Jump to the following sections on this page to learn more about requesting extensions in your graduate programs or coursework deadlines:
- Departmental Policy on Coursework Extensions
- Program Extensions
- Policy on Extensions of the PhD Programs
- A departmental extension should be requested in case a student is unable to complete coursework by the instructor’s final deadline. The instructor must set a final deadline that will permit him or her to submit final grades by the Associate Chair, Graduate’s departmental grade submission deadline. This deadline is always several days before the SGS grades submission deadline. Thus, coursework deadline extensions require both the approval of the instructor and the Associate Chair, Graduate.
- Students may take no more than one departmental coursework deadline extension per term in the absence of significant and documented extenuating circumstances.
- The maximum departmental deadline extension will be for one month after the SGS grades submission deadline for the relevant term. For example, if fall grades are due to SGS by Jan 13, the maximum departmental extension of time to submit fall coursework will be Feb 13. The instructor may set an earlier date as he or she sees fit.
- Work submitted after the departmental deadline will receive a grade reduction of one increment (A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc.) for each week (or portion thereof) past the deadline.
- Work submitted late without a departmental extension (i.e., work submitted after the instructor’s deadline in a course for which the student has not been granted a departmental extension) will receive a grade reduction of one increment (A, A-, B+, B, B-) for each week (or portion thereof) past the instructor’s deadline.
It is the responsibility of students taking courses in other departments to inquire about those departments’ policies around extensions.
The School of Graduate Studies’ Graduate Education Council has approved changes to the rules that govern lapsed status.
Students who began their doctoral program in September 2010 or later will no longer have the option to lapse their registration and apply for reinstatement later. Instead, students can apply to extend their registration beyond the time limit for their program for up to four years. PhD students must be registered in the year prior to the year in which the extension would occur. No registration beyond the four-year extension period will be permitted.
Fees charged during this extension period will be calculated at the rate of 50% of the annual domestic fee, for both domestic and international students (plus incidentals). Academic fees for the final extension year (“Final Year PhD Fees”) will be prorated, based on 50% of the annual domestic fee for the 12-month academic year plus sessional incidentals.
PhD students who do not register after the time limit and who request an extension later, but within the four-year extension period, may be approved for extension. Students receiving approved extensions under these circumstances are subject to fee payment for extension years in which they did not register in addition to fees for the approved extension year.
Students who commenced a PhD program prior to September 2010 will be eligible to “opt into” the new extension arrangements.
Please note that all students who sign on to the new arrangements cannot go back to the old rules; for instance, they will not be permitted to lapse and seek reinstatement in the future.
PhD students who began their doctoral program prior to September 1, 2010 and do not opt in to the new extension arrangements may lapse and seek reinstatement according to the regulations of the year in which they were admitted. Students who do not opt in and seek a program extension will be assessed full-time program fees for the program extension period.
Program Extension forms are available on the SGS Student Services website:
The deadline for submission of a thesis is August 31 of Academic Year 6 for students in the four-year program, and of August 31 of Academic Year 7 for students in the five-year program. To compensate for possible delays, students should allow a generous amount of time for final consultations with supervisors and advisers and for the mechanical stages of bringing the thesis into proper form for submission to the department.
Registration beyond the deadline requires the approval of both the department and the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). A student who is unable to meet this submission deadline must apply in writing for an extension to the Graduate Assistant before August 31.
The Graduate Assistant should indicate in brief detail how much of the thesis has been completed in first draft form, what (if any) remains to be done to complete the first draft, and how much redrafting is anticipated. The department will contact the supervisor for a separate assessment of the work already done, and for an opinion about whether an acceptable thesis can be completed and submitted by August 31 of the following year. This evidence will be reviewed by the Graduate Coordinator in early September and their recommendation will be forwarded to SGS.
Extensions can be granted for either all or part of a year; but it is recommended that first extensions be for a full year.
SGS permits a candidate to have no more than 2 year-length extensions. The procedure to be followed for obtaining a second extension is the same as for the first, but a convincing case is difficult to present because of previous assurance that an acceptable thesis would already have been submitted. Students must assure SGS that considerable progress has been made during the first extension; and the supervisor must support this claim.
Students who fail to receive an extension and who thus are refused further registration are designated as “lapsed candidates” by SGS. This designation may have a negative connotation, but in fact SGS has adopted a fair policy to those who have been so classified. It is by no means a termination of candidacy. The student is entitled to submit a completed or nearly completed thesis to the department at a later time, requesting that it be accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree.
The department will then solicit an expert opinion on the thesis—the consultant may be but need not be the student’s former supervisor—and, if this opinion is that the thesis is acceptable, or virtually so, the department will then formally request SGS to revive the student’s candidacy for a period of 12 months.
The thesis must be submitted in final form within four months from reinstatement.
SGS reasons that by the end of six years in the four-year program (or seven years in the five-year program), a student will have received sufficient supervision to continue without further formal direction, and that it is now up to the student alone to produce a thesis. There is in this policy, of course, an obvious element of self-interest, for SGS is able to reduce somewhat its enormous burden of paperwork. But the policy is not inconsiderate, and it carries no financial penalty to the lapsed candidate. At present SGS sets no upper time limit for the submission of a thesis by a lapsed candidate.
When a candidacy lapses, the department’s obligation to provide further supervision ceases. However, the department will do nothing either to encourage or to discourage informal consultation between former supervisor and former candidate.