Statute of Limitations

All coursework for a degree offered by Western Seminary must be completed within the established time limit as measured from the date of entry to the degree program.

  • Doctor of Intercultural Studies / Doctor of Ministry / Doctor of Education: seven years
  • Master of Divinity: six years
  • Master of Arts: five years
  • Master of Theology: four years

However, we realize that students may have life and ministry circumstances that clearly require a longer course of study. The first step to approval for additional time is to map out with the student's faculty advisor a plan to complete program requirements in the shortest reasonable timeframe. Permission to extend the statute of limitations must be granted through the submission of an academic petition, which must include details of the proposed program plan.

Even in the case of an approved extension to the statute of limitations, all coursework applied toward degree requirements should normally be earned within ten years of the awarding of the degree. This ten-year time limit includes any coursework accepted by transfer or waived by advanced standing and begins with the start of the earliest coursework applied to the degree. Should any coursework, transfer credit or advanced standing fall outside of the ten-year limit, the student may request to be assessed by exam for currency. Students desiring to have currency evaluated should email Andrew Pack (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). All coursework that exceeds the 10-year statute of limitations requires evaluation to count towards degree completion. Students who demonstrate currency will not need to repeat the course. If a currency is not demonstrated, the student will be required to repeat the course for degree completion.

Records Retention and Transcripts

The Records Office retains a variety of records pertinent to the academic progress of students. These records are available to faculty and staff who have legitimate educational interest in the student. Educational records are released to third parties only with the student’s written authorization.

The Seminary retains documents received in the Admissions Office for those who apply but do not enroll for up to two years. For students who do enroll, the school retains documents in their official files for five years beyond the date of last attendance at Western. The basic application materials and the official records of academic achievement at Western are retained permanently.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) governs students’ rights of privacy and access to their educational records. Students have the right to inspect their files and all materials therein, except those items specifically waived by the student. Students wishing to view their files must make an appointment with the Registrar. Western Seminary students and alumni are entitled to receive transcripts of their completed course work if they have no financial obligations to the seminary. Upon the written, signed request of the student, the Records Office will issue an official transcript to appropriate institutions or individuals.

To learn more about transcripts and how to make a transcript request, please visit our transcripts webpage.

Required in CA law and regulations:

CEC 94900

5, CCR §71920