Special permission from FGSR (Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research) is required for extensions of graduate programs beyond four years for the MSc thesis-based, six years for the MAg, MEng and MSc course-based, and six years for a PhD. Extensions are viewed as exceptions. Requests for one or more extensions will be considered only under compelling circumstances. To qualify for an extension, students must present in writing to the department the causes for the delay and demonstrate substantial progress on the thesis or in the course-based program. Unanticipated events unrelated to the student's program, such as family emergency, personal crisis, and parental leave may be considered. An extension is normally granted for no more than one year.PhD students may have to repeat their candidacy examination if their program extends beyond six years. Students whose time limit has been reached are not permitted to register until the extension has been approved by the FGSR.
Additional information can be found at the following FGSR website: http://www.gradstudies.ualberta.ca/gradmanual/7.7.html