PhD Preliminary & Final Examination Guidelines

To earn a Purdue IE PhD, it is necessary to pass both a Preliminary Examination and a Final Examination.

Preliminary Examination

1. To request the Preliminary Examination, following three conditions must first be fulfilled:

  • The Plan of Study for the degree must be submitted and fully approved.
  • Student must be registered for the semester.
  • At least 51% of the committee members must have regular graduate faculty certification.

2. Schedule your Preliminary Examination with the IE Graduate Office at least 3 weeks prior to the proposed date of the exam.

  • Send the request via email including (the office will handle the room reservation and Form 8.):
    • Date and time of your examination
    • A document that shows the committee’s agreement on examination date and time (e.g., email copy or Doodle screenshot)
    • Dissertation title
  • To view deadlines administered by the Graduate School, see the Graduate School Deadline Calendar
  • IE graduate students must take the preliminary examination at least ONE WEEK BEFORE the Graduate School's deadline in order to obtain signatures by the deadline. If you wait until the actual deadline, you will not be able to obtain the signatures in time.

Final Examination

1. To request the Final Examination, following conditions must first be fulfilled:

  • The Plan of Study for the degree must be submitted and fully approved.
  • Student must be registered for the semester.
  • Student must declare graduation candidacy unless the thesis won’t be deposited till following semester.
  • At least 51% of the committee members must have regular graduate faculty certification.
  • At least two academic sessions (summer counts) of registration devoted to research and writing must elapse between the preliminary and final doctoral examinations.
  • A PhD Seminar must be presented to the public before the final examination.

2. Schedule your Final Examination with the IE Graduate Office at least 3 weeks prior to the proposed date of the exam.

  • Send the request via email including (the office will handle the room reservation and Form 8.):
    • Date and time of your examination
    • Date and time of your seminar (preferably on the same day)
    • A document that shows the committee’s agreement on examination date and time (e.g., email copy or Doodle screenshot)
    • Dissertation title for the examination
    • Dissertation title and abstract (300-400 words) for the seminar flyer
    • Copy of dissertation draft in PDF 
  • To view deadlines administered by the Graduate School, see the Graduate School Deadline Calendar.
  • IE graduate students must take the final examination at least ONE WEEK BEFORE the Graduate School’s deadline in order to obtain signatures by the deadline. If you wait until the actual deadline, you will not be able to obtain the signatures in time.

3. Your advisory committee will initiate and complete the electronic Form 11, Report of the Final Examination, and the Graduate School will be notified of the results. 

IE graduate students must complete the ETAF form at least ONE WEEK BEFORE the Graduate School’s deadline in order to obtain signatures by the deadline. If you wait until the actual deadline, you will not be able to obtain the signatures in time.

* Contact the IE Graduate Office directly if you need the Head’s signature (Exam Form Head or Thesis Form Head) on the exam and ETAF forms. 

DO NOT contact the IE Head.


4. The Thesis & Dissertation Office requires an electronic thesis acceptance form (ETAF). For more information on ETAF and thesis/dissertation deposit, see Thesis/Dissertation Office.

Important Additional Requirement for Purdue Industrial Engineering: You must also submit a hardbound, printed copy of your thesis/dissertation to the IE Graduate Office. It is kept in the Dr. Lillian Gilbreth IE School Library. For printing and binding this hard copy, see Purdue Print and Digital Services.