Purdue University is a system encompassing five campuses. The main campus, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, is the oldest and most comprehensive, and home to the dean of the Purdue University Graduate School. Established in 1929, the Graduate School comprises more than 70 programs at the West Lafayette campus and 32 programs at the Purdue campuses in Fort Wayne, Hammond, Indianapolis, and Westville, Indiana.
A. Executive Authority
The Graduate School has oversight responsibility for all graduate academic programs, including graduate courses, graduate degrees, and graduate certificates; graduate administrative functions, such as graduate admissions, student records, thesis and dissertation deposits, and graduate interdisciplinary programs; and the Purdue Graduate Student Government.
By authority of the Board of Trustees (April 10, 1929), the dean of the Graduate School is the principal administrative officer of the Graduate School and has charge of the details of administration. This includes responsibility for registration of graduate students, approving schedules, deciding classification, appointing examining committees. The dean of the Graduate School also serves as the chair of the Graduate Council. Acting on behalf of the Graduate Council, the dean may grant exceptions to policy when deemed appropriate and may provide clarification and interpretation of policy detailed in the manual titled: Policy and Procedures for Administering Graduate Student Programs.
B. Graduate Council
In accordance with the action of the general faculty (June 1949), the Graduate Council acts as the faculty of the Graduate School. The Graduate Council is responsible for all academic policies related to graduate study and degree programs, particularly those policies that involve admission to the Graduate School; standards of work; courses and programs of study; registration requirements; and all other requirements for advanced degrees. The dean of the Graduate School is responsible for publishing all policies and procedures established by the Graduate Council. Those policies, described in this manual, are the official policies of the University, to be administered by the dean of the Graduate School.
The membership of the Graduate Council consists of twenty-five appointed voting members, four ex officio voting members, associate deans of the Graduate School, the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and the president of the Purdue Graduate Student Government (as ex officio nonvoting members). The twenty-five appointed voting members of the council are named by the president of the University normally to serve terms of three years, generally with eight new members being appointed each year. There is one voting member and one ex officio nonvoting member from the Northwest-Calumet, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Northwest-Westville campuses. No person who has served on the council as a voting member may be renamed to the council until at least one year has elapsed following his or her preceding term.
The ex officio voting members are: 1) the dean of the Graduate School, 2) the provost, 3) the dean of libraries, and 4) the registrar.
The Graduate Council is divided into five area committees, and each council member is assigned to one of these committees. A sixth committee (Area Committee B) is a special committee that is composed, as appropriate, to review certain documents. Up to three faculty members, in addition to the voting members of the council, are added to each area committee to provide appropriate balance by discipline and/or subject matter expertise. The additional faculty members are appointed by the dean of the Graduate School normally to serve terms of three years.
Only voting members (or proxies) are eligible to vote or make a motion.
The Graduate Council Executive Committee serves as the steering committee for Graduate Council. The Executive Committee is comprised of the chairs of the area committees, the dean of the Graduate School (as chair of the Graduate Council) and the associate deans of the Graduate School who serve as ex officio members of the Graduate Council. The Executive Committee meets as needed each semester to assess how the Graduate Council is functioning, to provide recommendations and suggestions to the dean, and to consider important topics to be addressed by the council during the year.
C. Heads of Graduate Programs and Academic Deans
Usually the head of the graduate program is the head of a department or the director/chair of an interdisciplinary program. Heads of graduate programs are responsible for the supervision and governance of all graduate study conducted and the maintenance of academic standards within their respective majors. Such authority is delegated by the Graduate School and is exercised in accord with all pertinent regulations and procedures established by the Board of Trustees, the provost, the dean of the Graduate School, and the Graduate Council.
Various levels of administrative and signature authority may be delegated by the head of the graduate program to graduate faculty members. The Graduate School should be notified when there is a change in the head of a graduate program or graduate committee chair, so that appropriate signature authority information can be updated and access given for electronic signatures on forms. The Graduate Programs Office will provide a Form 35 to be completed by the head of the department. The form should list who will be signing Graduate School documents and should include a sample of that individual’s signature. Delegation of signature authority may vary for different activities (e.g., requests for Graduate Faculty appointments; plans of study; concentrations; applications and other paper forms). For electronic documents, one “required” signature and only one “proxy” signature can be accepted.
Recommendations concerning a student or a student’s plan of study should flow to the Graduate School through the head of the graduate program to which the student has been admitted and, when requested by the college/school, through the academic college/school dean.
D. Graduate Committees
The head of each graduate program appoints a graduate committee annually. In the case of some interdisciplinary programs, the committee is appointed jointly by the heads of the participating departments.
The functions of the departmental/interdisciplinary graduate programs vary depending upon individual organization and division of responsibility. In general, they have the following functions:
1. They provide general guidance to the graduate program.
2. They may suggest new course offerings, and they review and recommend new courses proposed by the faculty.
3. They may consider and recommend new areas or degree programs for graduate study.
4. They may initiate recommendations for changes in graduate policies or regulations for consideration by the Graduate Council.
5. They may act to coordinate the areas of graduate studies in the department with that of departments in other disciplines or in the same discipline at other campuses.
6. They may provide guidance and counseling for new graduate students before they have been assigned to a major professor.
