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Statute of Limitations

Duquesne University has established a statute of limitations for all graduate degree programs. No academic program may establish a statute of limitations exceeding that of the University. Academic schools may however establish a statute of limitations stricter than that of the University. Students should consult with their graduate program advisor about specific program requirements.

The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that students earn degrees which represent mastery of current knowledge in the field and reflect the intense commitment to scholarship and practice necessary for advanced study in one's chosen discipline.

Consistent with School of Education policy, all Instructional Technology and Leadership doctoral students are expected to complete all degrees requirements within seven (7) years of the first date of coursework. This includes completion of all coursework, successfully passing comprehensive examinations, and successfully defending the dissertation. First date of coursework is defined as the last day of the semester in which the student was first enrolled. This provision applies to students who enter with or without advanced standing or transfer credits.

Under exceptional circumstances, a candidate may apply for an extension to the statute of limitations. An extension of time for completion of a degree may be granted only in cases where there is clear evidence of progress towards successful completion of the degree, and where the student can document an extraordinary reason for needing an extension. There is no extension for course work. The application for an extension must include a detailed schedule for degree completion. Students may apply for only one extension. Students may request an extension for up to one year.

Requests for an extension to the statute of limitations must be submitted by the graduate student to his/her advisor who then forwards the request with his/her recommendation to the program chair for its review and decision. The program chair's decision is then forwarded to the program faculty for review. The student will be notified of the decision by the department chair. An appeal for denial of the request for extension may be submitted to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research whose procedural review and decision are final.

A student who does not complete his/her degree as required by the Statute of Limitations may not apply for re-admission to pursue the same degree at Duquesne University.

The timeline for requesting an extension to the statute of limitations is as follows:

  • The student must submit the request for an extension to his/her advisor no later than the first day of class of the penultimate semester in which he/she is eligible for enrollment.
  • The advisor will forward the request for extension to the graduate committee chair OR the program director chair within 10 business days of receipt of the request.
  • The graduate committee OR the program director will review the request for extension within 10 business days of receipt of the request and the advisor's recommendation and provide that recommendation to the department chair.
  • The department chair will notify the student of the decision to allow or deny the request within 5 business days of the decision.
  • If the request is denied, the student may file an appeal for review of the decision to the School's academic dean within 10 business days of the date of the department chair's written notification.
  • The academic dean will notify the student of his/her decision regarding the appeal within 5 business days of receipt of the appeal.

The complete details of the process for requesting a Leave of Absence or Extension may be found in the School of Education Policy and Procedure Manual.