New Graduate Student To-Do List

Welcome to Purdue!  We want to make sure you have all necessary accounts and accesses with Purdue established before the start of classes, so you can focus on pursuing your educational goals. Please start completing the items listed below (although some things may not be able to be completed until closer to the start of the semester):

  1. Set up your Purdue Career Account (it will ask for your 10-digit PUID number, which is found on your admission letter).  You will use your career account to access myPurdue, Brightspace, and other portals.  (Questions on your Purdue career account should be directed to our IT department,
  2. Set up two-factor authentication, which grants secure access to myPurdue, Brightspace, and other Purdue online services. Effective June 27, 2023, this authentication is called Purdue Login.   You will submit your Purdue career account and password, and then be asked to authenticate via the Duo Mobile app. Please see if you have questions.
  3. Your Purdue email address is made up from your Purdue career account username.  The best way to access your Purdue email is through Office 365, which is free to Purdue students.  You are expected to use your Purdue email when communicating with offices, advisors, professors, teaching assistants, etc. at Purdue.  You should check your Purdue email frequently, as that is the only way you’ll receive notifications from Purdue. (Questions on your Purdue email should be directed to Please note that Purdue requires Microsoft multi-factor authentication be set-up for all University email accounts.  Please see for information on how to set this up. 
  4. There is a blog that exists just for you, Purdue ME grad students! Subscribe to the blog now, so that you can receive email notification of new postings on a regular basis. All seminar invitations, job opportunities, new course offerings, and other important but non-policy/procedure notifications, will be posted to the blog to eliminate extra emails to you. The ME Grad Blog will also contain the dates/times/links to the virtual open office hours that the ME Grad Office holds, in addition to other meetings, including the ‘How to Navigate Grad School in ME’ and the ‘Plan of Study’ meetings, which all new students should attend.  You can also choose to subscribe to certain categories, so you get notified with new announcements the instant they post. When subscribing, if you don’t receive a confirmation email, check your spam folder as it may go there first.  Once you confirm your subscription, email summaries should come into your regular Purdue email account and not your spam folder.
  5. As part of your Purdue Office 365 account, you have 1 TB of space on OneDrive.  You can use this to store course-related files and documents, and access them anywhere you have internet access.  To access OneDrive, log into Office 365 with your Purdue career account and password, and click OneDrive. (If you are ever ‘out’ for a semester, you will lose access to this, so please make sure to back up your information elsewhere.)
  6. myPurdue is the system you’ll use to update your personal information, see your current courses and transcript, register for courses, pay your tuition and fees manage any financial aid, and draft and submit your plan of study (POS, see #22 below). It is not the system you use to retrieve your registration PIN.
  7. You should update your emergency contact information and affirm your financial responsibility, to release holds put on your account by the graduate school. These 2 holds are put on your account each semester, so please remember to address them in the future.  Please make sure your official transcript copies have been provided to the grad school.  Transcripts submitted with the application are not considered official copies...  please see If you have other holds on your account, you’ll need to contact the department that placed the holds to address removal of the hold.  Some holds affect registration, while others don’t.
  8. All new students, including online students, are required to complete the Respect Boundaries: Sexual Violence Awareness Program.  This will be available on your Brightspace account about one week before the semester starts.  For more information, see
  9. Please see required immunizations for enrolled students, to make sure you’ll be in compliance before arriving on campus. 
  10. All ME Graduate Students are required to complete online Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) certification before arriving on campus, and submit your completion certificate to both AND On-campus students will also be required to participate in workshops offered by the Grad School (2 hrs required), and email the completion certificate to
    Click here for more details on how to complete RCR training.
    Click here for Grad School workshops that meet the in-person requirement (Workshop must have ‘RCR’ in the title to complete this requirement; other workshops listed are for your personal development and cannot be used to satisfy the RCR requirement.)
  11. The official Purdue learning platform for courses is Brightspace:   Choose Purdue West Lafayette campus (even if you’re an online student) to login.  Here is an introductory video that covers how to use Brightspace, Gradescope, etc. You’ll be able to access your registered courses in Brightspace, the first day of the course. If you drop a course, the course will be removed from Brightspace and you’ll no longer have access.  When the semester ends, the course will be removed from Brightspace, so if you want to save your work or any materials from the course, save them in a different tool, like Dropbox or something similar.  If you ever need help with Brightspace, please see
