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PhD Comprehensive Exam Extension

What if I cannot complete my Comprehensive Exam by the deadline?

Under extenuating circumstances, students may petition for an extension to the time limits for completing the Comprehensive Examination. Petitions are to include proper documentation and justification of the reason for the extension request. Students who wish to petition on the basis of medical grounds, must register with AccessAbility Services and provide them with all required medical documentation. Medical documentation is not to be provided to the Department. AccessAbility Services will determine if the medical condition justifies an accommodation. Petitions must include the following:

  • Summary of accomplishments
  • Plan and timeline for program completion
  • Extenuating circumstances

The PhD Comprehensive Request for Time Limit Extension Form must be approved by the Supervisor(s), Department, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Students who do not meet the required timelines and do not submit a request for extension or submit a petition and it is denied, will be required to withdraw from the program.

Extenuating circumstances are normally limited to issues related to the student's (or student's immediate family's) health or documented incidents involving graduate student supervision that can be demonstrated to have delayed the student's progress. The conduct of research or other projects is not considered a valid extenuating circumstance to delay beyond the normal comprehensive examination completion deadline

If the petition is granted, the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies shall coordinate with the student's Graduate Officer to establish a new deadline by which the comprehensive exam shall be completed. This deadline shall be communicated to the student in the notice of decision on the petition.

If no petition has been previously adjudicated, and the student fails to meet these requirements by the end of the seventh term, the student's academic status will be changed to Required to Withdraw. Students may seek to have their standing changed to allow them to continue in their program by submitting a petition under Policy 70 to the student's Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, not later than 10 business days from the change of status. 

The extension form will be due each term to your department coordinator: 

  • Spring: April 15 
  • Fall: August 15 
  • Winter: December 15