Petition to Extend the 7-Year Time Limit for the Doctorate

If you are unable to complete the degree within the 7-year time limit, you can ask your major professor to petition the Graduate School for an extension on your behalf. The extension may not exceed one academic year, and no open-ended extensions will be granted. You must have already completed the general examination for the petition to be considered. If medical or legal issues are part of those circumstances, documentation must be copied and/or scanned and given to your major professor in advance. Your professor must also fill out the petition form and gather all supporting signatures (or emailed statements of approval) on your behalf.

You should provide your major professor with the information below. Your professor may ask for your dissertation proposal and/or chapter drafts to verify word counts and assess the feasibility of finishing the degree within one year.

  • Has the dissertation proposal been submitted and approved?
  • Has writing of the dissertation begun?
  • What is the current word count of the dissertation, excluding references and works cited?
  • Based on these prior questions, what is the specific timeline for completing the remaining research and writing?
  • What is the proposed defense date?

Petitions must be unanimously supported by your committee, the Dean’s Representative excluded. Once your major professor has drafted the petition and confirmed unanimous support, she/he will send the petition to the departmental chair or delegate (such as the Director of Graduate Studies), who will include a brief statement about whether she/he supports the petition and confirm your current standing in the program. This statement will be sent to the appropriate college dean, who will complete a similar assessment before submitting the complete package to Graduate Student Services for a final decision to be made by the Graduate School Dean.

You will be notified of the status of the petition via email from a Program Officer once the Graduate School Dean has made a decision. That decision is final.

(Updated 1/30/17)