Student Academics and Personal Life

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Instructor/Teaching Assistant Certification Process

In order to work with students’ grades in an assistantship role, graduate students must first become FERPA certified. FERPA is a federal law guaranteeing students the right of privacy regarding their personal data, including scores and grades.  

Depending on other roles a graduate student may encounter while obtaining their graduate degree, additional training certificates may need to be completed. All possible certifications and processes are described on the above linked web page.

For Resolving Student Academic Problems, Issues, and Conflicts

Incidents of Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment

The Graduate School wants to make sure that all graduate students are aware of ways to report concerns related to sexual harassment.  Purdue’s Office of Institutional Equity, located in Young Hall (10th Floor) is best positioned to receive and explore allegations regarding sexual harassment as well as other forms of harassment, discrimination, and unfair treatment.  The Office of Institutional Equity suggests two electronic ways for you to share your concerns:

  1. First, the Sexual Assault Report Form may also be used to share concerns of sexual harassment.  Information on the form also provides contact information for the Purdue University Police Department should a student be in need of emergency assistance.  When submitted, this report is received by the Office of Institutional Equity and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
  2. Second, the Incident Reporting Form provides a way to report a wider range of conduct concerns.  When submitted, this report is received by the Office of the Dean of Students.  When appropriate or needed, the report is shared with the Office of Institutional Equity.

Likewise, staff in the Office of Institutional Equity are available to meet with graduate students and others in the campus community to discuss concerns connected to harassment or discrimination.  You may make an appointment via email at or by calling 494-7253. Finally, the University’s complete policies and procedures relating to harassment are available online through the Office of Institutional Equity.

Office of the Dean Of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students provides a wide variety of student services to help graduate students work their way through academic (and personal) problems, issues, and conflicts. They are located in the center of campus in Schleman Hall.

Purdue University Ombudsman Office

The Purdue University Ombudsman is an unbiased third party to mediate disputes between graduate students and their program. The service offers two venues for you to gain assistance in resolving such problems and conflicts.

  • Since July 1, 2004, the Graduate School has offered an ombudsman to assist graduate students, faculty, and staff. Associate Dean Tom Atkinson serves as the Graduate School ombudsman. Dr. Atkinson regularly interacts with people, mostly graduate students, on a range of issues and concerns connected to graduate education.
  • Since Fall 2009, the Graduate School has offered peer ombudsmen to assist graduate students. These ombudsmen are trained graduate students who provide a peer's perspective regarding a student's concern. The Graduate School hopes to increase the access graduate students have to ombudsman resources through peer ombudsmen.

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism 

Among its many student services, the Office of the Dean of Students (in Schleman Hall) deals with issues of scholastic dishonesty and plagiarism.

Grade Appeals

Purdue University has a very formal process that MUST be followed precisely in the event of a dispute on the final grade received for a course. That process is describe in the above link.

For Student Quality of Life, Outside of Class

Purdue University is proud of its hometown of West Lafayette, Indiana.  Along with the neighboring city of Lafayette, we are known as Greater Lafayette, combine big city arts and entertainment with  small town charm, convenience, and affordability. Purdue University is located near several major metropolitan cities including Indianapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati.

The Purdue Graduate Student Government organization (PGSG) has put together this document, Tips for Graduate Living, to describe things to do in Lafayette and Indiana, places to live, and important transportation tips. It is a PDF file. We suggest you print it out and keep it available in your residence at all times.

Graduate Student Housing

The above link provides information about a variety of affordable housing options available both on-campus and off-campus.

Graduate Students with Families

Spouses of graduate students enjoy many benefits from Purdue and the surrounding community. Benefits include reduced tuition, health insurance, and reduced membership fees at the Purdue Recreational Sports Center. 

The university also provides options for child care. Visit that page for more information.

Personal Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Purdue offers a variety of personal counseling and psychological services to its students. Visit the CAPS page for more information.

Span Plan Adult Student Services

Although SPAN focuses on non-traditional UNDERGRADUATE students at Purdue University, this information was included as a possible resource for non-traditional GRADUATE students as well.  The staff of the Span Plan Adult Student Services Program is committed to assisting and encouraging adult, nontraditional students at Purdue University. The definition of a Purdue University adult student includes any undergraduate student meeting one of the following three criteria:

  • A student who experienced a minimum three year break between completing high school and attending higher education
  • A student who experienced an interruption of two or more years while pursuing higher education
  • A student who is married and/or a parent