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Last Revision: January 30, 2024

Program Deadline and Program Hiatus

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 [email protected].

Program Hiatus

Students who need to stop out from their doctoral program may request a Program Hiatus by communicating with the Doctoral Success Coach 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 Success Coach 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 Success Coach based on if it your program deadline is nearing or expired upon your return.


Students who exhaust their program hiatus time and/or exhaust their program deadline will be automatically disenrolled from the university.

Voluntary Disenrollment

If you are an active doctoral student and you no longer want to pursue your education with the university, please contact your Success Coach at [email protected] to commence the process.

Not Certain You Want to Withdraw?

Before you take steps to withdraw, your Success Coach will discuss with you options for requesting course extension(s) or Program Hiatus. Because we serve students who are busy professionals, we understand that there may be times when circumstances make it challenging to complete coursework within the prescribed timeframe. If this happens to you, contact your Success Coach and the course instructor to discuss your situation.