Graduate Time Limit for Degree Completion Policy

Graduate Time Limit for Degree Completion Policy


School for Graduate Studies


Director of Graduate Student Services


Graduate Studies



Effective Date:


Review Date:


Implementation History:

This makes official our practice of many years.


Graduate, Time, Limit, Completion, Degree

Background Information:


To specify the time period for the completion of a graduate degree (master/certificate) and how to request an extension.



The graduate program (masters and/or certificate) must be completed within six years of initial enrollment.  If a student exceeds the six-year time limit, s/he may be permitted to continue if:

  • the head of the student’s program approves continuation, but courses which are older than six years will not be counted toward the degree; or
  • a waiver of the six-year rule is granted by the dean of the School for Graduate Studies. The student needs to make this request in writing and in consultation with his/her academic advisor and program chair/coordinator. The dean will consider the request based upon factors such as special hardship, excellence of work and closeness to completion. The request for a waiver may be sent to the dean at Graduate_Dean’

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

  • Graduate Minimum Study Policy
  • Graduate Leave of Absence Procedure

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.