Graduate Student Responsibilities and Rights

Academic Grades

Success in graduate studies requires performance at a high level. Only grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ or C are acceptable for fulfilling Graduate School requirements in any Plan of Study. An advisory committee may require higher performance than C in certain courses. Pass/not-pass grades are not acceptable. The student's progress will be reviewed each semester by both the Graduate School and the Lyles School of Civil Engineering. Should the student fail to perform at a satisfactory level, he or she may be asked to discontinue graduate study at Purdue. The same scholastic requirements in effect during the regular University year apply to graduate study during the summer session and in work taken at the University's regional campuses. The same grade standards apply to prerequisite courses.

Selecting an Advisor

All students, particularly those pursuing a thesis option, must identify an advisor (major professor) to direct the student’s work.  It’s highly recommended that the advisor be identified and communicated to the Civil Grad Office no later than the end of the second academic semester of the student’s graduate program of study. If no faculty advisor is identified to serve as a major professor, the student may be asked to leave the program.

In conjunction with the Plan of Study expectations, master’s students should have their advisor identified by the end of their second semester of study; PhD students should have their advisor identified by the end of their third semester of study.


Integrity in scholarship and 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. Advances in scientific knowledge depend on trustworthy data and honestly, reported legitimate information in a manner that other scholars, operating in good faith, can judge and replicate. The integrity of the process of research and scholarship must depend largely on self-regulation; it is the responsibility of all who engage in the search for knowledge.

If a student has been reported for academic dishonesty and has had action taken by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR), he/she cannot serve as a TA until he/she has completed all remediation requirements from OSRR and is no longer on probation. The student would also not be eligible for any other types of funds provided/administered by the Lyles School of Civil Enginering (including, but not limited to: professional development or travel grants, CoE awards, research, service or teaching awards).

Each graduate student is required to complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) course on Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR). The Graduate School in cooperation with the Office of the Vice President for Research has developed the Purdue University Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) program. The purpose of this program is to inculcate, promote and sustain an environment of research integrity in all graduate students, staff and faculty at Purdue University.

Purdue University Graduate School recommends a multi-pronged approach to promote Responsible Conduct of Research:

a. Attending workshops,
b. Online training/tutorial modules, and
c. Meeting Departmental or College expectations in Responsible Conduct of Research

Within the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, part (a) is met by attending the RCR seminar during the Graduate Student Orientation Seminar (CE 69100) during the first semester; part (b) is met by completing the online RCR module during the first semester as a requirement for successful completion of the Graduate Student Orientation Seminar.

More information can be found at:

An Master’s or a PhD thesis/dissertation is a document authored by an individual, describing results of original research undertaken by that individual, and asserting a position which that individual is willing to defend. This position should not be construed to prohibit joint or collaborative research endeavors. It is expected, however, that in such situations unique aspects of the broad problem will be explored by each individual and that the thesis written and presented to the final examining committee will be a personal document describing the student's independent effort and contribution. In preparation of the thesis/dissertation deposit appointment, all student and their major professor must sign a statement on Graduate School online Form 9:  “Further, I certify that this work is free of plagiarism and all materials appearing in the thesis/dissertation have been properly quoted and attributed.  The author’s manuscript was diagnostically reviewed by iThenticate on the date indicated below and any identified items have been satisfactorily resolved.”

Copyright Permission

The use of photographs, figures, tables, or other information that is scanned from other individual documents must receive written authorization for use in a thesis or dissertation.


It is, and has been, the policy of Purdue University to maintain the campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students, free of sexual harassment or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or other protected status. In providing an educational and work climate which is positive and discrimination free, faculty, staff, and students should be aware that harassment in the workplace or the educational environment is unacceptable conduct and will not be condoned. If a graduate student believes he/she has been the victim of harassment, there are a number of ways to seek assistance. For further details please contact the School of Civil Engineering Graduate Programs Office or the Dean of Students Office.

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering requires all graduate students to participate in an Equal Access/Equal Opportunity Training Session.  The session is designed to provide participants with a foundation in the areas of equal access and equal opportunity. Information on discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, disabilities, retaliation, and the process at the University for the resolution of complaints will be presented. The University's Nondiscrimination Policy Statement, Anti-harassment Policy, and Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment will be provided to every participant. Participants are asked to assess the role personal behavior and conduct play in ensuring an inclusive university community free of discrimination and harassment.  Sessions are normally held during Orientation week, however sessions are scheduled throughout the academic year and may also be completed online.