Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE)

Enrolled Ph.D. students who have not completed their degree within their department's normal program period (either four or five years, as specified by the department and the Graduate School) have the opportunity to be enrolled for up to two additional years in Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) status. DCE status was instituted to help students finish the Ph.D. by allowing them to remain in an enrolled status while they finish their degree requirements.  To qualify for DCE status, students must have made substantial progress on the dissertation and must at the time of reenrollment move directly into DCE status when their period of regular enrollment ends.  Eligible students apply for this status during the annual reenrollment process in the last year of their program of study, and must be approved for DCE status by their department and the Graduate School based on criteria for satisfactory academic progress. DCE status is confirmed via e-mail from the Graduate School to the student, after which the student can electronically accept reenrollment in this status. Students in DCE status are fully and formally enrolled graduate students, working full time to complete degree requirements. DCE students may be enrolled as regular (in residence) or in absentia students (pursuing their work away from Princeton). In both cases, a marginal-cost tuition that includes the mandatory Student Health Plan fee will be charged.

DCE status must be continuous; students in this status may not apply for leaves and are not eligible for the Childbirth and Adoption Accommodation.  Students in DCE may be appointed to an Assistantship in Research (AR) or Assistantship in Instruction (AI) position.

DCE status ends:

  • When a student completes and successfully defends the dissertation;
  • When a student chooses not to reapply for reenrollment;
  • When the two-year limit of DCE eligibility has expired;
  • When a student does not maintain continuous enrollment or does not make degree progress.