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.  This will be available on your Brightspace account about two weeks before the semester starts.  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(s) during orientation, or 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 (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 will be available the day before registration opens, and is updated every Friday; if you can’t retrieve your PIN, please try again after Friday.  If you still have problems, please email
  10. Master's Thesis and PhD students should 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. Review the semester course offerings within MyPurdue. Professional Master's students should review for a list of courses you can choose from the various categories to meet your degree requirements, and compare with what is offered in the semester.  All other Master’s non-thesis students should review courses offered for the semester, in your area of interest, against degree requirements and choose to register in courses that will help you achieve your degree and professional goals.  You want to choose courses that are technical and quantitative-in-content.  At any time, if you have questions as to whether a course would be acceptable toward  your degree requirements, please email
  11. 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). Funded students MUST be registered full-time.
  12. Just in case, familiarize yourself with the Add/Drop calendar each semester.  You can add/drop courses within myPurdue yourself up to the first week of classes, but after that, you’ll need to use the scheduling assistant to request as it routes through for various approvals needed.  (It is highly recommended that you complete your course registration before the semester begins, and make decisions to add/drop within the first week of classes.)  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.
  13. 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 one of these Excel spreadsheets: ME698/699 Fall | ME698/699 Spring | ME698/699 Summer, or you can find it within myPurdue. You will register for research by using the scheduling assistant within myPurdue.  This is a 2-step process, so make sure to do both steps!  You first have to register for research using the scheduling assistant; please make sure to add a note as to who the professor is that you will be working with, and the number of credits you plan to register for in step#2, as the professor will need to approve before the advisor can approve.  Once your research registration posts to your schedule, you’ll see that it registered you for 1 to 18 credits.  You’ll then need to go back into the system and modify the number of credits to the correct number you need to register.  (Make sure that between your research credits and coursework credits, you don’t exceed the maximum for the semester.  Funded students need to be registered full-time, which is 8 credits in spring or fall semesters.)  Check your schedule to confirm that you are registered for the research, with the correct number of credits, with the correct professor, once everything posts.

    Here are guides to these two important steps:

    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.

  14. 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, 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.
  15. Check out Purdue Engineering social media sites.
  16. There is a blog that exists just for you, Purdue ME grad students! https://Purdue​  You should bookmark and check the blog on a regular basis, as 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. You can also choose to subscribe to certain categories, so you get notified with new announcements the instant they post.
  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 before classes start. Official dates/times to be announced.
  22. Professional headshots are currently on pause because of COVID. We'll let you know when it re-opens! 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.  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. 

Let us know if you have any questions!


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