M.S. Completion Steps

Steps in a CIT Graduate Student's Program

  1. During Semester 1 - When offered, complete CIT Research Seminar course (CNIT 58100-CIT) in first semester. Repeat in second semester if you have not yet identified a research or direct project area of focus.
  2. During Semester 1 - Select a major professor. This is usually the same as your initial faculty advisor (in your letter of admission), and if so, that person has already agreed to be your major professor. But you may change major professor if you choose to do your research or directed project in a different area. When changing major professors, the new major professor must agree to serve in that capacity. A new faculty member is not obligated to accept your proposal that s/he become your new major professor. Faculty have a limited capacity to mentor graduate students.
  3. By the End of Semester 2 - Select the remainder of your faculty advisory committee. Again, your major professor is the chair. The other faculty members can come from any college, school, or department in Purdue, or from other universities or companies as approved by by the Graduate School. All members must have an earned masters degree (to serve on an M.S. committee), or earn earned doctorate degree (to serve on a Ph.D. committee). The CIT Graduate Faculty listing is available on the menu for this web page. It clearly indicates which CIT faculty can serve on which types of student committees. You must have at least two other professors in addition to your chair. You may need more faculty members to bring the.necessary expertise to your research or directed project. Committees can be modified as needed.
  4. By the End of Semester 2 - Develop your Plan of Study by the end of the second semester. Your major professor (committee chair) is one resource. There are other resources on this web page to explain the degree requirements and how to file your plan of study.
  5. By the End of Semester 2 - File your electronic Plan of Study (ePOS). There are late fees for failure to complete this step before your last semester. After it has been electronically filed and approved, you will be allowed to make changes without late fees. The only change you cannot make is to replace a course in which you received a grade of D or F. In that case, you must repeat the course.
  6. During Semester 3 - For thesis and directed project students, establish your examining committee. This is almost always the same as your faculty advisory committee (above). Any changes are usually the result of changes in research or project direction, or the need to bring additional faculty expertise into your research or directed project.
  7. During Semester 3 - Develop your thesis or directed project proposal (CNIT 69800 or 59800, respectively -- usually 1-2 credits). Most students simultaneously complete TECH 64600 because that course uses the proposal as its semester project. Thus, you can complete two requirements simultaneously. You almost always must complete the proposal the semester before you start writing your final thesis, or starting your directed project.
  8. By the End of Semester 3 - Defend your proposal to your examining committee. This must occur in your next to last semester.
  9. During Semester 4 - After your proposal is approved, complete your research or directed project, and write your thesis or direct project report (CNIT 69800 or 59800, respectively -- remaining credits as required). If your research extends into additional semesters, you must sign up for at least one additional credit of CNIT 59800 (directed project), or CNIT 69800 (thesis) in each semester. 

    IMPORTANT RESTRICTION: It is required that the proposal and thesis/project, respectively, be completed in separate semesters. You cannot do the proposal and thesis.project in one semester. This is a quality management policy.

  10. By the End of Week 3 in Your Last Semester - You must declare your degree candidacy. Each semester, the university declares a deadline for completing this step, and late fees or delays to the next semester may result if you miss the deadlines.  See Stacy Lane in the main CIT office to declare your degree candidacy the first week.  After that, you have to register for candidacy yourself -- Stacy can explain how.  There is an absolute deadline to declaring candidacy.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you declare candidacy in more than two semesters without graduating in those semesters, there is a financial penalty for each subsequent semester to declare candidacy. Why? Because after declaring candidacy, a lot of processes get started, and these processes cost considerable effort and money.

  11. ASAP During Last Semester -- Schedule the following meetings early, to occur near the end of the final semester: (a) thesis deposit, (b) thesis/directed project oral defense, and (c) thesis/direct project written format advising. You must do the first Directed projects only require the format review meeting.

    INSTRUCTIONS: The thesis deposit is scheduled through the Graduate School's web site (not to be confused with our graduate web site). It only applies to theses; not directed projects. You want as late a time slot as possible, so register early -- ideally the first week of the semester!

    INSTRUCTIONS: The thesis/directed project oral defense (called the 'final exam') is scheduled through Stacy Lane in our CIT Department main office.  You must schedule the oral defense at least two weeks prior to its scheduled date - no exceptions; the Graduate School rejects all defenses that do not provide this advance notice.

  12. A Few Days Prior to Your Defense - Meet with your program's Thesis and Directed Project Format Advisor  to review your final written report's compliance with university format requirements. Your report will also be checked for plagiarism using a external software service.
  13. Defend your thesis or directed project to your examining committee. This oral defense is also called the final exam.  Make changes to your thesis or directed project report as specified by your Examining Committee and your Thesis/DP Format Advisor.
  14. For thesis students only, attend your previously scheduled thesis deposit meeting.
  15. Complete the university exit survey (online).  Your degree can be withheld if you do not complete this survey.
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