Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog 
    
2024-2025 University Catalog

Policies and Procedures for Administering Graduate Student Programs


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Additional information can be accessed on the Graduate Programs Office website.


I. Administering Graduate Programs 

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Introduction

Purdue University is a system that encompasses four campuses in Indiana. As the main campus, the West Lafayette location is the oldest and most comprehensive, home to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS). Established in 1929, OGSPS comprises more than 160+ programs at the West Lafayette campus and 80 programs at the regional campuses of Purdue Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest, and Purdue Indianapolis.

For information related to the submission of graduate program and course proposals, please visit here.
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A. Executive Authority

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS) encompasses all graduate academic and interdisciplinary programs, including courses, degrees, and certificates, and is responsible for graduate administrative functions such as admissions, student records, and thesis and dissertation deposits. OGSPS also oversees the Purdue Graduate Student Government.

By authority of the Board of Trustees (April 10, 1929), the Vice Provost was made the principal administrative officer of OGSPS. The Vice Provost’s responsibility covers registration of graduate students, approving schedules, deciding classification, and appointing examination committees. As the chair of the Graduate Council, the Vice Provost publishes all university policies and procedures, may provide clarification and interpretation of policy, and grant exceptions when deemed appropriate. These policies and further specifications are detailed in this manual outlined herein.
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B. Graduate Council

In accordance with the action of the general faculty (June 1949), the Graduate Council acts as the faculty of the OGSPS, responsible for all academic policies related to graduate study and degree programs. These policies involve: admission to Purdue; standards of work; courses and programs of study; registration requirements; and all other requirements for advanced degrees.

The Graduate Council consists of a minimum of twenty-five voting members appointed by the university president, four ex officio voting members, associate deans of OGSPS, the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and the president of the Purdue Graduate Student Government (as ex officio nonvoting members). The four ex officio voting members are: the Vice Provost of OGSPS, the provost, the dean of libraries, and the registrar. The appointed voting members typically serve three-year terms, with around eight new members appointed each year. One voting member and one ex officio nonvoting member derive from the Northwest-Calumet, Northwest-Westville, and Fort Wayne campuses, and the Indianapolis location. No person who has served as a voting member may be renamed to the council until at least one year has elapsed following their preceding term.

The ex officio voting members are: 1) the Vice Provost of OGSPS, 2) the provost, 3) the dean of libraries, and 4) the registrar.

The Graduate Council has six area committees, and each voting council member is assigned to one of these committees. Only voting members (or proxies) are eligible to vote or make a motion.

The Graduate Council Executive Committee serves as the steering committee. They are comprised of the chairs of the area committees, the Vice Provost of OGSPS (as chair of the Graduate Council) and the associate deans, the latter of whom 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 Vice Provost, and to consider important topics to be addressed by the council during the year. 
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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, along with maintaining academic standards within their respective majors. Such authority is delegated by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars and is exercised in accord with all pertinent regulations and procedures established by the Board of Trustees, the provost, the Vice Provost, 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. OGSPS 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, including for electronic forms. To provide this information, a form should be submitted through the Curriculog electronic proposal processing system. You will find separate forms for Graduate Signature Authority for Degrees and Graduate Certificates.

Recommendations concerning a student, such as a plan of study, should flow to OGSPS 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.

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D. Signature Authority and Approvals

Each of the administrative levels outlined above is required to electronically approve various items related to graduate education for both faculty and students. Each department, college, and campus establishes specific individuals as having the authority to approve requests, such as final exam requests or thesis deposit forms. Proxies may also be established. This is called Signature Authority. Signature Authority is documented using the Curriculog Signature Authority proposal. For electronic documents, one “required” signature and only one “proxy” signature can be accepted. This proposal defines who has authority to approve:

  • Graduate Faculty Appointment Requests
  • Plans of Study
  • Preliminary and Final Examination Forms
  • Thesis Deposit Forms
  • Graduate Applications
  • Other Miscellaneous Forms
  • Curriculog Proposal Forms

The form captures the individual’s role, contact information, and signature, which is used to verify approvals and items from the list above. This information is also used to establish the electronic routing path for approvals in various systems. The Signature Authority form records the required signature for the plan of study coordinator in each department.

As individuals change roles or separate from departments, colleges, or campuses, OGSPS should be notified of such changes, and a Curriculog Signature Authority proposal should be completed to ensure that approvals are being sought from the correct individuals. Individuals serving in any position that has signature authority must have graduate faculty status as defined below (See Section G). Any unit may contact the OGSPS to examine and/or verify the current individuals recorded as having signature authority for their unit.
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E. 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 may:

  • Provide general guidance to the graduate program.
  • Suggest new course offerings and review and recommend new courses proposed by faculty.
  • Recommend new areas or degree programs for graduate study.
  • Recommend changes in graduate policies or regulations for consideration by the Graduate Council.
  • Help one department of graduate studies coordinate with other departments or in the same department at other campuses.
  • Provide counseling for new graduate students before they have been assigned to a major professor.
  • Help recruit new graduate students and recommend admission for prospective students.
  • Administer or give general guidance concerning department-required examinations.

The committee chair may also advise other committees regarding availability of faculty to serve on advisory and examining committees for students majoring in other subjects.

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F. Graduate Faculty

(For appointment guidelines, see Appendix I)
(For graduate student mentoring and advising guidelines, see Appendix D)

1. Regular Graduate Status

Members of the Graduate Faculty have been nominated by the head of a specific graduate program and an academic dean. The Vice Provost of the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (or designee), 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, that is, across both departments and campuses. A faculty should only be nominated for one appointment. The appointment should be associated with the unit where the faculty’s majority responsibility to the faculty resides.

To serve as a major professor, chair, or member of a degree committee, a Graduate Faculty member must hold the degree being conferred or a more advanced degree as outlined in Appendix H.

Graduate faculty must complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module within one hundred and twenty (120) days of employment and every five (5) years thereafter to maintain graduate faculty status. If a faculty’s CITI RCR certification lapses, they will be given thirty (30) days to complete the certification. If the certification is not completed, their access to the Graduate Student Database will be suspended until they have completed the CITI RCR module.

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 home department, who forwards the nomination to the relevant academic dean. The nomination is then sent to the campus liaison for endorsement via electronic signature. Finally, the nomination is forwarded to the Vice Provost (or designee) for review. Upon approval, a graduate faculty identifier will be assigned (e.g. C00001 for WL, W00001 for PFW, and Z00001 for PNW) to the appointee for use on documents.

Faculty who are nominated for appointment to the Graduate Faculty are assumed, by virtue of their nomination by program heads and academic deans, to be qualified researchers and scholars. Faculty are granted the highest status possible under policy unless the nominating department requests a lesser level status. Graduate status is not a guarantee that the faculty will receive the level or status for which they might qualify; this decision resides with the department and its governing faculty.

Nominees for appointment to the Graduate Faculty must demonstrate ability to mentor and supervise the progress and work of graduate students. To do so, they need to be familiar with policies and practices at Purdue University. All new faculty must complete an OGSPS workshop even if they served as graduate faculty elsewhere. While the workshop will not delay a request for status for a faculty member, it is expected to be completed within the first year of service to the university.

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 co-chair or chair graduate student committees (subject to the classification policy, Appendix H). 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 faculty member who has received approval of the Vice Provost and the provost to pursue a graduate degree 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. Faculty Graduate Status Review

The head of a department 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 Vice Provost of OGSPS, the Vice President for Research, or the Provost may direct the head of the of the program/department 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. If a review is necessary, it will be conducted in consultation with an appointed committee and the Vice Provost or a designee. Reviews may result in a variety of possible recommendations to the Vice Provost, 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.

The review involves the following:

  • The Vice Provost of OGSPS assembles a review committee comprised of at least three faculty who have Graduate Faculty Status and are at or above the rank of the faculty member under review. An associate dean chairs the committee. 
  • The Vice Provost notifies the faculty member being reviewed, in writing, that the review is underway. The notification includes a summary of the concerns and reason for review and an overview of the process to be followed. 
  • The committee reviews any documentation submitted by Vice Provost, conducts interviews with students, faculty, administration, and others relevant to the complaint, and requests documents, emails, etc. as appropriate. The committee summarizes the evidence and presents it to the faculty member being reviewed. The faculty member is provided an opportunity to respond to the report in writing and by interviewing with the review committee. They may also request additional witnesses to be interviewed by the committee and provide any other supporting evidence.
  • After reviewing all the evidence, the committee makes a recommendation to the Vice Provost regarding the findings in the review.
  • The Vice Provost, in collaboration with the head of the department, makes a final decision regarding outcomes of the review. The Vice Provost then notifies the faculty member of this decision. If the faculty member under review is unsatisfied with the outcomes of this process, they may make an appeal to the Provost’s Office. 

3. Special Graduate Status

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. To serve on a degree committee, a special graduate faculty member must hold the degree being conferred or a more advanced degree (outlined in Appendix H). 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.

Nominations are initiated electronically by the head of a graduate program for approval, via electronic signature, after which the nomination is forwarded electronically to the Vice Provost for review. Upon approval, a graduate faculty identifier (e.g. C00001 for WL, W00001 for PFW, and Z00001 for PNW) will be assigned to the appointee for use on documents.

Special appointments are granted on a per department basis. Thus, an individual who obtains special graduate status can only serve in the department for which they have been approved. It is possible, therefore, for a special graduate faculty member to have special status in multiple departments, even though they will only have one graduate faculty identifier.

Special appointments serve a five-year term. Such appointments may be renewed upon nomination by the head of a graduate program and approval by the Vice Provost. 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 Vice Provost and the provost (via a request) 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 an active list until the appointments are discontinued by the head of the graduate program.
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G. Establishing New Graduate Programs

Guidance for developing academic proposals is available on the Academic Proposals Website. For graduate degree proposals, visit the Office of the Provost. Before proposing a new Graduate Program, the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • Identify a need for graduate students to hold a degree in the proposed content.
  • An academic unit (department, school or college) must exist or be created to oversee the program.
  • Qualified faculty must be allocated to deliver the program.
  • Establish a sufficient body of coursework for which there is enough student demand.
  • Secure funding sufficient to sustain the program and support the program’s students.

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 proposal.

The program proposal submission guidelines require that the above-mentioned conditions have been met and that the program can be sustained.

Course and curricula proposals must be submitted via Curriculog.

Proposers are encouraged to submit proposals 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, proposals submitted late spring or during the summer will typically not be reviewed until the fall semester.

1. 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. These requests must be submitted through Curriculog.

Courses and programs in the online realm may fall under any items purpose listed below. Visit the full policy guidelines here.

1. They may address audiences that are generally distinct from the traditional on-campus student and who may require spe­cial administrative handling or pedagogical strategies.
2. They may serve the University’s engagement mission as well as the learning mission.
3. They may be offered and delivered in nontraditional formats (e.g. intensive, off-campus, on-site training, distance learning, etc.)
4. They generally operate outside traditional academic loads and are fiscally self-supporting, thereby requiring special fi­nancial procedures.
5. They may be miscellaneous learning, engagement, or discovery functions that require the unique services and/or facili­ties managed by the Continuing Education Division.

There is not a set specified percentage of material delivered online versus in person for hybrid courses/programs by defi­nition because Purdue Online aims to serve any program or department with any amount or type of online/hybrid need regardless of percentage of curriculum delivered online.

6. Graduate Professional Programs

Proposals for Graduate Professional Programs must follow policies and guidelines in Appendix F.  

4. Interdisciplinary Programs

Requests for a new interdisciplinary graduate program must follow procedures established by the Graduate Council in Appendix F. The proposal should be submitted via Curriculog.

5. Multiple Degree Programs

Multiple degree programs are reserved for exceptional students. They fall either under a Combined Degree Program status or Dual Degree Program status.

a. Combined Degree Programs:

A combined-degree program 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 OGSPS 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 which may be dual counted between the baccalaureate degree and the master’s degree varies with the total credit hours required for the master’s degree.

Master’s Degree

Required Credit Hours

Maximum Number of

Dual Counted Credit Hours

30 - 36 12
37 - 45 15
46 + 18

Undergraduate excess credits can be used in combination with shared credits in the combined degree, but the sum of the dual-counted and undergraduate excess credits may not exceed maximum shown above.

b. Dual Degree Programs: (this may include Purdue concurrent degrees, as well as a Purdue degree and a degree from another institution)

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 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 proposal format is detailed in Appendix F, (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 Vice Provost.

i. Concurrent Graduate Program Status

A student wishing to pursue two degrees in two different departments simultaneously must complete an application for admission to each department. This usually happens when a student currently is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in one department and wishes to pursue a master’s degree in another department, but it may also include a situation where a student is pursuing two Purdue master’s or two Purdue doctoral degrees at the same time. The student must submit a Notice of Dual Concurrent Graduate Program Status (G.S. Form 18) with the application for admission to the second department. For information on credit sharing permitted between multiple Purdue University degrees, see Section VII.G.

ii. Purdue University Master’s/ Professional Master’s or Purdue University Ph.D./ Professional Doctoral Degree

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 OGSPS may use a maximum of twelve credit hours of 50000- and 60000-level coursework taken to satisfy the professional degree on the Purdue 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 degree must be awarded prior to the awarding of the professional degree. Appropriate departmental, college/school, and campus reviews are to be conducted. Proposal is to be submitted via Curriculog.

iii. Purdue University Master’s/ Master’s From Another Institution of Higher Education or Purdue University Ph.D./ Ph.D. 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, and Purdue University North-Central) and another institution of higher education. 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.

c. Joint Degree Programs (Master’s and Ph.D.)

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 govern joint degree programs between a department or school at Purdue University-West Lafayette and another institution of higher education. 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. 

5. 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. The process for approval of New Graduate-Level, Academic Credit Certificate Programs can be found at the Office of the Provost.

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H. Majors

Effective fall 2016, academic units may request adding graduate program majors to any existing graduate degree programs. Graduate education at Purdue University 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 master’s degrees with more than one major, each additional major must have a minimum of 60% distinct credit hours required for the degree and no more than 80% distinct from the existing major(s) in the degree.
  • For doctoral degrees with more than one major, each additional major must have a minimum of 18 credits required for the degree.
  • A proposal below the threshold should consider a concentration proposal, and above the threshold should consider a new degree proposal.

Academic units not wanting to add a new major do not need to do anything to retain their existing major and concentrations.

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I. 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 (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 using Curriculog.

Once a concentration has been approved by the Vice Provost, 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).
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J. 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.

Each 60000-level course is proposed by the degree-granting department. Numbers 69000 through 69799 are used for graduate study courses and seminars. Number 69800 is used for on-campus master’s thesis research and number 69900 is used for on-campus doctoral thesis research. Number 69810 is used for online master’s thesis research, and TECH 64000 is reserved for research for students in the Doctor of Technology program.
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 Vice Provost. Approval may be granted on a limited term basis.

1. 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:

  • The use of primary literature in conjunction with advanced secondary sources (i.e. advanced textbooks).
  • Assessments that demonstrate synthesis of concepts and ideas by students.
  • Demonstrations that topics are current.
  • 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 Vice Provost 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 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 ensure they meet current criteria for 50000-level courses (see above).

2. 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 if all the following conditions are met:

  • The student has a cumulative index of at least 3.4 or has been admitted to a graduate program for a subsequent session;
  • The student’s semester (session) load is no more than 16 credit hours;
  • Inclusion of 60000 credits is not more than 33% of the semester (session) load.

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.
   
3. 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 via submission through Curriculog. Once such courses have been approved, 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 of the Registrar, after which the proposer can complete the proposal.

4. 80000-level Courses

OGSPS 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 by the fall 2008 semester. The current policies concerning graduate and professional degree programs are as follows:

  • The creation, deletion, and content of 80000-level courses reside with the appropriate college/school. No approvals are necessary.
  • The newly numbered 80000-level courses are for professional degree students. Graduate students can take 80000-level courses, with the 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.
  • Professional degree students can take a graduate 50000- or 60000-level course, with the 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.
  • In the event a graduate student needs the content of an 80000-level course as credit in 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. For example, if a graduate student needs information from the 80000-level course CLPH 8XXXX, Principles of Drug Information and Literature Evaluation, because it is needed to support their research.

5. Graduate-level Course Designations 

a. Campus-based Courses

New or existing courses that are proposed 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.

b. System-wide Courses

New or existing courses that are proposed or offered by two or more campus departments. Campus departments which offer system courses are expected to maintain content synchrony during updates in order to ensure that credits can be transferred seamlessly. If a campus department proposes to adopt a course from another campus or campuses, it would be with the approval of the department(s) on the campus(es) which offer the course.

6. New Graduate-level Courses and Upgrading the Level of Courses

Faculty proposals 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 using Curriculog.

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 and campuses within the Purdue system.

Once a course request is received, it is reviewed administratively and, for academic content, by the appropriate area committee within the Graduate Council. 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 course request, the proposer may be asked to provide clarification or additional information by the area committee chair or OGSPS; delays in responsiveness will hold up the proposal.

After approval of the course by the Graduate Council, the proposal is transmitted to the Office of the Registrar. The request should provide essential information, such as the title, class and credit hours, prerequisites required, and the course description. The description should give a brief, crisp, and clear statement of what the course is about.

Supporting documentation, which is required for each new course proposal, request to upgrade the level of a course, or request to add an existing course must provide the following information. The following required fields have been built into the Curriculog proposal form.

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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.

f. 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.

g. Library Resources:

Describe the library resources that are currently available, or the resources needed to support this proposed course.

h. 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 describe any changes or clarifications in bullet points. An example course syllabus may be found in Appendix G.

7. Revision or Expiration of an Existing Graduate-level Course or Addition of an Existing Course

Requests to revise or expire a graduate-level course or to add an existing course are submitted in Curriculog. The requested action should be marked on the form 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

Please note, 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.

a. 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 proposal form should be checked to “Add existing course.” The form should be completed the same as for a new course, including the supporting document fields. The electronic proposal will be routed to all of the campuses that offer the course for approval by the head of the corresponding department/school. 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 academic dean’s signature is required only from the campus requesting the addition of the 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.

b. 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. The approvals of the department head and academic dean at all campuses approved to offer the course are required. 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.

c. Adding a Distance/Online Method of Delivery:

A sample syllabus should be attached to all course proposals in Curriculog using the “Document” icon. See Section L. for additional information regarding Curriculog. 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 describe any changes or clarifications in bullet points.

d. Expiring a Course:

Requests to expire a course are submitted directly via Curriculog 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.

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K. Curriculog - Electronic Proposal Processing

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars has partnered with the Registrar’s Office to offer an electronic workflow system, Curriculog, for all graduate program and course proposals. Proposers will use this system to request new, revise existing, or expire programs or courses. The following links will provide log-in information, instructional documents, and dates for training opportunities. The contact for Graduate proposals in Curriculog is Tina Payne, tlpayne@purdue.edu. For Undergraduate proposals and all training questions, contact Kim Watley, kwatley@purdue.edu.
 
Curriculog (Electronic Proposal Submission)

Curriculog Contacts and Training Questions/Opportunities


II. Enrollment Objectives

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Students who hold the baccalaureate degree may be admitted either as degree-seeking graduate students or as nondegree-seeking graduate students.

A. Degree-seeking Graduate Students

Degree-seeking graduate students may be admitted to a program that awards master’s, educational specialist, doctoral, or professional degrees.

B. Nondegree-seeking Graduate Students

Purdue provides a variety of educational opportunities for students who wish to acquire knowledge and training beyond the baccalaureate degree. Nondegree‑seeking students who have been admitted to graduate study must have the prerequisites or background and experience needed for any course in which they seek to enroll. They may be required to secure consent from each of the departments in which they would like to register for courses. Consultation and/or registration approval by course instructors may be required.

Nondegree‑seeking graduate students have enrollment objectives in one of the following categories:

1. Nondegree

Holders of a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, who undertake graduate (50000- or 60000-level) coursework without admission to a degree program must be admitted as nondegree students. 

Nondegree admission is not provisional admission to a degree program. However, it is possible for those in this enrollment objective to be considered for admission to as degree-seeking graduate students for a subsequent session. Applications from nondegree students to enter a degree program must include the same supporting materials required of other degree program applicants.

While there is no limit to the number of course credit hours that an individual may accumulate while registered in nondegree status, there is a limit of 12 credit hours that can appear in a plan of study. (See Section VII-B-1-b).

2. Teacher License

Holders of baccalaureate or advanced degrees who, without degree objective, seek to work toward an advanced teaching license may be admitted as teacher license students. Admission in this category does not ensure subsequent admission to a degree program. Teacher license students are subject to the same restrictions as are nondegree students if they are subsequently admitted for degree study. (See Section VII-B-1-b).

3. Graduate Certificate Program

Holders of baccalaureate or advanced degrees who desire to complete pre-specified courses to attain a graduate-level, academic credit certificate in a specific area may be admitted through the graduate certificate program enrollment objective. Students in this category are subject to the same restrictions as are nondegree students if they are subsequently admitted for degree study. (See Section VII-B-1-b).