7. They may take a major role in recruiting new graduate students and make recommendations regarding admission of prospective students.
8. They may administer or give general guidance concerning department-required examinations.
9. The committee chair may advise other committees regarding availability of faculty to serve on advisory and examining committees for students majoring in other subjects.
E. Graduate Faculty
(Appointment Guidelines - see Appendix M )
(Guidelines for Graduate Student Mentoring and Advising- See Appendix G)
1. Regular Appointment (Tenure-Track and Voting-Status Faculty)
Members of the Graduate Faculty are tenure-track faculty members at Purdue University who have been nominated by the head of a specific graduate program and an academic dean for appointment to the Graduate Faculty. The dean of the Graduate School, acting on behalf of the Graduate Council, grants graduate faculty status to Purdue faculty members.
Members of the Graduate Faculty with Regular appointment may serve throughout the Purdue University system.
To serve as a major professor, chair, or member of a degree committee, a Graduate Faculty must hold the degree being conferred or a more advanced degree. Exceptions may be requested for tenure-track faculty with a terminal post baccalaureate professional degree and with experience in both mentoring and research.
For research faculty to serve as a major professor, the Graduate School requires that they are: (1) eligible to participate as regular graduate faculty members in mentoring and advising graduate students; (2) eligible to vote on all matters related to research supervision of individual graduate students; and (3) eligible to serve on all department, college, and University committees related to the admission and dismissal of graduate students and the awarding of financial support. For example, research graduate faculty members are eligible to: vote, as a regular graduate faculty member, on all graduate student committees, including all master’s degree, DNP, AuD, and Ph.D. advisory committees and all preliminary and final examining committees, and (2) vote, as a regular graduate faculty member, on the departmental committees that recommend admission, censure, and dismissal of graduate students and the awarding of fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships. (The voting privileges identified in this statement are consistent with University Senate Document 04-4, “Proposal for Nontenure-Track Research Faculty within Purdue University” and with the document, “Implementing Guidelines for Research Faculty Positions” distributed by Charles O. Rutledge, Vice President for Research, on July 25, 2005, to deans, heads, and center directors.) Research faculty members are excluded from voting on the Graduate Council.
New faculty members may be nominated for appointment to the Graduate Faculty after their date of employment and after they arrive on their respective campuses.
Nominations for Graduate Faculty status are initiated electronically by the head of the faculty member’s tenure home department who forwards the nomination to the relevant academic dean; and the campus liaison for endorsement, via electronic signature, after which the nomination is forwarded electronically to the dean of the Graduate School for review. Upon approval, the Graduate School will assign a graduate faculty identifier (e.g., C0001) to the appointee for use on Graduate School documents.
Individuals appointed at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or full professor who are classified as “visiting” solely because of visa considerations or other obstacles barring permanent employment may, at the discretion of the dean of the Graduate School, be granted regular appointment to the Graduate Faculty. The head of a graduate program may seek regular appointment of such an individual by submitting a request accompanied by a copy of the offer letter to the individual, in which the conditions of the visiting appointment are specified, to the dean of the Graduate School.
Faculty who are nominated for appointment to the Graduate Faculty are assumed, by virtue of their appointment to the ranks of the tenure-track faculty and their nomination by their program heads and academic deans, to be qualified artists, researchers, or scholars.
Nominees for appointment to the Graduate Faculty must demonstrate ability to mentor and supervise the progress and work of graduate students. Faculty members with previous experience as graduate student mentors at other universities, upon the recommendation of their department heads and academic deans, will be assumed to have met this requirement. Nominees for graduate faculty status who do not have a record of experience as graduate student mentors must complete a Graduate School workshop on mentoring as part of the graduate faculty appointment process.
Upon satisfactory review of previous experience as a graduate mentor or upon completion of a workshop on mentoring, the nominee will be appointed as a regular member of the Graduate Faculty. Appointment to the Graduate Faculty will enable the faculty member to teach graduate-level courses (50000 or 60000 level), serve on graduate student committees, and to co-chair or chair graduate student committees (subject to the classification policy, Appendix M). It is the responsibility of the head of the graduate program to approve the level of participation of a graduate faculty member on a student’s committee.
A tenure-track faculty member who has received approval of the dean of the Graduate School and the provost (via a request to the dean of the Graduate School) to pursue a graduate degree (see Appendix S) while remaining in faculty status will be changed to an appropriate “Special Graduate Faculty Appointment” while pursuing the degree.
A member of the Graduate Faculty who terminates employment at Purdue may, upon the recommendation of the head of the faculty member’s graduate program, be changed to a “Special Graduate Faculty Appointment” to serve as a co-chair or as a member of a graduate student’s advisory committee.
A member of the Graduate Faculty who attains Emeritus status may be nominated by the head of a graduate program to hold a Regular appointment if that Emeritus faculty member is actively engaged in research and mentoring graduate students.
2. Evaluation of Graduate Faculty Members
To maintain the high standards expected of the Graduate Faculty, the Graduate Council directed the dean of the Purdue University Graduate School to establish a process to assess the performance of all Graduate Faculty on regular intervals. Beginning with calendar year 2013, and at 5-year intervals thereafter, the Purdue University Graduate School requires the heads of graduate programs to review and assess the performance of Graduate Faculty in their programs and recommend: (1) to continue them in graduate faculty status for another five year term, (2) to inactivate them, or (3) to conduct a formal review of their graduate faculty status.
