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  • Time Limit for Ph.D. Degree

Normally, a student is expected to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. preferably before, but no later than within seven years of enrollment. The maximum number of years of enrollment for students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from KU is a total of ten years (i.e., from the beginning of the M.A. to the completion of the Ph.D.). The maximum number of years of enrollment for students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. from elsewhere is eight years. The enrollment clock begins with the first semester of enrollment at KU.  

Please note that while the University has put these time limits into place, students are strongly encouraged—by the department and the University alike—to make every attempt to complete the degree in advance of these limits.

In compelling cases where the Ph.D. degree has not been finished within these limits, the college has the authority to grant extensions. To request an extension, students must, in consultation with their dissertation advisor, complete and submit to the Graduate Academic Advisor, the Graduate Degree Completion Agreement. Advisors are unlikely to recommend extensions for a student who has not made satisfactory progress on the dissertation as recorded by grades for HA 999, nor is the University likely to approve such extensions.

It may be necessary for a student to revalidate or retake the Ph.D. comprehensive oral examination if it was taken more than five years before the final defense or an extension of time request.

A Ph.D. student may petition for a leave of absence (either during the pre- or post-comprehensive exam period) by filling out and submitting the Leave Of Absence form to the Graduate Academic Advisor.

Note that a student is eligible for a leave of absence ONLY if one of the following criteria describes the rationale for the request: illness or emergency; financial hardship; military leave; family responsibilities; full-time activities related to long-range professional goals

Ordinarily a leave of absence is granted for one year only, with the possibility of extension upon request. Students whose progress, especially at the dissertation level, is significantly slowed or halted for such reasons are strongly encouraged to petition for a leave of absence. A leave of absence will help a student conserve the limited period of allowed Ph.D. enrollment.

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