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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Financial Matters

Time Limit on TA Support

The normal time to complete the Ph.D. is 4.5–5.5 years and financial support as a TA cannot be guaranteed beyond a student’s 5th year in residence, although an advisor may provide support as a research assistant beyond the 5th year. When a student is not graduating in the 10th semester and will not be supported on RA in the 11th semester, the student and advisor must jointly petition the department head for financial support as a TA at the start of the spring semester. The petition must show a very good plan for the next 1–2 semesters with (1) the student’s thesis outline and intended timeline for completing it approved by the advisory committee and (2) the advisor’s plan for publishing the student’s remaining work and moving him/her toward graduation. An advisor may still provide support as a research assistant beyond the 5th year without petition.