Preparing your Plan of Study (POS) and Registration Forms


Some claim that registration is a necessary bureaucracy. Whatever it is, it is not fun besides finding out that what courses you would be taking soon. The process could be a painful one and is definitely time-consuming --both for you and everyone else involved-- particularly if you are not aware of the rules governing the immediate process and the requirements for a valid Plan of Study (POS). POS is the list of courses you will need to take and complete successfully to graduate. Registration follows naturally.


If you already have a previously approved POS, you need not worry about POS unless you are intending to make changes on it. If you have an approved POS and have no changes, please fill out a registration form (Form 23A; available from the CE Undergraduate Office) and see me at your appointment.


If you have to prepare a POS –all CE students need to have a POS ready in their fifth semester– below is a collection of links and documents that should help you make informed decisions. Please note that you are the one who will be affected by your POS and registration, and, ultimately, responsible for it. It is even written on the registration form (Form 23A) :


Students are responsible for meeting course prerequisites, fulfilling degree requirements, and are ultimately responsible for their own educational plan and academic success.


Please read the following text in full and carry out the necessary steps to develop your POS.


You will need to bring your working POS (a POS that works best for you and satisfies the rules and regulations listed/linked below) to your pre-registration meeting. Without it, there is not much I can do and you will have to try to arrange another meeting, with your POS ready.


You will also need to fill out a registration form (Form 23A) for the courses you will be taking next semester and bring it to your pre-registration meeting. Once you have a working POS (working meaning that now that you have an idea about the courses, requirements, and what you would like to do we can have an informed discussion about the POS you prefer, and modify that POS) filling out the registration form is a breeze. To fill out the registration form, you can look up for the course codes (CRNs), class hours, and all other information to layout a non-conflicting class schedule on the myPurdue system ( Again, I recommend that you fill out Form 23A after you have developed a working POS. Please make sure that you have a non-conflicting schedule; if there is a conflict myPurdue system will not let you register and class seats might fill up before you can fix the problem.


Once you have your working POS and Form 23A ready, please see me at your appointment time. The only extra information you will need before registration is your registration PIN. To receive your exclusive registration code first you will need to have your POS and Form 23A signed by me and turned in to the CE Undergraduate Office. Note that registration PINs change every semester.


Here are the critical documents and tools from CE Undergraduate Office and other CE resources that will help you develop your POS. Please read and follow them in totality. CE websites can be accessed through the CE Undergraduate Registration Tools frontpage.


·     Structures Curriculum Flowchart    (MUST-READ) 


This is a document you must read and understand. It outlines the typical courses taken by CE undergraduates with emphasis in Structural Engineering. Some of the courses are “required”, others are “recommended”, and several –namely, the technical and general education electives–are to be decided by you. Decide how? Continue reading.


Before going further, please read and understand the Structures curriculum flowchart. Note that in Fall 2013, Structures faculty agreed to require Structures emphasis students to take the following courses: CE371, CE474, CE470, CE473, CE383, and CE483. Additionally, Structures faculty strongly recommends CE479 for Structures emphasis students. Note that CE474 is offered only in Spring semesters and CE479 is offered only if Fall semesters.



·     CE Technical Electives Policy          (MUST-READ)

see the Technical Elective Policy document on the right-hand column on


The requirements for technical elective course selection, including the “breadth” and the “design content” requirements as well as the “sequence” requirement are spelled out in this document. You must read and understand this document before developing your POS.



·     List of CE Technical Electives


A nice website that lists what is offered in CE. Note that not all of the courses listed are offered every semester, or even every year. Check their availability using the myPurdue system.



·     CE General Education Electives Policy     (MUST-READ)


see the General Elective Policy document on the right-hand column on


Yet another document you must read and understand before developing your POS. This one lists the rules and requirements for general education electives before they could be included in your POS.


I am not aware of a document that lists all general education courses offered at Purdue. Let me know if you know such a list. Until then, surfing the myPurdue system is the only way to find out what is offered.



