Graduate & Professional Program Overview


Purdue Graduate Programs in Science

Purdue Master of Science degrees are offered in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology. An Indiana University Master of Science degree is offered in geology. Departments in the School of Science strive to provide programs that serve the state and surrounding community, and students should consult their departments for any new programs or program emphases. Master’s programs are at least 30 credit hours (some programs require more) and may be either non-thesis or thesis degrees. A Purdue Ph.D. is offered in clinical rehabilitation psychology. Purdue Ph.D. degrees, with all the work completed at IUPUI, are offered through West Lafayette in all departments except geology. For further information on Ph.D. programs, consult the “School of Science” section of this bulletin.

General Admission Requirements

Students seeking graduate degrees in the School of Science will be admitted as degree-seeking graduate students if they meet the following general qualifications:

  1. They ordinarily will be expected to hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  2. They must submit an official transcript from each college or university attended. Other evidence of academic accomplishment and aspirations may be required by some departments. Three letters of recommendation are required.
  3. For unconditional admission to a degree program, a B or higher average in prior study is required. Individual departments may set higher grade requirements and may require the submission of additional evidence of academic performance.
  4. A minimal score of 79 on the internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), 213 on the computer-based TOEFL), or 550 on the paper-based TOEFL is required for all international applicants whose native language is not English. Some departments may have higher standards. Applicants may substitute the IUPUI English as a Second Language (ESL) Placement Examination for the TOEFL in some circumstances, with the approval of the International Office and the Graduate Office. A brochure about this test is available from the Office of International Affairs, ES 2126, or online from the Educational Testing Service (
  5. All graduate students who are nonnative speakers of English who are being offered positions that involve direct student contact are required to take the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) Test administered by the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. Students must receive a score of at least 40 to be approved for direct student contact. Departments can provide further information about this test.
Graduate Record Exams

All degree-seeking applicants are encouraged to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Most programs in the School of Science require this examination. Specific GRE score requirements are specified by each department.

General Requirements for Degree Completion

Once a student is admitted to a graduate degree program in the School of Science, there are several general requirements to complete a degree.

  1. Each student must file a plan of study that includes a primary area and may include a related area or areas that are chosen on the basis of the student’s interests and needs. A tentative plan of study should be drawn up in advance of registration for the first semester of graduate work. The student and the individual graduate advisor should prepare this plan. The formal plan of study should be submitted as soon as possible and before the final semester.
  2. Only grades of A+ to C are acceptable in fulfilling Graduate School requirements in any plan of study. An advisory committee or department may require higher performance than C in certain courses. A grade of “Pass” is not acceptable. Specific cumulative grade point average requirements, if any, are up to the individual departments.
  3. Students must complete the credit hours of work required, which may vary by department. Students must meet the Graduate School’s resident study requirements.
  4. Students must fulfill departmental requirements regarding oral and written examinations. The Graduate School has no general requirement for oral and written examinations for the non-thesis master’s degree. In any department, a final examination may be waived if the student meets the minimum requirements of the department. In any event, a final examining committee is appointed for each candidate for the master’s degree. The committee must certify to the Graduate School either that the student has passed the required examinations of the department in which the major graduate study has been taken or that the committee is satisfied with the accomplishment of the student as based on a committee conference. Ph.D. programs all require qualifying examinations early in the course of study. After the student has completed most of the formal study to the satisfaction of the advisory committee, the student becomes eligible to take the preliminary examination. The results of these written and oral examinations are reported to the Graduate School by the examining committee with an appropriate recommendation for the student’s admission to candidacy, continued preparatory study, or discontinuation. All Ph.D. programs require a Ph.D. thesis.

Other regulations or requirements may be found in the Purdue and Indiana University Graduate School bulletins and in the section of this bulletin for the School of Science.

Graduate Nondegree Status

A student who has previously earned a bachelor’s degree may enroll in graduate courses without submitting a formal application as a degree-seeking student. Application as a graduate nondegree student is, however, required and may be accomplished through the IUPUI Graduate Office, Union Building 207; phone (317) 274-1577, or preferably online by visiting  A maximum of 12 credit hours of courses completed as a graduate nondegree student may be used in completing the requirements of a Purdue degree upon acceptance as a degree-seeking student and upon departmental approval.

Financial Support

All departments in the School of Science offer some financial support available in the form of tuition-refund assistantships, associate faculty positions, fellowships, and stipends from local industry.

Industrial and Business Co-op Programs

Several departments in the School of Science have co-op programs associated with their degrees. In co-op programs, research is conducted at the university and at a local industrial laboratory or business. The project is usually the result of a collaborative arrangement between a faculty member and an industrial scientist or a business firm. These programs provide workplace experience and an opportunity to participate in research applied to special industry and business needs.

Geology Graduate Program

Consult the Indiana University Graduate School and the Department of Geology within the School of Science section of this bulletin for information about this IU program. A maximum of 9 credit hours of course work completed as a graduate nondegree student may be used in completing the requirements of a degree upon acceptance as a degree-seeking student and upon departmental approval.