The head of a graduate program may initiate a performance review of a member of the Graduate Faculty at any time. In addition, the dean of the academic college/school in which the graduate faculty member resides, the dean of the Purdue University Graduate School, the Vice President for Research, or the Provost may direct the head of the graduate program to initiate a review. Reviews may be appropriate when there are allegations against a graduate faculty member of incompetence or negligence with respect to graduate faculty duties, including the teaching, supervising, and mentoring of graduate students.
At Calumet, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, or North Central, the director of campus graduate studies (or equivalent) may request that a graduate faculty member be reviewed.
If a review is necessary, it will be conducted by the department head, in consultation with a committee or other program graduate faculty, and the dean of the Graduate School or his or her designee. Reviews may result in a variety of possible recommendations to the dean of the Graduate School, including, but not limited to continuation of graduate faculty status, required participation in appropriate mentoring workshops, consultations with other graduate faculty, or discontinuation of graduate faculty status. In some cases, multiple recommendations may be appropriate. The review will include consideration of key graduate faculty responsibilities. Graduate Faculty members are expected to demonstrate: (1) effectiveness as a teacher of graduate-level courses; (2) effective supervision of graduate student research; and (3) effectiveness as a mentor to graduate students, (4) responsible conduct in performing research, and (5) collegiality.
3. Special Appointment
A special appointment may be requested by the head of a graduate program for an individual who does not meet the conditions required for regular appointment, yet who can contribute special expertise to the work of graduate students. Such a person may serve as a member or as a co-chair, but not as chair, on graduate student committees and teach graduate courses.
To serve on a degree committee, a Special appointee must hold the degree being conferred, or a terminal post baccalaureate professional degree (e.g. D.V.M.,Pharm D. DNP, AUD, Ed.D., M.D., J.D, etc), or a more advanced degree. Similarly, to teach a graduate course, the Special appointee must hold a post baccalaureate graduate or professional degree and have demonstrated expertise in the course(s) content for which the individual is responsible. Purdue University employees appointed as Special graduate faculty may have access to student records and signature authority afforded Regular graduate faculty.
Generally, clinical faculty may serve on graduate committees but may not serve as the major professor. Under these circumstances, clinical faculty may be appointed as “special” graduate faculty members. Please visit: http://www.purdue.edu/policies/human-resources/vif10.html for the “guidelines for appointment and promotion of clinical faculty.”
Individuals in post-doctoral study may not hold a Special graduate appointment.
Nominations for special appointment to the Graduate Faculty are initiated electronically by the head of a graduate program who forwards the nomination to the relevant academic dean (West Lafayette) or the relevant academic dean and the Director of Graduate Studies (Calumet, Fort Wayne, and North Central) for approval, via electronic signature, after which the nomination is forwarded electronically to the dean of the Graduate School for review. Upon approval, the Graduate School will assign a graduate faculty identifier (e.g., C0001) to the appointee for use on Graduate School documents.
Nominations for special appointment to the Graduate Faculty must describe the special expertise that the nominee would bring to the graduate program and present the nominee’s qualifications to contribute to the work and progress of graduate students.
Special appointment to the Graduate Faculty is for a term of five years. Such appointments may be renewed upon nomination by the head of a graduate program and approval by the dean of the Graduate School. Requests for renewal of a special appointment to the Graduate Faculty must include a positive review of the appointee’s contributions to the graduate program. Special members of the Graduate Faculty serve at the pleasure of the head of the graduate program in the corresponding department/school in which they are appointed.
Purdue Employees who have received approval of the dean of the Graduate School and the provost (via a request to the dean of the Graduate School) to pursue a graduate degree while in faculty status will be changed to an appropriate “Special Graduate Faculty Appointment” while pursuing the degree.
4. Roster of Graduate Faculty
The Graduate School maintains a roster of graduate faculty members who have been appointed to serve on graduate student committees and to instruct graduate-level courses. An authorized staff member within each graduate program may access all program rosters on the Web. At five-year intervals, heads of graduate programs will be asked to evaluate the performance of graduate faculty in their programs (see above).
Both regular and special appointments to the Graduate Faculty remain on the Graduate School’s active list until the appointments are discontinued by the head of the graduate program.
F. Establishing New Graduate Programs
The first step in establishing a new graduate program is identifying a need for graduate students to hold a degree in the proposed content; further, a logically connected academic unit (department, school or college) must exist, or be created, to offer and oversee the degree program. A qualified group of faculty must be identified to deliver the program, and a sufficient body of courses for which there is student demand must be established. Finally, identifying funding sufficient to sustain the program and support the program’s students is also important.
Typically before a new degree is proposed, an academic unit will at least offer courses in the proposed area, if not also a certificate or concentration. Should a unit want to develop courses, concentrations, majors, or degrees in an area for which it does not have prior experience, it is suggested that the unit collaborate with units who may already have active offerings in that area. When a unit is contemplating offering a new degree program, that unit should consult with similar or related degree programs within the Purdue system in advance of submitting the degree pre-proposal.
