Plan of Study
The Plan of Study is a list of all the courses you plan to take or have taken to fulfill the requirements for the degree. The Department, the Office of Graduate Education, and the Registrar's Office refer to your Plan of Study when they check whether you are fulfilling the degree requirements. When it comes time for you to graduate, the Registrar's Office will compare your Plan of Study with your transcript, to be certain that you took the courses you were supposed to.
The form is available online. You can print out the pdf version at http://www.rpi.edu/dept/grad/docs/pos02.PDF and fill it out by hand, or you can download the Word version at http://www.rpi.edu/dept/grad/docs/pos02.doc and fill it out in Word. Alternatively, you can get a hard copy version from Terry Hayden in Lally 208.
Your Plan of Study should indicate that you will be fulfilling the following requirements:
For a Masters's Degree:
When listing the required courses, place a check in the "Required" column. When listing the courses taken toward the breadth requirement, please list which group they apply to in the "Required" column.
For a PhD
Both MS and PhD
If you are pursuing both an M.S. and a Ph.D., you should file separate Plans of Study for each degree. Up to 24 credits may appear on both forms.
PhD Plan of Study for students with MS
If you have an MS already, you only need 48 additional credits for a PhD (including at least 12 course credits and at least 24 research credits), but your Plan of Study must still total 72 credits.
If you received your MS elsewhere, enter the degree on a line of the Plan of Study form, including the name of the school and the discipline. Write 24 as the number of credits on that line, so that your the 24 MS credits plus the 48 PhD credits total 72.
If you received (or will receive) your MS at RPI, then you should list all 72 credits on the PhD Plan of Study. Up to 24 of the credits on your PhD Plan of Study may also appear on your MS Plan of Study.
The Plan of Study lists all the credits that fulfill the requirements for the degree. You may end up taking more credits than are required. If so, you won't list everything you took on the Plan of Study.
For MS students, your credits might not add up exactly to 30. If your total credits add up to something like 35, then you probably need to remove a course from your Plan of Study. However, if your credits add up to 31, if you removed a course, you'd fall below 30, so it's okay for you stay at 31.
You may count up to 24 transfer credits toward your PhD or up to six transfer credits toward your MS. Use the transfer credit approval form to get the transfer credits approved. See Professor David Goldschmidt for the department approval signature. When the transfer credit is approved, you will get RPI course numbers for the courses for which you have transfer credit. Use these RPI course numbers to list the courses on your Plan of Study.
Completing the form
After discussing your plan of study with your advisor, you should fill out the form. It may be handwritten, but it should be neat and easy to read. It should not be filled in with pencil. You will probably have to revise your Plan of Study several times, so it will be easier to make revisions if you complete the form in Word rather than handwrite it.
On the Plan of Study, you should list all the credits you will count toward your degree (not necessarily all credits you have taken). You should list the course number with subject prefix (e.g. CSCI) and course title.
The form must be signed by you, your advisor, and the Graduate Program Director. You can have Terry Hayden check your form before your advisor signs it. After you and your advisor sign the form, leave the form with Terry. She will get the Graduate Program Director signature, and then will make copies. She will send the original to the Registrar's Office, send a copy to the Office of Graduate Education, and keep a copy for your file.
If the courses you end up taking are different from those listed on the Plan of Study, you must file a revised Plan of Study form. If the only change is the date of graduation, but the courses you take stay the same, you do not need to file a new Plan of Study.