In their handbooks, graduate programs at MSU describe what it means to be in “acceptable” and “good” academic standing. Part of this is tied to timely progress: Graduate students are expected to reach various milestones within certain time limits. Units should be guiding and mentoring students toward timely progress.
As GSRR (2.4.4) states: “The time limitations for candidates seeking advanced degrees shall be made known to the graduate student at the time of first enrollment.” The Academic Programs Catalog lists the University's maximum time limits for the following milestones:
- PhD and DMA comprehensive examinations: 5 years
- PhD and DMA degrees: 8 years
- Master's degrees in the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Human Medicine, Natural Science, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine, Social Science, and Veterinary Medicine: 6 years
- All other Master's degrees: 5 years
These policies reinforce the University’s commitment to academic quality and scholarly excellence.
The MSU Graduate School acknowledges that there are unforeseen circumstances that may impede students’ timely progress. Empathy is a core value in our strategic plan: “We listen with open minds, respecting the diverse needs and aspirations of those we lead and serve.” The Graduate School, therefore, allows students who are facing unforeseen circumstances that impede their timely progress to request an extension of the University’s time limits.
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