The program pre-proposal and proposal submission guidelines require that the above mentioned conditions have been met, and that the program can be sustained. The following sections describe the pre-proposal and proposal processes and the reviews that take place during the approval process.
- Degree Programs
- Overview of the Submission Process
Submitting a new degree proposal is a two-step process involving 1) a pre-proposal, which is submitted to the dean of the Graduate School for approval; and 2) a full proposal, which is submitted for approval at multiple levels, including the Graduate Council, the Purdue University Board of Trustees, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE), and the Higher Learning Commission. The purpose of the pre-proposal is to provide prompt feedback to the author. Although most proposals are successful, the pre-proposal review allows the submission process to be terminated early if it is determined that the proposal will not be successful downstream.
Requests for new degree programs must carefully follow the guidelines outlined in this document. APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENTAL, SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND CAMPUS REVIEWS MUST BE CONDUCTED AND APPROPRIATE SIGNATURES OBTAINED PRIOR TO SUBMITTING THE PRE-PROPOSAL AND FINAL PROPOSAL TO THE DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL. Requests from regional campuses require the additional signature of the director of Graduate Studies, or equivalent position. As identified on the signature page, the degree granting academic unit (i.e., department, school, and/or college) proposing the degree is also responsible for administering the degree and its related programs. Proposers are encouraged to submit pre-proposals and proposals to the Graduate School during the fall semester or, at the latest, early during the spring semester to allow the Graduate Council sufficient time to review and approve the proposal before summer. Because the Graduate Council does not meet during the summer, pre-proposals and full proposals submitted late spring or during the summer will typically not be reviewed until the fall semester.
The review and approval process starts with the submission of a pre-proposal. After the pre-proposal is approved, a full proposal is submitted to the Graduate School for approval by the Graduate Council. Subsequent approvals and actions follow. These steps are detailed in the subsections below.
b. Pre-Proposal Review Process
Pre-proposals are reviewed by a Pre-Proposal Review Committee composed of (a) the chair of the relevant Graduate Council Area Committee, (b) a regular area committee faculty member, and (c) a staff member of the Graduate School. The Graduate Programs Office organizes the review by the Pre-Proposal Review Committee. The committee may seek feedback from corresponding degree granting units at any campus as part of the review.
Normally, the review is concluded within one week of receipt of a complete proposal that has sufficiently addressed all of the requested pre-proposal items. The pre-proposal review may be delayed if the submitted proposal is incomplete or formatted incorrectly.
Following the review of a complete pre-proposal, one revision may be allowed with a time limit established by the area chair (typically 30-90 days). Under extenuating circumstances a longer revision period may be granted by the area chair in consultation with the proposer and the Graduate School.
Upon completion of the pre-proposal review, the area committee chair reports the recommendation of the committee to the dean of the Graduate School to either (a) request a full proposal or (b) return the pre-proposal unapproved. If the pre-proposal is not approved, it may be revised and resubmitted the following academic year.
Proposers should note the important following points:
- Pre-proposals must follow the format and address the criteria specified in Appendix C and D.
- Pre-proposals must be sent electronically to email@example.com and addressed to the dean of the Graduate School. All pre-proposals must be sent from the head of the degree granting academic unit and endorsed by the dean of the school/college. Pre-proposals from regional campuses must also have the signature of the Director of Graduate Studies or equivalent.
- The Graduate School consults with the Office of the Provost regarding the viability, sustainability, and uniqueness of the proposed program within the Purdue system, as well as any potential concerns.
- The dean of the Graduate School makes the final decision to either (a) request a full proposal or (b) return the pre-proposal unapproved, typically based on the recommendation of the Pre-Proposal Review Committee.
c. Proposal Review Process
- After receiving the request from the dean, the full proposal must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org and addressed to the dean of the Graduate School by the end of the following semester. For example, if a full proposal was invited in the spring semester, it would be due by the end of the fall semester. Similarly, if a full proposal was invited in the fall semester, it would be due by the end of the spring semester.
- The proposal must follow the format and guidelines specified in Appendix C and D.
- Upon receiving the full proposal, the Graduate Programs Office in the Graduate School concurrently conducts an administrative review of the proposal, while the Graduate Council Area Committee conducts an academic review.
- The Graduate Programs Office forwards all administrative comments to the appropriate Graduate Council Area Committee for review and recommendation to the Council. The area committee chair may seek feedback from corresponding degree granting units on any campus as well as the proposer.
- The area chair will establish time limits on responses from the proposer (typically 30-90 days). Under extenuating circumstances a longer period may be granted by the area chair.
- In parallel, non-academic reviews are conducted by the Office of Institutional Research Assessment and Effectiveness (OIRAE), Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning, and, if required, the Associate Vice Provost and Director of Digital Education.
- The area chair presents the proposal to the Graduate Council for consideration. The Council may elect to approve, not approve, or table the proposal.
d. Subsequent Review and Action
- The dean of the Graduate School forwards the approved proposal to the provost.
- The Office of the Provost conducts a final review
- The provost makes a recommendation to the president.
- The proposal is brought to the Board of Trustees for action.
- The proposal is forwarded to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE).
- ICHE reviews the proposal and presents its recommendation at a public hearing.
- ICHE notifies the president and provost of the outcome.
- The Office of the Provost notifies the dean of the Graduate School
- The Graduate School forwards a request to the registrar to set up a new graduate program in the Banner System.
