Completion Guidelines for Thesis Master's 

The Completion Guidelines information is designed as a guide toward major milestones. Please consult with your major professor(s) for current guidance on how to satisfy these requirements.

Semester 1

  • Thesis Advisor is pre-assigned. Thesis Advisor may be listed as Major Professor or Major Advisor in other departments.
  • Please use the first semester to confirm that you and your advisor are comfortable with the arrangement.
  • Familiarize yourself with your degree requirements (see MS Thesis Handbook).
  • Complete your Responsible Conduct of Research training
    • Visit and select “Log In” and then “Log In Through My Institution.”
    • Click on Purdue University. Log in with your BoilerKey and complete the registration process.
    • Once logged in, click to add courses and select the Responsible Conduct of Research Training – Faculty, Postdoctoral, and Graduate Course.
    • Complete all modules. This will meet the CoE online training requirement.
  • We recommend drafting your Plan of Study (POS) late in your first semester (please note, you will not be able to file your POS until ~2 months into your first active semester, e.g. if you began in August, the system should be available in October, while if you began in January it will be available in March). 

Semester 2

  • Prepare a Plan of Study (POS) with Thesis Advisor, selecting an Advisory Committee and courses.
  • See IE Master’s Thesis Plan of Study Requirements for more information on completing a Plan of Study, or appendix B of the MS Thesis Handbook for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Changes to a Plan of Study can be filed as many as times as necessary to update the information such as courses, concentration, and advisory committee.

Second-to-last Semester

  • Update your Plan of Study using a Change of Plan of Study form as necessary (see instructions in appendix C of the handbook).
    • Your plan of study must be fully approved before your final semester. Approval can take up to 4 weeks. If you fail to file a POS on time, a late fee may be assessed.
  • To view more information on deadlines administered by the Graduate School, see the Graduate School Deadline Calendar

Final Semester

  • Declare Candidacy for Graduation. Register in the appropriate candidacy section using the scheduling assistant before the end of the first week of classes in the term you plan to graduate.
    • CAND 99100
      • Students with an assistantship must also register for a minimum of 3 credit hours.
      • Students without an assistantship must register 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
      • Student MUST have completed final examination to register for CAND 99200
      • Must have completed graduation requirements
      • May not register for additional credits
      • May only use this code once during your degree program
    • CAND 99300 - Examination Only
      • Must have completed coursework required for graduation
      • May not register for additional credits
      • May only use this code once during your degree program
  • Register for Commencement. If you plan to participate in commencement, you must notify the graduate school via the Commencement tab on myPurdue. Please note that this tab will not open until about a month and a half into the semester.
  • Schedule your Master's Thesis Final Examination. For specific details on final examinations, read the Master’s Thesis Final Examination Guidelines.
  • Schedule your thesis deposit appointment as early as possible. For more information, see section 4.4 of the handbook and the Thesis/Dissertation Office.