Completion Guidelines for PhD Degree 

The Completion Guidelines 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 these requirements.

Semester 1

  • Familiarize yourself with your degree requirements in the PhD Handbook.
  • Complete your Responsible Conduct of Research training within 60 days of the start of the semester.
    • 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). 
  • Thesis Advisor is either pre-assigned or you are designated as a rotating student your first year. Refer to your IE admission letter for details. Thesis Advisor may be listed as Major Professor or Major Advisor in other departments.
    • Directly assigned students:
      • Please use the first semester to confirm that you and your advisor are comfortable with the arrangement.
      • Establish an advisory committee about half-way through your first semester.

Semester 2

  • Prepare a Plan of Study (POS) with your Thesis Advisor, selecting an Advisory Committee and courses. Step-by-step instructions for completing the POS can be found in the handbook.
  • Rotating students:
    • You are expected to join a lab by the end of your first year. When you have reached an agreement with an advisor, please notify and your initial advisor, Dr. Patrick Brunese.
    • Your Plan of Study (POS) and advisory committee wiould ideally be on file by the end of the first year. 

Years 3-5

Second-to-Last Semester

  • Update your Plan of Study using a Change of Plan of Study form as necessary.
    • 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
  • Schedule your Final Examination. For specific details on final examinations, read the PhD Final Examination Guidelines.
  • Schedule your dissertation deposit appointment as early as possible. For more information, see the Thesis/Dissertation Office.

  • 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.