Class Registration Guide - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

CS Graduate Student Class Registration Guide

Register early but only for the 2-3 courses you plan to take. Signing up for excess courses prevents your fellow students from getting their needed courses and creates unnecessary stress.

You can find the date registration opens each semester on the Registrar’s website.

  • Once registration opens, check your time ticket window in myPurdue for when you can register. Register as soon as possible.
  • If you cannot register before the semester starts, it is highly recommended that you do so by the end of the first week of classes when additional approvals are not required and before the $200 Late Registration Fee begins.
  • Always review your schedule at the start of the semester to check for changes.
  • Students are ultimately responsible for their schedule. If you are adding, dropping, or modifying a course, you need to follow up to confirm your schedule changes are complete.

Tuition is billed a couple weeks before classes start and is due in full by the first day of classes, unless you’ve made arrangements for a payment plan with the Bursar’s office. Students receiving tuition remission will be responsible for miscellaneous fees, but remission should be credited by the week prior to classes.

Once registered, you will not have access to the course material until the first day of classes.  All courses should be hosted on the Brightspace platform.


It is critically important to adhere to the established deadlines. Students are solely responsible for meeting these deadlines. Because dates can change, here are the websites that have the most recent information on the following deadlines:

Office of the Registrar Calendars

This contains Academic Calendars and Drop/Add Refund & Deadline Calendars.

Grad School Calendar of Events, Dates & Deadlines

This contains candidacy registration deadlines, POS deadlines for graduation, defense/deposit deadlines, etc. See Graduation Candidacy Information for information regarding candidacy registration.

Registration Process

Make sure you have no holds on your account that will prevent registration. You can check this in myPurdue.  You need to address the hold with the department that put the hold on your account, as that is the only department that can remove the hold. Please see the Office of the Registrar Holds webpage that discusses holds and how to remove them.

All CS graduate students should use 999999 as their registration PIN.

Log in to myPurdue and click on "View the schedule of classes" to locate course numbers and CRN #s. Check if you need signature and/or approval for course overrides for courses outside of CS.  Make sure you register in an on-campus course; if it says "CMP=PWL," that means the course is available for students at the West Lafayette campus. If “Lecture” is listed as course type, which indicates that it is an on-campus lecture course.  Do not register in any course marked “distance learning” with ‘CEC’ as the campus location; those are reserved for students in fully online programs, and have extra fees involved that are not covered by RA/TA fee remits. Special permission is needed from the Purdue Online department to register in the CEC sections.

If you are a Master’s thesis or PhD student, set up a meeting with your major professor to determine your course schedule and then enter your registration through myPurdue, using the scheduling assistantYOU and your major professor are responsible for following your Plan of Study, area exam conditions (PhD), etc.

Some courses allow you to audit a course or change to pass/no pass. Please see Office of the Registrar's Grad Mode Changes webpage on how to change the grade mode of a course. Please keep in mind that auditing a course, will need instructor permission, and will cost the same as taking the course for a grade. A course taken as ‘audit’ cannot be used to meet degree requirements, and it does not count toward registered credits for international student registration guidelines.

If you elect to change the grade mode to pass/no pass, you’ll need to receive a ‘C-‘ or higher to receive a ‘P’, but the course cannot be used to meet degree requirements (only letter-graded courses can appear on your plan of study). Also, when changing grade-mode, per Grad School policy, you can only retake a course in the same grade mode as originally taken (ex: If you take a course as pass/no pass, you can only retake it as pass/no pass; you cannot retake it for a letter grade.) We recommend you consider dropping a course if needed, instead of taking a course as pass/no pass, as you could then retake the course in a future semester for a grade.

To register for a course with a variable title (such as an individual study), you need to submit your request using the scheduling assistant (as of July 2021, the Form VT is no longer used). For instructions, please watch the YouTube video "How to Request a Variable Title Course."

Students registering for an individual study course are reminded that the course must be titled (30 characters or less) and taken in regular grade mode (not P/NP) if the course is planned for inclusion on a plan of study.

