Plan of Study Instructions

Plan of Study

A plan of study is an academic contract between a student and the faculty members of the student’s graduate advisory committee, the SoET graduate program, and the Graduate School. The plan of study outlines the courses to be taken, any foreign language requirements, and the advisory committee membership for a student to obtain a specific degree objective with a specific area of specialization (if applicable).

Courses to NOT Include in Your Plan of Study

Each graduate student documents their plan of study in university web application called the electronic Plan of Study (ePos). The ePos must only include regular courses for which an A, B, or C grade will be earned.  The electronic Plan of Study must NOT include courses for which a satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) grade will be earned, even if those courses are required for the degree.  These courses include:

  • TECH 598 (Directed MS Project)
  • TECH 698 (Research MS Thesis)

Plan of Study:

  1. Recruit your graduate faculty advisory committee conferring with your major professor.  This committee is required to approve your plan of study.  The committee is composed of faculty members appropriate to your professional and research interests, it’s strongly suggested to have a faculty committee member from outside the students home academic unit.  For guidance on selecting your committee members, see Graduate Faculty Committee Guidelines (below).
  2. Develop your DRAFT plan of study with your faculty advisor.  Your Plan of Study needs to be filled before the end of your second semester of enrollment at Purdue.
  3. We strongly recommend that you review your draft plan of study with your graduate faculty committee. Eventually, your committee must unanimously approve your plan of study. This informal review can expedite the process. Informal reviews can be completed by email or meetings.
  4. Review your plan of study’s compliance with requirements published as a Plan of Study Checklist.
  5. Enter your plan of study into the Graduate School’s Electronic Plan of Study (ePos) system.  Again, do not include your thesis/directed project courses (59800 or 69800) in your plan of study.  
  6. You must add a supplemental note called “Educational Intention”.  You are encouraged to add an additional supplemental note to describe your “Professional and/or Research Plans”.
  7. Get permission from your faculty advisor first before formally submitting your plan of study for electronic approval-use the ePos system that is accessed via the myPurdue student web portal (the same portal you use to register for classes and view your final course grades).  Your graduate faculty committee must unanimously approve your plan of study using the work flow system build into ePos.  There are several subsequent electronic approvals required; therefore, allow 10 working days for full approval.  If any approver rejects your plan of study, you will be notified by email. 

Selecting Your Graduate Faculty Committee

Each student must secure a graduate faculty committee consisting of at least three graduate faculty members. Most cases, the initial faculty advisor becomes the chair of the student’s committee; however, the student may recruit an alternate faculty member depending on his or her research and professional interests.  The chair (also called “major professor”) must be a graduate faculty member in the School of Engineering Technology since that is the program from which the degree is to be earned.  The chair must be certified by the Graduate School to serve in that capacity. 

The student must recruit and secure at least two additional graduate faculty members to serve on your committee.  Other than the chair, the remaining graduate faculty may come from any department, college, or school in the university.  Committee members need to be chosen based on their potential to contribute appropriate knowledge, expertise and advice to the student’s thesis or directed project. Strong students elect to have additional graduate faculty on their committee to cover areas of expertise that are important to their planned thesis or directed project.   

Each graduate student is ultimately accountable for recruiting and securing the willingness of graduate faculty members to serve on their committee.  Selection is important to the plan of study because all members of the student’s committee must approve that the plan of study is appropriate to the students professional and research goals.  The committee membership must be recorded on the plan of study to begin the approval process.

Changing Your Plan of Study AFTER Approval

A plan of study can be revised after approval, and the process is simple and relatively quick.  Some of the reasons why a previously approved plan of study might change include:

  • A change of professional goals
  • A change of research goals or topic
  • New course are needed for research or the directed project
  • New graduate courses have become available and are relevant to professional or research goals
  • Previously approved courses will no longer be offered (ENGT)
  • Deleting or Adding another committee member.

If the plan of study contains a course that the student will not be registering for, he/she should confer with the advisory committee and either replace the course or remove the course from the Approved plan.  Modifying a plan of study can be accomplished by clicking on the Create Request link available next to an Approved plan of study.  The Change Request link will initiate a Change Request form.  If a plan of study is still in Outstanding status, and a course needs to be removed. The student should: 1) request that someone who has not signed the electron form, reject the form.  The student can then modify the plan and resubmit.  2) Wait until the plan has gone through the approval process then click on the Create Change Request link and create a Chang Request form. 

Changes to a plan of study are initiated and approved through the ePos system.  The approval process is somewhat shorter.  

Financial Penalties for Filing Your Plan of Study Too Late

You are expected to file a plan of study by the end of your second semester of the plan of study.  If you fail to do so, there is a risk in completing coursework that your committee may ultimately reject.  More importantly, there are university deadlines after which a monetary penalty will be assessed.  A penalty of $200 is assessed if the plan of study has not been fully approved (at all levels) BEFORE the first day of classes of your final semester.  Students should allow ten business days lead-time to secure all approvals.