For historical reasons, deadlines are reckoned in semesters (regular academic terms). One year equals two regular terms, and the deadline clock does not advance during the summer. Thus, for example, a student whose prelim deadline is recorded as Spring 2018 will actually have until the last day before Fall 2018 to meet this requirement.
Initial deadlines are set during the first GAC meeting. Exceptions must be petitioned by the student to the GAC Chair before the deadline has elapsed.
Three years (6 regular terms) from time of entry are allotted for finishing the qualifying process.
A later extension of one regular term to complete the breadth requirement may be granted to students who have passed the qualifying exam, provided the student commits to a concrete plan for completing the breadth requirement by the extended deadline, and the dissertation advisor is supportive.
If the student is granted an extension to the qualifying deadline, the preliminary deadline is also automatically extended.
A further extension of up to two regular terms may be granted provided the student commits to a concrete plan for completing the preliminary process by the extended deadline, and the dissertation advisor is supportive, confirms willingness to direct the student towards the PhD degree, and states that the student is making good progress towards that degree.
In order to receive an extension, a student may be required to take another preliminary examination.
Deadline extension for childbirth and adoption
A graduate student in good standing may request a deadline extension of one regular term when he or she experiences childbirth or adoption. The extension does not extend the funding guarantee by the Department.
The extension is available for each birth or adoption, to each parent, both males and females, and without regard to sexual orientation.
To obtain the extension, the student must email the GAC Chair and the dissertation advisor (if any) within 12 months of the date of birth or adoption. The GAC Chair checks that the conditions are met and, if so, automatically grants the extension.
For the purposes of this regulation, graduate students are considered in good standing if they are not dismissed, suspended, or on probation, and if they did not fail the conditions for satisfactory academic progress for the term prior to the child birth or adoption.