  12. See the Registration page for information on when registration opens, how to remove holds, retrieve your registration PIN, review courses offered, register for various courses including research, etc. Please remember that funded students need to register full-time each semester, and research-based students need to register for research every semester.   (Please note regarding your registration PIN: the PIN database is uploaded the day before registration opens for that semester, and then updated every week afterwards, on Fridays.  If you try to access your PIN and are told that you are not found in the system, please wait until after Friday to try again.  If at that time, you can’t retrieve your PIN, please email Please be aware that some set up goes on behind the scenes after you accept admission, and it may take a week or two before everything is done and you can register. If you are unable to register two weeks after you accepted admission, please email Sheri Tague
  13. Bookmark the ME Graduate Office website. This is a valuable resource! You should become familiar with what is on the website as it will answer a lot of your questions and guide you through a lot of processes, and is available to you 24/7, so you may find answers quicker than an email to the Grad Office.  You should check it regularly, as any updates/notifications will be posted to the website.
  14. To help ease your transition to Purdue, we asked our current ME grad students to share with us things that they started doing once they had accepted admission, and resources they found helpful as new students, arriving to campus for the first time. Their feedback is presented in the Complete Guide to Living in West Lafayette webpage.  Please take some time to review this information to help prepare for your arrival on campus and locate businesses/resources to help provide you with the “comforts of home” once you reach campus.
  15. As you’re waiting to start your semester, we’ve created an individual development plan (IDP) to help you reflect on your goals and skills and allow you to set your plan to improve skills you see that are vital to being successful in your future career plans.  The IDP will also give you an overall timeline of degree completion and the various steps you need along the way, to help you with planning.  Please click on the IDP that applies to your degree plan: Master’s Thesis IDP, Master's Non-Thesis IDP, or PhD/Direct PhD IDP.
  16. Check out Purdue Engineering social media sites.
  17. Get involved with OMEGA (ME’s Grad Student Organization)!
  18. Practice the Purdue Fight Song (Hail Purdue!) 😊
  19. International Students Only – Arrive and check in with International Students and Scholars (ISS).  You must sign up for a WOW! session on-line.  You should have received an email with a link to sign up.  THIS IS REQUIRED.  You will not be issued a Purdue ID card until you attend a WOW! Session.
  20. When on campus, report to the Purdue ID Card Office to get your Purdue I.D. (Hovde Hall, ground floor, Room 14)
  21. Attend the Mechanical Engineering New Graduate Student Orientation meetings to be held the week before classes start. Official dates/times will be announced on the ME Grad website's Orientation page. Attendance at the in-person Orientation will also be counted toward meeting your RCR in-field requirement.
  22. Have your photo taken by Mike Black! Take advantage of this free service to get a professional headshot, for use in job hunting and academic publicity. Please do not wear T-shirts or caps/hats! Photo opportunities will be offered August 14-18, 8:30-10:00am and 1:30-3:00pm daily in room 2042. No appointment is necessary, just follow the signs in the hallway. (Can't make these dates? There is also a Self-Service Portrait Station for all Boilermakers to use in Stewart Center.)
  23. Remember, is the email address for the grad office.  Please send your questions and submissions to this address, not to individual staffers, as it is monitored by everyone in the office, which allows the first available to respond to you.  We will get back to you as quickly as possible, but depending on the time of year, please allow up to 5 days for a response.  (We highly recommend you don’t wait until it’s close to a deadline to email us a question, concern, or submission, related to that deadline.) Also, remember that you are now a ME Grad Student, so you should contact the ME Grad Office, not the Grad School, for assistance.
  24. Tuition is due, in full, by 4pm on the first day of classes, unless other arrangements have been made with the Bursar’s Office (Ways to pay Tuition and Fees).  If your employer is paying your tuition, information can be found on the Sponsored Billing and Payment page. For other questions related to tuition/fees, paying tuition, or financial aid, see the Purdue Bursar website.
  25. While you can start thinking about what courses you plan to take to meet degree requirements, do not worry about creating your official plan of study (POS) until the semester is underway. If you’re a Master’s thesis or PhD/D-PhD student, you can start planning on who you’ll be wanting on your advisory committee, so that once you have their approval, you’ll be able to submit your POS when you have access to the POS generator, which should be available to new students about the 3rd week of classes.  Your POS should be submitted before the 6th week of classes, so it has time to make it through approvals before the semester ends. POS also needs to be submitted before your registration PIN for the following semester will be released. Check the ME Grad Blog for the POS meeting that will be held by the Graduate Office during the 2nd week of the semester. This is a great time for insight on completing your POS, but also to ask questions.

Let us know if you have any questions!


ME Graduate Office
516 Northwestern Ave. (4th floor of Wang Hall)
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(765) 494-5730
Virtual office hours available every Tues/Wed/Thurs