Students who entered a PhD program in the Arts and Sciences between Fall 2002 and Fall 2010 are allowed nine years of continuous registration to satisfy all requirements for the doctoral degree.*
Students who have not completed all requirements for the doctoral degree by the end of the ninth year of registration or beyond may request a two-semester extension to finish all requirements for the degree. Note that the ninth year ends on May 31. To request this extension, a student must do the following:
- Submit a letter to the dean of GSAS that indicates all the steps he or she will take, with a timetable, to distribute, defend, and deposit the dissertation in at most two additional semesters of candidacy.
- Submit to the sponsor all chapters and materials produced to date on the dissertation, as well as a copy of the timetable referenced above. After examining the materials, the sponsor should write a letter to GSAS that evaluates the materials received, and that endorses as feasible the timetable provided.
GSAS will review the request and determine either that a) the student be allowed to remain a degree candidate as a registered student for at most to two additional semesters; or that b) the student not be allowed to continue as a degree candidate. If the extension is granted but the student does not complete all requirements for the PhD, including the deposit of the dissertation, by the stipulated date, he or she will no longer be considered to be a PhD degree candidate by GSAS.
Students who entered a PhD program in the Arts and Sciences between Fall 2002 and Fall 2010 and who have not registered continuously (and did not receive an approved leave of absence) must reapply for admission in order to return to doctoral study. Students who entered a PhD program before Fall 2002 and who have registered continuously to date should contact gsas-dean [at] columbia.edu for more information. To certify that the student's scholarly preparation remains current, the student may be required to repeat coursework taken more than ten years prior or to retake the doctoral qualifying exams (in whole or in part).
*Only those semesters in which a student has been registered are counted toward the time-to-degree limit (i.e., official leaves of absence granted by GSAS are not counted). Students who have not registered continuously (and did not receive an approved leave of absence) must reapply for admission in order to return to doctoral study.