Feb 29, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog 
2021-2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

X. Graduation

A. Declaration and Certification of Candidacy

The primary responsibility for identifying and clearing graduation candidates for advanced degrees rests with the students, major professors, and departments. Graduation candidates must be registered in the session of graduation for a candidate course (CAND 99100, 99200, or 99300).

The Graduate School requires the assistance of each department in developing a final list of those who expect to graduate at the close of the session.  The accurate and timely establishment of a candidate list is important to the student and the University.

  1. Preliminary Candidate List
    At the time of registration, students who expect to graduate at the end of that session should notify their department of their intent.  The department is responsible for registering students properly as candidates for graduation. Since students who have been granted permission for absentia research are not automatically added to the candidate list, departments should monitor the progress of these students and register them as candidates in the session in which they anticipate graduating.  If an absentia student expects to graduate in the summer session, the student must register for the summer session. (See Section V-F-4a  and V-F-5b .)

    The Office of the Registrar supplies the Graduate School with a preliminary list of candidates expecting to graduate.  The Graduate School then sends a preliminary (starting) list to each department. For various reasons, the preliminary candidate list may be incomplete. Therefore, it is very important that this list be checked thoroughly by each department.

    Each department is asked to poll graduate students and major professors as soon as possible after receiving the preliminary candidate list.  The names of students who expect to graduate but whose names do not appear on the initial list should be supplied to the Graduate School at once (via electronic mail) but no later than the last day to declare candidacy for the session of anticipated graduation. (See Graduation Deadlines.) Students whose names are not added to the candidate list by the last day to declare candidacy for the session of anticipated graduation normally will be required to register for the following session to receive their degrees.  If a student wishes to pursue graduation after the last day to declare candidacy, they will be charged a Late Graduation Deadline Fee to be added to the candidate list. (See X-3)

    The Graduate School sets the candidate list up in the Graduate School database, which is accessible by the departments. The Graduate School periodically updates the candidate list, so it is important for the departments to review this list regularly and notify the Graduate School of any changes (via electronic mail).  The Graduate School monitors late registrations, and, as students become eligible for candidacy, the Graduate School updates subsequent candidate lists accordingly until the last day to declare candidacy.  (See Graduation Deadlines Calendar)  If a department later discovers that a student who was potentially eligible to graduate will not be able to complete all graduation requirements by the deadlines specified, the department should inform the Graduate School (via electronic mail) so the student’s name can be removed from the candidate list.
  2. Candidate Audit/Certification Forms
    The Graduate School sends departments a candidate audit/certification form for each student on the candidate list.  The candidate audit/certification form is the department’s formal statement that the student is, or is not, a bona fide candidate to receive an advanced degree at the close of the current session.  The audit/certification form informs the department of outstanding problems that must be resolved before the record can be cleared for the anticipated degree (e.g., courses to be completed, notes of unacceptable grades, registration credit issues, GPA issues, or the absence of required transcripts). The completed candidate audit/certification form should be signed by the coordinator and the head of the graduate program, as well as the student’s major professor if requested by the department. These individuals should confirm the student’s candidacy or removal from candidacy. The form should be signed by all department representatives as soon as possible, but must be signed before the beginning of the last week of classes in that academic session.  (See Graduation Deadlines Calendar.) The department should retain a copy of the form.

    Any errors detected on the candidate audit/certification form should be reported to the Graduate School by the department as soon as possible.  If there are changes to be made to a candidate’s plan of study, the change to the plan of study should be submitted for approval to the Graduate School immediately.  Be aware that plans of study may not be altered after degrees are conferred. 

    The Graduate School should be notified immediately if the degree title is incorrect or if a concentration is not posted (or is incorrectly posted) on the candidate audit/certification form. 

    Students whose names appear on the candidate list but who have not met all academic requirements for their degrees by the end of the session of candidacy will not be awarded degrees.  These students must register for a future session to be awarded degrees.  When a candidate is academically qualified to receive a degree, the degree must be awarded and may not be deferred to a future session.

  3. Late Graduation Deadline Fee
    Graduate students may be assessed a Late Graduation Deadline Fee for the following graduation-related reasons:
    1. Missing the Plan of Study Deadline
      Plans of study must be received by the Graduate School with all advisory committee, department/school, and college signatures, prior to the first day of classes of the session of anticipated graduation. Students are encouraged to submit their plan at least one month in advance of the start of the session of anticipated graduation to allow ample time for department review and approval. Departments may set and enforce an earlier student submission deadline, if appropriate.
    2. Missing the Deadline to Declare Candidacy
      Students must be registered as graduate candidates and be listed on the candidate roster on or before the deadline to declare candidacy for the session of anticipated graduation.
    3. Registering as a Candidate for Graduation for Three or more Consecutive Sessions
      Students who are on the candidate list for the same degree for three or more consecutive sessions will be assessed the late fee for each consecutive session, starting with the third session. Students are considered to have been “Listed” on the candidate roster for a given term if a candidate registration (CAND 99100, 99200, or 99300) was entered for them at any point for that term.
    4. Missing the Thesis Deposit Deadline
      Thesis option master’s and doctoral students must deposit their thesis or dissertation no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) on the last day of classes of the session in which their degree is to be awarded.

