Time to Degree

KU monitors the time to degree of individual graduate students as well as the departmental average time to degree and sets specific limits on the completion of both master’s and doctoral degrees at KU.

  • Master’s students are required to complete their degrees within seven years.
  • Doctoral students are required to complete their degrees within eight years.
  • Students who complete the master’s degree at KU and subsequently begin doctoral studies have a maximum of 10 years to complete both degrees.

Time limits are calculated from the beginning of the first semester of enrollment. For example, a master’s student who began his or her program in Fall 2000 must complete his or her degree by the end of Summer 2007.  

Students who complete a Master's degree, leave KU or their program, and then return at a later date to complete a doctoral degree in the same department still have a combined maximum of 10 years to complete both degrees. Any period of time between completion of the master's and start of the doctoral program will not be calculated in the time to degree.  For example, a student who completes a terminal master's degree in History in three years, leaves KU after graduation, and then applies to the History PhD program two years later would be allowed up to seven years to complete the doctoral degree upon re-admission. Again, this is only true for degrees obtained in the same department.  Time to degree is calculated separately for degrees obtained in different departments. 

With the approval of his or her department, a student may petition for an extension to the time limit.  The student would then be required to work with the adviser to prepare a Graduate Degree Completion Agreement.  Please consult with your department for more information on petition requirements. 

Related Policies and Forms:

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College Office of Graduate Affairs

Morgan Swartzlander
Graduate Student Services Manager
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