III. Admissions

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A. General Info

Graduate admission is granted to a specific department. Applicants are expected to hold baccalaureate degrees from accredited colleges or universities prior to registration as graduate students. Three-year Bologna bachelor’s degree recipients are eligible for admission. Applicants with three-year baccalaureate degrees from countries that are not part of the Bologna Process may also be considered for admission, on a case-by-case basis, using a holistic review.  Departments may recommend applicants from these countries with three-year baccalaureate degrees with or without conditions, depending upon the outcome of the holistic review of the candidate. Conditions for admission should be clearly communicated to students at the time of their admission.

Applicants for a master’s or doctoral degree program should have achieved a 3.0 (or equivalent) grade point index or higher from the institution where a baccalaureate degree or higher was awarded to be admitted without conditions of continued enrollment. Some graduate programs have requirements for admission that exceed the general Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars requirements. Additionally, programs at Purdue University can have different deadlines and some have additional admissions requirements. For additional information concerning requirements and deadlines for admission, please consult specific departments/programs here.

Purdue University’s graduate admission process seeks to select students whose applications document their outstanding ability, preparation, and potential for successful completion of graduate study. Purdue University’s Nondiscrimination Policy can be found at the Purdue University Policy Office.

Inquiries about the need for academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services because of a disability should be directed to the Disability Resource Center.

Within the broad, University‑wide framework authorized by the Graduate Council and the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars, departments are primarily responsible for recruitment of students, the establishment of appropriate entry qualifications beyond minimum standards set by the Graduate Council, and initial evaluation and admission recommendation of applicants. Recruitment resources are available from the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Occasionally, pilot programs that deviate from standard policies and procedures are approved and administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. These pilot programs are limited in scope and scale, help determine best practices in admissions and recruitment, and may impact future policies and procedures. Requirements and participating departments for these pilot programs are detailed in a proposal. Approved proposal documents are maintained by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars for the duration of the pilot program.

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B. Graduate Student Recruitment

1. Inquiries

Purchased lists (such as from the GRE search service or Council of Undergraduate Researchers) and information from inquiries about admission received by the Office of Graduate Admissions are entered into Slate. Slate is the client relationship management system that includes unsolicited, inquiry, and application records. Once entered into Slate, inquirers receive communication from the Office of Graduate Admissions and/or the appropriate department/interdisciplinary program. As appropriate, inquiries are directed to the electronic application available at the OGSPS website.

2. ​Recruitment Services Provided by the Office of Graduate Admissions

The Office of Graduate Admissions provides a variety of recruitment services related to two primary missions: (1) to recruit graduate students through direct outreach to prospective students and (2) to promote assistance, collaboration, and sharing of best practices among graduate departments.

Direct outreach to students includes attendance at key graduate recruitment fairs and conferences, on-campus recruiting events, presentations and online webinars, and the leveraging of social media outlets. The Office of Graduate Admissions also maintains prospective and admitted student webpages including information on how students can prepare for ther graduate program and Purdue factual information. An extensive communication plan is delivered to specific audiences throughout the recruitment cycle. Special initiatives, such as the formation of a graduate student-based Global Ambassadors program and strategic partnerships with organizations such as EducationUSA are developed by the Office of Graduate Admissions to support specific recruitment objectives of the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

In addition to direct student recruitment, the Office of Graduate Admissions is a resource for all graduate departments on the West Lafayette campus. The Office of Graduate Admissions offers consultations on recruitment, application, and admission opportunities and concerns. Many brochures, displays, and other event resources are made available to departments free of charge. The Slate client relationship-management tool is maintained for department use and includes access to purchased prospective student lists and direct inquirers for PWL graduate programs. For further information see the Office of Graduate Admissions.

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C. Application Policies and Procedures

The following sections detail the various components of the graduate application. Because initial review of all graduate applications is done by the graduate department (see Section III.D), graduate departments should receive all supporting documents. These documents may include: transcripts, diplomas, letters of recommendation, academic statement of purpose, personal history statement, resume, test scores, writing samples, digital portfolios and additional questionnaires. These documents may be submitted electronically through the online application system, Slate, or be sent directly to the department.

If the applicant is recommended for admission by the program, the approved application, uploaded transcripts, and proof of degree must be submitted electronically through Slate to the Office of Graduate Admissions for final approval.  The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars issues a formal letter of admission following review and approval of the application. Further instructions as follows:

1. Electronic Application

Applicants should visit the electronic application portal.

2. Application Fee

a. West Lafayette (including Purdue University in Indianapolis), Purdue Northwest, and Purdue Fort Wayne Campuses  

All degree-seeking applicants and graduate certificate applicants must submit a nonrefundable application fee. The application fee can be paid by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover) at the end of the application process. The application fee is $60 for domestic applicants (including permanent residents) and $75 for international applicants for programs leading to a degree and certificate. Non-degree applicants do not pay an application fee.

As an alternative to paying the application fee via credit card, the Office of Graduate Admissions has partnered with Convera, a specialist in global business payments. This payment option allows applicants to pay the application fee in the currency of choice and provides a simple and secure method for initiating payments electronically.

Please note: A foreign currency payment is a “pending” payment and does not automatically update the application fee payment. Purdue University Accounts Receivable will post the U.S. dollar equivalent to the applicants’ Business Partner account, generally within two to five days after your local bank initiates payment. When this occurs, the application fee will be updated.

For more details about this fee payment option in the online application, visit our Foreign Currency Payments Web page.

b. Application Fee Waivers

Applicants are eligible for one application fee waiver per program participation. Attending the same recruitment program multiple years qualifies for one application fee waiver total. Fee waivers are valid if the applicant has met the application fee waiver criteria starting on January 1, 2020 and beyond.

Proposals for new Application Fee Waivers and Departmental Paid Application Fee Satisfaction Programs are to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by April 15 using Form 43, Application Fee Waiver/Satisfaction Program Request. Application fee waiver proposals are reviewed with legal counsel and approved waivers become effective July 1.

During the online application process, an in-progress applicant has the ability to select a recruitment program. When the recruitment program is saved, an automatic email notification is sent to the applicant informing them of the application fee waiver process. This involves verification of the applicant’s participation in a recruitment program. Once participation is verified, an update is made to the application fee portion of the application and an email is sent to the applicant that their fee has been satisfied. If participation is not verified, no update is made in the application fee portion of the application and an email is sent to the applicant to return and pay the application fee in order for the application to be reviewed.

Applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents experiencing economic hardship may request a waiver of the application fee. To request a waiver of the application fee, please send an email explaining your situation to gradinfo@purdue.edu.

Application fees are non-refundable. If an applicant who would otherwise qualify for a fee waiver pays the application fee before eligibility is verified, the application fee is not refunded.

Fee waivers are available for participants in the following recruitment programs:

  • AISES Conference - must visit Purdue recruiter at annual conference and complete a contact information card.
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) - must visit Purdue recruiter at annual conference and complete contact information card.
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) - must visit Purdue recruiter at annual conference and complete contact information card.
  • Big Ten+ Graduate School Exposition - must have registered and participated in the event. 
  • Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting -  must attend the event.
  • Cientifico Latino Graduate School Mentorship Initiative (GSMI) - applicants must have been enrolled in the GSMI program and have completed an interview process with the Cientifico Latino team. 
  • Colombia Purdue Partnership - must be selected into this program from strategic universities within Colombia. 
  • EducationUSA Opportunity Fund Recipient - must provide a copy of the official EducationUSA Opportunity Fund award letter.
  • Discover Purdue (formerly known as GDVP) - must be invited and attend the visitation hosted by Purdue.
  • Engineering Undergraduate Research Office - must be a Purdue University Engineering undergraduate student and a recipient of an academic year competitive fellowship program.
  • Florida A&M Graduate Feeder Program - must be a participant of this program.   
  • GEM Fellowship Program -  U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents who have applied for the GEM Fellows program (submitted a completed application to GEM prior to their deadline) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0.
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers Program - must be selected and participate in their summer program.
  • Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders -must have participated in the Mandela Fellows program and be active in the fellowship directory.
  • McNair Scholars Program - name must be listed in National Directory. 
  • Midwest Graduate School Summit - must have registered and participated in the Midwest Graduate School Summit.
  • National Science Foundation Summer Internship (Purdue University) - must be selected and participate in the sponsored program at Purdue.
  • National Society of Black Engineers National Career Fair - must visit Purdue recruiter at the annual conference and complete a contact information card. 
  • Native American Institution Visit Program - must be invited and visit campus as part of this program.
  • NIH Intramural Training/Education Graduate & Professional Fair - must attend the fair and participate in a NIH training program.
  • NIH MARC USTAR/PREP/RISE - must have participated in one of these NIH-sponsored undergraduate research programs.
  • POSSE Scholars - must provide a copy of the official POSSE scholar participation letter.
  • Purdue Emerging Leaders Program - must be a participant of the program. 
  • Purdue Engineering Virtual Graduate Showcase - must register for and attend the Purdue Engineering Virtual Graduate Showcase.
  • Purdue Fort Wayne Information Session or Recruitment Event - must attend a Purdue Fort Wayne sponsored information session or recruitment event. 
  • Purdue Graduate Student Information Session - must register and attend the entire Purdue Graduate Student Information session.
  • Purdue Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) - must be a participant of the program. 
  • Purdue Northwest Graduate Showcase - must attend the event sponsored by Purdue Northwest.
  • Purdue Northwest Professional Conference Events - must attend a professional conference event sponsored by Purdue Northwest graduate programs.
  • Purdue Summer Research Opportunity Program - must be invited and participate in the program hosted by Purdue. 
  • Purdue Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences - applicants must participate in an undergraduate research program offered across the Purdue University campus and affiliated with the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference - must visit Purdue recruiter at annual conference and complete contact information card.
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers - must visit Purdue recruiter at annual conference and complete a contact information card. 
  • Society of Mexican American Engineers & Scientists - must visit Purdue recruiter at annual conference and complete a contact information card. 
  • Society of Women Engineers - must visit Purdue recruiter at annual conference and complete a contact information card.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) - must be selected and participate in the Purdue program. 
  • Tau Beta Pi National Convention - must visit a Purdue recruiter at the annual convention and complete a contact information card.
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Meyerhoff Scholars - a student must be a member of this program. 
  • U.S. Veterans or U.S. Military Service Members - must be a U.S. military veteran or an active U.S. military service member.

c. Departmental Paid Application Fees

A list of approved department- or college-led fee payment programs is maintained by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Ad hoc application fee payments should be used cautiously.  Fee payments are permissible as long as the selection process for granting the fee payment uses objective, neutral criteria and can carry the burden of proof for non-discrimination. Departments may pay the application fee for an applicant through a journal voucher. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for details.

3. English Proficiency Requirements

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to provide proof of English proficiency at the time of recommendation for admission to degree, certificate, non-degree, and teacher license graduate programs in one of the following ways:

a. Submit Test Scores

Test scores must come from an Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars approved English proficiency provider. A complete list of tests for English proficiency accepted by the Office of Graduate Admissions can be found here on the English Proficiency Requirements webpage.

Note: Individual Graduate programs may have higher English Proficiency requirements listed on their Graduate Program Requirements webpage.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test), TOEFL iBT Home Edition, TOEFL iBT Paper Edition, and TOEFL Essentials.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars accepts valid TOEFL scores earned through internet-based testing. TOEFL My Best scores are NOT accepted. Applicants with disabilities or health-related needs should follow instructions found here.

TOEFL IBT

  • Writing 18
  • Speaking 18
  • Listening 14
  • Reading 19
  • Total 80

TOEFL Essentials

  • Writing 8
  • Speaking 8
  • Listening 8
  • Reading 8
  • Total 8

In addition to required minimum scores for writing, speaking, listening, and reading, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars also requires a minimum overall score on the TOEFL test that is higher than the minimums for the four area tests combined. Applicants must meet or exceed each of the five scores (listed above) for admission. Some graduate programs require higher minimum scores. Likewise, a growing number of graduate programs include English proficiency examination performance among the factors they consider during holistic reviews of applicants; typically, these programs may seek higher overall and writing, speaking, listening, and reading scores than the minimums established by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. Please check the Graduate Program Requirements for additional requirements.

Only official TOEFL scores received directly from Educational Testing Service are acceptable and must be no more than 24 months old at the time the complete recommendation for admission is received by the Office of Graduate Admissions.

For further information visit TOEFL.

Purdue University’s (including Purdue University in Indianapolis) code for the TOEFL application is 1631.

Purdue University Northwest’s code for the TOEFL application is 1638.

Purdue University Fort Wayne’s code for the TOEFL application is 1336.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - IELTS Academic Module:

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars also accepts International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic scores. An overall band score of 6.5 is required for admission. Applicants with disabilities or special needs should consult instructions here. The minimum section requirements are as follows:

  • Writing 5.5
  • Listening 6.0
  • Reading 6.5
  • Speaking 6.0

For further information visit IELTS.

In addition to required minimum scores for writing, speaking, listening, and reading, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars also requires a minimum overall score on the IELTS test that is higher than the minimums for the four area tests combined. Applicants must meet or exceed each of the five scores (listed above) for admission. Some graduate programs require higher minimum scores. Likewise, a growing number of graduate programs include English proficiency examination performance among the factors they consider during holistic reviews of applicants; typically, these programs may seek higher overall and writing, speaking, listening, and reading scores than the minimums established by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. Please check the Graduate Program Requirements for additional requirements. Official IELTS test scores can be uploaded to the applicant status portal after application submission under IELTS Score Report, sent electronically to the Purdue University Office of International Admissions, or the hard copy score report can be mailed directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Duolingo English Test

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars accepts the Duolingo English test. To learn more about this test option go here.

Minimum Duolingo English Test Score required by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars is a total score of 115 and 115 on each subscore. Some graduate programs require higher minimum scores. To be valid for admission, Duolingo English Test scores must be no more than two years old at the time the recommendation for admission is received at the Office of Graduate Admissions.

b. Routine Waivers

Routine waivers of an English Proficiency examination are granted for applicants who have been conferred a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree within the last 36 months from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the native language. Official English-speaking countries/location, in addition to the U.S., include: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guyana, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Micronesia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcarin Islands, Republic of Ireland, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Sudan, St. Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will routinely waive the English proficiency requirement and admit international applicants who have met the following criteria from a country listed above. Some graduate programs may still require demonstration of English proficiency. If the degree has been completed, the applicant must submit a final transcript that reflects this information. If the degree has been awarded, and degree information is not listed on the transcript, a diploma will also be required. If the degree has NOT been awarded, a letter from the Office of the Registrar or the Graduate School from the current institution stating that all degree requirements have been met must be received in order to lift HOLDS placed because of conditional admission. If a letter is provided, the official transcript is required that session or next session. Applicants who are using this option to meet the English proficiency requirement, but who are unable to provide such a letter, are required to meet the English proficiency requirement using one of the other options in order to enroll.

Because of Homeland Security requirements, the Office of International Students and Scholars will not be able to prepare visa paperwork for applicants who have a HOLD as a result of not meeting the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholar’s English proficiency requirement. Visa paperwork will not be prepared until the English proficiency requirement has been met and the hold has been released.

Routine waivers of the English proficiency requirement are granted to current Purdue University undergraduate degree, graduate degree, certificate, non-degree, and teacher license students. This is with the condition that students have previously met English proficiency requirements (via one of the ways listed in this section) and are being recommended for admission, within three consecutive sessions of their last registration, to a graduate degree-seeking, non-degree, teacher’s license, or graduate certificate program.

c. Other Testing Alternatives

i. Another alternative is available for international applicants who are non-native speakers of English transferring to Purdue from another graduate program (where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the official language) because they will continue to study with their major professor who has been hired in a Purdue University position and has the credentials to serve as the chair of the student’s doctoral or master’s advisory committee. These applicants must have no lapse in registration between the previous institution and Purdue University. In that specific situation, the applicant’s English proficiency may be confirmed and satisfied by a letter from the previous university registrar (or equivalent) or Graduate School. This letter must attest that the applicant’s English proficiency requirements were met for admission purposes at that institution and must specify the test or other method which the applicant used to meet the previous university’s English proficiency standard. If this documentation is provided, no further English proficiency testing will be required for the applicant’s admission.

ii. The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will consider applicants who have (a) enrolled at one of the following intensive English programs and (b) satisfied the exit requirements established for the program as having met the English proficiency requirement:

  • Purdue Northwest English Language Program (ELP) Exit Requirement: achieve a minimum of 80% (Level 4 examination) and pass an Exit Test (consisting of speaking and writing components)
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Program for Intensive English (PIE) Exit Requirement: completed and passed all classes with grades of at least B (82%) and pass the PIE Proficiency Exit Test at the Level 7 prior to July 1, 2024.
  • For Purdue Fort Wayne applicants only, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will consider applicants who have enrolled in ELS Language Center’s English for Academic Purposes program and who have passed ELS Level 112 as having met the English proficiency requirement. Successful completion of ELS Level 112 includes the following components: Completion of 12 weeks of intensive study using curricular materials written at the native speaker level (approximately 360 hours of classroom instruction in speaking, listening, reading, writing); completion of an extensive research paper using standard research protocols in a monitored setting; Passing of the Michigan English Language Institute College English Test (MELICET) and Listening Comprehension Test (LCT) standards; passing of speaking evaluations; passing of writing evaluation. These results must be certified, in writing, by ELS Language Center to the Fort Wayne graduate office before applicants using this method of establishing English proficiency may be admitted.

These results must be certified, in writing, by the intensive English program faculty to the Office of Graduate Admissions at West Lafayette or the equivalent office at the regional campuses before applicants using this method of establishing English proficiency may be admitted. Note that ELS is available at the Fort Wayne campus only.

Conditional admission may also be extended to applicants prior to their enrollment in one of these approved intensive English programs if they commit to and enroll in the program. Conditional admission is for English proficiency only.

All other admission requirements must be satisfied. Initial recommendations for conditional admission must be made by the graduate program to which the student applied. If the Office of Graduate Admissions approves the student’s conditional admission, the student must begin study in one of the approved intensive English programs. Students who successfully complete the exit requirements for one of the intensive English programs, as noted above, would satisfy the admission condition and be eligible to enroll in their graduate program. If a student does not successfully complete the English program courses or pass the Exit Test, or if the appropriate certification is not received from the intensive English program faculty, the condition would remain in effect. The student would not be eligible to enroll in their graduate program unless the English language proficiency requirement is satisfied using one of the other options. Students would have until the start of the session in which they are going to begin to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement.

iii. Heads of graduate programs which are fully delivered in distance, executive, or weekend formats may request to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars, that their applicants receive exemptions to the English proficiency examination requirement.  Graduate program exemptions to the English proficiency requirement must be renewed by a new request every three years. It is suggested that renewal requests coincide with graduate program assessments. Proposals for new English Proficiency Waiver Requests are to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

4. Transcripts

a. Uploaded/Unofficial Transcripts

Applicants should upload to the online application system, Slate, transcript(s) and/or academic document(s) for every institution of higher education they attended. If a transcript is not in English, they must also upload an English translation certified by the college or university which issued it. Both the original language and English translation are required. Copies of diplomas or other official proof of degree must be included if the degree has been conferred and the conferral information is not listed on the transcript.

The uploaded transcript and/or academic document may be from the official or unofficial version of the document. An official transcript bears the original signature of the registrar and/or the original seal of the issuing institution. A print-out from the student information system will not be accepted.

Graduate departments who receive hard-copy official transcripts and/or academic documents may also upload these documents to the appropriate application record in Slate.

Uploaded/unofficial transcripts may be used to review and recommend an application for admission. The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will admit on official or unofficial uploaded transcripts.

All final, official credentials are required during the second term of enrollment and students will not be allowed to register for subsequent semesters until all required documents have been received. University officials may contact institutions directly to verify official documents. If the Office of Graduate Admissions is unable to verify the student’s transcripts or credentials, the University reserves the right to drop the student from active status and may refer the matter to authorities. 

b. Official Transcripts

Applicants will need to provide official transcripts and/or academic records at the request of the graduate program or if the applicant is admitted and chooses to enroll If colleges or universities attended do not provide transcripts in English, the official, original language transcripts must be accompanied by certified English translations. Both the original language and English translation are required. Official documents must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions before the applicant can register for their third session.

A baccalaureate degree received, or its equivalent, must be recorded on the corresponding transcript or documented by other official evidence. If an applicant is admitted and was studying for a degree at the time the application was submitted, the applicant will be required, during the second session of enrollment, to submit a final transcript. If completion of the degree is a condition for admission, the applicant will be required, during the second session of enrollment, to submit official evidence of being awarded the degree.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars welcomes applications from Bologna bachelor’s degree recipients. Bologna bachelor’s degrees are conferred in European countries listed here.

