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Staying Past Year 6

Updated October 2023

Time Limits & Financial Support Eligibility

All PhD students who remain actively enrolled after the sixth year (Normative Time) need to be aware of the various time limits and policies that will impact them. Students can look up most of their specific time limit quarters within the Student Portal. If students would like to clarify their enrollment and financial support options for a specific timeframe, they may contact the Graduate Coordinator.

  • Normative Time Limit (GNOTL)the period within which students, under normal circumstances, are expected to complete requirements for the doctorate (six year for the Literature PhD Program). Normative time cannot be extended. Students may not remain in campus housing after the expiration of normative time plus one year. Additionally, students may not receive any form of financial support from Department of Literature fund sources after their normative time.
    • NOTE: Associate Instructor positions in Summer Session are funded by the Summer Session Office, so students are eligible to apply for and accept these positions after their normative time ends.
    • NOTE: Many campuswide fellowships (e.g. campus dissertation-year fellowships) require that the student's home department co-fund the fellowship by paying the student's tuition & fee costs for the year.  Thus, students are only eligible to be considered and nominated for these fellowships within their first six years.
  • Support Time Limit (SUTL) - the final quarter that a student is eligible to receive financial support on campus (including employment, non-employment financial awards, and tuition/fee payments or waivers).
  • ASE Quarter Limit (18 quarters) - the maximum number of academic-year quarters that a student may be employed in a specific ASE title. For Literature PhD students, this is most relevant for the Teaching Assistant position. Student may not serve as TAs for more than 18 academic-year quarters, including any quarters from previous graduate programs within the UC-system. If student have exhausted their allowable quarters of TA, they may still apply for and accept other position types (GSR, Reader, Associate Instructor).
  • Total Time Limit (TRTL) - the final quarter that a student is eligible to enroll in courses. The TRTL is often later than the SUTL. If students choose to enroll in courses beyond their SUTL, then they would need to pay the cost of the tuition & fees themselves.

Additional time limits apply to international students:

  • I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students) Expiration - if students' I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students) will expire and they need additional time to complete the academic program, they must apply for a program extension at least 10 days before the program end date listed on their documents. Failure to extend the I-20 or DS-2019 in a timely manner may cause immigration issues, so please act accordingly. Review all steps outlines on the ISPO website: Extension of Program End Date (
  • Post-candidacy NRST Waiver - campus waives the Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition fee for the first nine consecutive quarters after the students' advancement to candidacy. If students remain enrolled after the end of this waiver (regardless of whether or not they have their basic tuition & fees waived from an employment position or fellowship), they will be responsible for paying the NRST fee themselves.

Some time limits (namely the SUTL and TRTL) may be extended, but it requires that the department submit a request to GEPA for consideration.  Students who are interested in requesting an extension of one or more of their time limits should contact the Graduate Coordinator for guidance on the process.

Academic & Research Considerations

The longer students take to complete their degree and graduate, the more likely they are to face additional requirements when they are preparing to defend and file. For example:

  • Committee Reconstitutions - students must have valid committees at the time of their dissertation defense. If one or more of their committee members has retired, left the university, or changed titles, a committee constitution may be required. If a student needs to add a new member to their committee, that new member may need additional time to read the dissertation and become acquainted with the student's research. This may delay the dissertation defense.
  • Re-Advancement to Candidacy - if it has been move than five years since the student originally passed their qualifying exams and advanced to candidacy, they will need to re-advance to candidacy before they can graduate. See the "Occasional Circumstances" section of the Dissertation Defense & Graduation page for more information.