- The dean of the Graduate School reports the degree approval to the Graduate Council.
2. Distance/Online Graduate Degree Programs
Requests for new graduate degree programs that will be offered in a distance/online format must follow the policies and guidelines for a new degree in Appendix C and D.
Requests to add a distance/online option to an existing degree program must follow the policies and guidelines in Appendix L.
3. Interdisciplinary Programs
Requests for a new interdisciplinary graduate program must follow procedures established by the Graduate Council. (See Appendix F , Representative Guidelines for an Interdisciplinary Graduate Program.) The proposal should be submitted to the dean of the Graduate School.
4. Multiple Degree Programs
Multiple degree programs are grouped under three major types.
- Combined Degree Programs
A combined-degree program is reserved for exceptional students and results in the joining of curricula of an existing baccalaureate or professional degree program and an existing master’s degree program within the Purdue University system. Combined degree programs formally approved by the participating academic units and the Graduate School may use a limited number of credit hours of 50000- and 60000-level coursework taken to satisfy the baccalaureate or professional degree on the master’s degree plan of study.
The maximum number of course credits from the undergraduate or professional transcript which may be dual counted for the master’s degree varies with the total credit hours required for the master’s degree.
(Required Credit Hours)
|Maximum Number of
Dual Counted Credit Hours
|30 - 39
|40 - 49
|50 - 59
|60 - +
Undergraduate excess credits cannot be used in combination with the credits used in the combined degree program.
The baccalaureate or professional degree must be awarded prior to awarding the master’s degree. Students enrolled in Combined Degree Programs are expected to complete the baccalaureate degree on schedule. Students in Combined Degree Programs, who are funded by an external grant at 25.00 CUL or higher, will have a primary classification of graduate. Other students in Combined Degree Programs will have a primary classification of undergraduate until the baccalaureate degree is awarded. The Combined Degree Proposal review and approval flow chart is described in Appendix H (Combined Degree Program Proposal Review/Approval Flowchart,) and the proposal format is detailed in Appendix I, (General Proposal Format for Combined Degree Programs.) Appropriate departmental, college/school, and campus reviews are to be conducted and appropriate signatures obtained prior to submitting the final proposal to the dean of the Graduate School.
- Dual Master’s Degree Programs
- Purdue University Master’s / Professional Master’s
This dual-degree program is one in which an existing Purdue University master’s degree program is combined with an existing postbaccalaureate professional degree program at another U.S. institution. Dual-degree programs formally approved by the participating academic units and the Graduate School may use a maximum of nine credit hours of 50000- and 60000-level coursework taken to satisfy the postbaccalaureate professional degree on the master’s degree plan of study. Dual-degree program proposals which exceed the scope and /or dual credit allowance will be forwarded to the Graduate Council for consideration. The Purdue master’s degree must be awarded prior to the awarding of the postbaccalaureate professional degree. Appropriate departmental, college/school, and campus reviews are to be conducted and appropriate signatures obtained prior to submitting the final proposal to the dean of the Graduate School. See Appendix J for Dual and Joint Degree Flowchart and Proposal Format.
- Purdue University Master’s / Master’s From Another Institution of Higher Education
This dual degree program is defined as one that involves “coursework at two or more institutions” and one in which “a separate diploma is awarded from each of the participating programs” (CIC Global Collaborations Executive Brief, September 2011). This dual degree program policy and procedures document governs dual degree programs between a department or School at Purdue University - West Lafayette or the system-wide program (Purdue University-Calumet, Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort-Wayne, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University North-Central) and another institution of higher education. Dual degree programs award degrees at the Masters level (MA, MFA or MS). As the process matures, the Graduate Council may consider other kinds of degree combinations. Dual degree programs may be between a Purdue University system department/School and either (a) a department/School in a U.S. institution of higher education or (b) a department/School in an international institution of higher education. See Appendix J for Dual and Joint Degree Flowchart and Proposal Format.
- Joint Ph.D. Degree Programs
A joint degree program is defined as one that awards “one diploma displaying the seals and/or names of each partner institution,” (CIC Global Collaborations Executive Brief, September 2011). This joint degree program policy and procedures document governs joint degree programs between a department or School at Purdue University-West Lafayette and another institution of higher education. Joint degree programs award degrees at the PhD level. As the process matures, the Graduate Council may consider other kinds of degree combinations. Joint degree programs may be between a Purdue University-West Lafayette department/School and either (a) a department/School in a U.S. institution of higher education or (b) a department/School in an international institution of higher education. See Appendix J for Dual and Joint Degree Flowchart and Proposal Format.
- Graduate-Level, Academic Credit Certificate Programs
All Graduate Certificate Programs must be approved by the Graduate Council.
Other postbaccalaureate certificate programs with 50% or more of their courses at the 50000 level or higher must also be approved by the Graduate Council. See Appendix E, Process for Approval of New Graduate-Level, Academic Credit Certificate Programs.
- Adding a Thesis Option to a Currently Approved Nonthesis-Option Master’s Degree Program
Requests to add a thesis option to a currently approved nonthesis-option master’s degree program must follow procedures established by the Graduate Council. (Appendix P) The proposal must be submitted to the dean of the Graduate School.