Applicants with three-year baccalaureate degrees from countries that are not part of the Bologna process may also be considered for admission, on a case-by-case basis, using holistic review. Departments may recommend applicants from these countries with three-year baccalaureate degrees with or without conditions, depending upon the outcome of the holistic review of the candidate. Conditions for admission should be clearly communicated to students at the time of their admission.

An official transcript bears the original signature of the registrar and/or the original seal of the issuing institution. Official documents should be submitted to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Purdue University
155 South Grant Street, YONG 170
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Transcripts and/or English translations are accepted directly from a Registrar’s office to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Applicants can choose to send the transcripts themselves, but the transcripts must be in an envelope sealed by the Registrar.

The Office of Graduate Admissions accepts electronic transcripts from accredited colleges and universities sent via Parchment Exchange, the National Student Clearinghouse, or directly from the accredited college or university.

The transcript must be sent to gradadm@purdue.edu in order to verify the authenticity of the documents. If any departments receive emails stating that electronic transcripts are waiting for them, please notify that institution of the correct email address.

c. Required Documents by Enrollment Objective

The following is a list of applicant requirements for submitting transcripts and/or academic documents based upon enrollment objective:

  • Degree-Seeking, Certificate, and Teacher License Applicants: Transcript(s)/academic document(s) must be uploaded into the online application. The transcripts must be from each college or university attended, including evidence of a baccalaureate degree awarded. If currently studying for a baccalaureate degree, applicants will later be required to submit a document that verifies the awarding of that degree. 
  • Non-Degree Applicants: If applying for a non-degree program, applicants must upload evidence of a baccalaureate degree. This may be a transcript, a copy of the diploma, or a letter from the college or university verifying the degree. 

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars reserves the right to require official transcripts and/or academic documents at any time during the admissions process.

d. Transcript Retention Policy

The Office of Graduate Admissions images into the Banner Document Management Suite all official transcripts for admitted graduate students. After imaging and validating, admitted applicant transcripts are shredded. The Office of Graduate Admissions recognizes that, in rare and unusual instances, students have access to only one official transcript (or a very limited number of transcripts). In these rare instances, the Office will retain these documents, after careful review, for applicants on a case-by-case basis until the end of the second session for which they are admitted. Applicant requests to preserve their paper documents must be submitted in writing at the same time the original documents are submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

e. Other Examination Requirements

Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars does not require applicants to take the GRE, but an applicant’s department may request it. Testing requirements can be found on the Graduate Program Requirements. Official score reports are sent electronically by ETS to the Office of Graduate Admissions. These are available in Slate and the Banner myPurdue system.

  • Purdue University West Lafayette’s (including Purdue University in Indianapolis) code for the GRE is 1631.
  • Purdue University Northwest’s code for the GRE is 1638.
  • Purdue University Fort Wayne’s code for the GRE is 1336.

Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT): The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars does not require applicants to take the GMAT, but an applicant’s department may request it. Testing requirements can be found on the Graduate Program Requirements. Official score reports are sent electronically by ETS to the Office of Graduate Admissions. These are available in Slate and the Banner myPurdue system.

f. Supplementary Information for International Students             

i. Financial Capability

Federal regulations require that all international students provide proof of financial capability before they qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019). Each admitted international student (degree-seeking) is required to complete the online International Graduate Student Notification of Intent Form (NOI) and submit it to the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS). It must be accompanied by official documentation, showing full financial support. Copies of graduate assistantship/fellowship offer letters will be acceptable.  All other sources of support must show original documents.  Once the NOI  is submitted, all the financial documents are in order, and any additional documents required by ISS are received, a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) will be issued by the Office of International Students and Scholars.

ii. International Student Transfer

Each international student who applies for transfer to the West Lafayette campus while attending another U.S. educational institution must receive a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) from the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS). Students may not begin any on-campus employment at Purdue University until they receive their Purdue issued I-20 or DS-2019. To initiate the transfer process, the student must submit the completed online International Graduate Student Notification of Intent Form (NOI), together with all required supporting documents, and must supply a completed International Student Transfer In request to the ISS office.

Upon arrival at Purdue West Lafayette, the student must complete the Virtual Mandatory International Student Check-in (vMISCi) via myISS portal in order to maintain legal status. It is the student’s responsibility to comply with requirements to maintain legal status. See here for more information.

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D. Admissions Policies and Procedures

Graduate admission is granted to a specific department. Applicants are expected to hold baccalaureate degrees from accredited colleges or universities prior to registration as graduate students. Three-year Bologna bachelor’s degree recipients are eligible for admission. Applicants with three-year baccalaureate degrees from countries that are not part of the Bologna process may also be considered for admission, on a case-by-case basis, using holistic review.  Departments may recommend applicants from these countries with three-year baccalaureate degrees with or without conditions, depending upon the outcome of the holistic review of the candidate. Conditions for admission should be clearly communicated to students at the time of their admission.

Applicants for a master’s or doctoral degree program should have achieved a 3.0 (or equivalent) grade point index or higher from the institution where a baccalaureate degree or higher was awarded to be admitted without conditions of continued enrollment. Some graduate programs have requirements for admission that exceed the general Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars requirements. Additionally, programs at Purdue University can have different deadlines and some have additional admissions requirements. For additional information concerning requirements and deadlines for admission, visit the Graduate Program Requirements.  

Departments are responsible for the primary evaluation of applications. Departments have the authority to identify the set of applicants who can be adequately served by their programs and to select from this set the applicants to be recommended for admission.

Departmental correspondence should make it clear to applicants that their admission will be official only if they receive an admission letter from the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim). If, on review in the Office of Graduate Admissions, it appears that the applicant fails to meet the minimum academic requirements, the application may be returned to the department for re-evaluation.

Departments must select from the following two statements the one that is appropriate for inclusion in their correspondence with prospective international students.        

For international students entering from foreign countries:

“You should not apply for your visa, or make an appointment with the embassy, or make travel plans until you receive a formal letter of admission from the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim) AND your I-20/DS2019 Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Office of International Students and Scholars at Purdue University. The COE will be sent to you as soon as all admission procedures are completed and you have submitted the Notification of Intent (NOI) via myISS portal along with the required proof of financial resources and any other required documents via myISS portal. Please allow 15 calendar days for processing the Certificate of Eligibility upon NOI submission

For international students entering from within the U.S.:

“If you are transferring to Purdue University from another educational institution in the U.S., certain transfer procedures must be completed before you come to Purdue. After all admission procedures are successfully completed, you will receive official notification of admission from the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. With that notification, you will be requested to complete the International Graduate Student Notification of Intent Form (NOI). 

You must follow the directions on the NOI and submit the completed form, together with official financial documentation via the myISS portal. Purdue’s ISS office will then e-mail you a link to the SEVIS Transfer e-form to be completed, this requires the student to provide contact information from the previous U.S. educational institution. Purdue’s ISS office will need to receive the completed transfer e-form to prepare the transfer pending Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019). The COE may only be issued after the SEVIS release date listed on the e-form.

As soon as you arrive at Purdue, you must complete the Virtual Mandatory International Student Check-in (vMISCi) via the myISS portal in order to complete your SEVIS transfer to Purdue University.

Questions concerning nonimmigrant status should be directed to the Office of International Students and Scholars.

1. Departmental Recommendations for Admission

The application of each student recommended for admission must bear the electronic signature of the head of the graduate program or designee. Complete application materials for each student should be electronically submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions at the earliest possible opportunity. This is particularly important for international students, due to the time required for processing and for the issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) by the Office of International Students and Scholars.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars and the Office of International Students and Scholars have established deadlines for submission of international applications in order to provide sufficient time for an admitted student to plan for a timely arrival on campus. These deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall Session: July 15 if outside the U.S.
  • Spring Session: November 15 if outside the U.S.
  • Summer Session: April 15 if outside the U.S.

The deadline for forwarding all other applications to the Office of Graduate Admissions is the end of the first week of classes for that session.

a. Admission to a Degree Program

Departments may recommend for consideration by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars, degree-seeking applicants for admission or admission with conditions for continued enrollment.

Admission without Conditions for Continued Enrollment:

For admission to a degree program without conditions for continued enrollment, a B (3.0/4.0) or better grade point average in prior study is required. Departments may set admission standards higher, but not lower, than those established by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

Admission with Conditions for Continued Enrollment:

Students may be admitted with conditions under three circumstances:

i. Departments may recommend admission to a degree program with conditions for continued enrollment for a student whose background reflects some academic deficiency. The conditions placed by the department are not stated in the formal admission letter and are not monitored by the Office of Graduate Admissions.

ii. The Office of Graduate Admissions will place a condition of continued enrollment on an applicant’s admission if the applicant has not earned the equivalent of a 3.0/4.0 grade point average or higher at the institution from which he/she most recently graduated.

iii. The Office of Graduate Admissions may place a condition of continued enrollment on an applicant’s admission if a required supporting document is missing. Specific requirements for removing a condition will be provided in the admission letter.

Failure to fulfill the conditions placed upon a student’s continued enrollment will result in the student’s inability to register. Students, generally, have two sessions to fulfill conditions. It is a student’s responsibility to satisfy a condition and to check with the appropriate office.

If a department wishes to seek an extension on the period of time allowed to satisfy a condition, a memorandum justifying that request should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions

b. Admission for Nondegree Study

Applications from individuals seeking admission without being admitted to a degree program (including graduate certificate programs) are transmitted electronically to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The primary evaluation of applications for non-degree seeking students is the responsibility of the department that wishes to recommend admission. For a detailed description of non-degree seeking graduate student status, see Section II-B-1.

Students who may be interested in pursuing a degree program at a later date should discuss this prospect with a departmental graduate advisor or the departmental graduate committee chair as soon as possible to receive appropriate advising, including information on the limit of non-degree credits that can later be applied to a degree program. Students who later decide to pursue a degree program at Purdue need to submit a new application as a degree-seeking student.

c. Admission Procedures for Students Working Simultaneously Toward Baccalaureate and Advanced Degrees

Individual Students:

With the approval of the department and the permission of the permission of the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim), a student with a minimum of a 3.0/4.0 grade point average may be admitted in the session in which the baccalaureate degree is being completed.

A memorandum, from the head of the graduate program, justifying the request for early admission should be uploaded to the application in Slate. The memorandum should be accompanied by the usual Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars application and supporting materials.

Although applications may be submitted for the session in which the baccalaureate degree is being completed, early admission usually is required only if the student is to receive a graduate staff appointment. Otherwise, early admission is not required for undergraduate students wishing to begin graduate study, since they may do so by requesting designation, on Academic Record Change (Registrar’s Form 350), of graduate courses as excess of baccalaureate requirements. 

Formally Approved Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Programs:

Baccalaureate and master’s combined programs are formally approved by the department, Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim), and Graduate Council. Combined degree programs are designed to provide a seamless transition from the baccalaureate to the master’s curriculum. While the details of the specific program may vary, such programs are restricted to undergraduate students of high academic standing. Application and admission are required and are detailed in the program document. The student must submit a combined degree request form (Form 27) with the application for admission. The standard Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars application process is to be followed.

Minimal requirements of students participating in formally approved baccalaureate/master’s degree programs:

  • ​​Students must have high academic standing.
  • The graduate student’s plan of study should be approved by the Office of Graduate Records by the end of the first session in which the student has dual enrollment.
  • For combined programs, before the baccalaureate degree is awarded, any course and/or research credits taken to satisfy the graduate degree requirements must be designated as undergraduate excess credits.
  • Students must meet all requirements for the baccalaureate degree.

​The baccalaureate degree must be awarded at least one term before the graduate degree.

3. Simultaneous Admission at More Than One Campus (Same Department) 

A student wishing to take a graduate-level course at a Purdue campus other than the campus of admission and residence must apply for admission to the desired campus. Non-degree status is appropriate for such admission.

4. Concurrent Graduate Program Status

A student wishing to pursue two degrees simultaneously must complete an application for admission to each degree objective. This usually happens when a student currently is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in one department and wishes to pursue a master’s degree in another department. The student must submit a Notice of Concurrent Graduate Program Status (G.S. Form 18) with the application for admission to the second department. Students cannot be admitted to two graduate programs within the first session of enrollment. They must wait until at least the session following initial admission to the first program before requesting/being granted admission to a second program. Students may only pursue concurrent graduate programs if both programs are offered within the same delivery method. For instance, a student pursuing an online degree would only be eligible to apply to a second online program for concurrent study.

5. Admission Recommendation for Applicants from Sanctioned Countries:

Due to U.S. Government economic and trade sanctions on certain countries, applications of students from those countries require additional scrutiny to ensure that their proposed plans of study and research do not violate U.S. Law. 

When a department is considering an applicant for admission who is from one of the countries listed here, email the Export Control Office with the Office of Research and Partnerships at exportcontrols@purdue.edu, noting the student’s name and the department in the subject line, and send all of the following:

  • Curriculum vitae of the applicant
  • Proposed major professor
  • A brief statement summarizing the expected plans of study and research from the major professor (this information is provided to the State Department on the I-20 document and should be understandable by a layperson)
  • The names of any dependents

The export control review takes time, so it is important to complete the above step once the decision is made to recommend admission to avoid any unnecessary delay. Due to the variations in the sanctions’ requirements, in order to complete this review, the assigned export control administrator may need to ask additional questions.

6. Notice of Admission

When the Office of Graduate Admissions concurs with the department’s recommendation to admit a student, an email notification is sent to the applicant. This notification instructs the applicant to return to the Slate application system and view their admission decision. This decision includes the official admission letter from the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim) and an admission summary sheet. This information is available to departments through Slate. Since the final action and notification of such action comes from the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim), care should be taken that no irrevocable department commitments are made until the Vice Provost has notified the student of his or her status. Any academic conditions (e.g. course and/or grade requirements) or academic document conditions (e.g. final transcripts and diplomas) imposed by the Office of Graduate Admissions will be stated on the admission summary sheet, along with other important general information.

First-time admitted students will need to complete an online enrollment form in myPurdue to accept enrollment. Admitted students who decline their offer of admission will complete a Slate enrollment form. If enrollment is accepted on an offer and the student wishes to change the response, they will need to email gradinfo@purdue.edu

If no enrollment response is completed the offers will automatically decline after the admission session starts. This will impact their eligibility to register and can be used by departments to anticipate enrollment.

Each successful applicant is admitted to a specific enrollment objective and a specific graduate program on a specific campus.  Although each admission is for a specific academic session, the ability to register is valid for two additional sessions, unless otherwise restricted. (See Section V-A-4). However, the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019), issued by the Office of International Students and Scholars, is valid for only a single academic session.

7. Applicants who are Denied Admission

Official decisions, including denial notices, will be released through the Slate application system by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Applications being denied by the department should be moved to the Pending Denial bin in Slate. The Office of Graduate Admissions will then assign the official denial decision and an email notification will be sent to the applicant, prompting them to return to their application and view the decision notice. No additional denial notice should be sent by the department. Admission decisions are final and may not be appealed.

8. Deferral of Admission and Re-application

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will consider up to two deferrals for an admitted student, if requested by the department. Updated or additional admission information may be required. Conditions may be placed on admission, as described in Section III-D-1-a.

a. Domestic Applicants

A request to defer admission for a domestic applicant is required only when more than three sessions have elapsed between the original date and the new date of admission. For Purdue West Lafayette only, the department must complete a GS-Form 45 Deferral Request in Slate, and upload a copy of the applicant’s request for a deferral. Regional campuses will use the appropriate deferral process outlined by the respective campus Office of Graduate Admissions. Approval of the deferral request will allow an applicant a fourth session in which to register without submitting a new application and pay an application fee. Up to two deferral requests can be honored, and the request must be submitted before the end of the session in which the student was originally admitted.

b. International Applicants

Although an international applicant’s admission is governed by the same regulations as those of a domestic applicant, the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019), issued to international applicants by the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS), is valid only for the session specified on the document. For this reason, a deferral request is required for any session change. For Purdue West Lafayette only, the department must complete a GS-Form 45 Deferral Request in Slate and upload a copy of the applicant’s request for a deferral. Regional campuses will use the appropriate deferral process outlined by the respective campus Office of Graduate Admissions. A formal deferral request must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions before the end of the session in which the student was originally admitted. This allows an additional session to register without submitting a new application and paying an application fee. The Office of Graduate Admissions will not require new/updated English proficiency scores for admitted international students seeking deferral requests.

9. Readmission

Students who have interrupted their graduate study must submit a new application if three or more consecutive academic sessions (including summer session) have elapsed since their last registration. Upon the recommendation of the department and on a case-by-case basis, special consideration will be given to students returning to continue their graduate studies after being called to active military service.

Readmission is granted by the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim). The Vice Provost will notify students who have been readmitted, and the readmission letter will be available to the department.

10. Change from Nondegree Status to a Degree Program

A student in non-degree status who wishes to be considered for admission to a degree program must submit a new application, accompanied by the same materials required of other degree‑seeking applicants.

a. Graduate Study by Faculty and Staff

Purdue employees who hold a Graduate Faculty appointment on any Purdue campus may take graduate courses but may work for advanced degrees at Purdue only under certain conditions and with prior approval of the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs (Interim). (See Section I-G and Appendix I.)

Members of the administrative, professional, instructional, research, extension, and regular clerical/service staffs of the University who wish to register as graduate students should consult the appropriate staff handbooks concerning admission, academic loads permitted, and fee information.

b. Admission to Study Toward a Second Ph.D.

Admission to study toward a second Ph.D. degree is generally discouraged at Purdue, but exceptional circumstances may be considered by departmental graduate committees. No Graduate Council approval is required. (See Section VII-G-2.)


IV. Appointments, Fellowships, and Funding

Navigation

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A. Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Lecturer, Graduate Research Assistant, and Graduate Administrative/Professional Appointments

1. Policy

Regulations concerning the employment of graduate students are designed to allow students to earn income, receive benefits, and obtain valuable professional experience, to enhance the University’s efforts in teaching and research, and to make certain that the balance between work and study is appropriate. (See Section IX-E.)

Only students who have been admitted to a graduate degree program or to teacher license study are eligible for graduate appointments. Students holding graduate appointments must be registered for at least three credit hours of graduate-level course and/or research work each session in which they receive a salary. (See Section V-B for registration guidelines.)

Detailed matters of duties and compensation are the province of the department heads and academic deans. However, practices must fall within the regulatory frame approved by the University, as shown in Appendix A. Salary requests falling outside the normal range require that justification be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS). Prior approval is required, and approval may be granted on a case-by-case basis. (See Executive Memorandum No. C-23.)

At the Calumet, Fort Wayne, and North Central campuses a graduate student is appointed as a Graduate Aide. For more information, see Graduate Student Employment Manual.

a. Definitions and Procedures

There are two basic classifications of employment for students who are eligible for a graduate appointment: 1) graduate staff performing teaching, research, academic counseling, or other activities directly supporting teaching and research under close faculty supervision; and 2) graduate administrative/professionals performing administrative or other duties not directly related to teaching or research.

Appointments in both classifications are made on a Personnel Action Form (PA form). Appointments may be for either an academic or a fiscal year or for a single session. Basic appointments must be on a 25.00, 50.00, 75.00, or 100.00 CUL basis. A combination of appointments is possible, as specified in Appendix A.

Based on demonstrated excellence in teaching as a graduate teaching assistant, a doctoral candidate may be appointed as a graduate lecturer. The responsibilities of the graduate lecturer are similar to those of the graduate teaching assistant but at a more senior level. These appointments are made at the discretion of a department head or in a manner consistent with the governance of a particular academic unit. To be eligible for a graduate lecturer appointment, a student must have passed the preliminary examination. In addition, a graduate lecturer must have completed all courses listed on the plan of study, be enrolled in a minimum of three credit hours of 69900, and have served as a graduate teaching assistant for at least four academic sessions prior to appointment as a graduate lecturer. A graduate lecturer may not teach a 50000- or 60000-level course.

Monthly minimum salaries for graduate lecturers, graduate teaching assistants, graduate research assistants, and graduate administrative/professional staff are reviewed and approved annually for the upcoming fiscal year. After approval, the Vice Provost of OGSPS informs the chancellors, academic deans, department heads, and academic business administrators of the established minimum salaries. (See Appendix A for current minimum salaries). For Graduate Student Employees fringe benefits and privileges, see the Graduate Student Employment Manual.

International Student Employment:

The employment of international students is governed by federal regulations.  Prior to employing international students, departments should obtain detailed regulations from the Office of International Students and Scholars.

It is University policy that all graduate teaching assistants whose native language is not English must demonstrate adequate oral English proficiency before being assigned duties involving direct instruction of students. Detailed information is available from the Office of Oral English Proficiency.

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B. Fellowships

Many Purdue University graduate students are awarded fellowships each year, either by the University or by external agencies. Fellowships are governed by policies established in cooperation with particular funding agencies. In general, fellowship recipients must be registered as full-time students for each session in which they receive a stipend, including summer sessions (i.e. a minimum of eight credit hours during the fall session and during the spring session and six credit hours during the summer session).

