Academic Policies & Procedures

Graduate (All Students)

Time Limitations and Academic Deadlines

Students are responsible for knowing the following time limits and academic deadlines.

  • Maximum Time Span Between Admission and Initial Registration Initial registration for courses must occur within two years from the date of the submission of the application for admission. Applicants who surpass the two year maximum must reapply if admission is desired.
  • Maximum Time Span Between Initial Enrollment and Master's Degree Completion All requirements for a master's degree must be completed within six calendar years after initial enrollment in course work.
  • Maximum Time Span Between Initial Registration and Completion of All Courses and the Qualifying Examination A student registered in a doctoral program must satisfactorily complete all course work and the qualifying examination within five years after the date of initial registration.
  • Maximum Time Span Between Passing the Qualifying the Examination and Dissertation Submission The time limit for completion of the doctoral dissertation (including the dissertation defense and submission of the dissertation) is seven years from the date of passing the qualifying examination. Requalifying for candidacy is required if the dissertation is not completed within the seven-year period. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the termination of candidacy and of the student's enrollment in the degree program. Any student whose candidacy lapses will be required to apply for reinstatement before further work toward the degree may be formally done. (See also the section of this bulletin titled "Dissertation Completion Within Seven Years.")
  • Minimum Time Span Between Passing the Qualifying Exam and Degree Conferral The date on which a student's Ph.D. degree is awarded must be at least eight months after the passing date of the qualifying examination.
  • Minimum Time Span Between Research Committee Approval and Dissertation Defense A Ph.D. candidate may not defend the dissertation until at least six months have passed following University Graduate School approval of the membership of the student's research committee. Items which must be submitted together to request approval include: a completed form entitled, Nomination of Research Committee for the Ph.D.; an research project abstract; and a signed form indicating approval for any use of human or animal subjects.
  • Minimum Time Span Between Applying for Graduation and Degree Conferral At least six months before the expected date of graduation, candidates for master's degrees must file an Application for Graduation in the School of Public Health - Bloomington records office in SPH 115. The Application for Graduation Form may be found online at Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must file a similar application with the University Graduate School, Kirkwood Hall 111. Failure to file this application by the proper time may result in failure to graduate at the expected time. The responsibility for checking degree requirements rests with the student.
  • Doctoral Dissertation Progress-Level Required to Apply for Graduation Doctoral students who wish to participate in the May or December Commencement exercises must have completed the data-collection phase of the dissertation research by the deadline date for filing the graduation application. Arrangements for Commencement regalia are to be made with the Indiana University Bookstore in the Indiana Memorial Union. Diplomas will be mailed to the graduate's permanent address on file at the Office of the Registrar. Allow approximately eight weeks following the date of graduation for the delivery of diplomas.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: I am completing my master's degree in the therapeutic recreation, distance education program. I have skipped some semesters due to professional obligations. It looks like I will not complete my master's degree within the six year limit. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Is it possible for me to earn my degree now?
Answer: Schedule a meeting or a telephone conversation with the executive associate dean to ask for an exception to this rule due to the nature of the distance education program.

Question: I forgot to apply to graduate six months before my desired graduation date. Can I still apply?
Answer: Yes, you may still apply for graduation. When you have satisfied both requirements of applying for graduation, and finishing your degree requirements, our records office will certify your degree at the first opportunity. However, applying late for graduation may result in an omission of your name in the graduation ceremony program. If the application comes in extremely late, it could result in a later graduation date than you desire.

Question: If I plan to complete my requirements in August, but I wish to attend the graduation, commencement ceremony in May, what do I do?
Answer: Apply for August graduation, but attend the May graduation commencement ceremony. All students graduating between January and August are invited to participate in the May graduation commencement ceremony. All students graduating between September and December may participate in the December graduation commencement ceremony. Just be sure to apply six months before your expected graduation date.

Academic Bulletins