- Adding a Non-Thesis Option to a Currently Approved Master’s Degree Program
When adding a non-thesis option to an approved graduate degree program, a request must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. (Appendix Q)
- Adding an Additional Curriculum Option to a Currently Approved Master’s Degree Program
When adding an additional curriculum option to an approved graduate degree program, a request must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. (Appendix R)
Effective fall 2016, academic units may request the addition of a graduate program major to any existing graduate degree programs. Graduate education at Purdue is organized by degree programs. A degree program may have one or more associated majors. Each major is a unique set of courses designed to give the student depth in an academic field. A major designation appears on all transcripts issued after the degree is posted, but not on the diploma. A major may also have one or more concentrations.
Graduate majors will have the following features:
- Specialization in an academic field of study within a graduate degree.
- For MS degree programs, a major is defined by a minimum of 60% of the credit hours required for the degree.
- For PhD programs a major is defined by a minimum of 18 credit hours of graded course credits required for the degree.
Academic units seeking to add a graduate major to one or more of their existing degree programs should refer to Appendix V for additional guidelines, as well as a Form 28G, for requesting a new major. Academic units not wanting to add a new major do not need to do anything to retain their existing major and concentrations.
Heads of degree-granting graduate programs may request that one or more concentration(s) be established within their majors, to allow one (or more) specialized areas of graduate study to be reflected on a student’s final transcript. A minimum of nine (9) credit hours of graded, graduate level coursework, i.e., 50000 and 60000 level courses, is required for a concentration. For two concentrations to be listed on a student’s transcript, those concentrations cannot have any shared core courses. Requests to add, revise, or delete a concentration should be made on G.S. Form 25, Request for a Concentration (Appendix U ).
Once a concentration has been approved by the dean of the Graduate School, a concentration annotation may be added to a student’s final transcript. Such requests normally are made on the plan of study; however, the addition of a concentration to a final transcript also may be requested at the time of the graduation audit. (See Section X-A-2.) The concentration appears on the final transcript issued after the degree is posted, but it does not appear on the diploma. Students may complete a maximum of two concentrations and have them displayed on the transcript if the concentrations are distinct (i.e., share no core courses between them).
I. Graduate-level Courses
Dual-level courses (graduate or undergraduate) are numbered 50000 through 59999.The Graduate Council has joint jurisdiction with the appropriate college/school faculties for approving 50000‑level courses.
Graduate courses are numbered 60000 through 69999. Each 60000-level course is proposed by the degree-granting department directly to the Graduate School Numbers 69000 through 69799 are used for graduate study courses and seminars. Number 69800 is used for master’s thesis research and number 69900 is used for doctoral thesis research. The Graduate Council has final jurisdiction for the approval of all 60000-level courses. These courses are developed by the appropriate degree-granting department and forwarded to the Graduate Council for appropriate action.
Graduate Council policy specifies that a 50000- or 60000-level course cannot be scheduled to meet together with an undergraduate-level course without prior approval of the dean of the Graduate School. Approval may be granted on a limited term basis.
- 50000-level Courses (dual-level)
Graduate Council policy requires that courses at the 50000-level in the Purdue system should be taught at the graduate level and meet four criteria: a) the use of primary literature in conjunction with advanced secondary sources (i.e., advanced textbooks); b) assessments that demonstrate synthesis of concepts and ideas by students; c) demonstrations that topics are current, and; d) components that emphasize research approaches/methods or discovery efforts in the course content area (reading the research, critiquing articles, proposing research, performing research). Such courses should be taught so that undergraduate students are expected to rise to the level of graduate work and be assessed in the same manner as the graduate students.
The enrollment of undergraduates in 50000-level courses is restricted to upper-division (i.e., junior and senior) students, unless a waiver has been granted to a particular lower-division student by the dean of the Graduate School after consultation with the instructor and the head of the department involved. In the rare case that a student of lower classification should be advised to enroll in a 50000-level course, the Course Request (Registrar’s Form 23) should contain a brief justification in the “comments” section and should bear the additional signatures of the instructor and department head responsible for the course in question.
The Graduate council recommends the Purdue Graduate School initiate a review of 50000 level courses. The review should be done at the department level and performed, at a minimum of every five years thereafter. Each department should review their 50000 level courses to see that they meet current criteria for 50000 level courses (see above).
- 60000-level Courses
Courses at the 60000-level generally are restricted to graduate students to facilitate the preservation of the highest course quality and, thereby, to help maintain strong graduate programs. However, some exceptional senior undergraduate students may be allowed to register for a 60000-level course under the following conditions:
a. The student has a cumulative index of at least 3.4 or has been admitted to a graduate program for a subsequent session; and
b. The student’s semester (session) load is no more than 16 hours with the inclusion of one 60000-level course.
Graduate School approval is required if the requested 60000-level course is not offered in a subject field administered by the academic college/school in which the student is enrolled. The Course Request (Registrar’s Form 23) should contain a brief justification in the “comments” section and should bear the additional signature of the course instructor.