A fellow is not obligated to provide services to the University unless required to do so by the agency granting the fellowship. However, many granting agencies permit holders of their fellowships to accept limited University employment to supplement their fellowship stipends. Usually, the maximum is a 25.00 CUL graduate staff appointment. 

Detailed regulations relating to the acceptance of graduate fellowship grants and to their administration may be found in Executive Memorandum No. A‑199, Acceptance of Gifts, Grants, and Loans by Purdue University, dated March 1, 1961, and its addendum, dated November 1, 1984.

For more information, see the Fellowships Manual.

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C. Council’s Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants

Purdue University is a member of the Association of American Universities and the Council of Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (CGS). Along with other members of these associations, Purdue subscribes to the resolution stated below and has agreed that a copy of the resolution will accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer. Employment correspondence from departments must include portions of the CGS policy statement as indicated below:

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. 

There has been a change in our process for students who want to withdraw from an offer of acceptance of financial support, starting with Fall 2020 admissions. In this case, the applicant must first inform the program that they are withdrawing or resigning from the offer of financial support that they previously had accepted. Starting in Fall 2020, applicants are no longer required to obtain a formal release from the program whose offer they accepted, either before or after the April 15 deadline. Once they have informed the program that they are withdrawing their acceptance of the offer, they then can accept any other offers. 

It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.

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D. Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel

Graduate staff leave which is greater than 22 working days and is necessary to further research as well as participate in instructional opportunities or engagement activities, must be requested and approved prior to departure using the Request and Leave Action for Sabbatical, Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel, Outside Activity Leave or Change in Duty Form. This includes research-related travel to laboratory, teaching-related travel to another college or university, engagement-related travel to a community, or professional development opportunities unavailable at the University. The RLA form must be approved prior to departure. (See Section V-E.)

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E. Change of Duty Station

Change of Duty Station leave should be requested by a graduate staff employee when personal reasons require his/her relocation from a primary work location, usually on one of the Purdue campuses. While on Change of Duty Station leave, graduate staff are expected to continue to perform their work duties. If the relocation is 22 working days or more, an approved Request and Leave Action for Sabbatical, Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel, Outside Activity Leave or Change in Duty Station (RLA Form) is required for the Change of Duty Station request prior to departure. (See Section V-E.)

OGSPS is not approving COVID-related Change of Duty Station requests beyond August 13, 2021. Change of Duty Station requests after that date with COVID-related requests for remote work will need to be processed through FMLA. After August 13, 2021 Change of Duty Station requests will only be approved for work that must be conducted at another location as opposed to COVID or preference. If research credits (69800 or 69900) are being taken during the time away from campus, Form 19 (Request for Off-campus Ph.D. or Master’s Research) will also need to be completed.

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F. Federal Loans

Federal loans require graduate students to be enrolled at least half time (at least four credits during the Fall and Spring and at least three credits during the Summer) in graduate-level course work (50000-level or higher).  

If students are required to take undergraduate courses to gain admittance to a graduate program, they are eligible for fifth year undergraduate federal loan limits for up to twelve months. For undergraduate prerequisite enrollment half time is 6 credit hours and full time is 12 credits. After twelve months they must be in graduate-level courses or pay for any undergraduate-level work by other means.


V. Registration 

Navigation

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A. General Principles

All work (except for 80000 level coursework) done by students at Purdue University beyond the baccalaureate degree is administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS). The registration of a graduate student should reflect the nature and amount of the student’s study and research activities as accurately as possible.

1. Full-time Study

Full-time study is based on the number of credit hours carried in a given session. Eight (six during the summer session) credit hours is the full-time certification standard for graduate students. Students pay the fee set for full-time study if they are registered for eight (six during the summer session) or more credit hours. Various fellowships and sponsoring agencies may have differing definitions of full-time status.

2. Part-time and Intermittent Study

Some students find it necessary to pursue graduate study on a part‑time basis or to discontinue their graduate studies for a period of time. Part‑time students must, like full‑time students, register appropriately any time they use university facilities or receive faculty supervision.

Students who interrupt their registration should pay particular attention to the “five‑year rule” that prohibits the use of outdated coursework on plans of study and invalidates outdated examinations.

3. Responsibility for Registering

The registration of a graduate student is the responsibility of the student and the student’s department. Registration must be accomplished according to schedules and procedures established by OGSPS, bursar, registrar, and, in addition, for international students, the Office of International Students and Scholars.

4. Eligibility to Register (ETR)

Unless restricted by the department, admission is granted with ETR that includes the session for which admission is granted and the next two sessions. Summer session counts.

New graduate students may register after OGSPS has certified their ETR to the Registrar. Graduate students may not register if their ETR has been removed. A student’s ETR may be removed if a student does not satisfy certain admission conditions, within the stated time frame, or if the department requests a hold. ETR will be removed if a graduate student fails to register in their graduate program for three consecutive sessions. A student’s ETR also may be removed by other campus offices. Departments are encouraged to assist students with ETR questions. Students who lose ETR would need to formally re-apply and be approved for re-admission to continue study.

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B. Registration Procedures

1. Registration for All Students

With the advice of a departmental advisor (generally the major professor), each graduate student submits a course registration through myPurdue (or prepares a Course Request, Registrar’s Form 23 and submits it with the signature of that advisor.)  Early registration is recommended. Late registration will result in additional fees. Students must have a PIN to access myPurdue.

2. Registration for Graduate Staff Appointees

If a student holds a graduate staff appointment, the employing department must certify such information by completing the Graduate Appointment Submission form from the Bursar’s website.

3. Registration for Holders of Fellowships Providing Fee Support

If any fees for fellowship recipients are to be paid from a University account, a departmental administrator must complete a Fellowship Assignment Form (G.S. Form 90) and submit it to the Fellowships Office.

4. Special Reciprocal Reduction of Fees Between Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Purdue University West Lafayette (PUWL)

If a graduate student registers for courses at both Purdue University West Lafayette and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in a given academic session or holds a graduate staff appointment at one campus while registering for courses at the other campus, the student may request a waiver of fees at one of the campuses, depending upon the specific situation. To be eligible for this fee remission, an individual must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at either institution or hold a graduate appointment at either institution. This request should be made on Form 31, Request for a Special Reciprocal Reduction of Fees Between Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Purdue University West Lafayette (PUWL)

5. Registration Appeals

Requests for course registration changes at the West Lafayette campus made after the posted registration deadlines must be submitted directly to the Office of the Registrar through the appeal procedures provided by that office. Appeal requests will only be considered for situations with documented medical, bereavement, or other serious extenuating circumstance, and must be submitted within one calendar year of the session in which the change is being requested to be reviewed. For additional information, see the Registration Calendars page. 

Requests for XXXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXXX 69900 registration changes at the West Lafayette campus made after the posted registration deadlines must be submitted through the G.S. Form 41 Retroactive Research Change Request Form. Appeals for retroactive research changes that are approved by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will be sent to the Office of the Registrar for final approval.

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C. Appropriate Levels of Registration

Graduate registration should reflect the student’s academic activity as accurately as possible. In fulfilling degree requirements, a maximum of 19 credit hours will be allowed from any one semester (13 credit hours for the summer session).
 
1. Exceptions
 
Exceptions must be approved by the Vice Provost of the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS). Any student (whether on appointment or not) must be registered for research during each session when doing research utilizing faculty direction or consultation and/or requiring the use of university facilities. Research includes literature reviews and thesis writing. A student’s research registration should be roughly proportional to the amount of time devoted to research activities, with 18 session hours representing maximum registration. It is important to keep in mind that underregistration for research is likely to result in the accumulation of insufficient credits to meet degree requirements. (See Section VI-B).
 
The student and advisor are expected to make certain that the requested academic load for a student holding an appointment and/or a fellowship is compatible with the rules and regulations and with the requirements of any educational benefits or loans. Graduate staff appointments are further explained in Appendix A.

2. Eligibility for Graduate Lecturer Appointment

To be eligible for a Graduate Lecturer appointment, a student must have passed the preliminary examination and be classified as a doctoral candidate. In addition, a Graduate Lecturer must have completed all courses listed on the plan of study, be enrolled in a minimum of three credit hours of 69900, and have served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for at least four academic sessions prior to appointment as a Graduate Lecturer. A Graduate Lecturer normally teaches courses greater than the 10000 level.

3. Funding Activity

Students must be engaged in the type of activity for which their position is funded (e.g. students paid from instructional funds must be doing instruction, and students paid from research funds must be doing research, etc.).

4. Appointments

The primary appointment must be on a 25 CUL, 50 CUL, 75 CUL, or 100 CUL basis. A combination of appointments is possible, and appointments (that are less than 25 CUL) beyond a 50 CUL appointment may be made. These must range from 5 CUL to 20 CUL. (While not required, it is recommended that these appointments be made in increments of 5 CUL.)  In order to hold a 5 CUL, 10 CUL, 15 CUL, or 20 CUL appointment, a graduate student must hold a 50 CUL appointment or two 25 CUL appointments. The 5 CUL to 20 CUL appointment may be held in the same department or in a different department than either the two 25 CUL appointments or the 50 CUL appointment.

There is no limit to the number of appointments that a graduate student may hold. However, no graduate student may hold more than 100 CUL. Further, graduate students should consult with their major professors before accepting appointments, especially those not offered through the departments in which they are enrolled. International students are normally limited to 50 CUL, due to visa requirements and should confer with the Office of International Students and Scholars before considering additional appointments. All appointments require that services be performed at the CUL required. 

5. Enrollment During Appointments

To be eligible to hold a graduate staff appointment during any session, an individual must be enrolled as a graduate student in a degree or teacher license program and be registered for at least three credit hours of graduate-level course and/or research work during the entire appointment period. Graduate staff on appointment during the summer are obligated to register for a minimum of three graduate hours during at least one of the summer modules. (For privileged registration information, see Section V-I-2-a, b).

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D. Big Ten Academic Alliance Traveling Scholar Program 

Purdue University is a participant in the BTAA Traveling Scholar Program for graduate students enrolled in any Big Ten institution. The participating institutions are the Big Ten universities plus the University of Chicago. 

This program enables doctoral students in good standing to take advantage of special resources available on campuses other than their home campus, such as special course offerings, unusual research opportunities, unique laboratories, special library collections, or study with a particular professor. Visits of traveling scholars are limited to two sessions or three quarters regardless of the number of courses taken. Credit earned by a BTAA traveling scholar at a host university is automatically accepted by the home university upon receipt of a transcript or grade report from the host university.

Doctoral students interested in the BTAA Traveling Scholars program should consult with their faculty advisor then complete an application available on the BTAA Traveling Scholars website.

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E. Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel

When research, instructional, and/or engagement activities require a graduate staff member to relocate from a primary work location, usually one of the Purdue Campuses, for longer than 22 working days, a request for Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel must be approved prior to departure. A Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel request must be made using the Request and Leave Action for Sabbatical, Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel, Outside Activity Leave or Change of Duty Station form (RLA Form).

While on Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel leave, graduate staff are required to be registered for graduate credit, commensurate with the leave activity but not less than 3 credit hours. Registration is not automatic while a student is in Research/Instructional Engagement travel status (See Section IV-D). The student and major professor must arrange for the student to be registered each academic session (including summer sessions) during which the student receives a salary or stipend. The level of registration should reflect as accurately as possible the anticipated contribution the activity will make to the student’s degree program. Arrangements with the bursar for the payment of fees are the responsibility of the student and the major professor. Late registration will be subject to the usual additional fee. Failure to register and to pay fees while in Research/Instructional/Engagement travel status will result in ineligibility for a graduate appointment. 

OGSPS is responsible for assessing the qualifications of people who supervise graduate students. The major professor retains supervisory responsibility for a student in Research/Instructional/Engagement status. Although various levels of authority may be delegated to the locational supervisor, the responsibility for ensuring academic integrity and for making academic evaluations remains with the major professor.

1. Change of Duty Station

When personal reasons require a graduate staff employee to relocate from a primary work location, usually one of the Purdue campuses, for longer than 22 working days a Change of Duty Station must be requested and approved prior to departure. A Change of Duty request must be made using the Request and Leave Action for Sabbatical, Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel, Outside Activity Leave or Change of Duty Station (RLA Form). While on Change of Duty Station leave, graduate staff are expected to continue to perform their normal campus work duties and to be registered for graduate credit. A minimum of 3 credit hours is required.
 
Registration is not automatic while a student is in a change of duty station status (See Section IV-D). The student and major professor must arrange for the student to be registered each academic session (including summer sessions) during which the student receives a salary or stipend. The level of registration should reflect as accurately as possible the anticipated contribution the activity will make to the student’s degree program. Arrangements with the bursar for the payment of fees are the responsibility of the student and the major professor. Late registration will be subject to the usual additional fee. Failure to register and to pay fees while in Change of Duty Station status will result in ineligibility for a graduate staff appointment. 

OGSPS is responsible for assessing the qualifications of people who supervise graduate students. The major professor retains supervisory responsibility for a student in Change of Duty Station status.

2. Reportable Outside Activities
 
A graduate student may not hold a 0.5 FTE appointment (TA RA GA) while pursuing reportable outside activities (activities), including Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students holding a 0.25 FTE appointment may pursue part-time activities, including CPT, up to a total of 20 hours per week.
 
Activities must be approved before the beginning of the semester in which the activities will occur and cannot begin after the 6th week of classes. Activities, including CPT, are approved on a semester basis.
 
Background information related to CPT is below:
 
8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)
(10) Practical training. Practical training may be authorized to an F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis, in a Service-approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary for one full academic year. This provision also includes students who, during their course of study, were enrolled in a study abroad program, if the student had spent at least one full academic term enrolled in a full course of study in the United States prior to studying abroad. A student may be authorized 12 months of practical training and becomes eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he or she changes to a higher educational level. Students in English language training programs are ineligible for practical training. An eligible student may request employment authorization for practical training in a position that is directly related to his or her major area of study. There are two types of practical training available:
 
8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)
(i) Curricular practical training. An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Students who have received one year or more of full-time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion academic training. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement.
 
Purdue defines CPT as short-term paid or unpaid internships, field experiences, co-ops, or professional employment with a non-Purdue entity (off-campus) and that are integral to the student’s established curriculum; or required to complete the thesis or dissertation. We define integral as an elective or required component of the student’s academic program as defined in the University’s catalog of programs. Elective experiences are granted no more than twice in a student’s academic program. Required experiences are granted as needed, but only with the strong support of the advisor. Requests for experiences required to complete a thesis or dissertation must come with a statement from the major professor explaining why the research cannot be conducted on campus at Purdue. Usually, it’s because the student is working on a topic that requires specialized equipment or data sets in order to complete the research; and that are only available at certain National Labs or with off-campus employers.
 
Before ISS will consider granting authorization for CPT, ISS will require the following:
  • A complete job offer letter containing the job description and various other elements needed to grant authorization.
  • A student’s statement of understanding of the requirements for CPT.
  • A printout of the associated course or research credit description from the course catalog. The course or research must be offered through the student’s home department, commensurate with the student’s education level, be offered during the semester the CPT occurs, must indicate it is delivered as an experiential learning type and must indicate in the course description that successful completion of the course requires the internship or field experience. We make an exception for the research credit description since we get this information from the faculty advisor.
  • A recommendation from the student’s academic advisor, graduate coordinator, or faculty advisor as to the appropriateness of the CPT with respect to the student’s academic program. They must also provide a statement that the student is making normal academic progress and in good standing in the program.
If the student is requesting full-time CPT, ISS will ensure that the internship or field experience requires 32 or more hours per week. This is the US DOL’s definition of full time, and is approximately equal to the number of hours a student would be in the classroom, lab, or studying if they were otherwise enrolled in a full course of study. We added this requirement about five years ago when students were coming to us with offer letters indicating 21 hours per week, just so they could get full-time CPT and essentially take the semester off.
 
If students enroll in research credit, they pay per credit hour tuition. If they enroll in a course, it could be anywhere from 0 credit hours ($400 flat fee) to any number of credit hours assigned to the course (per credit hour rate). Courses as high as six credit hours have been approved. Mostly we see advisors recommending the 0 credit hour courses or one to three research credits. All courses/credit appear on the academic transcript.
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F. Initiating a Request

1. Filling out the Form

The student submits a request, with the approval of the major professor, department head, and college/school dean, for a Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel or Change of Duty Station to the Vice Provost of OGSPS at least six weeks prior to the anticipated departure from campus. Such requests should be made on Human Resources Form RLA (Request and Leave Action for Sabbatical, Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel, Outside Activity Leave, or Change in Duty Station).

In addition to information specifically requested on Human Resources Form RLA, information including the location while on leave address (either the state’s address or foreign address) must also be included on the form. Detailed information must be provided on a supplemental page.

2. Description of Leave Graduate Staff Information:

Ph.D./Prof. Doctoral or M.S./M.A./M.F.A./Prof.Master’s
Stipend Amount (monthly stipend for duration of absence):
Credit Hours by semester/session for duration of absence:
Major Professor (name):

For Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel:
i. Detailed summary of the research, instructional and/or engagement to be undertaken.
ii. How the activity is related to one’s thesis/dissertation research and/or academic growth.
iii. Name and contact information for the on-site supervisor/advisor.

For Change of Duty Station:
i. Describe the campus work duties you will perform and how the duties will be accomplished.
ii. Describe how you will maintain contact with your supervisor/major professor.
iii. Describe the academic work required for the registered graduate credit hours.

3. Routing

Requests for Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel or Change of Duty Station, bearing the signatures of the student, the department head, and the college dean, should be sent to the department/school business office for processing and routing.

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G. Request for Off-Campus Ph.D. or Master’s Research

In order to track the location of graduate students completing research off-campus and to ensure that Indiana Commission for Higher Education requirements related to on-campus degree programs are observed, G.S. Form 19 Request for Off-campus Ph.D. or Master’s Research was created.
 
This form has been approved effective for the Fall 2020 semester. Master’s and doctoral students (who have not passed the preliminary examination) must complete G.S. Form 19 before they pursue 69800 or 69900 research off-campus for more than 22 consecutive days in any fall, spring, or summer session. G.S. Form 19 should be requested by the student and approved by the major professor and head of the graduate program.
 
The signed G.S. Form 19 should subsequently be sent at least one month before the start of the session in which off-campus research is planned. A new G.S. Form 19 is required for each ​session in which more than 22 consecutive days of research are expected to be completed off-campus. Form 19 is required for all graduate students completing research off-campus (other than those approved for Research in Absentia). Graduate students who are graduate staff employees must complete Research/Instructional/Engagement Leave or Change of Duty Station through SuccessFactors in addition to Form 19 if their work away from campus is greater than 22 consecutive days. 
 
Doctoral students who have completed all required coursework passed the preliminary examination, and who do not have Purdue graduate staff or fellowship funding should complete G.S. Form 12, Research in Absentia to document research off-campus instead of G.S. Form 19.
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H. Research in Absentia

1. Initiating a Request

A doctoral student may, with the approval of the major professor and head of the graduate program, petition for permission to register in absentia for doctoral research. To do so, a completed G.S. Form 12, Request for Ph.D. Degree Candidate Research in Absentia must be received at least one month prior to the beginning of the initial session for which registration in absentia is sought.

Students requesting to register in absentia should be registered for three credits of doctoral research (69900). Once the absentia request has been approved, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will add the absentia attribute to the student’s academic record. Students in absentia status should register for research with their department as they would for on campus research, and the absentia attribute will trigger the appropriate tuition rate.

2. Restrictions

A graduate student who holds an assistantship or fellowship who will be paid by or through Purdue University during the absentia period is not eligible to register for research in absentia. If the graduate appointment is related to a research project off campus, the student may be eligible to request a change of duty station. (See Sections IV-D and V-E.)

3. Qualifications

To be eligible for absentia status, students must have:

  • Successfully completed their coursework and passed their preliminary examination;
  • Made significant progress on the thesis research topic; and
  • Established, in coordination with their major professor, a plan for accomplishing research at the absentia location.

4. Stipulations

a. Continuous Absentia Registration

While in absentia the student must be registered for every session during which they are engaged in degree work or plan to graduate. The absentia privilege will remain in effect as long as the student continues to register, the student returns to campus, the degree has been granted, the absentia privilege is rescinded, or the student withdraws from the University. Students in absentia status may take up to two consecutive sessions off of registering if they are not doing any work in progress toward their dissertation. However, if they fail to register in absentia for three consecutive sessions, they will lose their eligibility to register in the program.

Doctoral students who are in absentia status are eligible to register for Exam or Degree Only in their final session if they meet the qualifications for either privileged registration. However, if the doctoral candidate does not meet the mid-session deadline, the registration will be changed to a minimum of 3 doctoral research credits (69900). This will make the student eligible to register for examination only or degree only in a future session.

b. Payment of Fees

Late registration will be subject to the usual additional fee. It is the student’s responsibility to keep his/her current addresses updated in myPurdue. Nonpayment of registration fees will terminate the student’s registration.

c. Research in Absentia Credit

The minimum (and standard) absentia registration is three hours of doctoral research (69900) credit. However, permission may be granted by the student’s major professor to register a student for up to 18 hours of doctoral research credit at the same fee assessed for the standard 3 hours. 

