The Core Policy

  • The total matriculation time allowed for the entire DWS program is seven years (with up to two, six-month leaves of absence, if granted) and four years for the MWS program (with up to two, six-month leaves of absence, if granted). That means that the standard maximum time for completing the DWS program is 8 years and MWS program is 5 years, if two LOAs are granted.

Some Exceptions to the Core Policy

  • Students who have earned an AGCWS and wish to turn it in and retry the thesis may have up to 10 years total matriculation time.
  • Two years in addition to the normal time is granted to those who delay their matriculation during their program.
  • The Thesis Manual states:

    The DWS degree is designed to be completed normally in three years of study. Students typically complete the five segments of their coursework, including DWS 801, in just over two years. Normally, students complete their thesis proposal and thesis during the third year.

    The stated limitation for the completion of the entire thesis, however, is three years after the completion of the thesis course, DWS 801. A student must complete and receive approval for the thesis proposal within the two year window of taking the thesis course. The thesis itself must then be completed within the three year window of the thesis course.

    If the thesis proposal is not completed within the first two years following the thesis course, a student may petition the faculty of DWS 801 and receive permission to retake the thesis course and begin again the process of writing the thesis proposal. The two year limit for completion of the proposal is again in effect. A student can be granted only one opportunity to retake the thesis course and begin again the thesis process. Students failing to meet this deadline, if they make a written request, can receive the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Worship Studies.

    Students who are enrolled half-time, i.e., taking only one doctoral course per year, must meet the same time requirements for writing the thesis proposal and the thesis. Like full-time students, upon petition they may be allowed to repeat the thesis course only once.

    In summary, keep these limits in mind:

    1. You must have an approved proposal within 2 years following the taking of the Thesis Course. (For example: if you took the Thesis Course in January 2014, you must have an approved proposal no later than January 1, 2016).
    2. You must complete your thesis within 3 years following taking the Thesis Course. (For example: if you took the Thesis Course in January 2014, you must have your Thesis completed and approved by January 1, 2017).
    3. If because of some unforeseen circumstance in your life you were granted a Leave of Absence during this period, then the clock on your time limit stopped for a semester and you would be granted an additional semester for the completion of your work.
    4. Failure to meet these deadlines means:
      1. You will run out of time for the completion of your program and if you have successfully completed all the other requirements for the degree you may be eligible upon request to be granted an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Worship Studies; or:
      2. You may petition prior to the expiration of your time limit to retake the Thesis Course once. You will have to pay the tuition, resubmit a proposal and have it confirmed (if you already had one approved) and indicate at what stage you have reached. If approved for retaking the Thesis Course, your time limit will be extended. But you will not thereafter be given the opportunity to retake the Thesis Course again (a third time).