- Special Topics, Variable Title, Variable Credit Courses, Independent Study Courses, and Research Credit Courses
A graduate degree-granting academic unit (i.e., department/school/college) may request Special Topics Courses (variable title/variable credit/temporary), Independent Study Courses, or Research Credit courses at the 50000- and/or 60000-level. Requests are administratively approved by the Graduate School via submission of a GS Form 40G. Once such courses have been approved by the Graduate School, faculty should contact the departmental schedule deputy to set up new sections of a Special Topics or Independent Study course under a specific title. Each specifically titled Special Topics course may be offered no more than two times. To continue offering the course under the same title, the academic unit must request a permanent course number (See Section 1, I, Graduate Level Courses). To obtain a new course number, proposers should contact the Office the Registrar, after which the proposer can complete a Form 40G and supporting document that must be sent to the Graduate School, (Graduate Programs Office, Room 160).
4. 80000-level Courses
The Graduate School approved the renumbering of the 50000-level professional degree courses to the 80000-level for the former College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine effective with the fall 2008 semester. Based on the current policies of the Graduate School concerning graduate and professional degree programs:
a. The creation, deletion, and content of 80000-level courses reside with the appropriate college/school. No approvals from the Graduate School are necessary.
b. The newly numbered 80000-level courses are for professional degree students. Graduate students can take 80000-level courses, with consent of the instructor. While the credits count in the calculation of the overall GPA, the course and credit hours cannot be used on the graduate student’s plan of study.
c. Professional degree students can take a graduate (50000- or 60000-level) course, with consent of the instructor. The decision to use credit from graduate course in meeting the degree requirements of the professional degree program rests with the program.
d. In the event a graduate student needs the content of an 80000-level course as credit on a plan of study, a variable title 59000 or 69000 course could be arranged with the instructor. The 59000 or 69000 course would be subject to the same restrictions that currently exist for the use of such courses (e.g., a graduate student needs information from an 80000-level course, CLPH 8XXXX, Principles of Drug Information and Literature Evaluation, which is needed to support his or her research).
5. Graduate-level Course Designation: Campus-based or System-wide
- Campus-based Courses: new or existing course that is proposed by or offered by an academic unit on one system campus only. Campus-based courses may not be added to the academic offerings at other system-campuses. Campus-based courses may be available to students at other system campuses via distance delivery. See Appendix T for documentation required for course approvals, campus restricted courses.
- System-wide Courses: new or existing courses that is proposed by, or offered by two or more campus departments. Campus departments which offer system courses are expected to maintain content synchrony as updates are made in order to ensure that credits can be transferred seamlessly. If a campus department proposes to adopt a course from another campus(es), it would be with the approval of the department(s) on the campus(es) that offer the course. See Appendix T for documentation required for course approval of Purdue system courses.
6. New Graduate-level Courses and Upgrading of Level of Courses
Proposals by faculty for new 50000- and 60000-level courses and proposals to upgrade the level of existing courses (e.g., 40000 to 50000 or 50000 to 60000) are made by submitting a Request for Addition, Expiration, or Revision of a Graduate Course (Registrar’s Form 40G) and supporting documentation to the Graduate School, via the head of the degree-granting graduate program and the academic college/school dean.
Prior to submitting a request for a new or upgraded course, the proposer(s) should review all courses in the subject area offered throughout the system for similarity. A conscious decision should not be made to submit a request for a new course if a comparable course already exists. The proposed number for a new course (or use of an existing course) is coordinated with the Office of the Registrar, the Graduate Programs Office, and campuses within the Purdue system. Then an original Form 40G with the supporting document should be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office in the Graduate School to begin the review/approval process. Electronic copies are permitted.
Note that if the course request is submitted from a department/campus that has approval to offer a graduate degree program in that area, the Form 40G and supporting documents are sent directly to the Graduate School. If the course request is submitted from a department/campus that does not have approval to offer a graduate degree program, the Form 40G and supporting document must first be sent to an appropriate department/campus with an ICHE approved degree program and be approved by the head of the graduate program and the academic dean in that department/campus. It can then be sent on to the Graduate School.
Once a course request is received, it is subsequently reviewed administratively by the Graduate School and, for academic content, by the appropriate area committee within the Graduate Council. Proposers should ensure the accuracy of the Form 40G and that the required supporting documentation sufficiently addresses all of the items outlined. The course review may be delayed if the submitted Form 40G or supporting documentation are incomplete or are formatted incorrectly. Similarly, course requests may be delayed if the proposer has not coordinated with other programs in the Purdue system that offer similar courses and/or programs.
Following the review of the Form 40G and supporting documentation, the proposer may be asked to provide clarification or additional information with a time limit established by the area chair or the Graduate School (typically 30-90 days). Under extenuating circumstances a longer revision period may be granted by the area chair in consultation with the proposer and the Graduate School.
After approval of the course by the Graduate Council, the Form 40G is transmitted to the Office of the Registrar. The Form 40G provides essential information, such as the title, class and credit hours, prerequisites required, and the course description. The description should provide a brief, crisp, and clear statement of what the course is about.
The supporting document (appended to the Form 40G), which is required for each new course proposal, request to upgrade the level of a course, request to add an existing course must provide the following information in the supporting document:
- Justification for the Course: Provide a complete and detailed explanation of the need for the course (e. g., in the preparation of students, in providing new knowledge/training in one or more topics, in meeting degree requirements, etc.), how the course contributes to existing majors and/or concentrations, and how the course relates to other graduate courses offered by the department, other departments, or interdisciplinary programs.
