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Program Deadlines: What You Should Know and When to Take Action

Program Deadlines: What You Should Know and When to Take Action

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By Allyson Donohue
Advising Quality Control & Training Specialist, American Public University

American Public University (APU) program deadlines are designed to ensure that you complete your academic program within an appropriate amount of time. The deadlines ensure that your degree program information stays relevant and applicable to your field of study during your time at the university.

The program deadline starts once you complete the first week of your first course. This is also called your Initial Enrollment Date.

APU programs have the following deadlines for completion:

  • Master’s: 7 years
  • Bachelor’s: 10 years
  • Associate: 7 years
  • Certificates: 3 years

How Do These Deadlines Affect My Program?

You must complete your degree before your program deadline expires in order to graduate from your program. There are four conferral dates each year – February 15, May 15, August 15 and November 15.

For example, if your program deadline is September 23, 2019, the latest conferral date for which you would be eligible is August 15, 2019. Before you approach your program deadline, review your remaining courses to see if you have enough time left to complete your program requirements.

What Options Do I Have?

If you are nearing your program deadline, don’t worry just yet because you do have some options. If you are within a year of your program deadline and believe you need more time to complete your program, you can request a Program Deadline Extension.

The form for the Program Deadline Extension is available through the “Academic Plan & Forms – University Forms – All Forms” section of your ecampus. Note that these requests are NOT guaranteed and that Program Deadline Extensions are limited to 25% of the length of your program, given in increments of up to 12 months.

The maximum Program Deadline Extension lengths are as follows*:

  • Master’s: 1 year 9 months
  • Bachelor’s: 2 years 6 months
  • Associate: 1 year 9 months
  • Certificates: 9 months

Other options beyond an extension are also available. Please contact your Academic Advisor if you believe you cannot meet your program deadline even with extensions.

Why Am I Blocked from Registering for Classes?

When you are within a year of your program deadline, you will be blocked from registering for courses in the ecampus. The block is designed to prevent students from making registration errors so close to completing their program. So when this block is in place, contact your academic advising team. We can assist you in determining your best course of action regarding your program deadline and degree completion.

Your academic advising team, along with the Registrar, can assist you with manual registrations for the remainder of your courses.

What Other Information about Program Deadlines Should I Keep in Mind?

Your program deadline may seem very far off at first, but it is important to know when the deadline is and keep it in mind while you complete your program. The program deadline can also change in length if you are moving from one degree to another, such as moving from a bachelor’s degree to an associate degree.

It is also important to understand that program holds do not affect your program deadline. Your deadline stays the same, regardless of how long you are on a program hold.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your program deadline, contact us at counseling@apus.edu. You can also call 877-755-2787 to speak with a member of your academic advising team.

*Some program deadlines may be affected by the requirements of the degree itself or its specialized accreditation. Please see the current catalog for more information.

About the Author

Allyson Donohue has worked for 10 years at APU in both the Graduations Department and the Academic Advising Department. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from George Mason University and a Master of Business Administration from American Public University. In addition, Allyson has a graduate certificate in K-12 Online Teaching from American Public University.

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