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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 8A: Maximum Time Limits for Completion of Doctoral Degree

Most students enrolled in doctoral degree programs at WSU require 4-6 years for completion of their program. The Graduate School recognizes that part-time students may require a longer completion period.  The maximum time allowed for completion of a doctoral degree is 10 years from the beginning date of the earliest course applied toward the degree. As appropriate, departments may request an extension of this time limit as described in Chapter 6.F.

Each program for a doctoral degree is considered individually. In all cases, requirements for the degree, including defense of the dissertation, must be completed within three years of the date of the satisfactory completion of the preliminary examination. However, the courses on the Program of Study remain valid only for 10 years from the earliest date of the course(s) applied toward the degree. It is imperative that students work closely with their programs to develop a timeline for completion that successfully accommodates both of these deadlines. At least four months must elapse between preliminary and final examinations for doctoral degrees.

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