Time Limits for Completion
13.1 Normal Time Limits Graduate programs in Biology should be designed so that they can be completed within 6 terms (2 years) for the MSc and 12 terms (4 years) for the PhD. To accomplish this an early supervisory committee meeting and a clear timeline should be established, and realistic timelines included with each supervisory committee meeting report. See here for regulations from the School of Graduate Studies.
13.2 Time Limit Extensions As soon as it is clear that the above time limits cannot be met, a supervisory committee meeting should be held no later than term 6 of the MSc or term 12 of the PhD to discuss and present a clear plan and timeline for completion. If a thesis defense can be scheduled no more than 2 months into term 7 (MSc) or 13 (PhD), no further action is needed.
If a defense is planned before the end of term 7 (MSc) or 13 (PhD), but more than 2 months into those terms, then a timeline and plan should be submitted to the Biology Graduate Studies Coordinator for approval.
Toward end of terms 7 (MSc) and 13 (PhD) another supervisory committee meeting should be held to assess progress. If a further extension is required, this must be requested before two weeks from the end of these terms, by submission of a request, a plan and a timeline to the Biology Coordinator of Graduate Studies, who will inform the School of Graduate Studies.
Extensions beyond the end of term 9 (MSc) and 15 (PhD must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies on their Time Limit Extension Request Form, before the ends of those terms, along with approval from the Biology Coordinator of Graduate Studies. See here for details from SGS.
13.3 Extenuating Circumstances The Biology Graduate Studies Committee (and SGS) recognizes that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that cause delays in thesis completion beyond the expected times to completion listed above. Such delays, however, should be carefully documented and included in regular committee meeting reports. It is too late to be thinking about extensions in the final term of your degree program.