Class Registration Guide

You should register for classes as soon as you are able, since many cla​sses fill up quickly. Purdue does not have a wait list for registration, so if the course is full, you can only register if a seat opens up. You can find when registration opens each semester, on the Registrar’s website:  Once registration opens, check your time ticket window in myPurdue for when you can register.  

It is highly recommended that if you can't register early, that you register before the first week of classes end at the very latest, as you won’t need additional approvals.  If you did register early in the open registration period, always check your schedule again toward the start of the semester to make sure nothing changed.

Tuition is billed a couple weeks before classes start and is due in full by the first day of classes, unless you’ve decided on a payment plan with the Bursar’s office.

Once registered, you will not usually have access to the course material, until the first day of classes.  All courses are hosted on the Brightspace platform.


Because dates can change, here are the websites that have the most recent information on the following deadlines:

Add/Drop, Refund, & Deadline Calendar:

Grad School Calendar of Events, Dates & Deadlines:  Click on Academic Calendar to see the listing.  This will contain candidacy registration deadlines, POS deadlines for graduation, defense/deposit deadlines, etc.  (See Graduation/Candidacy for information regarding candidacy.)

Academic Calendar

Registration Process

1. Remove any Holds

Make sure you have no holds on your account that will prevent registration.  You can check this in myPurdue.  You need to address the hold with the department that put the hold on your account, as that is the only department that can remove the hold. Please see that discusses holds and how to remove them.

2. PIN Number

Log in to the Engineering PIN System to retrieve your PIN number. (PINs will be released the day before registration opens, and the database is updated every Friday after that, if your PIN wasn’t released initially.)  You must have a Plan of Study in the process of approval to access your PIN. Do not try to access your PIN from within myPurdue, as you will receive an error message to meet with your advisor. If this is not your first semester, and you don't have a Plan of Study (POS) in process of approval or approved, your PIN number will not be available.  POS should be submitted between the 3rd and 6th week of your first semester in the graduate program.

3. Find course numbers & CRNs

Check the list of Available Online Courses as to what is available (please note that things change each semester).  Before you’ll be able to register, you’ll need to access this restricted site to find the CRN’s associated with the course(s) you’re interested in taking.  (If you do not register in one of these restricted CRN’s, you will be charged much higher rates, and run the risk of having your registration dropped once the semester is underway and the switch to the correct section at that point may not be feasible.)  You will need to log in using your Career Account and password.  (If you are unable to access the restricted list, or if you do not find the course listed, please contact Sheri Tague as to the course abbreviation/number/title you are interested in taking so that it can be determined if it is an acceptable POS course, and the correct CRN can be released.)  The courses on this restricted site are available only to MSME online students at the rate of $750/credit hour.  Do not share this list, as only online MSME students are eligible to enroll in these monitored sections.

You can click on the title of the online course listings, to view a course description.  If one is unavailable, you might find that information here:  How to Find University Catalog Course Descriptions (video).

ME Courses by Research Interest (not all courses on this list are available online, and not all are offered every semester; it’s just a good resource as to what ME courses may fall into various areas of interest.)

ME Approved Applied Math Courses (these course can satisfy 3 credits of the math requirement; the other 3 have to be from the Math department.)

4. Advice on Selecting Courses

Selecting your graduate courses involves your personal career goals, and the ME and Graduate School requirements. The ME Online Master’s degree allows for a lot of flexibility in choosing courses, as long as you meet degree requirements.  You won’t find a set course plan to complete, as you would with undergrad degree requirements. ME’s online students are considered to be Non-thesis MS students.

If you are working full time, you are highly encouraged to take no more than one or two 16-week courses at the most. In your first semester, you should probably take only one 16-week course, so you can adjust to the grad-level course load, along with your other work and personal responsibilities.  During the summer, you should take no more than one course, since summer is condensed compared to fall and spring semesters.

Using the Available Online Courses, prepare a list of all courses of interest to you. Select the appropriate semesters to ‘look forward’ to the next semester, and ‘look backward’ to previous semesters to get a more complete picture of all courses offered for the whole year. Read the course descriptions carefully and take note of which semester(s) the course is offered. Organize this list into a semester-by-semester table, carefully noting the semesters (Spring, Summer, Fall) when courses are offered. However, do be aware that course offerings may change in a semester, so you should always check the current course catalog each semester before registering.  

