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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 which exceeds those of the University. Academic schools may establish a statute of limitations which is stricter than those 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.

All requirements for master's-level degrees must be completed within a period of six years from the date of initial registration. This provision applies to students who enter with or without advanced standing or transfer credit. Doctoral programs must be completed within a period of eight years from the date of initial registration.

Under unusual circumstances, graduate students may request one Leave of Absence. Graduate students may request a Leave of up to one year. Requests are submitted to the department who then forwards a recommendation to the school Dean. The Dean makes the decision about the Leave and his/her decision is final. A Leave of Absence does not count towards the Statute of Limitations. Re-admission of a student following a Leave of Absence is granted automatically.
Under exceptional circumstances, a candidate for an advanced degree 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 being granted an extension. The application for an extension must include a detailed schedule for degree completion. Students may apply for only one 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 student's graduate committee. If a graduate committee does not exist, then the request is submitted to the departmental faculty for its review and decision. 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 School's academic dean whose review and decision are final.

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 department chair within 10 business days of receipt of the request
  • The graduate committee OR the departmental faculty will review the request for extension within 10 business days of receipt of the request and the advisor's recommendation
  • The department chair will notify the student of the decision to allow or deny the request within 5 business days of the graduate committee's OR departmental faculty's 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.

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.