This variable credit registration makes it possible for the level of registration to accurately reflect the level of research effort by the student. Thus, students devoting full time to research will be allowed to register for up to 18 credit hours of 69900, while those with fractional research commitments will be allowed proportional 69900 registrations. Summer registrations will be proportional to the length of the summer session.

d. Research Supervision

The student doing research in absentia is to be supervised or guided by the major professor and must maintain frequent contact so that the major professor can monitor the student’s progress. If the candidate’s dissertation research requires on-site supervision at the absentia location, the G.S. Form 12 Request for Research in Absentia must be accompanied by a statement specifying who will provide this supervision and his or her qualifications.

5. Completing Study While in Absentia

a. Final Examination

A student may take a final examination while registered in absentia.

b. Graduation

A student may graduate while registered in absentia. The department should make certain that absentia students who intend to graduate are added to the preliminary candidate list at the appropriate time. (See Section X-A-1).

6. Stopping the Absentia Registration

Doctoral students currently in absentia status who will be returning to campus should communicate this to their department. It is then the responsibility of the department to communicate that the absentia attribute should be removed for that student. This communication can come as a formal memo request, or as an email to gradweb@purdue.edu. Once the absentia attribute is removed, that student is no longer eligible to register in absentia for a later session.

Each department in which graduate research is being carried out is responsible for making periodic reviews of the graduate student records to determine whether all students who are actually doing research in absentia have been given proper approval and are registering each session as required.

A doctoral student who has satisfied all of the qualifications and wishes to leave the University to continue doctoral research should request to register in absentia for doctoral research (69900). (Master’s students are not eligible to register for research in absentia.)

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I. Registration in the Final Academic Session

1. Registration in the Session of Graduation

  • All students must be registered in the session of graduation. Registration options for candidates for graduation include the following:
  • CAND 99100 - the student must register for course or research credit(s). CAND 99100 is not a registration. Thesis-option master’s and doctoral students must register for research in proportion to their efforts during each session when doing research utilizing faculty direction or consultation and/or requiring the use of university facilities. (See Section V.C.5). Thesis-option master’s and doctoral students must, therefore, be registered for at least one credit of research in the session in which they defend and/or the thesis or dissertation unless they are approved for CAND 99200 or 99300 registration.
  • CAND 99200 - degree only is a stand-alone registration. Students should not register for any additional credits with this registration.
  • CAND 99300 - examination only is a stand-alone registration. Students should not register for any additional credits with this registration.

Students with outstanding incomplete grades for courses listed on the plan of study will not be eligible to graduate. Students must complete the course requirements and register for a future session to receive the degree.

2. Privileged Registration

The privileged registration, either examination only or degree only, is a onetime registration.

Federal regulations for international students in a nonthesis master’s degree program states: If the student is not required to take any additional courses to satisfy the requirements for completion, but continues to be enrolled for administrative purposes, the student is considered to have completed the course of study and must take action to maintain status. As a result, international students who are in a nonthesis master’s degree program and are registered for a privileged registration in their final session should contact the Office of International Students and Scholars to discuss their options.

a. Examination Only Registration

A student who has completed registration (30 hours for a master’s degree; 90 hours for a Ph.D. degree) and who has finished all degree requirements except for the final examination and depositing the thesis prior to the first day of the academic session of graduation may request registration for examination only at a reduced fee. Thesis option students must also have been registered for at least one hour of XXXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXXX 69900 research credits, with a grade of S in the previous session.

The previous session does not include the summer session unless:

  • A graduate student completed work on degree requirements, requiring the appropriate number of registration credits;
  • A graduate student held a graduate staff appointment during the preceding summer session. Graduate students who held a summer session appointment will be held to a minimum summer registration of three credits;
  • A graduate student who did not hold a summer appointment will be held to a minimum registration for the preceding spring session.

If approved, this registration will remain valid only if both a positive Report of the Final Examination and a Thesis Receipt (if applicable to the degree being conferred) have been received by the eighth week of the session (fourth week of an eight-week summer session). Otherwise, Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will notify the Office of the Registrar, after the eighth week of a semester or the fourth week of the summer session to register the student for one XXXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXXX 69900 credit. (Registration for candidates previously registered in absentia must be changed to a minimum of three credit hours of 69900. This will maintain the candidate’s continuous registration in absentia and will make the student eligible to register for examination only or degree only in a future session.) If the student holds a graduate appointment, the department is responsible for changing the registration to no less than three credit hours of graduate-level course and/or 69800 or 69900 credits. Graduate staff employees enrolled for examination only should expect to pay Social Security tax on their graduate staff salaries. Likewise, graduate staff employees who do not meet the mid-session deadline for examination only and are enrolled for less than half-time should expect to pay Social Security tax on their graduate staff salaries.

Any graduate student, including those who hold any type of graduate appointment, may register for examination only.

b. Degree Only Registration

A student who has completed registration requirement (30 hours for a master’s degree; 90 hours for a Ph.D. degree) and who has finished all degree requirements except for depositing the thesis and for whom a positive Report of the Final Examination has been received prior to the first day of the academic session of graduation but who has not been awarded the degree may request registration for degree only at a reduced fee. Thesis option students must also have been registered for at least one hour of XXXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXXX 69900 research, with a grade of S in the previous spring or fall session.

The previous session does not include the summer session unless the graduate student:

  • completed work on degree requirements, requiring the appropriate number of registration credits;
  • held a graduate staff appointment during the preceding summer session. Graduate students who held a summer session appointment will be held to a minimum summer registration of three credits;
  • did not hold a summer appointment, and thus will be held to a minimum registration for the preceding spring session.

If approved, this registration will remain valid only if a Thesis Receipt (if applicable to the degree being conferred) is received by the eighth week of the session (fourth week of an eight-week summer session). Otherwise, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will notify the Office of the Registrar, after the eighth week of a semester or the fourth week of the summer session to register the student for one XXXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXX 69900 credit. (Registration for candidates previously registered in absentia must be changed to a minimum of three credit hours of 69800 or 69900. This will maintain the candidate’s continuous registration in absentia and will make the student eligible to register for degree only in a future session.)  If the student holds a graduate appointment, the department is responsible for changing the registration to no less than three credit hours of graduate-level course and/or 69800 or 69900 credits. Graduate staff employees enrolled for degree only should expect to pay Social Security tax on their graduate staff salaries. Likewise, graduate staff employees who do not meet the mid-session deadline for degree only and are enrolled for less than half-time should expect to pay Social Security tax on their graduate staff salaries.

Any graduate student, including those who hold any type of graduate appointment, may register for degree only.

c. Approval

Privileged registration requires OGSPS approval. The completed Course Request (Registrar’s Form 23) must be sent for approval and processing.

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K. Registration Limits for Student Loan Eligibility


The Division of Financial Aid should be contacted for current information on eligibility and minimum hours of registration required to qualify for a graduate student loan.
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L. Course Information

1. Auditing Courses

Information regarding graduate students auditing courses is available in Student Regulations, a reference guide for all students.

2. Current Purdue Courses

A current listing of courses approved to be offered at all Purdue campuses is maintained by the Office of the Registrar.


VI. General Academic Requirements & Grade Appeals

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A. Grades and Index Requirements

A graduate student is expected to maintain a graduation index representing a B average (3.0/4.0 GPA) or better. Indices below this level are marked “less than good standing” on the transcript. Departments may require higher standards than the university; however, these must be clearly documented and communicated to students and consistently enforced. Departments requiring higher standards, such as higher GPAs for academic notice, are responsible for managing them. Only university-established thresholds for academic standing will be officially noted on the transcript.

Beginning with the posting of Fall 2015 grades, a graduate student who falls below a 2.0 semester GPA and/or possesses less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be on academic notice. Any student on academic notice at the close of the Fall 2015 semester whose spring semester GPA and cumulative GPA (at the close of the Spring 2016 semester) falls below 2.0 will be separated from the university. If a graduate student is on academic notice and EITHER the semester GPA or the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or above, the student will remain on notice. Academic standing is not addressed during Summer Session. Beyond the 2015-16 academic year, this University Senate-approved policy will be administered as follows:

  • IF: Semester GPA and Cumulative GPA are ≥ 3.0 = Good Standing
  • IF: Semester GPA or Cumulative GPA is 2.0 - 2.99 = Less than Good Standing
  • IF: Semester GPA or Cumulative GPA is < 2.0 = Academic Notice
  • IF: On Academic Notice and both Semester GPA and Cumulative GPA are < 2.0 = Separated
  • IF: On Academic Notice and Cumulative GPA is < 2.0 but Semester Index is ≥ 2.0 = Academic Notice
  • IF: On Academic Notice and Semester GPA is < 2.0 but Cumulative GPA is ≥ 2.0 = Academic Notice
  • IF:  On Academic Notice and Semester GPA is ≥ 2.0 and Cumulative GPA is ≥ 2.0 = Off Academic Notice (Less than Good Standing may be applicable.)

Any grade changes made after the initial GPA calculations will result in a recalculation of GPAs and academic standing or separated status. However, Incomplete grades that are completed after initial GPA calculations will result in a recalculation of GPAs but not in a recalculation of academic standing or separated status. Any graduate student appropriately separated from the university must reapply. A graduate student who is academically separated from the University for the first time is not eligible to enroll for at least one fall or spring semester. A graduate student who is academically separated for the second time is not eligible to enroll for at least one year. For more information, see here.

A graduate student also is expected to earn S grades for research registration. Two consecutive sessions of U grades for research registration mandate that the department take formal action and inform the student, in writing, with regard to discontinuation or conditions for continuation of the student’s graduate study. In any event, the student’s progress should be reviewed each session by the student’s department. The student’s progress also may be reviewed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. Should the student fail to perform in either coursework or research on a level acceptable to the advisory committee, the departmental graduate committee, or the Vice Provost, he or she may be asked to discontinue graduate study at Purdue.

Before the end of the 2nd week of each session of registration for XXXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXXX 69900, a written set of minimum expectations (e.g. data set, draft of chapter, sampling plan, IRB, lit review, manuscript, objectives of proposal) will be submitted to the student by the departmental/program representative (faculty member, program chair) supervising the credits. Ideally these expectations would be discussed and developed jointly by the student and departmental representative. The expectations and deliverables should align with the number of credits that the student is registered for (i.e. greater expectations for more credits). The student should acknowledge receipt of the expectations. If questions or concerns surface regarding expectations and credit load at any time throughout the semester, the student and departmental/program representative must discuss and record the concern to an agreed upon endpoint. For a description of the grades, please see catalog.purdue.edu (Policy Section:  Grades and Grade Reports).

If a student is assigned U grade, prior to the start of classes the next session, the departmental/program representative must develop and communicate to the student a plan for satisfactory continuation. The student is responsible for meeting with the departmental/program representative to discuss this plan. Both the student and the departmental/program representative must acknowledge the corrective plan.

The graduation index for graduate students includes all grades earned in 50000- and 60000-level courses taken while enrolled as a graduate student, except FR, GER, RUSS, or SPAN 60100, 60300, or 60500 (Section VI-D), plus grades received in 30000- or 40000-level courses taken while in the graduate program (once they are approved as part of the graduate plan of study). When 30000- and 40000-level courses are listed on the approved plan of study, and completed with a B- or better grade, grades associated with those courses will be added into the graduation index. If a student receives less than a B- in a 30000- or 40000-level course, then the course must be retaken or removed from the plan of study.

If a Purdue course that is classified as non-repeatable is repeated by a graduate student for a grade, the Registrar’s Office will exclude the first grade from a student’s graduation index, provided that specific course was originally taken while the student was enrolled as a graduate student. ​If a graduate student takes multiple instances of a course that is classified as Repeatable, all letter grades received will be included in the student’s graduation index as long as the student does not exceed the repeat credit limit established for the course. Courses must be included in the graduation index to appear on a graduate plan of study.

Courses taken as pass/not pass or satisfactory/unsatisfactory are unacceptable on plans of study, with the exception of students in certain programs within the Krannert School of Management. Beginning with new students enrolling in Fall 2017, Krannert master’s students may take up to 10% of the coursework required for Krannert program as pass/not pass provided that the student also completes a minimum of 30 credits of graded (C- or better) coursework for the program. Only elective courses may be taken as pass/not pass, and a “pass” grade must be earned for the course to count toward meeting the credit requirement of the degree as part of the 10% allowance. Grade option changes will not be approved except in cases of a clerical or mechanical error during the normal drop/add period. Coursework required for a degree will be complete when a student obtains grades for all courses on the plan of study that meet grade requirements of the department and OGSPS.

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B. Degree and Registration Requirements

In order for a degree to be granted by Purdue University, it is important for a significant component of that degree to be directed by Purdue graduate faculty; therefore, the following registration requirements exist. Registration is defined as formal enrollment in courses offered by Purdue University, including courses offered via distance learning technologies. Courses include all Purdue University graduate courses approved by the student’s graduate committee, including formal coursework and research credits.

In fulfilling degree requirements, a maximum of 19 credit hours (from one or more institutions) will be allowed from any one session. A maximum of 13 credits (from one or more institutions) taken during Summer Session, are permitted to fulfill graduation requirements. 

The total number of hours of academic credit used to satisfy degree requirements consists of all graduate course credit hours with a grade of C- or better (B- or better for 30000- or 40000-level courses) that appear on the plan of study and the appropriate number of research credit hours (69800 and 69900) with grades of S that appear on the Purdue transcript. (See Section VII-B-1-a).

1. Master’s Degree

  • At least one-half of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered at Purdue University.
  • More than 50 percent of the Purdue credits must be earned through the campus where the degree is conferred.
  • At least 30 total credit hours are required.
  • With the exception of doctoral students who are re-classified as master’s students and leave with the master’s degree, 69900 credits may not be used towards the fulfillment of master’s degree requirements.

2. Doctor of Philosophy Degree

  • At least one-third of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered for doctoral study at Purdue University.
  • At least 90 total credit hours are required.
  • A master’s degree or professional doctoral degree from any accredited institution may be considered to contribute up to 30 credit hours toward satisfying this requirement at the discretion of the student’s graduate program. The intent of this policy is to provide colleges/schools, departments, and a student’s advisory committee with flexibility in determining what credits, (up to a maximum of 30 and earned from the master’s or professional doctoral degree]) may be applied toward the Ph.D. degree. These credit hours are not subject to the “Five-Year Rule” that prohibits the use of out-of-date coursework on plans of study.
  • Under no circumstances may XXXX 69800 or XXXX 69810 credits, other than as part of the 30 credits which may be used from a master’s degree, contribute toward the 90 credits required for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

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C. Maximum Time Limits for Completion of Ph.D. Degree

Each department should establish policies to assure that graduate students complete their Ph.D. degree programs in a period of time that is reasonable and commensurate with the practice of scholarship in that field. Current policies governing the completion of the Ph.D. degree should be filed with the Vice Provost of the Office for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. In formulating completion policies, departments should give special consideration to the conditions that must be met before students can be recommended for research in absentia. 

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D. Knowledge of Language Other than English

There is no general requirement of knowledge of a language other than English for seekers of advanced degrees. Some departments, however, do require a reading knowledge of one or more languages other than English. This requirement may be indicated on the plan of study; however, OGSPS does not monitor the satisfactory completion of any such requirements.

If a department requires reading knowledge of one or more languages other than English, the department may stipulate its own method to be used by a student whose native language does not satisfy this requirement. When a department wants the School of Languages and Cultures to administer the examination, evaluate the performance, and validate the competency, that department must consult with the School of Languages and Cultures a session in advance of the student’s deadline for establishing knowledge in a language other than English.

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E. Overview of Grade Appeals Committee & Process

The charge of the Grade Appeals Committee is to assist both the students and faculty members who have been unable to resolve differences arising from the assignment of a final grade in a course offered by the school, typically graduate courses. Graduate students appealing grades in graduate-level and undergraduate courses offered by departments/programs in other colleges/schools, should direct their appeals to those colleges. The committee will administer any submitted requests for grade appeals in accordance with university-published procedures and schedules.

Reference Section E. of the Regulations Governing Student Conduct, Disciplinary Proceedings and Appeals.

The faculty of the University at the West Lafayette Campus has adopted the following procedures for grade appeals pursuant to the authority delegated to the faculty. The Board of Trustees hereby approves such procedures for the West Lafayette Campus:

1. General

a. In the academic community, grades are a measure of student achievement toward fulfillment of course objectives. The responsibility for assessing student achievement and assigning grades rests with the faculty, and, except for unusual circumstances, the course grade given is final.

b. The grade appeals system affords recourse to a student who has evidence or believes that evidence exists to show that an inappropriate grade has been assigned as a result of prejudice, caprice, or other improper conditions such as mechanical error, or assignment of a grade inconsistent with those assigned other students. Additionally, a student may challenge the reduction of a grade for alleged scholastic dishonesty.

c. The only University authorities empowered to change grades are the instructor or, in the case of teaching assistants, the faculty member in charge of the course in question and the chairman/chairwoman of the University Grade Appeals Committee acting on behalf of the school and University grade appeals committees.

d. Informal attempts must be made to resolve grade grievances and appeals at the lowest possible level - through the course instructor, through the department head, or through other informal procedures outlined by the college/school and/or department in which the course was taught.

e. Graduate students who wish to appeal grades received in regular coursework may do so through the grade appeals system. Cases involving the decisions of graduate examination committees, the acceptance of graduate theses, and the application of professional standards relating to the retention of graduate students shall be handled by procedures authorized by the Graduate Council rather than the grade appeals system.

f. When a student initiates a formal grade appeal, he/she should be prepared to state in what way his/her grade assignment was arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise improper. At that time, he/she may seek the assistance of the dean of students, the chairperson of one of the grade appeals committees, or his/her academic advisor.

g. In appealing a grade, the burden of proof is on the student, except in the case of alleged academic dishonesty, where the instructor must support the allegation.

2. College/School Grade Appeals Committees

a. Each of the colleges/schools of Purdue University at the West Lafayette Campus will establish a Grade Appeals Committee to hear grade grievances and appeals that are not resolved informally at a lower level. Each committee will consist of two students (undergraduate or graduate corresponding to the status of the appellant), three members of the instructional faculty, and a non-voting chairperson. The chairperson of the committee will be an assistant or associate dean of the college/school appointed by the Vice Provost. The chairperson will be responsible for assuring adherence to established procedures, convening members for an appeal, and maintaining records. The chairperson has the authority to grant warranted time extension in the appeals process described below.

b. Voting members of the committee will be selected from a pool of at least eight students and eight instructional faculty. The pool of members of the committee will be selected according to school/college procedures in the spring (not later than May 1) to commence serving on the first day of the following fall semester. No member shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the pool.

3. Grade Appeals Calendar

The following information has been provided to illustrate the major activities and time periods associated with the grade appeals process associated with graduate courses. The period may be shorter or longer, depending upon the circumstances of the case.

CALENDAR DAYS FROM BEGINNING OF FALL OR SPRING SEMESTER FOLLOWING THE ONE IN WHICH THE QUESTIONED GRADE WAS GIVEN:

  • Within the first 30 days of following semester: Submission of formal appeal to chair
  • Within 7 days: Instructor provides response
  • Within 7 days: Grade Appeals Committee determines if a hearing is warranted
  • 14 days: If warranted, notification and scheduling of a hearing
  • 75-90 days: Hold a Formal Hearing
  • 90-105 days: Report Decision

4. Grade Appeal Procedures

Created June 2018, according to the University Grade Appeals Committee memo of Feb 5, 1998.

Prior to the Hearing:

a. When first approached by a student, the Grade Appeals Chair (abbreviated as chair) will ensure that the student has reviewed the materials from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities about the process and filing an appeal (https://www.purdue.edu/odos/osrr/grade-appeal-process/).

b. When the chair receives the student’s written appeal, s/he shall provide the faculty member involved with a copy of the student’s written statement and request a statement in response. The faculty member shall furnish class records required to resolve the dispute along with a written response.

c. The chair shall contact the parties involved with the appeal and members of the committee to set a hearing date. If primary members of the committee are unable to attend, alternates shall be selected to constitute a full committee. All committee members should understand that grade appeals hearings are high-priority meetings. Any hearing held without a full committee, as described in the University Regulations, may be challenged based on procedural irregularity.

d. The chair shall furnish copies of the written statements to each committee member and involved parties in advance of the hearing. These materials are confidential and must be treated as such. They can be distributed only to those committee members who will hear the appeal and copies must be returned to the chair after the hearing.

