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Request a program extension (ThM & PhD)
Request a program extension (ThM & PhD)
Myranda Scherschligt avatar
Written by Myranda Scherschligt
Updated over a week ago

When you are approaching your program time limit of six years (ThM) or seven years (PhD)*, and you realize you will not be able to finish your work in your final year, it is possible to apply for a single extension.

What is the deadline to submit an extension request?

You should submit your extension request no later than September 1st of the acadmeic year that you are supposed to graduate (I.e. if you are supposed to graduate in May 2025, you should submit your extension request by September 1st, 2024). However, if you realize you will not be able to complete your work after this point, you must submit an extension request at least two weeks prior to your project submission deadline (for PhD dissertations and ThM Theses) or before the first day of your final semester. Please reach out to student success directly at if you have questions or concerns about these deadlines.

How many times may I request an extension?
There is only one extension allowed, but that extension may be for one or more years. Your new deadline should be realistic and tailored to your unique situation.   

How many more years can my program be extended?
This will be proposed by you and agreed upon by your advisor and your field committee. International students are limited to an extension of one year only with documentation from the student's advisor on the academic circumstance necessitating extension.

How do I submit my petition?
Submit your petition to the Registrar using this form. They will forward your petition to your advisor. Our team will then bring your petition to the field committee for review at the next meeting.

What happens if I cannot complete my work by the revised deadline?
If you are unable to complete your degree requirements by the extended deadline, you will be administratively withdrawn from the program without opportunity for re-entry. In cases of extreme hardship, exceptions may be considered.

What's next after it's approved?
If your request is approved, you will receive notice from the Registrar and a digital form to sign, which lists the revised deadline. That document then becomes part of your student file.

What happens if the request is denied?
Depending on the nature of individual cases, if your extension request is denied, you will either be given until the normal submission deadline for the year in which you expect to graduate, or be withdrawn from the program.

Contents of your petition

  1. Your proposed year of graduation

  2. A timeline for how you plan to complete your work

  3. A brief justification for the requested extension


If you have any questions about this process or policy, please email or call 215-572-3841.

*PhD students who began their program prior to the 2018-19 academic year have a total of eight years to complete their program, since they have been grandfathered from the previous time-limit policy.

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