PhD Resources

Academic Status

Full-Time/Part-Time Status

Graduate students are considered to be full-time if they meet the following criteria:

  • Register for nine or more credits for any three quarters in an academic year

All other graduate students are considered part-time.

In Absentia Status

PhD candidates who have completed all coursework and residency requirements, who will not be using campus facilities, but may occasionally consult with their supervising professor, may request in absentia status. Such requests take the form of a letter from the student, with the support of the supervising professor and graduate adviser indicated by their signatures or accompanying letters. The Graduate Studies Office grants final approval. Doctoral candidates in absentia must register for one credit each term they are in this status. Doctoral candidates may not be considered in absentia during the term in which they defend their dissertation.

Leave of Absence

Doctoral students may take time off from their studies for family or medical emergency, military service or other extenuating cause. The time clock does not stop except for military service. Students will be expected to finish the degree in the normal time allotted.

Dissertation Format Review

In addition to meeting the Thesis Advisory Committee’s standards of originality and scholarly content, all doctoral dissertations must conform to university format requirements. Students should obtain a copy of the Thesis Manual from the Graduate Studies Office or from the Thesis Reviewer in 5038 MacAlister Hall.

Registration Requirements

University policy requires that doctoral students register for at least one credit in the term in which they take their candidacy exam. Those who successfully pass their candidacy exam and become PhD candidates must register for at least one credit every term until completion of the degree. Students nearing the completion of their work usually register for research or dissertation credits.

If PhD candidates are not working on campus, taking courses or otherwise using campus facilities during the summer, students may petition to take the summer off by completing the summer registration release form. This form is available in the Graduate Studies Office. With the support of the supervising professor and graduate adviser and final approval granted by the Graduate Studies Office, a doctoral student may be released from the registration requirement for summer term only.

Time Requirements for Program Completion

Time Requirements for Program Completion
Time requirements are placed on graduate programs of study to ensure that students receive instruction in, and graduate with, the most up-to-date, current knowledge available in their discipline. It is expected that all graduate students will be able to complete their degrees within the stated time requirements.

University policy provides that students who enter the PhD program without a master’s degree must complete their studies for their PhD within seven years after initial graduate registration. Those who enter the PhD program with a master’s degree in hand are permitted five years after initial registration to complete the PhD degree.

Students who find that these time requirements are inadequate due to special circumstances must discuss this with their specialization coordinator and the director of the PhD program. Together they may request an extension prior to the end of the student’s stated time limit (either seven or five years). All formal extension requests must give a reasonable time for completion with an accompanying revised plan of study. Should an extension be required, please be aware that all courses will be reviewed for timeliness; some earlier coursework may have to be repeated.

Extension requests must be forwarded, after approval by the specialization coordinator and the LeBow PhD director, to the Graduate Studies Office, which will make the final decision. The extension request for doctoral students must consist of a new plan of study and a letter of request, signed by the student, the specialization coordinator and the LeBow PhD director.