UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Academic Progress and Time-To-Degree Standards

Other Pages In General Requirements for Graduate Degrees

The UCSB Graduate Council has approved departmental recommended time-to-degree standards for advancement to doctoral candidacy and degree completion to ensure that students make timely progress toward completion of their degree objectives.  (See Time-To-Degree Advancement and Completion Chart.) Graduate Council has set four years as the time limit for completion of master’s degrees at UCSB.

Time-to-Degree Standards

Departments will deliver written notification to students if time standards for advancing to candidacy or completing a master’s or doctoral degree have been exceeded. The Departmental Faculty Graduate Advisor and the student's faculty mentor/advisor will consult with the student to develop an Academic Progress Plan – Time-to-Degree (signed by the faculty mentor/advisor and the student). Once Graduate Division receives a copy of the written notification and Academic Progress Plan – Time-to-Degree, the student will be on departmental progress monitoring status for the remainder of the academic year or until the milestone is completed.

For a student who has not advanced to doctoral candidacy or completed the degree after the end of an academic year on probation, the Graduate Dean will ask the department to recommend and justify (a) continued academic probation (must involve extenuating circumstances) or (b) academic disqualification.

Departments have the discretion to ask the Graduate Dean for probation or academic dismissal under an earlier time frame.

A student is not eligible for central fellowship support if they are beyond time-to-degree for advancement to candidacy or degree completion.

Performance Standard on Required Milestones or Exams

If a student fails to pass master's exams, doctoral screening, or qualifying examinations, cannot form a master’s thesis or doctoral committee, or fails to meet other departmental or University standards, the Department Chair or Graduate Advisor may recommend monitoring status, academic probation, or academic disqualification to the Graduate Dean.

As part of the written materials provided to students, departments are required to state their policy on the number of times a student will be permitted to take an exam or complete a required written product, if they do not pass their first attempt.

When considering either monitoring status, academic probation, or academic disqualification, the Graduate Dean expects documentation showing that the student received written feedback and opportunities to fulfill the unmet standard(s).