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Time Limitation

Time Limitation Policy

Candidates for master's degrees must complete the degree within three years of initial registration. If the degree is pursued strictly on a less than full-time basis, it must be completed within five years of initial registration, after which point the student will be withdrawn from the University.

Candidates for doctoral degrees must complete the degree by the end of PhD7. Please note that students admitted after a master’s degree are normally considered to be PhD2 and not PhD1 (direct entry). Students should contact their Graduate Program Coordinator/Administrator to confirm the number of years in which they must complete the degree.

The object of these regulations is to encourage candidates to complete their theses and qualify for their degree without undue delay.

Students who do not complete their degree requirements within the time limits stated above will be withdrawn from the University and will lose their student status and access to McGill facilities and support. International students on study permits will also be required to leave Canada.

Students can apply for readmission by completing and submitting the Request for Readmission webform only when they are ready to submit their thesis and will be charged fees for the term of readmission and any future terms of registration up to and including their term of graduation.  

The new measures will apply to all students, including those who have reached time limitation prior to Fall 2016.

Council of the FGSR - February 2, 1996; Council – January 18, 2016

Senate – April 20, 2016

Procedures for readmission

  1. The individual must complete and submit a Request for Readmission webform according to the specified deadlines for each academic term. Official transcripts from previous institutions may need to be submitted.
  2. The Unit reviews the request and, if favourable, makes a recommendation for readmission to Management of Academic Records in Enrolment Services. Please note that there is no obligation on the part of the Unit to recommend readmission.
  3. Enrolment Services reviews the request and Unit recommendation and arranges processing of the readmission request. If the request is approved, a readmission letter is issued to the student.
  4. In addition to the support of their Unit, the student must have the following to be readmitted:
    • A thesis approved by the supervisor(s) and ready for submission to GPS
    • A thesis checklist accompanied by the required documents for thesis submission (signed thesis submission form, nomination of examiners form, etc.)
  5. The student must pay fees for the new academic session according to the schedule of thesis submission.
  6. Thesis submission and examination will proceed according to normal procedures.

Interim access to libraries and electronic resources

A graduate student who is no longer registered because of non-compliance with the Time Limitation Policy, but who requires access to library or VPN resources to complete their thesis, has the following options:

  1. Use online resources in person on computers located in the libraries
  2. Access online library resources from home through VPN (provided by ICS). Access will normally continue for six (6) months after the last registered term.  The supervisor can submit a request to ICS for an individual to maintain VPN for additional time. For additional information on expiry of IT services, please consult the Knowledge Base article IT services available after leaving McGill.
  3. Obtain library borrowing privileges by bringing a letter of authorization to the library. For details. please contact the Loans Desk supervisor, Robert Selby, at robert [dot] selby [at] mcgill [dot] ca.