MS Plan Instructions - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

Instructions for Filing a Plan of Study for the MS Degree

  1. Know the requirements for the MS Degree.

  2. Read the relevant parts of the Policies and Procedures Manual for Administering Graduate Student Programs.

  3. You should submit your plan of study as early as is feasible but:
    • Not later than April 1st if you want to receive the degree in the following August or December
    • Not later than November 1st if you want to receive the degree in the following May.

    Allow ample time for reviewing the plan, resolving problems, and obtaining the necessary approvals. Missing our deadline could delay your graduation or result in a late fee.

  4. Create the plan.

    • Students are encouraged to utilize the “MS Plan of Study Worksheet” to assist with the course planning process:
    • The official plan of study form is available through myPurdue:
      1. myPurdue website
      2. Academic
      3. “Graduate School Plan of Study”
      4. Log on with career account
      5. “Plan of Study Generator”
      6. “Create New Plan of Study”


    • If you want to transfer courses from other institutions, you would do well to initiate the process before submitting a plan. Read the Course Transfer Instructions (PDF) and submit the material to the graduate secretary in LWSN 1137.

    • The final plan will be routed electronically for the necessary approvals in the department and finally for the approval of the Graduate School.

    • Do not submit a new plan in lieu of revising an approved plan.
  5. On the form:

    • Department = Computer Science
    • Degree Title = Master of Science
    • Concentration: Leave blank unless you are in the Information and Cybersecurity (ISCY) program or an organized interdisciplinary program such as Computational Science and Engineering, Computational Life Sciences, or Statistics - Computer Science Joint Masters.
    • Research Area: Need not be specified but is appropriate if you have chosen the thesis option.
    • Courses:
      • For the area of courses, select "Primary" for core course and "Related" for other courses.
      • Course titles should agree with those on your grade reports and transcripts. Unacceptable are: "VT", "Topics in Computer Sciences", "Seminar on Topics in Computer Sciences", or the like, used by the registrar when the student and instructor fail to submit a title for an individual study course (or other variable-title course).
      • Do not list:
        • CS 69800
        • CS 69900
        • undergraduate courses
        • graduate courses used to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements (anywhere), except for the three courses permitted in the Five-Year BS-MS program
        • courses used to fulfill requirements for another master's degree (anywhere)
        • courses that will cause you to have courses from more than one master's program on a doctoral plan of study
        • courses graded on an S/U or P/N basis
      • Courses from other departments must be materially related to computer science. After you submit the plan, the Graduate Committee will decide which are acceptable in the context of the whole plan. Consult the Approved Courses List.
      • For each individual study course (at most two), you must submit a detailed one page course description (PDF) approved and signed by the instructor to the CS graduate office before you are given permission to submit the plan as “final”. Individual study courses are not acceptable under the thesis option.
      • Do not select "B or better" unless you are asked to do so.
    • Language requirements: Leave blank. The department has no English or foreign language requirement for the master's degree.
    • Committee:
      • If you are in the Statistics-Computer Science Joint Masters, you must form an advisory committee consisting of three faculty members, including at least one with a primary appointment in Statistics and at least one with a primary appointment in CS. The CS graduate committee must approve the advisory committee.
      • If you are in any other non-thesis master's program, the role of the advisory committee will be fulfilled by the chair of the Graduate Committee (Prof. Kihong Park for 2023-24).
      • If you are in the regular master's program with the thesis option, the advisory committee should consist of the supervisor of the research plus two (or more) other faculty members, agreed upon by you and the supervisor, who are willing to serve. Qualified faculty from other departments may serve on the committee but may not form a majority of it. Committee members from outside Purdue may be approved but must be supernumerary.
  6. After your plan has been approved by the Graduate School, you should check the plan every semester until you have completed all the requirements listed on it.

  7. Approved plans of study can usually be changed even as late as a few weeks after the beginning of the term of graduation. A typical reason for changing a plan is to replace a course by a more interesting or more beneficial course. Sometimes a course must be replaced because it is not available or is scheduled in conflict with another course on the plan. Replacing a course because of a bad grade is not normally permitted.

Last Updated: Jun 30, 2023 5:00 PM

Department of Computer Science, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

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