FAQs for Current Graduate Students

When do I need to submit my plan of study?

How far in advance do I need to plan for graduating?

How far in advance do I need to plan for a thesis/dissertation defense?

When should I petition for a course substitution?

What publications and information is available from the Graduate School Web site?

Do I have to be registered at Purdue the semester I plan to graduate?

What is the "five-year rule" for substituting/transferring courses taken previous to your admission to graduate study in HDFS?

To whom do I listen if I get conflicting information?

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?

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 HDFS 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). There must be two full registered sessions between when the preliminary exam is passed and when the final exam is taken.

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.

When should I petition for a course substitution?

You should petition for a course substitution when you have taken a course at another institution or Purdue department that is similar to a required course in HDFS. See the HDFS Graduate Manual for documentation requirements for petitions. All petitions for course substitutions must be approved by the student's advisor and, when appropriate, include the Course Substitution Request form (the graduate secretary can help with this request form). A syllabus from the course the student is using for the substitution must also accompany the petition. Petitions based on work completed prior to coming to Purdue must be submitted to the Graduate Committee during the first year of residence at Purdue. Petitions for substitutions based on work to be completed at Purdue must be submitted before the work has begun.

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 (HDFS 69800) or dissertation research (HDFS 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 HDFS Graduate Manual, go with the HDFS Graduate Manual, but inform your Advisor and Graduate Committee. If the conflict is between the Graduate School or the Thesis Manual and the HDFS Graduate Manual, then go with the Graduate School, but inform the Graduate Committee.

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.

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