After receipt of the detailed written statement of appeal by the student, and the written response from the instructor, a preliminary meeting may be held with members of the Appeals Committee to determine if a hearing is warranted.

e. The following schedule of events should be followed as closely as possible:

i. The involved faculty member should be notified of the appeal on the date a written appeal from the student is received by the school chair.

ii. Written statements by the student and the faculty member should be distributed to committee members and involved parties within 7 days of the receipt of the written appeal.

iii. Any preliminary hearing should be held within 14 days of receipt of the written appeal.

iv. The chair will advise the involved instructor that he or she may request that the Grade Appeals Committee hold a preliminary meeting to review the student’s allegations to determine if the allegations are within the jurisdiction of the committee, or if there is cause for a hearing.

For the preliminary meeting the chair will determine which members of the Grade Appeals Committee will hear the case. The committee shall consist of two graduate students and four members of the instructional graduate faculty.

5. Grade Appeals Hearing Procedure

The procedure described in this section shall be followed during the hearing. A copy of this statement of hearing procedure shall be furnished to members of the committee and the involved parties in advance of the hearing.

Denial of the Appeal Hearing:

If, because of the preliminary hearing, the Grade Appeals Committee determines to deny an appeal hearing to the student:

i. The chair will collect all material that was distributed, which may be deemed confidential by the chair.

ii. The chair will send a written notice of denial to the instructor and to the student no later than 5 days after the conclusion of the preliminary meeting.

iii. The chair will send, with the written notice of denial, a written notice advising the student that if he or she wishes to appeal the denial, he or she may file a written notice of intent to request a further appeal with the chair of the University Grade Appeals Committee, within 6 class days after the receipt by the student of the written denial notice.

iv. The chair will maintain all records, reports, and items of evidence for at least one year.

v. The chair will be prepared to submit all case records to the University Grade Appeals Committee immediately upon their request.

Vote for an Appeal Hearing:

If one committee member at the preliminary hearing votes to hear the case, it will be continued to a formal hearing.

Preparation for the Appeal Hearing:

If the preliminary meeting results in a vote to formally hear the appeal, the following steps should be followed:

i. The chair will determine a time, place, and date for a formal hearing.

ii. The chair shall promptly give written notice of the hearing, with the time, date, and place to be held (which shall be held not less than five, and whenever practicable, not more than ten days after the receipt of such notice), to the involved instructor, the student, and the committee members who will hear this case.

  • A copy of the student’s detailed statement, as well as the procedures and sequence of events to be followed in conducting the hearing should accompany written notice of the hearing to the instructor.
  • Written notice of the hearing to the student should be accompanied by the instructor’s statement if submitted; the procedures and the sequence of events to be followed in conducting the hearing; and at the chair’s discretion, all or part of the instructor’s grading records.
  • A written notice of the hearing to the committee members should be accompanied by the instructor’s, student’s, and witnesses’ statements, and the sequence of events to be followed in conducting the hearing.

iii. Because the hearings are administrative and not judicial in nature, the student and the instructor may not be represented by a lawyer. However, the student and the instructor may be represented by advisers of their choice, and have witnesses present for questioning (see below). The chair shall determine the number of individuals that can be conveniently accommodated.

  • The student and instructor shall inform the chair of his/her intention to have advisors as representation, or witnesses present, at least five days before the time of the hearing.
  • The witness shall submit to the chair a general outline of his/her testimony, along with the student’s or instructor’s written statement, at least five days before the time of the hearing.
  • The testimony of the witness during the hearing must be relevant to the issues in question.

iv. The hearing will be held.

At the Hearing:

Note: Proceedings in the following Steps b. through e. must be recorded.

a. Closed Session: Prior to the hour scheduled for the hearing, the committee shall meet in closed session to identify the issues in the case. Specific points that require clarification should be identified.

b. Statement by Chair: The involved parties shall then be admitted to the hearing, which will open with a statement by the chair that describes the committee’s understanding of the relevant issues and, where appropriate, those issues considered irrelevant. The chair shall identify both parties, advisors, and witnesses present, and the members of the Grade Appeals Committee. The chair shall then ask the student and faculty member to identify and clarify any issues that have been overlooked and/or justify consideration of issues the committee has identified as irrelevant. Under normal circumstances, if the duly notified student does not appear for the hearing, the complaint shall be dismissed, the case closed, and these actions not subject to further hearing or appeal. (Abnormal weather conditions, emergency situations, or other unavoidable circumstances would not be considered normal circumstances.) If, however, a duly notified instructor does not appear, the hearing will continue on the presumption that there is no desire to challenge the evidence or witnesses presented by the student.

c. Open Questioning: During this period the student, faculty member, and/or committee members may ask questions of either involved party and/or their witnesses.

d. Summary Statements: After questions have ceased, or when the chair is satisfied that additional questions will not provide further clarification of the issues, the student and faculty member will be given an opportunity to make summary statements. Such statements should be brief and in no case, exceed 5 minutes.

e. The chair will inform the parties that they will receive a written report of the committee’s decision no later than 15 days after the conclusion of the hearing; and that both parties have a right to file a written notice of intent to request a further appeal with the chair of the University Grade Appeals Committee, if either is unsatisfied with the decision.

f. Closed Hearing: At this point, interested parties and witnesses shall be dismissed and committee members shall deliberate the outcome in a closed session.

g. Balloting: After deliberations, a secret ballot shall be taken and the vote recorded. The chair announces the decision of the committee. The chair does not normally vote (except in the case of a tie or other extenuating circumstances as determined by the chair). The decision is based on a majority vote.

h. Reporting: The chair shall designate one member of the committee to prepare a written statement of the committee’s decision (including the vote of the committee), the basis for the decision, and the reasoning used by the committee to reach the decision. A copy of this report and the taped record of the hearing shall be kept on file by the chair. Copies of the report shall be sent to: the student, the faculty member, and the chair of the University Grade Appeals Committee.

After the Hearing

a. The chair shall collect all copies of the written statements from the committee.

b. The chair shall retain the tape recording of the hearing, one copy of all written materials pertaining to the case, and the report of the committee’s decision for a period of at least one year.

c. University Grade Appeals Committee. In the event of an appeal of the decision, the chair shall provide copies of all materials pertaining to the case to the chair of the University Grade Appeals Committee. (The report should be sent no later than 14 days after the conclusion of the hearing.)

d. The written report of the committee’s decision shall be accompanied by a written statement advising both parties that if either wishes to appeal the Grade Appeals Committee’s decision, they must file a written notice of their intent to appeal with the chair of the University Grade Appeals Committee within 6 class days after the receipt by the student or instructor of the written report of the School Grade Appeals Committee’s decision.


VII. Administering Graduate Degree Programs

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Graduate degree programs are subject to policies and procedures established by the Graduate Council and the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. It is the policy of the Vice Provost to delegate to the departments and their staff the maximum responsibility for the maintenance of academic standards. The staff does not normally counsel individual graduate students relative to their academic programs and degree progress. In all matters concerning a student or the student’s academic program, no action will be taken (except in unusual cases) without prior approval or recommendation of the student’s major professor, advisory committee, or the head of his or her graduate program. Any necessary communication should be made through the student’s department. (See Sections I-C, I-D, and I-E).

Although final academic deadlines are specified throughout this section of the manual, departments may set earlier deadlines.
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A. Departmental Advising and Supervision

1. Major Professor

Every student in a degree program is required to select a major professor who acts as the chair of the advisory committee and who agrees to supervise the student’s graduate study, research, and writing. The major professor/student relationship must be a mutually acceptable one.

2. Advisory Committee

The student and the major professor are responsible for the selection of an advisory committee. The duties of that committee are to assist the student in the preparation of the plan of study and to offer advice during the period of graduate work, including research and thesis preparation when these are required components of the student’s degree program.

The committee consists of the major professor and at least two other members of the graduate faculty, with the exception of non-thesis master’s degree programs that have approval for a one-member advisory committee. (See Section VII-A-2-a). Committees must be approved by the college dean (if requested by the college), and the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

Because it is crucial for advisory committee members to bring independent thought and decision-making to their advisory committee roles, it is strongly recommended that major professors, graduate students, and other individuals involved in the advisory committee selection process strive to avoid appointments where there may be potential conflicts of interest. Advisory committee appointments of spouses/partners, partners in business, or those with financial conflicts of interest connected to the graduate student, for example, should be carefully reviewed and alternatives considered.

Members of the committee need not be faculty with whom the student has taken coursework, however, at least 51% of the committee members must have regular graduate faculty certification. The request to the Vice Provost for the Office for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS) for appointment of the advisory committee is made on the same form and at the same time as the request for approval of the student’s plan of study. (See Section VII-B). The Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Scholars may appoint additional members if it seems advisable.

a. One-Member Advisory Committee Flexibility Option

A minimum of one member of the graduate faculty may be permitted to serve and fully constitute the membership of the advisory committee for non-thesis master’s students who are meeting degree requirements entirely through the completion of courses. Departments wishing to pursue this option should submit a request to the Director of the Office of Graduate Records, or the appropriate director of graduate studies at the regional campuses. Being as specific as possible, this request should outline what concentrations, cohorts, delivery methods (distance or campus based) or other features will qualify for this option.

Once approved, all non-thesis students within the major will be given technical access to list just one advisory committee member on the plan of study, even if this option is not appropriate for all. It is the department’s responsibility to carefully review each proposed plan of study; if a student who does not qualify for the one-member advisory committee option lists only one member, the form must be rejected.

Please note that a Final Examination Report Form (G.S. Form 7) must be submitted for all master’s students using the One Member Advisory Committee Flexibility option, unless the department also has an approved Alternative Graduation Criteria option. (See Section VII-F-2).

3. Changes in the Advisory Committee

Changes to the advisory committee must be submitted electronically via myPurdue if the plan of study was submitted electronically. Advisory committee changes on a paper plan of study should be requested using the Request for Change to the Plan of Study (G.S. Form 13).

Each request for a change must be accompanied by a rationale and be signed by the student and each committee member whose status is affected by the request. If a paper form is used, it is the responsibility of the chair of the advisory committee to obtain the signatures of all committee members whose status is being changed. The request must be approved by the major professor, the head of the graduate program, and the college dean (if requested by the college). It is important to notify the Office of Graduate Records l immediately of any change in the major professor to ensure that appropriate signatures are on forms.

In very rare instances in which an advisory committee member in any role does not approve a student’s request for a change in the advisory committee, the student may ask (in writing) for review and assistance from the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Scholars who will forward it to his/her designee. This action by the student should be utilized after he/she has made at least three contacts (in writing) to the advisory committee member over a period of at least one month to secure approval.

The Vice Provost or designee will convene a committee of three faculty members/administrators, normally including the graduate student’s college associate dean, department head, and departmental graduate committee chair, to consider the situation. A majority vote of this committee is required to ask the Vice Provost or designee to remove an advisory committee member from that role.

The Vice Provost or designee is a non-voting facilitator and serves as a liaison between OGSPS, the college/department, and the student. If the student believes that either composition of the committee did not allow him/her to have a fair review or the process was not properly followed, he/she may appeal directly to the Vice Provost within 10 days of the issuance of the committee’s decision. 

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B. Plan of Study

Each graduate student admitted to a degree program must submit a plan of study. Although there are no central requirements for the specific number of credit hours of courses that must appear on the plan of study (except for non-thesis plans of study), the plan must be appropriate to meet the needs of the student in his or her chosen field, as determined by the advisory committee and approved by the head of the graduate program, the college dean (if requested by the program), the college dean (if requested by the college), and the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Scholars.

The plan of study includes a primary area and may include a related area or areas that are chosen on the basis of the student’s interests and needs. It is to include the specific courses the student is expected to complete and other requirements of the particular degree being sought. Research credits (69800 or 69900) are not to appear on the plan of study. The number of credit hours of research should reflect the graduate student’s research and writing efforts.

Doctoral degree requirements may only be satisfied by 69900 credits; however, under certain conditions, 69900 credits may be applied toward the requirements of a thesis master’s degree. A request to use 69900 credits to satisfy master’s degree requirements must be submitted, explaining the need for the use of the 69900 credits and listing which credits (based on session taken) are to be used. This request must be signed by the major professor and the head of the graduate program. These 69900 credits, used to satisfy master’s degree requirements, will no longer be eligible to be used for the Ph.D. degree, unless they are utilized as part of the up to 30 credits potentially allowed for use from a master’s degree toward a doctoral degree. (See Section VI-B-2).

A tentative plan of study should be drawn up in advance of registration for the first session of graduate work, and the formal plan of study should be submitted electronically as soon as possible (by the end of the third session for doctoral students and by the end of the first session for master’s students).

1. Developing the Plan of Study

Course credits earned by a student whose graduate study and/or professional activity has been inactive for five years or more cannot be used in a plan of study for an advanced degree. A plan of study approved prior to such a period of inactivity is invalid.

Additional requirements that depend on the status of the student when the course was taken are as follows:

a. Courses Taken as a Graduate Student at Purdue University

Neither 10000- nor 20000-level courses may appear in a plan of study. Otherwise, requirements for the numerical level (30000 through 60000) of courses are determined by each department or administrative unit subject to the restriction that not more than a total of six 30000- or 40000-level course credit hours, with a grade of B- or better, may appear in a plan of study. (See Section VI-B).

b. Courses Taken in Non-Degree, Teacher License, or Graduate Certificate Status at Purdue University

Although there is no limit to the number of course credit hours that an individual may accumulate while registered in any of these classifications, no more than 12 total hours of credit earned (with a grade of C- or higher) in graduate non-degree status may be used in a plan of study. However, if an application to a degree program is approved during the session in which a person is enrolled for the 12th credit hour as a non-degree, all credits taken prior to and during that session will be eligible for inclusion in a plan of study for a degree program, providing the courses are appropriate to the degree program and the courses and grades are acceptable first to the department and then to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

Up to 24 credits taken in teacher license status may be used toward a graduate degree. Credits earned from certificates may be “stacked” and used toward a master’s degree, if permitted by the degree requirements. Twelve credit hours from up to two certificates (a total of 24 credit hours with a grade of C- or higher) can be used toward a master’s degree if permitted by the degree requirements.

Please note that the above limitation on course credit hours taken in non-degree, teacher license, or graduate certificate status that can be used in a plan of study will be modified if excess undergraduate credit also is to be applied to the plan of study.

c. Courses Taken as Excess Undergraduate Credit

Graduate course credits earned while an undergraduate at Purdue University or other accredited institutions of higher learning may be applied toward an advanced degree if these credits are in excess of any requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Such credits must be certified as available for graduate credit by the institution from which the student received his/her baccalaureate degree, but will be accepted only if:

  • The student had junior or senior standing when taking the course,
  • The student received a grade of B or better (work taken under the pass/not-pass option is not acceptable), and
  • The course was designated as a graduate course.

At Purdue University only, if the work is completed satisfactorily on this basis, the academic advisor (or candidate coordinator or other designee) shall then complete the Academic Record Change (Registrar Form 350), which indicates that the course may be used for graduate credit, and submit the form to the registrar, along with the grade reported, at the close of the student’s final term. The academic advisor’s (or candidate coordinator’s or designee’s) signature will attest to the fact that the credit is in excess of that required for the baccalaureate degree so that the registrar can then enter the notation “available for graduate credit” on the student’s record.

Up to 12 credits of undergraduate excess credits may be used toward a graduate degree, but this limit may be modified if non-degree, teacher license, or graduate certificate credits are also applied. The sum of undergraduate excess and graduate non-degree credits applied toward a graduate degree may not exceed 12 credits. The sum of undergraduate excess and teacher license or certificate credits may not exceed 24 credits. Any additional conditions under which excess undergraduate credit may be used for graduate credit are determined by the various departments (Graduate Council, April 16, 1992).

d. Graduate Courses Taken as a Non-degree Undergraduate Student after Receipt of the Baccalaureate Degree

Graduate courses taken as an undergraduate student, even if completed after receipt of the baccalaureate degree and with the intent to use the credits toward a graduate degree program, are not eligible to satisfy requirements for a graduate degree. Students who hold a conferred undergraduate degree and who wish to begin taking graduate courses should be advised to apply as a non-degree seeking graduate student instead of continuing to register as an undergraduate student.

e. Combined Degree Program Credits

If students are admitted to an approved combined degree program, they are permitted to use a certain number of credits to apply toward both undergraduate and graduate degrees (as outlined in the approved program proposal). Such courses must be listed on the graduate plan of study, and a supplemental note must be added to the plan of study indicating those courses that are to be used for both degrees.

f. Courses Taken as a Graduate Student at Other Accredited Institutions of Higher Learning

Subject to the restrictions stated below, credits earned for graduate study at other universities (both domestic and international) may be applied toward an advanced degree. Only credit hours associated with graduate courses for which grades of B- or better were obtained will be eligible for transfer. Any additional conditions under which credit transfers may be made are determined by the various departments.

2. Requirements Applicable to a Master’s Plan of Study
 
A minimum of 30 hours of graded credits (XXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXXX 69900 courses are excluded) are required in a plan of study for a non-thesis option master’s degree. Fewer than 30 credit hours of coursework may be listed on the plan of study for a thesis option master’s degree, providing there is a total of at least 30 hours of plan of study coursework and research credits.

Coursework used to satisfy the requirements of a master’s degree from an institution other than Purdue may not be used on a Purdue master’s plan of study.

3. Requirements Applicable to a Ph.D. Plan of Study

Up to 30 credits earned from one (and only one) master’s degree, Educational Specialist degree, or doctoral professional degree may be used on the plan of study for a Doctor of Philosophy degree. For such credits to apply to the doctoral degree program, the number of credits to apply must be noted on the doctoral plan of study.

Graduate students using credits from one Purdue master’s degree toward another Purdue master’s degree may use a maximum of 30 credits from only one of the Purdue master’s degrees toward the Purdue Ph.D. degree.

4. Filing the Plan of Study

A plan of study should be submitted for approval as early as is feasible (by the end of the third session for doctoral students and by the end of the first session for master’s students) in the student’s study. Furthermore, it must be received by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars, with all advisory committee, department/school, and college signatures, prior to the first day of the academic session of 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.

Students who fail to obtain all department approvals on their plan before the start of the session of anticipated graduation will be assessed a Late Graduation Deadline Fee if they want to remain on the candidate roster for the current term. Students may be asked to register for the following session to receive the degree. The plan of study will not be approved until all technical conditions have been met, and normally all academic conditions of admission must have been met.

4. Course Changes in the Plan of Study

Course changes to the plan of study must be submitted electronically via myPurdue if the plan of study was submitted electronically. The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars regards the plan of study as an individualized curriculum designed by the advisory committee to assist the student in achieving his or her educational objectives. Although changes in the plan of study may be necessary, each change requested must be accompanied by a brief rationale in the space provided. Poor performance in a course is not an appropriate reason for removing a course from the plan of study. A request for changes in a plan of study must be signed by the student and approved by the major professor, the head of the graduate program, and the college dean (if requested by the college).

5. Fulfilling the Plan of Study Course Requirements

Graduate courses taken while registered as a graduate student at Purdue University may be considered for fulfilling the plan of study requirements only if the student has received grades of C- or better. These course grades must meet departmental requirements, such as limits on the number of C-, C, or C+ grades permitted, grades of A, A-, B, or B- in certain courses, and/or minimum GPA for courses on the plan of study. For courses at the 30000- or 40000- level taken as a graduate student or courses that represent either undergraduate excess credit or transfer credit, grades of B- or better are required for fulfilling plan of study requirements. Once again, departments and advisory committees may set higher standards. (See Sections VII-B-1-a-(3) and (4) for other conditions governing the use of undergraduate excess and transfer credit in a plan of study).

Courses taken as pass/not pass or satisfactory/unsatisfactory are unacceptable on plans of study, with the exception of students in certain programs within the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business. Beginning with new students enrolling in Fall 2017, School of Business master’s students may take up to 10% of the coursework required for their program as pass/not pass provided that the student also completes a minimum of 30 credits of graded (C- or better) coursework for the program for their plan of study. Only elective courses may be taken as pass/not pass, and a “pass” grade must be earned for the course to count toward meeting the credit requirement of the degree as part of the 10% allowance. Research credits (XXXX 69800, XXXX 69810, TECH 64000, or XXXX 69900) cannot be included in a plan of study. Except in cases of a staff error, grade option changes requested outside of the typical drop/add deadlines will not be approved. It is expected that staff errors will be detected early and corrections requested within the normal drop/add period.

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C. Thesis and Dissertation Policies

Purdue University Thesis and Dissertation Policies and Practices

Thesis-option master’s and doctoral students should observe the following policies in order to successfully deposit their thesis or dissertation with Purdue.

1. Research Integrity

Students depositing their thesis (or dissertation) with the Purdue University Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars must certify that they have prepared the thesis while observing the provisions of Purdue University Policy III.A.2, November 18, 2011, Policy on Research Misconduct. Students will make the appropriate selection using the Electronic Thesis Acceptance Form (ETAF) 9.