Very few graduate courses are offered during the summer, although selection may change in the future. However, Math (MA) courses or STAT courses are offered in the summer. Factor this into your planning.  Please note, summer courses are condensed, and you’ll be completing the course in 8 weeks, instead of the usual 16 weeks.

5. Make sure courses are appropriate for degree completion

Coursework that can be added to your Plan of Study (POS) (and count toward degree requirements) must be graduate level (500- and 600-level courses), and technical and quantitative in content.  If you have any concerns if a course will meet these requirements, please check with the Sheri Tague, prior to registering for the course.  Please provide course number/title/description/syllabus for review. (You can take courses that don’t meet these requirements for your own professional/personal development, but they will not count toward your degree requirements.)  Example of courses that do not count toward ME degree requirements, include any course starting with ‘GRAD’ abbreviation, courses from Engineering Education, IE 590 Project Mgmt, ECE 695, Communication for Engineering Leaders, etc.

Summary of Online ME Master’s Course Requirements:

  • MS non-thesis: 30 credit hours (usually 10 courses) that are graduate-level and meet the definition of technical and quantitative, and make up:
    • 6 hours of applied math.  (3 credits must be from the math department, the other 3 can be from the approved applied math course listing.) STAT courses are from the statistics department and are in the approved applied math category, but cannot be used to meet the required 3 credits specifically from the math department.
    • 15 hours of ME courses.  (Can be from same research area or various areas.)
    • 9 hours of tech elective courses.  (These can be from other technical engineering schools, math, or science.)
    • At any time, if you’re unsure that a course will qualify for your plan of study coursework, please check with the ME Grad office.

Note: graduate level courses at Purdue are numbered 50000 and 60000. Courses numbered 40000 or below are undergraduate level and will not be allowed on the Purdue ME plans of study.

6. Use Scheduling Assistant to Register

Enter your course registration through myPurdue, using the scheduling assistant.

How-To Videos:

7. Change in Grade Mode

Some courses allow you to audit a course or change to pass/no pass.  Please see as to how to change the grade mode of a course.  Please keep in mind that auditing a course, will need instructor permission, and will cost the same as taking the course for a grade.  A course taken as ‘audit’ cannot be used to meet degree requirements, and it does not count toward registered credits for international student registration guidelines.  

If you elect to change the grade mode to pass/no pass, you’ll need to receive a ‘C-‘ or higher to receive a ‘P’, but the course cannot be used to meet degree requirements (only letter-graded courses can appear on your plan of study).  Also, when changing grade-mode, per Grad School policy, you can only retake a course in the same grade mode as originally taken (ex:  If you take a course as pass/no pass, you can only retake it as pass/no pass; you cannot retake it for a letter grade.)  We recommend you consider dropping a course if needed, instead of taking a course as pass/no pass, as you could then retake the course in a future semester for a grade.

8. Independent Study Courses ("Variable Title")

To register for a course with a variable title (such as an independent study), you need to submit your request using the scheduling assistant (as of July 2021, the Form VT is no longer used). Independent study courses must have an instructor agreeing to oversee the research project.  For instructions, please watch the YouTube video "How to Request a Variable Title Course."  Please only select grad-level variable title course number ME 597, as directed by your instructor, even though other options may appear in the drop-down menu.

The request will route through the workflow and your instructor will need to approve the request first, then your academic advisor and department designee will approve in the system. The registrar’s office will be the final approver. Once the registrar’s office has approved and it posts to your schedule, you need to confirm that everything posted as expected, as changes can be made during the approval process.  For instructions on how to verify your request, please watch the YouTube video "How to confirm the creation of a Variable Title Course request" and make sure that everything posted as you expected.

9. Candidacy Registration

Are you planning on graduating this semester? Congratulations! Please see our Graduation page on how to register as a candidate for graduation.

10. Final Check

Double-check your class list in myPurdue, under "Concise Student Schedule", once your course registration and/or candidacy registration has posted.  It’s best to make sure there are no errors at the beginning of a semester, as things are still able to be adjusted.

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