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ECE Department Doctoral Time Limits

Departmental Time Limits

Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.S. degree from another institution are expected to complete their Ph.D. requirements a year earlier than B.S. entrants. They must discuss their program with a curriculum/research advisor in their first quarter of residence. If their Ph.D. program overlaps significantly with their earlier M.S. work, the time limits for the comprehensive and qualifying exams will also be reduced by one year. Specific time limits for the Ph.D. program, assuming entry with a B.S. degree, are as follows:

  1. The Comprehensive Exam (Ph.D. Preliminary) must be completed before the start of the third year of full-time study
  2. The University Qualifying Exam (PCTL) must be completed before the start of the fifth year of full-time study. NOTE: Passing the University Qualifying Examination by the end of your third year of study is highly recommended
  3. Normative Time Limit (NOTL): students are expected to complete requirements for the Ph.D. in six years of full-time study (five years with an M.S. degree)
  4. Support Limit (SUTL): students may not receive financial support through the university for more than seven years of full-time study (six years with an M.S. degree)
  5. Registered Time Limit (TRTL): students may not register as graduate students for more than eight years of full-time study (seven years with an MS degree)

Half-Time Study

Time limits are extended by one quarter for every two quarters of approved half-time status. Students on half-time status may not take more than six units each quarter.