Completion Process for PhD

This Completion Process information is merely designed as a guide to provide general information. Please consult with your major professor(s) for current guidance on how to satisfy your degree requirement.

Year 1

  • Major Professor is pre-assigned. (Major Professor may be listed as Thesis Advisor or Graduate Advisor.)
  • Discuss your educational objectives with several members of the faculty within the first six weeks on campus.
  • Identify a major professor and advisory committee by the middle of the first semester of study.
  • Prepare a Plan of Study (POS) with your Major Professor, selecting an Advisory Committee and courses.
  • See IE PhD Plan of Study (POS) Requirements for more information on completing a Plan of Study. 

Year 2

  • Complete the registration for subsequent semesters with your major professor(s).
  • Submit your Plan of Study as final so it can be fully approved. If you fail to file a POS on time, a late fee may be assessed by the Graduate School.

Years 3-5

  • Schedule your Preliminary Examination. (Two semester rules apply between the Preliminary Examination and Final Examination.) For specific details on final examinations, read PhD Preliminary Examination Guidelines.

Final Semester

  • Declare Candidacy by notifying IE Graduate Office.


  • A Commencement tab will be added on your myPurdue when you successfully declare candidacy. Please see Commencement for more information.

NOTE: If you have an incomplete grade, consult your instructor or major professor immediately.