For most up-to-date Purdue-related information on the COVID-19 situation:

Purdue COVID-19 Info:

Purdue COVID-19 Call Center: 765-496-INFO (765-496-4636)

Immigration Changes:

Alternative Delivery of DRC Servic​es to Students and Faculty:

Please read the complete document for the most up-to-date changes for grad students in relation to the COVID-19 situation, with FAQ listed toward the end.  We strongly encourage you to periodically check this website to get the most recent updates on university policies and arrangements due to COVID-19.

UPDATE May 16: Purdue administration is in the process of determining how new students who cannot come to campus in the fall should register for courses. At this time, we are being told those students should wait to register until given further direction. Therefore, the information on our website about registering for online or on-campus courses may not be accurate. It will be updated as soon as we receive clarification. Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE May 15: Beginning with the Summer 2020 session, Purdue will return to the normal, pre-COVID grading structures, including standard deadlines to change a grade mode or to withdraw from a course, as defined by Purdue’s Academic Regulations in the Purdue Catalog. 

UPDATE May 12: For master’s or PhD students who are conducting research off-campus for greater than 22 days, the new G.S. Form 19 is required to be completed and submitted to the grad school. Students will need to file this form at least one month prior to each session they plan to be conducting off-campus research. For PhDs it should be used when the student has not completed prelims or coursework. For PhD students conducting research off campus that have already completed prelims and coursework, they need to file a Research in Absentia form (G.S. Form 12). G.S Form 19 & 12 can be found on the Grad School Forms website, (If you are also in a RA position, you will need to complete a Change of Duty Station through the RLA mechanism from the engineering employment center (

UPDATE May 8: Incoming international students within the US who would like to work in a summer project AND be able to transfer I-20 to Purdue by May 22: ME department is trying to provide some projects to those who would like to move to West Lafayette in summer and be able to work legally in the U.S. For example, you are on OPT in summer, or you start your grad study in summer. Students will work remotely for 10 weeks, 20 hours per week. Full details and a list of projects can be found at  Please contact Xiaomin Qian ( if you have any questions.

UPDATE April 22: English proficiency tests are still required for admission, and many of them are now available to take online.  What if online testing is not available in your country?  We have options for you!  Please visit the Graduate School's English Proficiency Requirements to see your options.

UPDATE April 17: If you currently have a visa, please be aware of any restrictions related to taking online courses. While there is currently a USCIS exception allowing F-1 visa holders to take online classes for Spring 2020, the decision for Fall is still pending. For more information or help with visa status question, see the latest updates from Purdue's International Students and Scholars office.

Incoming International Students

If you are currently in the United States

If you plan to attend graduate school at Purdue for Summer 2020 or Fall 2020, we recommend that you do not leave the country. The State Department is currently advising that you will not get a visa to travel back to the U.S. in August.

If you are currently outside the United States

You most likely will not get your visa in time for the fall semester. Do not panic! Below are options for you to consider (if you have already secured commitment from a faculty member to serve as your major professor, we recommend that you discuss options with him or her first).

You can defer your admission

You are allowed to defer your admission once and up to one year from your originally admitted term. For example, if you are admitted to Fall 2020, you can defer to Spring 2021, Summer 2021 or Fall 2021. Deferment beyond Fall 2021 requires re-applying to the graduate school. 

If you want to defer, first, accept your admission.  Then, send your deferral request, by August 17, 2020, via email to Xiaomin Qian.

If you do not want to defer your admission (please see below)

All students

In the event that the current health crisis does not allow students to come to campus for the Fall 2020 semester, you can take courses online. If you have already chosen an advisor, please discuss options with your advisor first. Course registration instructions, degree requirements and other information for incoming students can be found at ME website under New Incoming Students tab:

MS Students

We can switch you to our online MS program and you can take courses online. Once you come to campus, we will switch you back to the on-campus MS program. This option will allow you to complete your degree on time. 

PhD Students

You may begin taking courses online in the Fall 2020 semester (from your current location, whether in the U.S. or another country), without switching to a non-degree program, provided that you return to campus later and your overall Plan of Study must have a majority of on-campus credits in order to earn your on-campus degree. There are many ME online courses together with courses from other engineering schools listed at (scroll down to find Fall 2020 online courses). MA 527 is a popular math course which can be taken online as well.  That course is recommended for those preparing to take the math PhD qualifying exam. The cost for online courses is $750 per credit hour.

We are working on additional options for online course availability and will provide more information soon.

Information for Funded Students

Fellowship Offers

If you received a fellowship offer from Purdue but cannot come to campus, we can defer your funding offer to your new start date, no later than Fall 2021. We cannot provide a salary or stipend while you are outside of the U.S.  For students in the U.S., we are putting into place procedures that will allow you to be paid while being located away from campus.  

Research Assistant Offers

If you received a research assistant (RA) offer from ME but cannot come to campus, it is likely we can defer your funding offer to your new start date. Please contact the professor who made the RA offer. We cannot provide a salary or stipend while you are outside of the U.S. For students in the U.S., we are putting into place procedures that will allow you to be paid while being located away from campus, assuming your work is conducive to this. You will have to work with the professor who offered the RA position to determine the expectations for working remotely. 

Teaching Assistant Offers

If you received a teaching assistant (TA) offer from ME but cannot come to campus, we can hold your funding offer until Spring 2021. We cannot provide a salary or stipend while you are outside of the U.S. For students in the U.S., we are putting into place procedures that will allow you to be paid while being located away from campus. You will have to perform the TA duties remotely.


