Maintaining Good Standing

Good Standing & Satisfactory Progress

You are required to remain in “good standing” in your graduate program and to make “satisfactory progress” toward the completion of your degree requirements.

You are in good standing when you maintain the requirement of minimum grade performance in course work and successfully complete written and oral examinations, among other degree requirements.

Satisfactory progress refers to the speed and timeliness of progression through degree requirements such as course work, examinations and research.

Your progress is reviewed annually by your supervisory committee. As a doctoral student, you are required to meet with your supervisory committee once a year, or more often if required by the committee. Your committee will assess your progress in the program and provide advice on future work. The committee provides you with a report detailing its observations and a copy will also be
placed in your student file; if you wish, you can respond to the committee’s report and attach a response.

For detailed information on the Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, see the SGS Calendar and also consult with your graduate unit regarding the specific timelines of progression through your program.

Your eligibility for funding and registration in the program may be affected if you do not remain in good standing or if you do not make satisfactory progress, so it is important to meet with your advisor/supervisor regularly and ask for feedback on your progress and the level and quality of
your work.


All doctoral students are subject to the requirements for good academic standing, including candidacy. To achieve candidacy, you must complete all requirements for the degree exclusive of thesis research and courses such as ongoing research seminars that run continuously through the program. You must also have an approved thesis topic, supervisor and supervisory committee. Upon
achieving candidacy, completion is noted on your transcript.​

Candidacy is achieved as noted below:

Degree Program

PhD, four-year program
PhD, five-year program (direct-entry)
Flexible-time PhD program option
Professional doctoral program, full-time
Professional doctoral program, part-time

Candidacy Achieved

End of 3rd year
End of 4th year
end of 4th year
End of 3rd year
Within four years of initial registration

Students who do not achieve candidacy by these deadlines will be denied further registration in their program and will have their eligibility terminated.

If you need an extension, complete the Extension to Achieve Candidacy form found on the Candidacy Extensions page and submit it to your graduate unit for review along with a letter explaining the cause(s) for the delay and evidence that the remaining candidacy requirements will be completed within the period of the extension

Program Length & Time Limit

Every academic program at SGS has a defined program length and time limit. You can find both the program length and time limit for your program listed in your Graduate Calendar program entry. You can also consult with your graduate administrator who will know the specific program length and time limit of your degree program.

Program length refers to the period of time (in sessions and/or academic years) for an academically well-prepared student to complete their program requirements. If you finish your degree program prior to the end of your program length, you are required to pay a minimum degree fee.

All graduate program requirements must be completed within a specific period of time. The time limit for a degree is the maximum number of years permitted for the completion of the program. If you do not complete your degree program within the time limit, you will not be permitted further registration without an approved program extension. The time limit of a degree program will be extended by the duration of any approved leave of absence.