New Graduate Student To-Do List


Welcome to Purdue!  We want to make sure you don't miss a thing as you transition into being a graduate student.  Read below and start completing the items listed:

  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 your Boiler Key, starting with initial set-up and following the instructions.  If you need assistance, contact  You will need your Boiler Key, which provides two-factor identification, to access myPurdue, Brightspace, etc.  (Questions on Boiler Key should be directed to
  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
  4. 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.
  5. 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).  You should update your emergency contact information and affirm your financial responsibility, to release holds put on your account by the graduate school.
  6. All new students, including online students, are required to complete the Respect Boundaries: Sexual Violence Awareness Program.  For more information, see
  7. All new on-campus students should plan on receiving a flu shot prior to the start of class. Students should receive a flu shot from their health care provider or community pharmacy prior to the start of classes and submit documentation through the Student Health Center portal. Those who are unable to get the vaccine due to a medical condition (physician’s note required) or religious reason will need to complete the Purdue University influenza declination form and upload it to the Student Health Center portal
  8. 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 an in-person RCR seminar during orientation, 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 (required of all on-campus grad students)
  9. Access your PIN to register for classes, at  (Do not access your PIN off myPurdue.) The PIN database is uploaded every Friday; if you can’t retrieve your PIN, please try again after Friday.  If you still have problems, please email
  10. Contact your Faculty Advisor/Major Professor for suggested courses, not your academic advisor. (This can be done by email before arriving.)  You can also find a list of courses by research area, and approved applied math courses, on the ME Grad Website.
  11. You can find the add/drop calendar on the registrar’s website.  Please pay attention to these deadlines as they are firm.  The registrar’s webpage for current students also provides instructions on how to register, add or drop a course, etc. and many more tasks you might be interested in completing.
  12. Register for classes in myPurdue. Full-time status requires 8 hours of registration in spring and fall semesters (6 hours is considered full-time for summer). Spring 2021 registration opens on November 16, 2020.
  13. Just in case, familiarize yourself with the Add/Drop calendar each semester.  You can add/drop courses within myPurdue yourself up to a certain point, but after that, you’ll need to use the scheduling assistant to request as it routes through for various approvals needed.  Also, pay attention to reimbursement deadlines.  Please see various procedure instructions on the registrar’s website, including how to add a course, drop a course, change grade mode, etc.
  14. If you are a PhD, Direct PhD, or MS thesis option student, you are required to enroll in thesis research every semester.  You can find your professor’s research CRN in the Schedule of Classes in myPurdue.  Fill out Form 23 and submit directly to (Please make sure your PUID is on the Form 23, and that you submit the form using your official email address to prevent delays in processing.) The form MUST be signed by both you and your major professor. You are charged for research credits just like lecture credits.  You can use the tuition calculator to determine cost, since it depends on how many credit hours you need to register.
  15. Bookmark the ME Graduate Office website.  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.  You should check it regularly, as any updates/notifications will be posted to the website.
  16. Check out Purdue Engineering social media sites.
  17. Practice the Purdue Fight Song (Hail Purdue!) 😊
  18. 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.
  19. Read and be familiar with the Protect Purdue website and Protect Purdue Ambassador Program.  You will need to make sure you’ve followed the steps to be cleared to be on campus.  You’ll also find information on what to do if you are sick while on campus, etc.  (If you opted in for fully online classes, you still need to update your contact information within myPurdue.)
  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 of January 11. Official dates/times to be announced.
  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! Look for an email with details!
  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.)
  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. Do not worry about creating your plan of study (POS) until the semester is underway.  The POS generator isn’t available to new students until about the 3rd week of classes.  

Let us know if you have any questions!


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