in the fall semester of 2017 or later. Students who started before then remain covered by the policy in effect when they first enrolled, reproduced below.

Below is the previous policy [labeled 1.1.1(K) in 2016-17 Handbook], applying to students who started their degree programs prior to the fall of 2017. Download previous LGS Handbook (2016-17)

Extension of Time to Complete Requirements for the PhD

A student must complete all requirements for the PhD, including the dissertation, within eight years of admission to advanced standing. Extensions beyond this period will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances and as described below.

  • The student must submit a written request to his/her program prior to the end of the term in which the eight-year limit is reached, allowing the program sufficient time to consider this request fully. This request must state the circumstances that make an extension necessary and must describe a plan and schedule for completion of remaining degree requirements. Any subsequent requests for extensions will be expected to detail progress according to this plan and to justify any modifications proposed.
  • Programs may grant a maximum of 3 one-year extensions. The program will notify in writing the Dean of the Laney Graduate School of each extension granted or denied, and forward to the Dean the student’s written request and the program’s official response. Students not on official extension will have their enrollment blocked or risk having their registration cancelled.
  • The program, at its option, may require re-examination or other demonstration of the currency of a student’s preparation beyond the eight-year limit.
  • A student beyond the eight-year limit who fails to obtain an extension from his/her program, or who exhausts the extension granted without completing requirements for the degree, will no longer be considered a degree candidate. No request for an additional extension of time will be considered except by application to the Dean of the Laney Graduate School, and none will be granted except in extraordinary circumstances. When the program requests extraordinary extension, the decision and rationale on re-examination must be communicated to the Laney Graduate School, along with the extension request.

A student on an extension may not request a leave of absence.

Last modified: 8/7/2017