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Six-year policy

Students should aim to graduate within approximately five years. The program recognizes however that some challenging projects may take longer. With this in mind, time-to-degree guidelines are as follows:

Students are expected to graduate within a six-year time period having met the graduation requirements. A leave of absence of up to three quarters from the program does not count toward the total number of years in the program.

If a student and his or her thesis committee do not feel the student will be able to meet the six-year deadline (August of year six), a maximum six-month extension must be requested by January of year six. (Request a petition from the graduate program administrator.)

Extensions are not guaranteed, and they require the executive committee's approval. A petition must include a detailed justification for the extension provided by the thesis committee and will only be granted when there is a compelling scientific reason or other extenuating factors that have impeded progress.

If there appears to be a need for additional time, a student may petition for a second and final extension of up to six months.