Graduation Guide

All degree seeking PNW graduate students are required to submit an electronic plan of study (EPOS) during their second to last semester in their program.


The electronic plan of study (EPOS) serves as a contract between the student, their advisory committee, and the Graduate School.  It lists the courses that the student expects to take for their degree program, any concentration(s) the student is pursuing, the faculty members who will mentor the student throughout their study and other key degree-related items. The student is responsible for submitting the final EPOS to the Graduate School, one approved by the student’s academic advisor.

Plan of Study Generator (Click “Graduate School” Tab)

Electronic Plan of Study Instructions (1.3 MB PDF)


  • Each master’s degree EPOS consists of a primary area and one or more related areas. Both the primary area and the related area(s) are based on the relationship of the course content and not on the departmental course prefix.
  • In addition to coursework requirements, each student may need to complete a research requirement (thesis or directed project).
  • The development of the EPOS should begin as early as possible. However, graduate students will not have access to the Plan of Study Generator until after they have completed their first semester as a degree-seeking student. The student’s Academic Advisor will discuss the student’s background, interests and degree objectives as part of the preparation for the first enrollment. The Advisor will then suggest courses appropriate for the student’s interests.
  • The EPOS must list all courses the student will take to meet the degree requirements. These include the names for the primary and related areas of study; the course number, course title and credits for each course; the date when the course was or will be completed; and the research area. The plan of study is signed by each member of the advisory committee and the student. After review by your program, the plan is then submitted to the Graduate School for formal approval.
  • Upon approval by the Graduate School, the EPOS becomes a contract among the student, the admitting program and the Graduate School. When all requirements of the plan of study are completed satisfactorily, the student is awarded the master’s degree.
  • You should periodically review the EPOS and the progress of its completion with your Academic Advisor. After the EPOS is on file, committee and course changes can be made at any time up until graduation.
  • When using the EPOS, changes can be accomplished by clicking on the Create Change Request link available next to an approved plan of study. The Change Request link will initiate a Change Request form. These procedures all occur electronically.
  • It is important to remember that submitting an EPOS as a draft simply makes it available to view by the Plan of Study Coordinator in a student’s department. The EPOS must be submitted as FINAL by the student in order for it begin the review and approval process.

Five-Year Rule

Course credits earned by a student whose graduate study and/or professional activity have been inactive for five years or more cannot be used on a plan of study for an advanced degree. A plan of study approved prior to such a period of inactivity is invalid. A preliminary examination passed prior to such a period of inactivity is invalid.

Readmission is granted by the Director of the Graduate School. The Director of the Graduate School will notify students who have been readmitted, and a copy of the readmission letter will be sent to the department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check one and leave the additional course unchecked.

  1. Print a copy of your unofficial transcript and current schedule.
  2. Enter courses that are missing as Future Courses.
  3. Make sure the course numbers (not CRNs) and course names that you put in your Plan of Study match exactly what appears on your transcript.

Your committee must be entered with one chair and possibly two members, as required. The EPOS will not allow a chair and two co-chairs. Some departments require only one chair.

You will only see the names of graduate faculty members from your own department. The names of faculty from other departments are searchable. Students in ECE and ME may need to use IDE as a search.

When you have completed your EPOS, submit as FINAL.  Do not submit your plan as a draft.