Time Allowed for Completion of Degree

Time to degree completion is an important part of the integrity and quality of graduate programs.  In general, graduate students at UHM must complete all degree requirements within seven years after admission to their programs. An approved leave of absence of up to two semesters is not counted in the seven years. Returning UHM graduate students who are readmitted to the same graduate program for the same degree objective are subject to degree requirements at the time of readmission.  Rules for time allowed for degree completion were changed, effective Fall 2011.  Students who enrolled prior to Spring 2011, should contact Graduate Student Services.

Master’s Program

Time to completion is typically two years with full-time enrollment. Effective Spring 2015, academic probation will be placed on a student's record at the beginning of the 8th year, rather than at the end of the 5th year. However, this does not preclude a graduate program from requesting an academic probation action if they deem appropriate, sooner than year 8. Failure to complete the degree by the end of the 8th year will result in the student being subject to dismissal. Approved leaves of absence do not count toward these time limits.

By this policy, if at the end of year seven more time is needed for completion of the Master's degree due to circumstances beyond the student's control, and the student has completed all of the degree requirements except the thesis or capstone experience, an extension may be requested. To request an extension, the student's graduate chair submits a petition to the Office of Graduate Student Services. If the program does not support the extension, the student will be dismissed.

The extension request should provide a timeline for completion that includes the expected graduation date and the reason(s) necessitating the extension.

Doctoral Program

Time to degree is typically four years with full-time enrollment. Effective Spring 2015, a doctoral student who has not advanced to candidacy after five years will no longer be placed automatically on probation. Academic probation would occur at the beginning of the 8th year instead. However, this does not preclude a graduate program from requesting an academic probation action if they deem appropriate, sooner than year 8. If the student does not file a Form II by the end of the first semester of the 8th year, the student shall be dismissed. The probation notice will be rescinded if the student completes the degree within ten years.

A doctoral student who has not completed his/her degree after seven years will be placed on probation (i.e., at the beginning of the eighth year the student automatically will be placed on probation). The probation notice will be rescinded if the student completes the degree within ten years. Students who do not complete the degree within ten years are subject to dismissal. Approved leaves of absence do not count toward these time limits.

If at the end of year ten more time is needed for completion of the doctoral degree due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, and the student has completed all degree requirements except the dissertation, an extension may be requested. Similarly, if more time is needed for advancement to candidacy due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, an extension may be requested. To request an extension, the student’s graduate chair submits a petition to the Office of Graduate Student Services. If the program does not file for an extension, the student will be dismissed.

The extension request should provide a timeline for completion that includes the expected graduation date and the reason(s) necessitating the extension.