Frequently Asked Questions
For Current and Newly Admitted Graduate Students

What should I do if my graduate supervisor is pressuring me to come into work sick, or otherwise ignore social distancing protocols such as 6ft distance / sanitizing / sticking to "skeleton crew" lab shifts?  How should I report this? You should immediately report this to the Department Head or Graduate Chair so they can take action on your behalf.   Another option is to report anonymously to the Purdue Hotline (  Graduate-education-related issues reported to the hotline will come to the Graduate School, where we can investigate.

I had planned to take my preliminary examination during Spring 2020 or Summer 2020.  If I have to delay until Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 to take my preliminary examination due to COVID-19, do I still have to register for two academic sessions before the session in which I am eligible to take my final examination? No, the Graduate School is relaxing this policy. If you are ready to take your final examination in the semester after, or two semesters after, you take your preliminary examination, you may do so.  In these situations, you can include a supplemental note on the final exam request that you are ready to take your final examination and confirm that your examination has been impacted by COVID-19-related interruptions.  No additional review or approval is needed.  This option is available for students who take preliminary examinations during Summer 2020 or Fall 2020.  The Graduate School expects to see enrollment in research registration each session between the time of the preliminary examination and final examination. The change in the effective hold date does not affect those students who have a GPA hold or English proficiency hold on their account.  Those dates remain the same.

What should I do if COVID-19 had disrupted my research plans or progress toward graduation.  How do I modify my Graduate Research Credit approved plans (typically 69800 and 69900)? You are a vital part of the research community at Purdue and it is possible that COVID-19 disruptions may slow or inhibit progress to your degree.  We encourage all graduate students to have a conversation with their research advisor to discuss how you might revise expectations for meeting graduate research credit grade requirements for spring semester and graduation research requirements while working remotely. You might need to adjust your deliverables on a project, or adjust your research proposal objectives.   

I am a graduate student and need to come to campus to check on an experiment or assist in teaching an online class, where can I park?  Are existing parking restrictions in place for graduate students? If you can work from home you should, but if you need to come to campus, and have a vehicle, we are providing temporary parking permits to assist current circumstances. The temporary permit will allow parking in the B and C lots. Parking Services will communicate when this permit expires. If you have a current parking permit but new arrangements require other parking options, please contact Parking Services.  If you don’t have a current parking permit, submit an application on the Parking Portal ( under “Special Permit Requests,” and then “Graduate Student Spring 2020 Permit.” Please direct any questions to Parking Services by emailing  We hope that this will allow you to safely come to campus without the worrying about getting to your lab or office.  Remember, if you come, please continue to practice safe distancing protocols.

If a student has been on the candidate roster twice and will need to be on it a third time because of COVID-19 related delays, will the Late Graduation Deadline Fee be waived? At this time those fees are not being waived. The student can go through the appeal process and describe how the COVID delayed their graduation, and it will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Does Purdue offer any financial support for an unexpected situation? The Critical Need Fund also known as the Disaster and Emergency Student Assistance Fund was established by the Office of the Dean of Students, a unit of Student Life, to help ensure that Purdue University students have access to the support and resources they need to successfully recover from unexpected financial crises and stay on track academically. Examples of assistance have including transportation costs, emergency housing, food, and replacement of essential belongings. The goal of these funds is to prevent one small emergency or unexpected expense from derailing a student’s progress towards a degree. The fund is made possible from generous donors committed to helping students. Considering the significant disruptions caused by the current global crisis as it relates to COVID-19, we invite students to submit requests for these funds. Our process is intended to be simple and quick. The federal government has relaxed some financial aid regulations that allow for us to help students with even more efficiency.

The general process for emergency fund requests includes:

· Students contacts ODOS and discusses the need ( /765-494-1747)
Approvals are made on a case-by-case basis o Generally speaking, funds awarded will not typically exceed $500; exceptions may apply
· Unmet need is reviewed with Department of Financial Aid (DFA)
· Upon approval of request, student signs a form electronically
· In approximately 1-3 business days a Chase Quick Pay is complete
· Some items can be paid for/purchased immediately

What if I am a currently enrolled new graduate student and am having trouble getting my required documents submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline requested? All currently enrolled Spring 2020 students and newly admitted Summer 2020 students who have a Graduate School hold due to non-receipt of documents (transcripts, diplomas, English translations, etc.) listed as conditions of continued enrollment in their admission letter, now have an effective hold date of October 1, 2020.  There is nothing that you need to do.  This change will allow you to register for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 courses without submitting these documents.

What if I am applying to the Graduate School and still need to demonstrate English proficiency or take the GRE (required by some departments)?  (International) Educational Testing Service has announced, due to closed testing centers in many parts of the world, a solution for both the TOEFL iBT and GRE General Test.  These tests may be taken at home (in selected countries) until test centers can reopen.  More information about these tests can be found at the following Websites:

What if I am unable to receive my I-20 documents to arrive for the start of the Fall 2020 session? (International) An email request should be sent to the Grad Office.  This request should contain the reason for your deferral along with the term you are wishing to defer to.   The department must approve the request first and then forward to the Graduate School for processing.   You are eligible to defer from one semester, up to one year. Students in no-mail or travel ban countries will be allowed two deferrals per application. If a deferral is granted from Summer 2020 to Fall 2020 and the student is not able to arrive on campus in August the Graduate School would process a deferral from Fall 2020 to a future session.

This policy is only for those deferring from Summer to Fall.  If they are deferring to any other session the two-deferral process will not be allowed. Reminder:  a deferral for summer admits must be requested by July 15 if deferring to Fall 2020.


ME Graduate Office
585 Purdue Mall (Room 1003)
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 494-5730