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titleIf students switch from one department to another, do they have to advance to candidacy again?

It is at the discretion of the department (student’s advisor, committee, department chair) if the student should re-advance.  Before the student is accepted into the program, it is advised that the department review the student’s coursework and research to determine if departmental standards for advancing to candidacy have been met. If it is determined that the student will re-advance, it is an internal process with the department.  The student doesn’t need to pay the candidacy fee again or re-submit an advancement form.

The student’s committee should also be reviewed and reconstituted if it does not meet departmental requirements.

titleWhat is the difference between a Time Limit Recalculation Request and a Time Limit Extension Request?

Time limit recalculation requests are necessary when the assigned time limits based on the default calculation (from when a student starts any graduate program) do not match the student’s new academic plan. These requests should be submitted at the time the student transfers from a Master’s to a doctoral program. The reasoning for a time limit recalculation is due to the transfer itself. Some examples for time limit recalculations are:

  • a student switched to the doctoral program late in the MS career so more time is needed to develop the research topic;
  • additional courses are needed because the student came from a different program;
  • a student changed advisors/research topic as a result of the switch;
  • a student completed the MS a while ago and is readmitting to the doctoral program so all the time limits are expired.

When a student is getting ready to transfer (or be readmitted) to a doctoral program, we recommended reviewing what the time limits would be based on the student's original start quarter for the MS/MA. The student’s faculty advisor should then determine if the assigned time limits are still appropriate or if the student will need more time based on the academic plan. There are 3 time limits that can be recalculated (pre-candidacy: PCTL; support time: SUTL; and total time: TRTL); a program may request a recalculation of all 3 time limits at the same time, or only for 1 or 2. If a recalculation is not needed when the student transfers, a time limit extension request can be submitted 1 to 2 quarters prior to the time limit expiration.

Recalculation requests should be submitted to the PhD Graduate Academic Affairs Advisor. Joint Doctoral Program recalculation requests should be submitted to the JDP Academic Affairs Advisor. Both are reviewed by the Senior Associate Dean.

Time limit extension requests are necessary when a doctoral student's academic progress is delayed and more time is needed. Extension requests should be submitted 1-2 quarters in advance of the time limit expiring. Some justification examples for time limit extension requests are:

  • a student changed labs/advisors;
  • a student was facing some personal or health issues which delayed the academic/research progress;
  • a student was delayed due to unexpected research results/equipment failure, or more time is needed to collect data.  

Extensions are commonly submitted for individual time limits. However, this is not always the case so extensions of multiple time limits can be considered if appropriate. Extension requests should be submitted directly to the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs for the Senior Associate Dean's consideration.

The Time to Doctorate Policy can be found at:

Joint Doctoral Programs

titleWhich campus do Joint Doctoral students enroll at?

Students in Joint Doctoral programs with SDSU enroll at both campuses during the course of their study. Students in the Joint-Doctoral program with CSUSM only enroll at UCSD during the course of their study.

For students in JDPs with SDSU, each year (typically July/August) an enrollment survey is requested asking which campus students will enroll at for the academic year.  There are 3 options:

  1. Enrolling and paying fees at SDSU only.
  2. Enrolling at both campuses and paying all fees at UCSD (not common).
  3. Enrolling at both campuses and paying all fees at SDSU.

*If a student has a break in enrollment at UCSD while taking courses at SDSU the student will need to be reactivated – please be sure to update your departmental list as soon as possible so the JDP advisor can activate the individual student’s enrollment options.