Justify the level of the proposed graduate course (50000- or 60000-level) including statements on, but not limited to: (1) the target audience, including the anticipated number of undergraduate and graduate students who will enroll in the course; and (2) the rigor of the course.
- Learning Outcomes and Method of Evaluation or Assessment: Describe the course objectives and student learning outcomes that address the objectives (i.e., objectives and student learning outcomes that address the objectives (i.e., knowledge, communication, critical thinking, ethical research, etc.). Describe the methods of evaluation or assessment of student learning outcomes. (Include evidence for both direct and indirect methods.) Include a statement describing the grading criteria that will be used to assess students and how the final grade will be determined. Identify the method(s) of instruction and describe how the methods promote the likely success of the desired student learning outcomes.
- Prerequisites: List prerequisite courses by subject abbreviation, number, and title. List other prerequisites and/or experiences/background required. If no prerequisites are indicated, provide an explanation for their absence.
- Course Instructor: Provide the name, rank, and department/program affiliation of the instructor(s). If the instructor is not currently a member of the Graduate Faculty, indicate when it is expected that a request will be submitted.
- Course Outline: Provide an outline of topics to be covered and indicate the relative amount of time or emphasis devoted to each topic. If laboratory or field experiences are used to supplement a lecture course, explain the value of the experience(s) to enhance the quality of the course and student learning. For special topics courses, include a sample outline of a course that would be offered under the proposed course.
- Reading List: A primary reading list or bibliography should be limited to material the students will be required to read in order to successfully complete the course. It should not be a compilation of general reference material. A secondary reading list or bibliography should include material students may use as background information.
- Library Resources: Describe the library resources that are currently available or the resources needed to support this proposed course.
- Course Syllabus: A sample syllabus should be attached to all course proposals. The syllabus is helpful to review committees who wish to better understand some of the course characteristics and nuances as described in the other sections of this proposal.
It is recognized that many course syllabi are based on earlier offerings of an experimental version of the course, and that changes may have been introduced to the proposal based on experience in the earlier course offerings. This can create an unintended perception that the proposal is contradicted by the sample syllabus. Accordingly, please briefly described any changes or clarifications in bullet points. An example course syllabus may be found in Appendix K .
7. Revision or Expiration of an Existing Graduate-level Course or Addition of an Existing Course
Requests to revise or delete a graduate-level course or to add an existing course are made by submitting a Request for Addition, Expiration, or Revision of a Course (Registrar’s Form 40G) to the Graduate School, via the head of the degree-granting graduate program and the academic college/school dean. The top of the Form 40G should be marked to indicate the nature of the change(s). Complete only the sections on the form that identify the course and that indicate the effective date and changes to be made, including a brief justification for the changes. These requests are reviewed and approved administratively by the Graduate School and are reported to the Graduate Council.
If the number, title, and description of a course are all changed, it is considered to be a new course. A number that has been used previously cannot be used again.
- Adding an Existing Course: Requests to add an existing course are made after all campuses that have approval to offer the course have been consulted. These campuses can be determined by consulting the registrar’s course repository.
A course with the same subject abbreviation and number must have the same title and description at all campuses that have approval to offer the course. The Form 40G should be checked to “Add existing course.” The form should be completed the same as for a new course, including a supporting document. The campus requesting to add an existing course will send a copy of the Registrar’s Form 40G, with the supporting document to the head of the department at each campus that has approval to offer the course. Any concerns or questions about the request are to be directed to the campus requesting the addition of the course, and any issues should be resolved between the departments/campuses. The signature of each department head is required on a copy of the Registrar’s Form 40G, and the form is to be returned to the requesting department/campus. The academic dean’s signature is required only from the campus requesting the addition of the course. After the forms have been collected, the department requesting the addition of the course will submit all signed forms to the Graduate School and include a statement verifying that the course covers the same material as the existing course. If the request to add an existing course is not approved by one or more of the campuses that offer the course, the proposing campus may request approval for a new graduate level course following the policies and protocol relevant to such a request.
- Revising a Course: Requests for changes in the title and description of a course must be coordinated with all campuses that have approval to offer the course before the request is submitted to the Graduate School. The signatures of the department head and academic dean at all campuses approved to offer the course are required on the Form 40G. If all campuses are not in agreement with the requested change, the department/campus requesting the change may submit a request for a new course to be approved by the Graduate Council. Other changes (e.g., prerequisites, class pattern, sessions offered, etc.) require only the approval of the campus requesting the change.
- Adding a Distance/ Online Method of Delivery: A sample syllabus should be attached to all course proposals. The syllabus is helpful to review committees who wish to better understand some of the course characteristics and nuances as described in the other sections of this proposal.
It is recognized that many course syllabi are based on earlier offerings of an experimental version of the course, and that changes may have been introduced to the proposal based on experience in the earlier course offerings. This can create an unintended perception that the proposal is contradicted by the sample syllabus. Accordingly, please briefly described any changes or clarifications in bullet points.
- Expiring a Course: Requests to expire a course are submitted directly to the Graduate School from the campus requesting the expiration.
For courses that have not been offered in five years, departments are required to either expire these courses or provide justification for retaining them in the registrar’s course repository.