Extending Your Degree
The Graduate School sets limits for the expected time to degree for each degree level:
- The normal time allowed to earn a doctoral degree is eight years. Students who are granted credit for a year's work done elsewhere are expected to earn their degree in seven years. Doctoral students who were enrolled during the Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters have been granted an automatic extension of their time to degree to nine years. For students who matriculated in Summer 2021 and going forward, the time to degree policy returns to eight years.
- The master's degree should be earned within four years from the time the student begins the program at Brandeis University. The Master of Fine Arts candidate has five years to complete all requirements.
There are some circumstances in which students need to extend beyond these time-to-degree limits. Whenever a student approaches the time-to-degree limit, the Graduate School will initiate an extension petition process. Petitions for extensions will be sent to eligible doctoral students in the last semester of their eighth year of study. These completed petitions must be returned to the Graduate School by the date specified on the petition. PhD students may receive a maximum of two extensions; if a student does not complete the degree within ten years of the inception of full-time graduate study, they will be withdrawn from the PhD program. Students no longer eligible for additional extensions will receive a letter stating that they must finish their degree by the close of the summer term.
The tuition charges for any semesters of enrollment beyond the time-to-degree limits will depend on the student’s residency status. In most cases, doctoral students on extension will be enrolled in continuation status and charged the corresponding tuition, and master’s students will be enrolled in extended master’s status. Students will also be expected to enroll in or waive the student health insurance plan with their extended enrollment.