Pro Forma Status

Pro Forma status is a limited privilege designed to provide full-time status to doctoral students who must move a substantial distance away from the Chicago area, in order to:

  • conduct dissertation research, archival research, or data collection for their dissertations;
  • engage in formal programs of intensive language training instruction abroad, as needed for completing their doctoral programs; or
  • in the laboratory sciences, follow their primary faculty advisor who has moved to another institution.

A student’s choice to reside at a substantial distance from the University does not, in and of itself, qualify a student for Pro Forma status.

Applications for Pro Forma status must be recommended by the student's academic department and approved by the area Dean of Students. Normally applicants for Pro Forma status already will have been admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. Pro Forma status can be approved for up to one academic year at a time. Applications for the renewal of Pro Forma status must be accompanied by a statement explaining why an extension is needed to carry out the objective as originally defined. In general, students may not be registered in Pro Forma status for more than a total of two academic years, except in the laboratory sciences, where there is no limit.

Doctoral students in Pro Forma must be enrolled for at least 300 units of an "Advanced Study" course during every quarter they are in Pro Forma registration status. See the Ph.D. Enrollment section below for more information.

Because the student life fee is not assessed for students registered in Pro Forma status, they do not have access to on campus student health and counseling services for the period they are in Pro Forma.

Doctoral students in Pro Forma must be enrolled for at least 300 units of research or advanced study during every quarter they are in Pro Forma registration status.