Now that you have read and understood the rules and requirements J (yes… unfortunately, life becomes more “regulated” as you grow older), you should be ready to develop a working Plan of Study. It may look like a daunting task. After all, it is a long list of courses distributed over at least eight semesters –several of which are yet to come. Please take your time and give good thought to your POS. It is not a document you want to develop haphazardly. Your POS is practically your contract with the School of Civil Engineering: if you have a POS that fulfills the requirements of the School, and if and when you complete the courses listed on your POS successfully, you will have earned your right to a diploma in Civil Engineering. It is a most important document, indeed.


Where to start?


I recommend that you start by studying the Structures curriculum flowchart mentioned above. That flowchart will give you a very good sample outline. You will of course need to fill in the “blanks” yourself. Can you fill in the blanks any way you like? Well… sorry… who has such freedom in this world? Your choices need to satisfy the rules and regulations listed earlier. You may be thinking “why is he asking me to do all this?” Well… if you are really thinking like that, my answer is that it is not me who wants you to do all this stuff. It is the "system" and the School which you agreed to be a part of want you to. I cannot choose classes for you. It is your future and your "contract" with the School requires that you to choose. I am here to provide guidance when necessary (of course we will talk about the courses you want to register at our meeting; might even revise the list as needed), and the ultimate power of approval resides with the School, not me.


But there is some good help available. For example, how can you make sure that your POS checks out fine? Thanks to Professor Garrett Jeong, there is an online POS checker to help you check whether or not your technical and general education elective choices satisfy the CE degree requirements and, as such, work for your POS. Note that POS is more than the technical and general education electives. There are many other courses (required courses) for a proper POS. They are listed on the Structures curriculum flowchart and every CE student must have taken them to graduate.


·     CE Plan of Study Checker     (MUST-USE)


This is the online tool to help you check if your technical electives and general education electives meet the Civil Engineering degree requirements. But it is more than that.


This online tool also allows you to print the official copy of your Plan of Study.


First, you will need to enter your information in full and your elective courses (those you have taken and will be taking) into the POS checker, and use the “Check Plan of Study” option to see if all checks out well. Once your POS checks, print it using the “Print Plan of Study” option.


You will need to bring the printed copy, signed –which has lines for signatures– to your pre-registration meeting with me. I will review and sign it. You will then need to take this signed POS form, along with your signed registration form for the next semester (Form 23A) to the CE Undergraduate Office.


I must note that the ultimate POS approval decision resides with the CE Undergraduate Office, not with me.


The POS may be modified later on as long as the modifications still meet the CE graduation requirements. It is spelled out on the POS checker print-out form as follows:


It is the student's responsibility to initiate future registrations that are consistent with this Plan of Study or, with the help of his/her advisor, to submit an appropriately amended Plan of Study.



Any other helpful tools?


I recommend that you stick to the "order" of courses as shown on the Structures Curriculum Flowchart (see above) as much as possible. Things typically get hectic --and sometimes worse-- towards the end of your studies if you start concocting a strange mix of classes. You may not even be able to take certain courses if you delay taking "core" courses later than shown on the flowchart. Class schedules are set assuming students will stick to the order of core courses as listed on the curriculum flowchart. Please note that if you want a "structural engineering" concentration, you will have to have taken CE371, CE470, CE473, CE474, CE383, and CE483 before graduating with your BSCE degree.


You may find the schedule of CE classes at useful. Of course, myPurdue system lists all CE courses, too.


The schedule of classes, Purdue-wide, can be found on myPurdue .



Transferring course credits?


If you are planning to transfer course credits you may want to check out the Registrar's website on transferring course credits at


Please consult with the CE Undergraduate Office for questions. I do not know about or have the authority to approve course credit transfers.



In case you may need, here are couple of general help documents from the Office of the Registrar.


·     Frequently Asked Questions about 2014 Summer and 2014 Fall Registrations    


·     Students’ Guide to a Great Semester (a check list to keep everything on track)



See you at your meeting,


Ayhan Irfanoglu


13 March 2014