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Master's and Specialist Degree Time Limits and Course Currency

Time Limitations
Master’s and Ed.S. degrees must be completed within five (5) years from the student’s date of admission for graduate study.  Courses taken prior to admission to the USF graduate program, for example as non-degree seeking or from other institutions that were transferred in, can be no older than seven years at the time of graduation.  Master and Ed.S. degrees (including dual degree programs) that require course work in excess of 50 credit hours may be granted a longer statute of limitations by the University Graduate Council.

Time Limit Extensions
In the event that a student nears the end of the time limitation as specified above, but the student needs more time to complete the degree, the student may submit a request for an extension using the Time Limit Extension Request Form, available on the Graduate School website

Requests must include:

  • the reasons for the delay in completion,
  • the anticipated time needed for completion,
  • endorsements from the graduate faculty advisor, graduate program, and College Dean or designee,
  • a detailed plan of study and timeline for the remaining requirements for the degree
  • Editor’s note — for the time limit extension procedures, if the time limit extension will cause courses taken or transferred into the program to be older than 7 years, then a request for course concurrency may be required or the courses may be invalidated toward the degree requirements, per the time limit policy.

If approved, the time limit extension also applies to courses applied toward the degree. However, programs may require additional or repeat coursework as part of the condition of the time limit extension. Students who exceed the time limitations may have their registration placed on hold until a request for extension has been approved.Only one time limit extension request is permitted.

Students who are temporarily unable to continue the program should submit a Leave of Absence Request, which extends the time limit for the duration of the approved Leave (see the section on Leave of Absence in the Enrollment Requirements section.)

(From the 2012-2013 USF Graduate Catalog)


Course Currency
Coursework used to fulfill degree requirements, including transfer coursework, must also meet the University’s stipulated time limits. Approved currency statements are required for all courses that have exceeded the University’s stated time limits.

The Course Currency form can be found here.



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