Time limit for degree completion
Submitting application for extension
If your study right is still ongoing, apply for extension on Sisu and submit the necessary attachment by e-mail. If your study right has already expired submit the application 'Extension to Complete the Degree' by e-mail to your faculty/degree program. See the contact addresses at the end of this page. For privacy reasons, please send your application primarily from your tuni.fi e-mail.
If it is necessary to send attachments as an encrypted message, do not send the application to the official address because the encrypted message cannot be read there. Instead, request a reply from the official address, after which you can reply to the contact message with an encrypted e-mail and send the message directly to the person who is in charge of your case. Instructions for encrypting a message are available on the IT handbook.
Time limit for degree completion
Students admitted after 1 August 2005 to study for a first-cycle (bachelor’s) or a second-cycle (master’s) degree have time limits for the completion of the degree. The time limits for the completion of the degree is regulated in the Universities Act (558/2009). According to the Act, you may be granted the extension to the duration of studies on application if you have not finished your studies within the time limit, provided that you present a goal-oriented and feasible plan for completing the studies. In the plan, you must detail the studies to be completed and the timetable for completing the degree. If extension is not granted, your right to study expires.
If your right to study has expired, your faculty may grant you an extension on application to complete your studies. In order to receive the extension, you are required to submit a graduation plan and a well-founded application. In addition, it is recommended that you have a personal guidance discussion with a counsellor when your right to study is expiring.
The only purpose of the extension is to provide you with the opportunity to complete studies missing from the degree requirements.
A feasible graduation-oriented study plan i.e. a graduation plan is required as an attachment to the extension application. Please note that:
- The plan must list all mandatory courses missing from the degree requirements (i.e. not shown in the registry).
- You are required to complete the minimum of 30 cr per academic year.
- If you do not complete the minimum of 30 cr per academic year, include an explanation for the reasons justifying the exceptional schedule. Factors in your life that can be considered as valid reasons include: illness or a difficult life situation, political activity during studies, and systematic training in top-level sports.
- If you plead factors involving your life situation, you must attach documents that support your plea (such as medical certificate) to your application.
- The reason you are pleading must be in clear cause-and-effect connection with the delay in study progress.
- Having a job is not a valid reason not to complete the minimum of 30 cr on extension.
- If you have been granted the right to pursue both a first- and second-cycle degree and have not completed a first-cycle degree when your right to study expires, your graduation plan must primarily aim for the completion of the first-cycle degree.
- If you are in the process of preparing your thesis, the attachments must include your instructor’s statement on its progress.
Should the only studies missing from the degree be your thesis, you need to report on its progress.
When you apply more than once for an extension to the duration of studies, the following principles shall be applied:
- The graduation plan must include a report on the studies completed during the previous extension. If your studies have progressed according to your original plan, no other report is needed.
- If you have not kept the schedule specified in your graduation plan, you will have to update your plan and provide a report on the studies you did complete during the previous extension. The updated plan will be assessed according to the same criteria as the original plan.
- If you have completed studies not included in the graduation plan during the previous extension, they are not taken into consideration when deciding on the new extension.
An extension may be granted if you have a realistic chance of completing the studies within a reasonable time. A reasonable time to complete the studies is determined as follows:
- The right to complete a first-cycle degree (target duration 3 academic years): an extension of max. 6 semesters
- The right to complete a second-cycle degree (target duration 2 academic years): an extension of max. 4 semesters
If the target time for the completion of the degree differs from above, a reasonable time to complete the studies is determined by the faculty.
The extension will always be granted for a fixed period of time: a minimum of one semester and a maximum of four semesters.
- If you are applying for extension only for finishing your thesis, you may be granted an extension of max. 2 semesters
When granting an extension to the duration of study, previous extension decisions will also be taken into consideration, as well as whether studies have progressed according to a previously drafted graduation plan.
Guideline for applying for study right extension
1. If your study right is still ongoing, apply for extension on Sisu. See below for further instructions concerning Sisu. The deadlines are the following:
- If your study right expires by the end of the spring semester (31 July), submit your application by 30 April.
- If your study right expires by the end of the autumn semester (31 December), submit your application by 31 October.
Submit the necessary attachments by e-mail to the faculty’s / degree programme’s official address. Please follow the instructions for the exceptional circumstances, for example, as regards sending encrypted messages.
The attachments required with the application are:
- If you are using your life situation as a justification for the extension, attach documents supporting the existence of the reason (eg a medical certificate).
- Attestation on the progress you are making on the thesis, if you have already started writing your thesis:
You will receive the decision within a month from the application deadline.
2. If your study right has already expired, use a form to apply for the extension. In this case, you must also apply for the restoration of the right to study.
Application for an extension is rejected:
- If you have not completed at least 1/3 of the studies leading to a degree, and you do not have a valid reason, e.g. a difficult life situation, for the delay in study progress.
- The rule of 1/3 of completed studies is applied as of 1 August 2020 to the degree programmes for which the rule has not been applied to before.
- If the study plan is not feasible and you have failed to complete your application or change your study plan despite requests to do so.
- For studies exceeding the target scope of a degree after you have already completed the compulsory study modules and thesis required for a degree(s).
- If you have already been granted an extension, but during that extension you have not completed the required number of study units described in your study plan, and there are no valid reasons for the delay.
- If you have already been granted a reasonable extension for the completion of a degree.
If your application for an extension is rejected, you will receive a written announcement as well as the grounds for the rejection. The information on how to appeal will be provided with the decision.