All requirements for a graduate degree at Southern must be completed within a period of six years prior to the granting of the master’s degree or sixth year professional diploma. The six year period begins with the semester in which the first graduate course is completed that applies to the program or the date of acceptance, whichever comes first. Graduate courses more than six years old at the time of graduation do not count toward meeting degree requirements. This includes transferred courses. If time for completion of courses in a program extends beyond six years, the student assumes the risk of having to meet new requirements. This means that both courses and programs have, at best, a six year validity. Students enrolled in the doctoral program have seven years to complete the degree.

An extension of the time to complete degree requirements may be granted only if there are compelling extenuating circumstances. To obtain an extension, a student must petition his or her graduate program adviser in writing prior to the expiration of the course or program. The graduate program dviser then forwards the petition, with a recommendation, to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. The student and the adviser will be notified in writing of the approval or disapproval of the petition. An extension of more than one year is rarely granted.

When an approved program expires, the student must reapply to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Courses that do not meet the six year validity period cannot be applied to a new program of study unless revalidated by examination. Some graduate programs permit revalidation, others do not. If the academic department has a revalidation process, the student’s current state of knowledge and proficiency in the content, methodology, and skills of each course must be determined and certified by the graduate coordinator. School of Graduate and Professional Studies’ policy does not permit revalidation of more than half of the coursework in a program. Revalidations must be approved and sent to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies before the student is readmitted. (Graduate Catalog)

Expiration Dates for Graduate Programs