FAQs for Current Graduate Students
When do I need to submit my plan of study?
You must have your Plan of Study submitted and approved the semester BEFORE you want to graduate (see the Graduate Manual for Fall and Spring semester Plan of Study deadlines) for Master's students. Doctoral students must have their Plan of Study submitted and approved the semester BEFORE taking prelims. To avoid problems, students should submit their Plan of Study during their second semester.
How far in advance do I need to plan for graduating?
To get on the graduation list the semester you want to graduate, you must inform the graduate secretary or check "candidate" on your Registration Form (Registrar Form 23).
How far in advance do I need to plan for a thesis/dissertation defense?
Three weeks before the date you and your committee members have agreed upon for your defense, you must give the Graduate Secretary the following information: date, time, location, committee member names, and title of thesis/dissertation. Failure to notify the Graduate Secretary by the deadline may mean that your final examination must be delayed.
What is the difference between substituting and waiving a course?
You should petition for a substitution when you have taken a course at another institution or department that is similar to a required course in HDFS. You should petition to waive a course when you have previous experience but no coursework related to a required course in HDFS. See the Graduate Manual for documentation requirements for petitions. All petitions (especially for core courses) should be submitted during the first semester in the graduate program.
How is petitioning for a core course substitution different from a specialization course substitution?
Core course substitutions must be approved by the Graduate Committee only. Specialization course substitutions must first be approved by the area faculty before being approved by the Graduate Committee Chairperson. All petitions for course substitutions must be approved by the student's advisor and the instructor for the course at Purdue. A syllabus from the course the student is using for the substitution must also accompany the petition. See Graduate Manual for more information about petitions.
What publications and information is available from the Graduate School Web site?
- Manual for the Preparation of Graduate Theses
- Policies and Procedures Manual for Administering Graduate Student Programs
- Tips for Graduate Living
- Graduate Education at Purdue
- Deadlines for holding final examinations (thesis/dissertation defenses) and depositing the theses/dissertation
- Funding information
Do I have to be registered at Purdue the semester I plan to graduate?
Yes. You must either be registered for a minimum of 1 credit of either thesis research (CDFS 69800) or dissertation research (CDFS 69900) or be registered for Exam Only or Degree Only. NOTE: Students who fail to register for three consecutive semesters are dropped from the Graduate School and must reapply.
What is the Five Year Rule for substituting/transferring courses taken previous to your admission to graduate study in HDFS?
Course credits earned by students whose graduate study and professional activity have been inactive five or more years cannot be used on the Plan of Study. Students who have remained professionally active during that time may petition to use courses taken five or more years ago.
To whom do I listen if I get conflicting information?
If the conflict is between your advisor and the Graduate Manual, go with the Graduate Manual. If the conflict is between the Graduate School or the Thesis Manual and the Graduate Manual, then the Graduate Secretary will determine who has the final say.
Do I have to be registered if I am only working on my dissertation while I have an off-campus job or internship?
Students need to be registered for dissertation research credits (CDFS 69900) if they are working on their dissertations, regardless of their other activities or location. Not being registered will result in difficulty with the Graduate School in setting defense dates, and students should assume they will be required to register retroactively in order to defend. It may be worthwhile to check into "research in absentia" status if you will be in this situation (see Graduate Secretary about this). Students doing their internship cannot apply for research in absentia.
How does having a master's degree from another university prior to earning a Purdue master's degree affect my plan of study at either the master's or doctoral level?
Coursework from a previous master's degree cannot be used to substitute for Purdue courses on a master's plan of study. Coursework from only ONE master's program can be used on a doctoral plan of study.