About Time Limits

From the Graduate Student Handbook:

A doctoral student has eight calendar years from the date of first registration in the doctoral program to complete the doctoral degree (e.g., if the date of first registration is August 2013, the eight-year time limit expires August 2021). A student admitted to a master’s program and later given formal permission to proceed to the doctoral degree has eight calendar years from the date of receipt of the master’s degree to complete the doctoral degree. Reapplication is required to continue pursuit of the degree if the eight-year limit expires.

Extension of the Time Limit
When extenuating circumstances warrant, a student in good academic standing may request one extension of the degree time limit for a definite, stated period of time (up to one year). The student must first complete the Request for Extension of Time Form and receive approval from their academic program, after which time the program’s director of graduate studies should forward a petition for extension to The Graduate School. Ordinarily, an extension of the degree time limit may not be extended.

How to Request an Extension of Time

  1. In advance of the extension period, complete the Request for Extension of Time Form.
  2. Submit the form to the Office of Student Affairs via soestudentaffairs@unc.edu, with appropriate sections completed.
  3. As these forms go through program faculty meetings for review, please be sure to submit well in advance of the requested extension time. In most instances, extensions can be processed in 30 days.