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Program Deadline and Program Hiatus

Program Deadline Requirements for Graduation Eligibility

Once you start your program at APUS, you will have a set deadline for completing your program requirements. Your program deadline begins with the start date of the first course in your program that you attend past the first week of the course. This date is called your initial enrollment date. If you do not have your program conferred before the program deadline, we can issue you a letter of program completion; however, you will not actually earn the degree or certificate.

Each program has an established program length:

  • Doctorate Degree:  7 years

If you are less than 6 months away from your program deadline, you will be blocked from registration until you have met with your Department Chair to discuss your program completion plan.

Program Deadline Extensions

In some very special circumstances, you may request an extension of your program deadline. While the University takes every extension request under consideration, whether to grant or deny an extension is solely at the University’s discretion. Be sure to submit the request prior to reaching your program deadline.

  • You may only be granted an extension of up to 25% of your initial program length.

If you have any questions pertaining to program deadline extensions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at

Students who need to stop out from their doctoral program may request a Program Hiatus by communicating with the Doctoral Advisor and completing the Program Hiatus Request form. Students may request one or more Program Hiatus(es) during the program, but the Program Hiatus(es) may exist for no greater than a total of 6 terms. You must still complete the program within the approved timeframe of 7 years. You may return from a Program Hiatus and enter a new cohort by contacting the Doctoral Advisor to initiate the return process.

Your program deadline is not extended if you are on an approved Program Hiatus; you will have the same program deadline when you return from a Program Hiatus and may need to work with the Doctoral Advisor based on if it your program deadline is nearing or expired upon your return.

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