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Academic Policies

10. Length of the Program

The expected time needed to complete a Ph.D. Program in the Department of Geosciences is five years. We recognize, however, that the time required to complete dissertation projects varies. More advanced students who take their general examinations in January of their second year or before may progress faster. Others may be in residence for 5-6 years or occasionally longer, as dictated by the requirements of their research projects.  The department considers more than five years to be generally undesirable, and will offer no summer support to students after their tenth semester or beyond. Sponsored grant or contract funds may be used for such support, however, if they are available for the particular project.

The University has a new designation for those students that are beyond the normal time window of the degree.  The new Dissertation completion enrollment status, DCE, allows for a special enrollment for an additional two years.  More information at:

(Note: Students enrolled as DCE are eligible for Assistant in Instruction positions)