All requirements for the master's degree, including all course work on the student's study plan, normally should be completed within five years. This time limit begins with the semester of the earliest course used on the student's study plan and consists of a total of ten (10) consecutive semesters. When individual circumstances warrant, this time limit may be extended for up to two years (four additional consecutive semesters).
A student may request an extension of the five-year time limit by filing a Time Limit Extension petition with the Graduate Studies Office. The petition must contain a full explanation of the circumstances that prevented completion of the degree requirements within the normal five-year limit and must be approved (signed) by the graduate program adviser, the chair of the appropriate graduate committee and the director of Graduate Studies. Approvals for extension must be obtained prior to the expiration of the five-year limit. The Time Limit Extension Petition can be found here.
Outdated course work (course work older than the student's approved time limit; i.e., five or seven years) should be repeated. However, a maximum of nine (9) units of course work may be exempt from repetition if course content can be validated. Validation is allowed at the discretion of the graduate program adviser, the academic unit offering the subject course, and the associate vice president, . Copies of the “Petition for Validating Outdated Course Work” may be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office or by clicking here.
Validation must be accomplished by passing a written comprehensive test of the materials covered by the course being validated or by some equivalent method with prior approval of both the graduate program adviser and the associate vice president, Academic Programs. Courses completed more than ten years prior to completion of requirements for the degree are not eligible for validation. Any outdated course work that cannot be validated either because of a denial of the petition or because it is in excess of the nine units allowed for validation, must be repeated or updated through enrollment in additional Study Plan course work. If course work is repeated or additional course work is required to update, those units and grades will be added to the Study Plan.
Outdated transfer course work cannot be validated.