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Requests for Extension and Appeals in Graduate Student Progress

Satisfactory progress

The progress of each graduate student is evaluated annually by the student’s advisor and/or director of graduate school. The definition of satisfactory progress and procedures for its verification may vary among departments/programs. If a department/program has instituted guidelines that differ from those applying generally to graduate students, these guidelines should be made available to students from their entrance into the graduate degree program. If a student is authorized to diverge from progress guidelines established by either the department/program or the Graduate School, this fact should be documented in written form and endorsed by the student’s advisor and DGS.


A request for an extension and an appeal are distinct processes for dealing with problems related to satisfactory progress. A request for extension is the appropriate course of action when a student has failed to meet satisfactory progress provisions of the Graduate School. The appeal process should be followed when a department/program has dismissed a student after the required probationary period.

Progress toward degree

Full-time students (those taking 9 hours or more per semester) should follow the time frames associated with degree programs discussed in the graduate catalog under master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. They must submit required forms on time and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Furthermore, they must successfully undergo their departments’ annual review processes.

Part-time students should file a timeline for successful degree completion with their departments and the Graduate School. This timeline should be endorsed by the director of graduate school and a prospective advisor by the end of the first calendar year of admission into the department/program. When these timelines conflict with time to degree guidelines laid out in the University Catalog’s policies related to master’s and doctoral degrees, they must receive the endorsement of the associate vice chancellor for Graduate School.

Request for extension

When there has been unsatisfactory progress with respect to meeting Graduate Faculty Sentate’s time to degree limits, the student may file a written request for an extension with the associate vice chancellor for graduate school. The extension must be endorsed by the department/program’s director of graduate school and the student’s major advisor and include a timeline for completion of the degree. If an extension is granted by the associate vice chancellor, the student will be given a specified period of time to meet the requirements for progress to degree. Please contact the Graduate School for more information.

Process of appeals to the Graduate Faculty Senate

Students may appeal dismissal from a graduate degree program to the Graduate Faculty Senate. An appeal to the Graduate Faculty Senate can be made only after all internal appeals to a student’s program/department have failed. The appeal must be based upon the program/department’s failure to adhere to its or the Graduate School’ published rules and regulations. A student wishing to appeal dismissal must send a letter addressed to theassociate vice chancellor for Graduate School within two weeks of dismissal. Once the intent to appeal is received by the associate vice chancellor for Graduate School, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. The associate vice chancellor for graduate school or a representative will meet with the student to discuss the situation. If, after this meeting, the student wishes to make an appeal to the Graduate Faculty Senate, he or she will submit a statement to the Graduate School describing the basis of the appeal and containing any correspondence or other documentation relevant to the appeal. The associate vice chancellor will notify the Graduate Faculty Senate, which will appoint an ad-hoc Appeal Committee consisting of five senators who are not members of the academic program involved in the appeal.
  2. The Graduate School will provide information to the student, the department/program and members of the ad-hoc GFS Appeal Committee regarding the content, process and regulations/policies pertaining to the appeal. Upon compilation of the appeal file, the associate vice chancellor for graduate school will send a copy of file materials to the members of the Appeal Committee and to the department/program. If the program/department wishes to respond in writing, its statement will be distributed to the Appeal Committee, the student and representatives from the Graduate School.
  3. A hearing will be scheduled as soon as all parties can meet: the student (and an advisor from the university community, if desired), representatives from the department/program, the Appeal Committee and the Graduate School. At this hearing, the department or program will first invite the student making the appeal to present the case discussed in the written statement. The Appeal Committee may ask questions at this point, and once its questions have been answered, will give the program/department the opportunity to defend its dismissal of the student. Following further questions from the Appeal Committee, the hearing will be adjourned.
  4. The Appeal Committee will meet to make a decision. This decision will be conveyed in writing to the student, the director of graduate school and chairperson of the department or program, the associate vice chancellor for graduate school, the Graduate Faculty Senate president and any other appropriate party named in the appeal.

Policy updated on 10/8/2007