    5. Making at Least One Update or Correction to an Already Deposited Thesis or Dissertation

      If a student misses one of the critical deadlines noted above (a, b, or d) and still wishes to pursue graduation in that academic session, a formal memo request is required. The memo should be endorsed by the student’s major professor and department head, and submitted to the Graduate School for review. If approved, the Late Graduation Deadline Fee will be assessed.

      Students will only be assessed the Late Graduation Deadline Fee up to once per session, even if they qualify for it for multiple reasons. If a student believes s/he has been assessed this fee incorrectly, or if there were extenuating circumstances that may warrant a fee waiver, students may submit an appeal request using the G.S. Form 38: Appeal Initiation. Students who submitted their plan at least one month or more in advance of the start of the session of anticipated graduation but who failed to obtain all department approvals before the deadline are encouraged to use the G.S. Form 38 to request an appeal of the Late Graduation Deadline Fee.

      Late Graduation Deadline Fee appeals that are not approved by the Graduate School may be reviewed one additional time by a committee of faculty and staff if a second review is requested by the student. Graduate students seeking to pursue a second appeal must submit the request for the additional review to the Graduate School. Additional documentation or explanation of relevant extenuating circumstances may be included with the second appeal request. Decisions regarding the Late Graduation Deadline Fee made by this committee are final.

B. Commencement Participation and Receipt of Degree

The Office of the Registrar electronically notifies graduation candidates when the “Graduation” tab is made available in myPurdue.  Through this tab, the Registrar will issue directives, and provide information to candidates relative to graduation and participation in the commencement exercises. If it is their intent to participate in the commencement ceremonies, the candidates are to indicate that through this “Graduation” tab. 

It is at this time that the Graduate School sends to the Office of the Registrar the list of major professors who have doctoral candidates on the candidate roster.  If a major professor plans to hood their doctoral candidate at commencement, he or she must register to do so through the Registrar’s website. 

The names of all candidate participants in the commencement ceremonies must appear on the candidate list during that academic session.  The only exception is a graduate who wishes to return to participate in a ceremony for a session subsequent to the session of graduation.  In this case, a written request must be submitted to commencement@purdue.edu prior to the start of the term in which the candidate is requesting to participate.

A candidate who has been on the candidate list during the session but who is not able to complete the degree requirements by the end of the session may still participate in commencement, provided he or she has already notified the Registrar of the intent to participate.  If the Graduate School is notified that a candidate will not meet degree requirements by the end of the session, and the student has not notified the Registrar of his or her intent to participate in commencement, that student will be removed from the candidate roster and will not be eligible to participate in commencement.

Please be aware that students cannot be added to the candidate list for the sole purpose of participating in commencement.

Diplomas are mailed to graduates if their records could not be cleared for the degree before commencement or if they did not participate in commencement.  Diplomas normally are mailed about eight weeks after commencement.

C. Doctoral Candidate Hooding

The day following the deadline to declare candidacy, the registrar sends the Graduate School the preliminary candidate list for that session’s graduation.  Based on this preliminary candidate list, a roster of major professors who have doctoral degree candidates graduating at the end of the term is produced. 

Major professors are sent a notification that one of their doctoral candidates is on the candidate list for graduation at the end of that session. This notification includes an invitation to march with, and hood, their candidate(s) during the commencement exercises.  (This invitation is sent out twice per session to all major professors who have doctoral degree candidates on the candidate roster for that session.)  If, after working with their candidate(s), it is decided that both the major professor and the student would like to participate, this invitation provides the major professor with the link they must use to register their participation with the Office of the Registrar. Information on the registration deadline for that session is also included in the invitation. 

Only regular certified graduate faculty who are major professors are eligible to participate, and hood, doctoral candidates.  If the candidate has co-chairs on the advisory committee, a decision will need to be made as to which co-chair will participate.  Also, co-chairs who have special certification are not sent the invitation as they are not eligible to participate. 

Major professors participating must be in academic attire, and it is their responsibility to obtain the appropriate academic attire.  Information regarding gown and hood rentals is included in this invitation should the faculty member not have their own academic attire. 

Care should be taken to thoroughly read this communication as various other pieces of valuable information are also included.

D. Report of Graduation Results

At the close of each session, after the final grades have posted, a final audit is once again completed on each candidate’s record.

As soon as possible after the final audits have been completed, the Graduate School returns to the Registrar the updated list of candidates who were certified as having met all academic requirements for their degrees.  Departments are notified by email of outstanding issues at the time the audits are done.  The Graduate School updates the candidate list in the Graduate School Database, which is accessible by departments.  Departments should review this list carefully for any discrepancies with their own records, and immediately report any discrepancies to the Graduate School. 

Once the records have been cleared and degrees have been posted to the academic records, the Graduate School will mark the plans of study as “Posted” in the Graduate School Database.  The departments may then access the Graduate School Database to verify posted degrees for their graduates.