Time Limit Regulations

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The University and the College have established time limits governing various stages of the graduate student career.

Maximum Time to Count Required Course Work

Courses completed at the University of Kansas, or transfer credits from another university, are valid for a period of 10 years. Courses that were completed more than 10 years before the scheduling of the final defense may not be used to fulfill graduate degree requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

With the endorsement of their graduate programs, students may petition the College to accept out-of-date course work to fulfill the requirements for their graduate degrees, provided they are able to justify why this course work meets the current standards of scholarship in the discipline.

Maximum Time to Submit Thesis or Dissertation

The College requires that students make all final revisions and file the final version of the thesis or dissertation manuscript to UMI/Proquest within 6 months of the date of final presentation and/or defense of the thesis or dissertation work. Until the final manuscript of a thesis or dissertation is filed, the student must be enrolled in accordance with enrollment policy. Graduate students in the College who do not file the final manuscript within the 6-month time limit must enroll in 3 hours a semester until the thesis or dissertation is completed and filed.

Maximum Time to Complete the Degree

Graduate Studies has established time limits on master’s and doctoral degree completion. Please see Graduate Studies policies on Doctoral Program Time Constraints and Master's Program Time Constraints in the Graduate Studies sections of the online catalog and in the KU Policy Library for full details.

Master's degree students have a total of seven calendar years, excluding any periods of absence due to an approved leave of absence or voluntary discontinuation from a program, in which to complete the work for a master’s degree.

Doctoral degree students have a total of 8 calendar years, excluding any periods of absence due to an approved leave of absence or voluntary discontinuation from a program, to complete the Ph.D. This includes students who enter with a master’s degree from an institution other than KU and bachelor’s degree holders who bypass the master’s and are admitted directly to a Ph.D. program.

Students who complete the master’s and doctoral degree at KU have a maximum of 10 years to complete both degrees.

A time limit extension may be granted by the College.  All extension petitions require the department to prepare and file a Graduate Degree Completion Agreement, which must then be approved by a designated subcommittee of the Committee on Graduate Studies.   Per Graduate Studies policy, extensions may be granted for up to 1 year.  However, additional time may be requested in the Completion Agreement.  If the Completion Agreement is approved, subsequent petitions will receive an expedited review. 

Academic units may set their own, more rigorous time limits. Consult with your advisor and review your academic unit’s handbook and the relevant Departments and Programs section of the online catalog for program-specific information, requirements, and restrictions.

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