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Extended Rackham Academic Deadlines for Winter 2020 Term

This page provides information about extensions to Rackham deadlines for the winter 2020 term because of COVID-19.

The winter 2020 term grace period for conducting the defense and filing the dissertation under winter 2020 registration has been extended until August 18.

The winter 2020 term deadline for completing candidacy exams under winter 2020 registration has been extended until September 2.

The deadline for master’s and certificate students to apply for graduation is April 21. The extended deadline for these students to submit all final required work for conferral of the degree or certificate in spring 2020 is May 8.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a doctoral precandidate. Does Rackham require that I register and pay tuition for a 2020 spring or summer half-term if I take candidacy exams during the summer?
No. Long-standing Rackham policy allows students who have been registered as precandidates during the preceding fall and winter terms to take candidacy exams during May without registering and paying tuition. Because of academic disruptions caused by COVID-19, this period is being extended through September 2, 2020. If you have been registered during the fall 2019 term and winter 2020 term, you may take your candidacy exams during June, July, or August without the usual requirement that you enroll for the half-term in which the exams are taken.
What happens if I am not able to take my candidacy exams during the summer?
To be eligible for candidacy status in the fall 2020 term, the deadline for completing candidacy exams and completing all requirements is September 2, 2020. After this deadline, unless you are taking a leave of absence or are a Doctor of Musical Arts student who will be on detached study, you will be registered as a precandidate for the 2020 fall term.
I am a doctoral student with external funding that requires me to register for the spring-summer term when I plan to defend (or to reach candidacy). Can I do this?
Yes.
The winter 2020 term is my sixth term in precandidacy. Because I no longer have access to resources I need to prepare for the exams, I will not be able to take my candidacy exams until the fall. Will I be placed on academic probation?
Please have your program contact Rackham’s Office of Academic Records and Dissertations to request additional time to complete candidacy requirements because of the disruption caused by COVID-19.
I plan to defend my dissertation soon. Does Rackham require that I register and pay tuition if I defend and make my final dissertation submission after the winter term “grace period” ends on May 26, 2020?
Because of academic disruptions caused by COVID-19, this grace period is being extended until 5:00 p.m., August 18, the last day of summer 2020 half-term classes. You do not need to register for the spring-summer term to complete your defense and file your dissertation during this period, and you will not need to pay tuition. If you do not file your dissertation by this deadline, you or your program will be required to register and pay tuition for the final term of enrollment in which you meet your final degree requirements.
If I make my final dissertation submission during the summer, when will I receive my diploma?
If you file your dissertation by the August 18 deadline, the e-conferral of your diploma will take place on August 21, the final day of the summer half-term. Your diploma will be mailed to you about 3 weeks later. If you choose, you may elect to participate in the December 2020 Winter Commencement, when your name will appear in the Commencement booklet and you will be hooded as part of the ceremony.
I am an international student. Will I be able to take advantage of the extended deadlines and schedule my defense and make my final dissertation submission later in the summer without jeopardizing my visa status? What effect will this have on an application for optional practical training (OPT)?
International students should be able to make use of the extended defense and dissertation filing deadline without jeopardizing their visa status or OPT eligibility. Please review the new authoritative information on the International Center’s website to ensure that you follow the special procedures and deadlines to make use of the Rackham extension. Speak to an adviser in the IC should you have any questions.
I am a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) student whose defense is delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions. Does the deadline extension apply to me?
Yes. In addition, if it is not possible to hold a D.M.A. performance according to Rackham’s virtual defense guidelines, Rackham will work with you and your committee chair on an individual basis to determine a necessary extension. Please contact the chair of your program and Julia Thiel at Rackham OARD to ask about these arrangements.
I am in the final term of my master’s program. When is the last date for completing requirements so I can receive my degree this spring?
You must apply for graduation by April 21. The winter 2020 term deadline for completing all master’s degree requirements has been extended to May 8. All coursework and other requirements must be completed by this date in order for the e-conferral of your degree in spring 2020. Your diploma will be mailed to you about three weeks later. If you choose, you may elect to participate in the December 2020 Winter Commencement, when your name will appear in the Commencement booklet.
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