The request will route through the workflow and your instructor will need to approve the request first, then your academic advisor and department designee will approve in the system. The registrar’s office will be the final approver. Once the registrar’s office has approved and it posts to your schedule, you need to confirm that everything posted as expected, as changes can be made during the approval process. For instructions on how to verify your request, please watch the YouTube video "How to confirm the creation of a Variable Title Course request" and make sure that everything posted as you expected.

(Please note:  This process is for Variable Title course requests only, not Research registration. Please see #9 regarding the 2-step process for Research registration.)

If you are being funded by at least a quarter-time research, teaching, or graduate professional assistantship or a Purdue fellowship that is administered as an assistantship, you are required to register for at least 6 credit hours of coursework and/or research in spring/fall semesters (3 credit hours in the summer). Registration should be completed before the end of the first week of classes, or your funding could be in jeopardy.

Thesis research registration is a 2-step process accomplished via the scheduling assistant within myPurdue. Make sure to do both steps! 

  • Step 1 - Request Research Registration

    Include a note as to who your research professor is and the number of research credits you intend to register for with the request. If name and CRN do not match, the request will be denied. This video shows how to add a course.

  • Step 2 - Modify the Credits

    Once registration posts to your schedule, you need to go in and modify the # of credits to the agreed upon number. This video shows how to request a change in research credits.

Check your schedule to confirm that you are registered for the research, with the correct number of credits, with the correct professor, once everything posts. (Form 23’s are no longer used to register for research.)

You are charged for research credits just like lecture credits. If you plan to be conducting research off campus for more than 22 days, you’ll need to request permission to do so. Visit this website for details: Change of Duty Station Request - Managerial Accounting Services - Purdue University.

Are you planning on graduating this semester? Congratulations! Please see our Graduation-Candidacy page on how to register as a candidate for graduation.

Double-check your class list in myPurdue, under "Concise Student Schedule", once your course registration and research registration has posted (coursework, research, candidacy). It’s best to make sure there are no errors at the beginning of a semester when adjustments can still be made.

Tips for Students

  • Students are ultimately responsible for their schedule. If you are adding, dropping, or modifying a course, you need to follow up to confirm your schedule changes are complete.
  • When emailing any person or office at the university, always include the full name associated with your Purdue record and your PUID.
  • For fast answers to your questions, check the department/office website before emailing to ask a question. Many websites have answers to common questions.
  • If you email multiple people the same question, do not send separate emails. Send one email to everyone so the most appropriate person can reply.

Course Selection Advice for New Graduate Students

Selecting your graduate courses involves your personal career goals, the requirements of your major professor, and the CS and Graduate School requirements. PhD and MS thesis students will select their courses in close collaboration with their major professor based on research interests. Non-thesis MS students, however, will select their courses primarily on their own career goals. The following advice is intended primarily to assist new MS students who are not research assistants.

Review the myPurdue Course Catalog to prepare a list of all courses of interest to you. Select the appropriate semesters to ‘look forward’ to the next semester, and ‘look backward’ to previous semesters to get a more complete picture of all courses offered for the whole year. Read the course descriptions carefully and take note of which semester(s) the course is offered. Organize this list into a semester-by-semester table, carefully noting the semesters (Spring, Summer, Fall) when courses are offered. It is recommended to always have a back-up plan as courses are not guaranteed to be offered, even if they were offered in a previous like semester.

Very few graduate courses are offered during the summer. This is particularly true of CS, where typically none are offered in the summer. However, a few Math (MA) courses are offered in the summer. Factor this into your planning. Remember that summer courses are condensed, as they’re usually offered for 8 weeks instead of 16.

If you want to do a MS thesis and are interested in a professor’s research (do your homework), and have not already formed a relationship with that professor, one strategy is to enroll in a course(s) taught by this professor as early as possible. Typically, graduate courses taught by professors are related to their research. Another option would be to seek attendance at group research meetings with permission from the professor. This will give you a chance to work with the professor, for them to get to know you, and to prepare you for research with that professor if the opportunity arises. This also will be an opportunity to discuss your graduate program with the professor and seek advice on future courses.

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2022 3:13 PM

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

Phone: (765) 494-6010 • Fax: (765) 494-0739

Copyright © 2024 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | DOE Degree Scorecards

Trouble with this page? Accessibility issues? Please contact the College of Science.