Program Duration

Program Duration Schedule

A Program Completion Period is the normal timeframe during which a graduate student is expected to complete their graduate program. The following table outlines Program Completion Periods for graduate students at the University of Guelph, as defined by Class Level1.

Students whose progress has been delayed due to extenuating circumstances and who seek to continue beyond their Program Completion Period and/or beyond Maximum Program Duration may reference the below subsections.

Program Duration schedule for Master's, DVSc and PhD students with FT (Full-time), PT (Part-time), and DE & T (Direct entry and transfer from a master's program or DVSc to the PhD) status.

Program Completion Period 2 Plan of Study & Progress Report to A&P by end of the semester Continue with approved Plan of Study Second Plan of Study & Progress Report to A&P by end of semester Continue with second approved Plan of Study to Maximum Program Duration Maximum Program Duration. To apply for an extension submit: Appeal for Extension of MPD to A&P by end of the semester
Master's-FT 6 (6 FT semesters) 7 8, 9 n/a n/a 9
Master's-PT 4 (12 PT semesters) 4.3 (13 PT semesters) 4.6, 5 (14, 15 PT semesters) n/a n/a 5.0 (15 PT semesters)
DVSc-FT 9 (9 FT semesters) 10 11, 12 n/a n/a 12
DVSc-PT 6 (18 PT semesters) 6.3 (19 PT semesters) 6.6, 7 (20, 21 PT semesters) n/a n/a 7.0 (21 PT semesters)
PhD-FT 12 (12 FT semesters) 13 14, 15, 16 16 17, 18 18
PhD-PT 8 (24 PT semesters) 8.3 (25 PT semesters) 8.6, 9, 9.3 (26, 27, 28 PT semesters) 9.3 (28 PT semesters) 9.6 10 (29, 30 PT semesters) 10 (30 PT semesters)
DE&T-FT 16 (16 FT semesters) 17 18, 19, 20 20 21, 22 22
DE&T-PT 10.6 (32 PT semesters) 11 (33 PT semesters) 11.3, 11.6, 12 (34, 35, 36 PT semesters) 12 (36 PT semesters) 12.3, 12.6 (37, 38 PT semesters) 12.6 (38 PT semesters)

Class Level is the cumulative total of full-time and part-time (if any) semesters valued at 1 and 0.3 for each, respectively.


These Program Completion Periods apply to all programs, unless a specific program has received approval from the Board of Graduate Studies for a different period. Students will be advised about their Program Completion Period in their offer of admission letter.


If a student transfers from full-time to part-time within the Program Completion Period, the number of part-time semesters remaining in the Completion Period will be twice the number of full-time semesters remaining. If a student transfers from part-time to full-time within the Completion Period, the number of full-time semesters remaining in the Completion Period will be half the number of part-time semesters remaining. The number of semesters between the revised Completion Period and Maximum Program Duration is the same for both full-time and part-time students.

Doctoral Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology completion will be granted an exception recognizing the additional year of internship. Expected Completion Period will be 15 full-time semesters with a Maximum Program Duration of 21 full-time semesters.

Continuation Beyond the Program Completion Period

Graduate students who do not complete their graduate program within the prescribed Program Completion Period will be notified early in the next semester that subsequent registration will require submission of a Plan of Study. The student, in consultation with the advisory committee, will be asked to submit the Plan of Study to the Admissions & Progress Committee (A&P) via the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS) before the end of the semester of notification. On approval of the Plan of Study by A&P, master's students may continue up to Maximum Program Duration. Doctoral students may continue for up to three semesters, after which a second Plan of Study and progress report must be submitted to A&P to continue up to Maximum Program Duration.

If the student and the advisory committee do not submit the Plan of Study as required, the student will be withdrawn from their graduate program, and must apply to A&P for readmission. A Plan of Study will be required as part of the application for readmission.

Appeal for Extension Beyond Maximum Program Duration

Students who do not complete their graduate program by the end of Maximum Program Duration will be withdrawn from the program. Students who are withdrawn must apply for readmission.

Students who wish to appeal the requirement to withdraw and request an extension beyond Maximum Program Duration must submit an “Appeal for Extension of Maximum Program Duration” to A&P. The appeal form must be submitted before the end of the semester of Maximum Program Duration, and must include the following documentation:

  • An approved Plan of Study for timely program completion, signed by the student, the faculty advisor, the Graduate Program Coordinator, and the other members of the student's advisory committee
  • An indication of the progress made since submission of the previous Plan of Study
  • A recommendation from the Graduate Program Committee or Department Chair/ School Director
  • A recommendation from the Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies of the college

Note: If the student, faculty advisor, and members of the student's advisory committee are unable to agree on a Plan of Study for program completion, the Graduate Program Coordinator shall provide a letter commenting on the feasibility of the Plan of Study provided by the student.

In considering a request for an extension, A&P shall review all departmental Student Progress Reports submitted to date. (As per existing policy, such reports shall have been provided to the student each semester via their advisor.) For students in course-based programs that do not provide Progress Reports, a supporting letter from the Graduate Program Coordinator will be required and provided to the student with an opportunity for comment.

A&P will grant or deny the request for the extension based on all the documentation provided. Where A&P supports the request, it may also provide advice and recommendations on the proposed Plan of Study.

Should the student fail to complete the graduate program within the approved extension period, the student shall be withdrawn for failure to complete.

Decisions of A&P may be appealed to the Senate Committee on Student Petitions. Such appeals will include an examination of all relevant documents and evidence used by A&P in making its decision. Information on the procedures for submitting appeals to the Senate Committee on Student Petitions are set out in the regulations included in the bylaws for the Senate Committee on Student Petitions, available on-line at or through Student Judicial Services at (See “Appeals of Decisions” for more information.)