Creating Your Plan of Study

General Information

All degree-seeking graduate students must submit a plan of study (POS). This POS serves as a contract between the student, their advisory committee, and the Graduate School. It lists the courses that the student expects to take for the degree program, any concentration(s) the student is pursuing, the faculty members who will mentor them throughout their study, and other key degree-related items.


  • On-campus students must submit their POS before the end of their first semester.
  • Online students must submit their POS around the time they have completed 8-9 credit hours of coursework.

Additional information:

  • The ECE Graduate Office will conduct a POS workshop each semester for on-campus students.
  • If your POS is not completed by the specified due date, we will withhold your registration PIN.

Instructions for Creating Your POS for On-Campus Students

Instructions for online students are here.

Part 1: Log In

  1. Login to myPurdue using your Purdue career account credentials. Under the Academics tab, select the Graduate School Plan of Study link in the Graduate Students box.
  2. Login using your Purdue career account.
  3. Click Plan of Study Generator and then Create New Plan of Study.
    • If you have a plan in Saved or Draft status: You should see an Edit link to the left of that plan. Please use that link to re-access the existing form rather than begin a new plan. Only one saved or draft plan can exist in the system at a time.

Part 2: Enter Student and Degree Information

  1. Select the department that will be responsible for awarding this degree, choose your first session of study in this program, and enter your email address. Then click Process and Continue.

Part 3: Enter Your Research Area

  1. Click the Research Area and Concentration link.
  2. Enter your research area and any concentration(s) you are pursuing. Click Process and Continue.

Notes about research areas and concentrations:

  • You may fill in the space for indicating the research area with a word or words descriptive of your thesis topic, e.g., Design of Robot Controllers.  This is optional, and you may choose to leave it blank.
  • The concentration for the ECE project-track Master’s is Innovative Technologies.

Part 4: Enter Coursework

  1. Click the Course Work link.
  2. Use the following link to add courses to your plan of study:
    • Courses currently being taken or those previously completed: Clicking this link will bring up a list of courses for which you have already registered.
      • Check the Use box to include this on your plan, designate whether primary or related. Do not check the B or better box.
      • When done, select Process and Continue.
    • If you have courses to transfer from another institution to Purdue: Click the Transfer courses and courses taken as excess undergraduate credit link.
      • To be eligible, you must have earned a B or better in the course, the course must be graduate level, and the course may not have been used to earn a degree elsewhere.
      • Courses should be added exactly as they appear on the transcript from that institution.
      • When done, select Process and Continue.
    • Course to be taken in the future at Purdue: Click this link and enter the information exactly as it will appear on the Purdue transcript.
      • When done, select Process and Continue.
    • Purdue combined degree courses: If you are in the ECE 4+1 combined degree program, click this link to add the 500-600 level courses to be dual counted between the Purdue undergraduate and graduate degrees.
      • When done, select Process and Continue.

Notes about coursework: 

  • Do not include courses used to fulfill the departmental English requirement on the POS.
  • Pass/No Pass grades are not permitted on the POS.
  • Do not include the following courses on the POS:
    • ECE 69200 Introduction to Graduate Research or ECE 69800 Research MS Thesis
      • Note that ECE 69800 credit hours can be used to satisfy degree requirements (i.e., count toward the needed 30 credit hours) while ECE 69200 credit hours cannot.  
    • ECE 69400 Graduate Seminar
  • Do include, if allowed in your track: ECE 69600 Adv EE Projects or ECE 69700 Advanced Reading.

If you are creating a doctoral plan, list all your Master’s courses in the Comments and Exceptions text box.  Up to 30 credits from an awarded master’s may be used toward the 90+ credits required for a doctoral degree, but approved master’s credits will be listed by your department after you submit your plan.

Part 5: Input Your Advisory Committee

  1. Click the Advisory Committee link.
  2. Use the lower portion of the screen to search for the department code and faculty ID for each faculty member you will add to your committee.
  3. Enter this information into the upper portion of the screen.

Important notes:

  • Master’s students:
    • Thesis-track Master’s students must have 3 advisory committee members; your thesis advisor is the chair.
    • All other Master’s students need only one advisory committee member. These faculty members must have a certification level of R1; you can see this when you search for them to obtain their department code and faculty identifier.
  • PhD students must have four advisory committee members.

Committees may have one person designated as “Chair,” or they may have two who are both designated as “Co-Chair.”

With the exception of non-thesis advisory committees in departments that allow just one member, at least 51% of the committee must hold “R” level faculty certification levels. The “R” and “S” distinctions are noted in the “Certification Level” column above.

Part 6: Comments and Special Notes

  1. If you have any notes that you would like to add to the POS (e.g., the number of research credits you expect to take, approved substitutions, or master’s coursework), click the Comments and Special Notes link.
  2. Once the note has been added, click Process and Continue.

Part 7: Preview, Save, and Submit as Draft

  1. From the main page, click Preview Plan of Study.
  2. Review the plan of study and make any needed changes.
  3. Click Save Without Submitting.
  4. Take a screen shot of your POS and email it to your faculty advisor to obtain their preliminary review and approval.
  5. Return to the POS system and Click Submit as Draft.
    • Graduate office staff will review your POS and let you know if any changes are needed.
  6. Once you have received approval or made any needed changes, click Submit as Final.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a non-thesis student; how do I select a faculty advisor?

Your faculty advisor can be an ECE faculty member you have had as an instructor or who is in your focus area. To identify faculty in each focus area, see the ECE faculty directory and click the focus areas on the right under By Area of Interest. Email the faculty member, identify yourself as an ECE student, and ask if they will serve as your faculty advisor.

Can I change my POS?

Yes, you can update your POS in myPurdue if needed after the plan has been approved. You do not need to update your POS to account for changes in the semesters you intend to take courses.

To change your POS, return to the POS system in myPurdue and click Edit next to your POS.