2. Thesis and Dissertation Deposit Time Limit

Effective Fall 2020, students are required to deposit their theses and dissertations within three consecutive sessions of receiving a decision of PASS on their Final Exam (including the session in which the Final Exam was passed). The thesis or dissertation must be deposited no later than the CAND 99100 Deposit Deadline of the third consecutive session for full consideration of the sought degree. For example, a student who passes the Final Exam in a fall session has through the CAND 99100 Deposit Deadline of the following summer session to deposit. To uphold the integrity of the defended research, if a student is unable to deposit their thesis or dissertation within three sessions, they must re-defend their research and deposit within the session they receive the decision of PASS on the second Final Exam to be conferred the degree.

For exceptional cases, faculty may request a one-semester extension for their student by submitting a letter to thesishelp@purdue.edu with the request. Denied requests may be appealed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars or that person’s designee, who will make a final determination.

3. Copyright Information

Thesis Copyright Protection

Purdue University Policy I.A.1, May 18, 2007, Intellectual Property, established that copyright ownership now resides with you, the author. The copyright symbol © is not required for works to be copyrighted. All candidates have the additional option of applying for registration of their copyright: This establishes a public record of theses/dissertations and confers additional legal rights, enabling individuals to file infringement suits and seek statutory damages as well as attorneys’ fees. Copyright registration can be filed here.

Specific questions regarding your rights and responsibilities under U.S. copyright law may be addressed to the Purdue University Copyright Office: 765.496.3864 or Stewart Center Room 246A.

a. Using Material Protected by Copyright

Purdue University promotes compliance with U.S. copyright law and understanding of the appropriate use of copyrighted works: Purdue University Policy I.A.3, January 1, 2015 Use of Copyrighted Materials for Educational and Research Purposes.

When quoting extensively from copyrighted material, the author must obtain written permission from the copyright holder. There is no precise relationship between the amount of text quoted and the requirement for written permission to use the material. The law governing copyright infringement is based on the fair use principle. Ordinarily, if you plan to quote more than 150 words of continuous text from copyrighted material, you should ask permission from the author. If the work you are quoting has significant commercial value, you should obtain permission to quote any complete or nearly complete text item or section. When your quotation of copyrighted material could have a negative impact on the existing commercial value of that material, obtain the copyright holder’s permission. Figures or other graphical material, including Web pages, should not be reprinted in your thesis without the author’s consent. Permission to use copyrighted material is usually granted on condition that acknowledgment is made. You will be responsible for any required payments.

You will be required to upload copyright permissions to HammerRR (Figshare) when depositing your thesis with Purdue University.

By depositing a thesis with Purdue University, you certify that all copyrighted material incorporated into the thesis complies with United States copyright law and that you have received written permission from the copyright owners for the use of their work, which is beyond the scope of the law. You also agree to indemnify and save harmless Purdue University from any and all claims that may be asserted or that may arise from any copyright violation.

4. Depositing a Thesis or Dissertation with Purdue University

Publication of the thesis or dissertation is a required part of the deposit process. The university currently uses HammerRR to publish the thesis after which, your thesis will become an Open Access document with no additional cost to you.

All theses submitted to HammerRR are considered the final copy and are required to undergo a format review. Candidates will upload their thesis to HammerRR and administrators will review the thesis for any format errors. In the event format changes are required, the administration will provide a list of necessary changes the candidate should make and re-submit to HammerRR as soon as possible. Format reviews will continue until the format is in an acceptable condition. Candidates may schedule a Formatting Consultation before their Final Exam (Defense) to avoid an extensive format review during the deposit process.

Once a thesis is deposited and Form 9 has been approved, the thesis is considered officially accepted by Purdue University. At this time, withdrawing an accepted thesis is not permissible. Post-facto thesis edits will be allowed following the proper protocol.

5. Open Access Theses and Dissertations

Each student grants, without restriction, royalty free to Purdue University the nonexclusive right and license to reproduce, distribute, and display, in whole or in part, all theses and dissertations in any format now known or later developed for preservation and access in accordance with this agreement and will be made to the general public at no charge.

a. Benefits of an Open Access Thesis or Dissertation

i. Higher Citation Rates

The more users who can access a work, the more researchers that can cite that work.

ii. Better Global Visibility of Your Work

By making their work globally visible through open access, authors are allowing more scholars, more promising students and future scholars, less wealthy institutions, policy makers, news reporters, and the unexpected reader and citizen scholar to have access to their work who may not have otherwise had the ability or funds to access closed-access scholarship.

iii. Meeting the Land Grant Mission of the University

Open access at Purdue can publicly showcase the scholarly output of the University and its community members, this provides greater visibility and traffic to your department, school, and ultimately the university. It can also show that scholars and researchers at Purdue think beyond their own disciplines by showcasing the interdisciplinary scholarship and research being created at Purdue. Finally, open access scholarship demonstrates accountability to the public that funds the university, while disseminating knowledge gained and created at Purdue; satisfying the public, land-grant mission of the university.

c. Embargo

Students who wish to delay public release of their thesis must make the appropriate selection on the Electronic Thesis Acceptance Form (ETAF), provide the reasoning for the requested embargo, and make the same embargo selection in their HammerRR profile. The information that is provided to ETAF and HammerRR will be validated for consistency at the time of your thesis submission. If inconsistencies are present between the ETAF and HammerRR, the HammerRR profile will be updated by administrators to match what you have selected and what your committee chair has approved on the ETAF. Embargo periods are 6 months, 1 year, or a maximum of 2 years. Only MFA and select PhD candidates have the option to add an indefinite embargo and must consult with Thesis and Dissertation Office staff before submitting this embargo length.

During the embargo period, the deposited thesis abstract will be available for viewing; however, the main content will remain unpublished until the embargo period has expired. Students may embargo their thesis when applying for patents, have publications pending, or when proprietary rights are involved.

d. Confidentiality

Candidates whose theses contain sensitive ITAR/Export Controlled material, have a contract on file with Sponsored Program Services (SPS), or are including proprietary information may request confidentiality of their thesis. Confidentiality can be requested for one or two years and students who have contracts on file with SPS may request longer periods.

e. ADA Compliance and Accessible Documents

Before depositing your thesis, the PDF copy of your thesis needs to be made accessible (the file will be accessible to screen readers and other assistive computer technologies) to the best of the author’s ability.

Word users: To check your thesis for accessibility it is recommended that you use Word 2013 or Word 2016 as these versions have a built-in Microsoft Accessibility Checker. Once you convert your file to PDF, you should also verify that the accessible Word document has converted to an accessible PDF file.

LaTeX users: Authors using LaTeX should manually check the accessibility of their PDF document using Acrobat Pro.

f. Post-Facto Edits

Candidates and their departments are expected to thoroughly review the format and content of theses and dissertations prior to their electronic submission. Post acceptance changes are only permitted to correct significant textual, data, or mathematical errors affecting accuracy of content and which could be potentially embarrassing to Purdue University.

Exceptions to policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be requested by submitting a letter with justification for the exception for consideration. Requests must be endorsed by the student’s major professor and the Head or Chair of the Graduate Program (if required by the student’s program). The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars may require additional approvals if the request may impact other offices within the University. (See Section VII.I).

6. Thesis & Dissertation Structures and Formatting

A thesis authored at Purdue University should be structured and formatted using one of the below methods:

a. Traditional

A traditional thesis is a document that provides a complete and systematic account of your research. A typical traditional thesis suggests the following structure:

  • Preliminary pages
    • Title page
    • Statement of Approval page
    • Dedication (optional)
    • Acknowledgments (optional)
    • Table of Contents
    • List of Tables
    • List of Figures
    • Abstract
  • Main Body pages
    • Introduction
    • Literature Review
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Back Matter pages
    • Appendix (optional)
    • References
    • Vita (optional)
    • List of Publications (optional)

* Thesis structure may vary by department. Please consult your committee for specific departmental requirements.

b. Article-based

An article-based thesis is a collection of published (or will be published) research articles consisting of an introductory and concluding chapter. A typical article-based thesis suggests the following structure:

  • Preliminary pages
    • Title page
    • Statement of Approval page
    • Dedication (optional)
    • Acknowledgments (optional)
    • Table of Contents
    • List of Tables
    • List of Figures
    • Abstract
  • Main Body pages
    • Introduction
    • Published Article #1 (References at end of chapter)
    • Published Article #2 (References at end of chapter)
    • Published Article #3 (References at end of chapter)
    • Conclusion
  • Back Matter pages
    • Appendix (optional)
    • Vita (optional)
    • List of Publications (optional)

* Thesis structure may vary by department. Please consult your committee for specific departmental requirements.

Theses authored using this structure must include acknowledgment of prior publication within the respective chapter. Although each journal may have specific statement requirements, the acknowledgment should be single-spaced and appear 3 single spaces under the chapter title. Consult your publisher regarding required information that should appear in this acknowledgment. In addition to the prior publication acknowledgment, candidates must submit permissions to re-use all previously published content within the thesis, regardless of copyright, to thesishelp@purdue.edu.

c. Creative work

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars is prepared to accept theses in creative formats subject to departmental and committee approval. Students wishing to submit a creative work as their thesis requirement should consult with their committee chair and contact the Thesis & Dissertation Office by emailing thesishelp@purdue.edu with their proposal.

7. Theses & Dissertations in Languages other than English

If the primary literature on a subject matter is in a language other than English and the thesis or dissertation addresses a community of scholars who publish in a language other than English, a student may elect to write the thesis in a language that all committee members speak and read and support its use in the thesis. In this case, the thesis should contain a title page and abstract page in English.

8. Required Thesis Form

All West Lafayette, IUPUI, Northwest, and Fort Wayne candidates are required to submit the ETAF through their Plan of Study portal. This form should be submitted on the day of Defense or no later than the date of the Final Examination Deadline each semester.

Effective September 1, 2014, all theses and dissertations, with the exception of those with export controlled content, are required to be reviewed using the iThenticate software and any issues identified by the software and any issues identified by the software addressed prior to the deposit of the final thesis or dissertation. Satisfaction of this requirement will be certified by both committee chair and degree candidate on the ETAF. Click here for more information.

9. Thesis & Dissertation Deposit Fee

All master’s candidates are required to pay a Thesis Deposit Fee of $90 and Doctoral candidates submitting a dissertation are required to pay a Thesis Deposit Fee of $125. The fees will be uploaded to a student’s myPurdue account within 3-5 business days after the deposit is approved.

West Lafayette, PFW, and PNW candidates will pay the fee through their local bursar’s office. IUPUI candidates will receive an e-bill following their successful thesis deposit.

10. Deadlines

Candidates are required to meet both departmental and University deadlines each term.

Thesis-option master’s and doctoral students are required to successfully deposit the final copy of their thesis (with approved format edits) no later than the close of business (5:00pm ET) on the Wednesday of the last week of classes in the session in which their degree is to be awarded. Candidates who miss the deposit deadline at 5:00 pm on the last day of classes, but still wish to graduate, must submit a request for a Form 14 deposit extension. If approved, the student should expect to pay a Late Graduation Deadline Fee. Contact the Office of Graduate Records at (765)494-2600 or thesishelp@purdue.edu​ for questions.

11. Required Surveys

Ph.D. and master’s students are required to complete the Exit Questionnaire (GSEQ). In addition to the GSEQ, Ph.D. candidates are required to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates. These surveys will become available to complete during the semester the student registers as a candidate for graduation.

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D. Establishing Examining Committees

All examining committees are established following the same procedures. Preliminary and final examining committees may or may not be identical to the advisory committee. The Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8), must be submitted electronically via myPurdue for all students at the West Lafayette campus. Regional campus practices may vary.

All Form 8 requests must be signed by the advisory committee chair and the exam form head (if required by the program) and must be received by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars at least one week prior to the proposed examination date, to allow the Vice Provost time to process the Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8). In some cases, this week may be needed to give the Vice Provost adequate time to appoint and arrange for additional members. (Departmental deadlines maybe earlier.) Final examinations must be held before the last week of classes.

Because it is crucial for advisory committee members to bring independent thought and decision-making to their advisory committee roles, it is recommended that major professors, graduate students, and other individuals involved in the advisory committee selection process avoid appointments where there may be potential conflicts of interest, nepotism or amorous relationships.

Advisory committee appointments of spouses/partners, partners in business, or those with financial conflicts of interest connected to the graduate student, for example, should be discouraged. It is prohibited for a graduate faculty member to serve in any evaluative capacity (whether related to academic or research performance, progress or potential and/or co-curricular, athletic, or other institutionally prescribed activities) for someone with whom they have a personal relationship (a relationship between two individuals by blood, adoption or marriage).

1. Non-thesis Option Master’s Degree

If the student’s department requires a final examination for a non-thesis master’s degree, the examining committee usually will be identical to the advisory committee, in which case, no additional request for appointment of a committee is required. If, however, the examining committee is to be different from the advisory committee (e.g. when a committee member is unable to serve), appointment of a committee of at least three graduate faculty must be requested in the usual manner, by submitting a Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8) electronically via myPurdue, or through the link on the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars homepage under “Graduate forms.”

If the graduate program has been approved to use the One-Member Advisory Committee Flexibility option, but does not have approval to use the Alternative Graduation Criteria option, the Master’s Final Examination Report Form (G.S. Form 7), must still be submitted.

2. Thesis Option Master’s Degree

The final examining committee must be composed of at least three members of the graduate faculty and may or may not be identical to the advisory committee. Members of the committee need not be faculty with whom the student has taken coursework, however, at least 51% of the committee members must have regular graduate faculty certification.

3. Doctoral Qualifying Examinations

Departments may require their doctoral students to complete qualifying or mastery examinations at various stages between admission and the preliminary examination. These examinations do not require authorization from the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars, nor are the results to be reported to that office.

4. Doctoral Preliminary Examinations

To become eligible to take the preliminary examination, the student must have an approved plan of study, satisfactorily completed most of the formal study, and satisfied any world language requirements. Satisfactory completion of any world language requirement is monitored and determined by the department.

The examination should be scheduled as soon as possible and must be completed with at least two sessions of registration (including summer session) before the date of the doctoral final examination. For example, a doctoral student who passes the preliminary examination during a spring session is not eligible to take the final examination (provided that the student is registered for the subsequent summer session and fall session) before the following spring session. The Graduate Council recommends that full-time graduate students take the preliminary examination by the end of their third year of graduate study. Departments are encouraged to add the recommendation that full-time doctoral students take preliminary examinations by the end of their third year to departmental graduate handbooks.

The preliminary examining committee must consist of a minimum of three members of the graduate faculty. At least 51% of the committee members must have regular graduate faculty certification. All members of the examining committee are to be notified of the scheduled examination. Other faculty members may be requested by any member of the examining committee to participate, without vote, in the examination, and any interested faculty member may be present, without vote. Although only three committee members are required, if the committee has four or more members, a single member may withhold his or her signature of approval.

A preliminary examination passed by a student whose graduate study and/or professional activity has been inactive for five years or more is invalid.

5. Doctoral Final Examinations

Doctoral students are eligible to take the final examination three sessions after passing the preliminary examination. However, there must be at least two academic sessions of registration devoted to research and writing in between the preliminary and final examinations. For example, a doctoral student who passed the preliminary examination in Fall 2021 must register for both Spring and Summer 2022 in order to be eligible to take the final examination in Fall 2022.

After the research has been completed and the thesis written and presented to the committee, a final oral examination must be held in which the candidate defends the thesis and demonstrates to the examining committee, consisting of a minimum of four members, the capabilities for which the Ph.D. degree is to be awarded. At least 51% of the committee members must have regular graduate faculty certification. Final examinations must be held before the last week of classes. 

Departments, schools, or programs should announce final doctoral examinations so that interested persons may attend. In instances when classified or proprietary information will be discussed, the major professor may exclude external participants who are not members of the examining committee.

When the Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8) is fully approved, an electronic examination report form will be automatically released to the examining committee for use in reporting the results of the examination.

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E. Conducting Examinations

The Graduate Council has recommended that oral examinations not last more than two hours. If additional time is needed, the examination may be continued at a later date.

If it is agreeable with the members of the examining committee and the candidate, examinations may be conducted remotely. Chair, committee and candidate should follow guidelines provided in Appendix B.

1. Non-thesis Option Master’s Degree

The final examining committee may conduct an oral examination, administer a written examination, or conduct a conference in the absence of the student. Departments may waive the examination process entirely by receiving approval to use the Alternative Graduation Criteria option. (See Section VII-F-2).

2. Thesis Option Master’s Degree

The final examination is usually an oral examination in which the student defends the thesis; however, the examining committee shall set procedures for the examination.

3. Doctoral Preliminary Examination

The written as well as the oral preliminary examination will be conducted by the examining committee. In some cases, responsibility for the written examination is delegated to certain other faculty, but the final responsibility for the examination rests with the examining committee.

4. Doctoral Final Examination

The examining committee shall set procedures for the examination.

________________________________________ 

F. Reporting the Results of Examinations

At the conclusion of an examination, the examining committee chair should electronically present the examination committee with the appropriate examination report form. This report should be completed and signed without delay for prompt submission to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. In the case of a final examination, the report must be received before the last week of classes of the academic session in which graduation is expected. After a satisfactory examination involving a thesis defense, committee members who approve the thesis must sign a Thesis Acceptance (G.S. Form 9).

The members of the examining committee may wish to review the deposit copy prior to signing the Thesis Acceptance (G.S. Form 9). Once a committee member has signed the Thesis Acceptance (G.S. Form 9), the document is approved by that individual. A signature either by the thesis format advisor or the examining committee chair (depending on the procedural decision made by the department) indicating that the departmental format requirements have been met is required on the Thesis Acceptance (G.S. Form 9).

1. Report of the Final Examination for the Master’s Degree

The exact degree title must be designated on the Report of Master’s Examining Committee (G.S. Form 7). Committee certification for a master’s degree requires that all members of a three-person committee concur that the student has satisfactorily completed the examination (with the exception of departments with an approved one-member flexibility option). Although only three committee members are required, if the committee has four or more members, a single member may withhold his or her signature of approval.

If the examination is unsatisfactory, a candidate must wait at least until the following session to repeat the final examination. A new electronic Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8) must be submitted.

2. Alternative Graduation Criteria for Non-thesis Master’s Degrees

A department may elect not to submit final examination reports for its students who are candidates for non-thesis, coursework only, master’s degrees. It is suggested that departments use this option that have such a group of students, who complete degree requirements by taking a certain number of credits (minimum of 30) and meet certain other basic departmental requirements to earn the degree. For example, this could be 30 credits of coursework, at least a 3.0 GPA on the plan of study, or no grade less than (department to decide). Satisfaction of these criteria will be monitored jointly by the department and the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars as part of the graduation audit/certification process.

To use this option, a request must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Records within the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. This request must specify the departmental requirements required for the non-thesis master’s degree.

3. Report of the Doctoral Preliminary Examination

It is the responsibility of the examining committee to determine whether the student is qualified and ready to undertake or continue research and proceed toward the Ph.D. degree. The committee should report the examination as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” by completing the Report of Preliminary Examination (G.S. Form 10) immediately following the examination. Graduate students who pass the doctoral preliminary examination are considered doctoral candidates. Doctoral students are eligible to take the final examination three sessions after passing the preliminary examination. However, there must be at least two academic sessions of registration devoted to research and writing in between the preliminary and final examinations. While All But Dissertation/ABD is used by some departments to describe students who are conducting research and writing their dissertations, that term is neither defined nor formally used by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. Any reference to All But Dissertation/ABD in graduate departmental or program handbooks should be defined by individual departments.

If the report is unsatisfactory, the examining committee may recommend that the student be permitted to request a second examination by submitting a Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8). The student must wait at least until the following session (including summer session) to repeat the examination. Should the preliminary examination be failed twice, the student may not be given a third examination, except upon the recommendation of the examining committee and with special approval of the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

A student who transfers to Purdue with his or her major professor has passed the preliminary examination that qualifies a doctoral student for candidacy and been admitted to candidacy at the previous institution, may request that the student’s advisory committee (with the endorsement of the head of the graduate program) petition the dean to admit the student to candidacy at Purdue. The petition must include a completed Report of the Preliminary Examination (G.S. Form 10), which can be obtained from the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars, a description of the candidacy examination at the previous institution, and the committee’s analysis of that examination that led to the request. This doctoral candidacy status is separate from candidate status as it relates to graduation processes. For more information on graduation candidacy, see Section X.

4. Report of the Doctoral Final Examination

At the completion of the final examination, the committee chair should present the examination committee with a Report of the Final Examination (G.S. Form 11), which is sent to the department by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars upon approval of the request for an examining committee. Each member of the examining committee must indicate approval or disapproval and sign the report form. Only members of the approved examining committee may take part in the evaluation. No more than one dissenting vote is acceptable in certifying a candidate to receive the Ph.D. degree.

If the examination is unsatisfactory, a candidate must wait at least until the following session (including summer session) to repeat the final examination. A Request for Appointment of Examining Committee (G.S. Form 8) must be submitted.

________________________________________ 

G. Multiple Degrees

Students may pursue multiple Purdue graduate degrees provided they meet the admission and graduation requirements for each degree pursued and provided that each degree program is unique in the degree title, major, and/or area of concentration granted upon completion. Students may not repeat a degree program in an area in which they already hold a conferred degree from Purdue University.

1. Master’s Degrees

A student may earn more than one Purdue master’s degree if the student meets the requirements for each master’s degree program. However, coursework from only one master’s degree may be used to partially satisfy Ph.D. degree requirements. Coursework at the 50000- and 60000-level used to satisfy the requirements of one (and only one) Purdue master’s degree may be used on the plan of study for a second Purdue master’s degree. The maximum number of course credits which may be dual counted between the two Purdue master’s degrees varies based on the total credit hours required for the master’s degree that has the highest number of required credits of the degrees being pursued.

Master’s Degree 

(Required Credit Hours)

Maximum Number of

Dual Counted Credit Hours

30-36  12
37-45 15
46+   18

2. Ph.D. Degrees

Although the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars discourages the admission of students who hold a Ph.D. degree from any institution for a second Ph.D. degree, it recognizes that there may be special circumstances in which such an admission is appropriate. Such decisions can be made at the level of the departmental graduate committee and will be processed like other recommendations for admission. (See Section III-B-10). Credits used toward an awarded Ph.D. degree may not be used toward another Ph.D. degree.

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H. Changing Graduate Programs (Same Campus)

Students who are eligible to register in a graduate program at Purdue University may wish to move to a new graduate program at the same campus. The process for requesting this differs based on whether the change being requested is within the same department or a transfer to a new department.

1. Change of Degree Objective Within the Same Department

If a student’s degree objective changes before completion of the degree program in which he or she is enrolled, as well as to have more accurate data about the number of students studying in the various degree programs, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars should be notified without delay so the student will remain in the appropriate enrollment objective. The deadline for Change of Degree Objective (CODO) submission is the end of the second week of the effective term. Requests received by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars after the second week of the term will be made effective with the next session. (See University Regulations, D-3).

It is particularly important to report immediately any change in degree objective for visa purposes or if the student has a graduate appointment since only degree-seeking and license students are eligible for these appointments. (See Section IV-A-1).

CODO requests may be communicated to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars through the formal online application process, or through one of the following methods:

a. Program delivery changes (on-campus, online, or hybrid) or changes in major within the same department can be requested by submitting a G.S. Form 17B with student and department approvals to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. Beginning with students admitted for Fall 2022, students are only permitted to request one program delivery change per graduate degree program admission.

b. Degree objective changes within the same major, such as master’s to doctoral (or vice versa), can be communicated to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars through one of the following methods:

  • Submitting A G.S. Form 17 B with student and department approvals.
  • Submitting a plan of study for the new degree objective
  • Submitting a copy of the department’s approval letter sent to the student 
  • Indicating intent to continue with the doctoral degree on the master’s degree graduation audit/certification form (master’s to Ph.D. requests only)

If a student who already has an approved plan of study is approved for a change of major or degree objective, the current plan will not be valid in the new program. A new plan of study will need to be submitted upon CODO approval. After degrees have been awarded, the Office of the Registrar will inactivate the records of those graduates. If a graduate wishes to continue to register, they must be continuing another degree within the same department or have been admitted to another program.

2. Transfer of Department

A student who: 1) has established a graduate academic record at Purdue University, 2) has current eligibility to register in a graduate degree program, and 3) wishes to change to a graduate degree program in another department should submit a completed Request for Transfer of Department (G.S. Form 17). The Proposed department may request updated or additional admission information (e.g. GRE scores or letters of recommendation) or even a new application.

Both departments should review any conditions of admission that have not been met at the time of transfer and make the appropriate notation on the transfer form. If a new application is requested, the department in which the student is currently enrolled must upload to Slate a completed Request for Transfer of Department (G.S. Form 17).

International students who wish to transfer from one department to another must check with the Office of International Students and Scholars to determine if their visa status will be affected by the transfer.

If a student who already has an approved plan of study in the current department is approved to transfer to a new department, the current plan will not be valid in the new program. A new plan of study will need to be submitted after the request to transfer has been approved.

3. Continuing for Another Purdue Graduate Degree

Students who complete a graduate program in one department may request to stay at Purdue University to pursue another graduate degree. Requests to pursue a graduate degree in another department should be communicated to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars through either of the following methods at the discretion of the admitting program:

  • Submission of a completed Request for a transfer of Department (G.S. Form 17)

OR

  • Submission of a formal online application

Students must have Eligibility to Register (ETR) in the requested effective start session for the new program in order to use the G.S. Form 17. This means that the requested start date of the new program must be within three sessions of graduation from the previous program. Students who have lost ETR must formally apply to begin study in a new program.

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I. Exception to Policy

Exceptions to policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be requested by submitting a letter with justification for the exception for consideration. Requests must be endorsed by the student’s major professor and the Head or Chair of the Graduate Program. The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars may require additional approvals if the request may impact other offices within the University.


VIII. Special Issues Concerning Research 

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Research and instructional activities conducted by Purdue University faculty, staff, and students, or involving the use of Purdue University facilities, are subject to a number of policies and regulations administered by several campus offices but coordinated through the Office of the Executive Vice President of Research and Partnerships. (See Section IX-B).

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A. Patents and Copyrights

The University retains all domestic and foreign rights in and to any and all inventions and materials made or developed by University personnel, either in the course of employment by the University or through the use of facilities or funds provided by or through the University. University personnel include part-time and full-time members of the faculty, staff, all other agents and employees, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows of the University.

The rights owned by the University include all economic and property rights as well as the right to patent inventions and to copyright materials. Net proceeds normally will be shared with the inventor. Patents, inventions, and copyrights are supervised by the Office of Technology Commercialization in accordance with University Policies on Teaching, Research, and Outreach, Intellectual Property.

Ownership of the thesis or dissertation prepared for an advanced degree resides with the author. Purdue University has an agreement with ProQuest Information and Learning, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for publishing the Ph.D. dissertations. At the time of graduation, candidates will be asked to complete a Doctoral Dissertation Agreement Form and an Addendum (G.S. Form 14) to that form giving ProQuest Information and Learning permission to publish the dissertation. The availability of the dissertation will be announced by a listing of the title and a reproduction of the dissertation abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International, a monthly journal distributed to leading libraries here and abroad. The thesis fee covers the cost of production, publication, and distribution of the abstract. A copy of all or part of the dissertation may be ordered by anyone from the publishers of Dissertation Abstracts International. Publication by ProQuest Information and Learning does not preclude the printing of a dissertation in whole or in part in a journal or as a monograph.

All documents should be scanned through the iThenticate process before submission.

It is recommended that all faculty, students, and staff attach the CIC addendum when signing publishing agreements to ensure that academic authors retain certain rights that facilitate archiving, instructional use, and sharing with colleagues to advance discourse and discovery.

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B. Research Involving Animal Subjects

University policy and government regulations require that all research, teaching, or testing activities involving live vertebrate animals conducted at Purdue University or owned by Purdue University must be reviewed and approved. For more information visit the Research Policies Handbook.

Other helpful links:

Purdue Animal Care and Use Committee

Institutional Review Boards

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C. Research Involving Human Subjects

University policy and government regulations require that all research with human subjects that is conducted by any Purdue University employee and/or student, or involves use of Purdue University facilities must be reviewed and approved. For more information visit the Academic Research Affairs.

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D. Research Involving the Use of Biohazards

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) promotes the safe and proper use and management of biohazardous agents and recombinant DNA.

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E. Research Involving the Use of Hazardous Chemicals

The University Chemical Management Committee promotes the safe handling, use, storage, and disposal of chemicals. The committee is available as an advisor to the University community and also provides training in the management of hazardous chemicals.

For information, contact the chair of the University Chemical Management Committee, through the department of Radiological and Environmental Management.
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F. Research Involving the Use of Radioactive Material and Radiation-Producing Devices

The University Radiological Safety Committee, under Nuclear Regulatory Commission guidelines, has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the University community in the utilization of all radioactive materials and radiation producing devices. The University Laser Safety Committee is responsible for ensuring the safe use of certain lasers. Specific information is available at the department of Radiological and Environmental Management.

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G. Graduate Students Needing Access to Survey Students

Graduate students needing access to survey students through campus-wide email for their research are required to submit the following information electronically to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (lmason@purdue.edu):

  • Student Name; Department; College;
  • A copy of the survey to be sent
  • A letter or email from your major professor showing his/her review and approval of the survey
  • The cover letter you intend to use for the email
  • Proof of IRB approval
  • Certificates for CITI and/or Responsible Conduct of Research training

After receipt of this information OGSPS with review, and if approved, will notify the student, major professor and the Office of the Registrar. The student can then contact the Office of the Registrar to proceed with the e-mailing of the survey.


IX. Graduate Student Responsibilities and Rights

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Some of the regulations covered in this section are based on Graduate Council documents, while others have been established within the University but outside of the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS). Although administration of these latter regulations is not a function of OGSPS, their summaries are included below because of their importance to graduate students.

Although graduate staff employment policies are articulated in Graduate Staff Employment Manual, graduate students with questions and/or concerns regarding voluntary leave, including leave related to pregnancy, parenting, medical needs, military obligations, or other situations, may contact OGSPS, located in Young Hall 160 for assistance.

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A. Student Conduct and Rights of Appeal

Graduate students, like all members of the University community, are subject to the regulations outlined in the University Regulations.

Special attention is called to the section pertaining to student conduct. This part of the regulations not only details standards of conduct expected of students, but also protections for their rights as individuals and as students. A summary of these protections and statements are given below.

1. Regulations Governing Student Conduct, Disciplinary Proceedings, and Appeals

Graduate students are expected to be familiar with this section which outlines prohibited behavior as a student member of the University community. Graduate students should pay particular attention to policies pertaining to academic integrity.

2. Appeals Concerning Academic Standards

Graduate students who wish to appeal decisions concerning matters of academic standards should review the following information based upon the type of appeal they are seeking.

a. Course Grades

Graduate students who wish to appeal final grades (including grades received for 69800 and/or 69900 registrations) received in regular coursework may do so only through the grade appeals system.

b. Departmental Graduate Examination Committee Decisions

OGSPS administers the preliminary and final (defense) examinations. Decisions by departmental graduate examination committees whose appointment does not require approval by the Vice Provost of OGSPS (including, but not limited to, various departmental examining committees such as those for qualifying and gateway examinations) must be appealed within the relevant departments, rather than through the grade appeals system or to the Graduate Council. The initial appeal must be filed with the department head charged with supervising the relevant graduate program.

The appeal must be in writing, must specify the grounds for the appeal, and must be filed within 30 calendar days after the issuance of the disputed decision. Upon receipt of such an appeal, the department head shall appoint a committee to hear the appeal and to make a determination. The appeal committee’s decision shall be final unless an appeal is made to the department head within 10 calendar days of the appeal committee’s decision. For those matters so appealed to the department head, the decision of the department head shall be final.

c. Approved Examination Committee Decisions

Appeals of decisions by graduate examination committees whose composition has been authorized by the Vice Provost shall be handled by the following procedures.

i. The initial appeal must be filed with the department head charged with supervising the relevant graduate program. The appeal must be in writing, must specify the grounds of the appeal, and must be filed within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the decision of the examining committee. The department head shall forward the appeal to the departmental graduate committee with instructions to consider the case and provide the head with a written recommendation. Upon receipt of such a recommendation, the head shall make a determination and, in writing, so inform the student.

ii. If the student chooses not to accept the decision of the department head, he or she may request, in writing, within 10 calendar days of the issuance of the determination of the departmental appeal, that the Vice Provost appoint a review board. Such a board shall be composed of five persons chosen at random from among current voting members of the Graduate Council. Council members serving on the advisory or examining committee of the student, council members serving on the student’s departmental graduate committee, and council members otherwise judged by the Vice Provost to be interested parties shall be ineligible to serve on the review board. The review board shall consider the case and report its recommendation to the Vice Provost, whose decision shall be final.

The procedure outlined above means that a master’s student who fails a final examination, or a doctoral student whose graduate study is terminated for failing either the preliminary examination or the final examination, after having exhausted departmental appeals, may appeal to a specially constituted panel of the Graduate Council.

All attempts to resolve student appeals will be done within a reasonable amount of time. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities if they encounter difficulties with the timeliness of the process.

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B. Integrity in Research

Integrity in research is an essential part of Purdue University’s intellectual and social structure, and adherence to its spirit and principles must be maintained. These principles include commitment to truth, objectivity, fairness, honesty, and free inquiry.

Cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University are examples of dishonesty. The commitment of the acts of cheating, lying, and deceit in any of their diverse forms (such as the use of ghost-written papers, the use of substitutes for taking examinations, the use of illegal cribs, plagiarism, and copying during an examination) is dishonest and must not be tolerated. Moreover, knowingly to aid and abet, directly or indirectly, other parties in committing dishonest acts is in itself dishonest update Plagiarism consists in using another’s words or ideas without clear and explicit acknowledgment. Self-plagiarism consists in using one’s own previous work in a new context without clear and explicit acknowledgment of previous use.

Serious violations of integrity in research are rare. However, those that do occur strike at the very heart of scholarship and the concept of the University. The integrity of the research process must depend largely on self-regulation; it is the responsibility of all who engage in the search for knowledge. Procedures to be followed in any situation related to research misconduct are presented in Purdue University Policy VIII.A.2.

All graduate students are required to complete the CITI RCR training module within 120 days of starting a graduate program and every five (5) years thereafter.
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C. Rights to Privacy

In keeping with the intent of federal law, once a student has been admitted and registered, any part of a student’s educational record (except those parts specifically excluded under the law) may, upon written request by the student, be viewed by the student. See Executive Memorandum No. C-51, University Policy Regarding the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974” (as amended).

Generally, applicants are not allowed to view their admission application file when it is in process of being reviewed for admission. The law also contains restrictions on who, other than the student, may legitimately view the file.

If a student is denied admission or otherwise fails to matriculate, the department might keep the credentials and documentation on file for a limited period of time to allow for any possible appeal by the student. Once the original purpose of the documents has been served, the documents should be destroyed.

If a student is admitted and registered, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars will maintain the official University record for the student, which contains the application, plan of study, examination requests and reports, and transcripts. Recommendation statements related to the admission decision will not be made a part of this record. It is the policy to direct students and others who need a copy of any documents containing FERPA-covered data to the Office of the Registrar. Such a request must be made in writing by the student to the University’s FERPA officer, who is located in the Office of the Registrar.

Questions about FERPA policies should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
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D. Harassment & Discrimination

Graduate students are expected to be familiar with this section which outlines prohibited behavior as a student member of the University community.

The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) supports Purdue University’s mission to promote human and intellectual diversity by providing equal access and opportunity through fostering an inclusive environment for all members of the University community. The office develops and directs the affirmative action program for the West Lafayette campus and serves as a resource and coordinator of Purdue University’s system-wide affirmative action activities, including the Fort Wayne and Northwest campuses.

The Office of Institutional Equity works with the Purdue University community in implementing and upholding policies and practices that are consistent with federal and state mandates as well as existing University policies regarding equal access, equal employment and educational opportunity for all persons, without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.

Vision Statement

The Office of Institutional Equity is committed to working cooperatively within the Purdue University and surrounding communities to provide leadership and quality service that fosters an equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus environment, that values the inherent worth of all individuals, at all times, and in all ways.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS) supports, vigorously, the University’s condemnation of harassment, as stated in Executive Memorandum No. C-33 (issued September 16, 1994) and in III.C.1 and III.C.2 of University Regulations. The following statement was approved by the Graduate Council on April 18, 1991. (The first paragraph has been updated to reflect Executive Memorandum No C-33.)

The Vice Provost and faculty of OGSPS support all University efforts to protect its faculty, staff, and students from harassment in all forms, covering those with legally protected status for reasons of race, gender, religion, color, age, national origin, ancestry, or disability, as well as those who are harassed for other reasons such as sexual orientation. Cases involving alleged harassment will be handled through established University procedures. In any cases in which a faculty member has been found responsible for harassment, the procedure below will be followed at the discretion of the Vice Provost.

The Vice Provost shall appoint a committee consisting of members of the Graduate Council. The Vice Provost has the option to include a faculty representative from the department involved. Any other person particularly knowledgeable about the case may be asked to contribute information to the committee. The committee shall be charged with the following responsibilities:

1. The committee will evaluate OGSPS certification status of the faculty member. The committee may recommend that certification be downgraded to any level. (If implemented, the downgrade may be reviewed at a future time if a review is requested by the head of the graduate program.)

2. The committee also will consider the impact of the incident on all graduate students under the direction of the faculty member. The committee may make specific recommendations.

The committee should meet and produce a report in a timely manner. The committee’s recommendations are to be delivered directly to the Vice Provost.

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E. Workloads of Students with Graduate Staff Appointments

A graduate student employee’s workload should reflect both the work assignment and contractual obligations of the assignment. The following statement of principle, endorsed by the Graduate Council on November 15, 1990, defines the mutual obligations of faculty employers/supervisors and graduate student employees:

The practice of employing graduate assistants is vital to the operation of Purdue, as it is to all large research universities. A good assistantship program benefits everyone. A student on a graduate appointment receives a salary, health and other benefits, tuition remission, and valuable experience in research and teaching. The University is able to conduct classes and to staff research groups at levels that would otherwise not be possible.

For an assistantship program to be successful, certain goals and safeguards need to be kept in mind. Whenever possible, duty assignments should stimulate the intellect and enhance the professional knowledge and skill of the assistant. But in all instances, the duties of the assistant must be fairly and equitably assigned, and the demands placed upon the assistant must not be unreasonable. The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS) claims neither the mandate nor the wisdom to direct the day-to-day interaction of professors and their assistants. However, we do seek to discover a rational frame of reference within which the wide variety of policies and practices may be calibrated and justified.

The generally accepted measure for setting graduate assistant assigned workloads is time. Purdue, like many other major research universities, assumes that a half-time appointment entails 20 hours of service per week. If an assistant’s duties are independent of the student’s coursework and research, the definition of the half-time work load is relatively straight forward:  not more than 20 hours per week. Of course, some flexibility is necessary, both because one individual may work faster or more efficiently than another and because the pressure of work to be done ebbs and flows across the semester. “Overworking” an individual whose assistantship tasks are distinct from his or her student tasks and thesis research has a double consequence. Not only is the assistant being required to work without pay, the student is being deprived of time that might be spent on study and research.

When there is no clear distinction between the duties required by the assistantship and a student’s own study and research – when all or most of the assistant’s tasks contribute directly toward the student’s degree – judgements as to the reasonableness of a workload can be very difficult. Under such circumstances, it would be foolish to encourage a student to think that a total of 20 hours of work per week would be likely to bring about the desired work product and to advance his or her intellectual and technical progress at an acceptable rate. The very fact that individual cases differ makes it especially important for those who supervise graduate assistants to discuss work obligations with their students, early and often.

One final word. The supervisor is often the assistant’s employer, counselor, advisor, mentor, examiner, and referee. No other academic situation places such power in the hands of the professor nor requires a more thoughtful assumption of responsibility for the well-being of the student. The supervisor needs to be especially aware of the assistant’s health and sanity, of the dangers inherent in extended periods of high stress, and of the reasonable claims which family, friends, and society have on the time and energy of the assistant.

Departments are urged to establish a formal mechanism by which students who feel they are being treated unfairly may receive counseling, guidance, and redress.


X. Graduation

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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 or CAND 99200).

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 and V-G).

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars sends a preliminary (starting) list of candidates with an active CAND registration for the current term 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars at once (via email) 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 Section X-1).

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars sets the candidate list up in the Graduate Student Database, which is accessible by the departments. The Office periodically updates the candidate list, so it is important for the departments to review this list regularly and notify the appropriate office(s) of any changes (via e-mail). The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars monitors late registrations, and, as students become eligible for candidacy, the Office 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 all appropriate office(s) (via e-mail) so the student’s name can be removed from the candidate list.

2. Candidate Audit/Certification Forms

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 Office immediately. Be aware that plans of study may not be altered after degrees are conferred.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS) 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:

a. Missing the Plan of Study Deadline

Plans of study must be received by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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.

b. 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.

c. 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 was entered for them at any point for that term.

d. 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.

e. 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. 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.

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B. Commencement Participation and Receipt of Degree

The Office of the Registrar electronically notifies graduation candidates when the “Commencement” 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 cannot be cleared for the degree before commencement or if they did not participate in commencement. Diplomas normally are mailed about eight weeks after commencement.
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C. Doctoral Candidate Hooding

The day following the deadline to declare candidacy, the registrar sends the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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.
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D. Report of Graduation Results

At the close of each session, after the final grades have been 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 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 Office updates the candidate list in the Graduate Student 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

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