2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Graduate School

The Graduate School (Graduate Studies Office) oversees all aspects of graduate education at Purdue University Northwest. This includes admissions and records (graduation), new courses, graduate staff employment, and program development. As a unit of the system-wide Graduate School, Purdue University Northwest Graduate School coordinates all activities with Purdue University Graduate School.

Click here for the policies and procedures of the Purdue Graduate School.

Office of Graduate Studies

Office of Graduate Studies, Hammond location, Lawshe Hall Room 212, (219) 989-2257

Mailing Address:
Purdue University Northwest

ATTN: Graduate Studies
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323

Director of Graduate Studies, Hammond location, Lawshe Hall, Room 212, (219) 989-2545.

Email: grad@pnw.edu

Purdue University Northwest’s Hammond location offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice and several master’s degree programs to meet the post-baccalaureate education needs of the area. Graduate Certificates (post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate study) and non-degree graduate study are also available. Selected programs and options are also offered online.

The graduate programs are flexible, to suit the needs of returning students and their employers as well as the needs of traditional graduate students. The programs can also provide development for industry, business and government professionals through focused courses and degrees designed for a wide variety of student ages, schedules, and career paths, including those leading to doctoral study.

Students interested in graduate study should refer to the individual departmental listings of degree requirements elsewhere in this catalog. Correspondence about admission to the Graduate School and inquiries about a specific college or department requirements should be addressed to the head of the college or department to which the applicant seeks admission. General inquiries can be sent to grad@pnw.edu, and the Office of Graduate Studies may be able to provide general information on the programs available.

Admission to the Graduate School

Degree-Seeking Applicants

Applicants for specific graduate degrees must apply for graduate study through the online application located at https://gradapply.purdue.edu/apply/

All applications are first evaluated by a departmental committee at Purdue University Northwest. If recommended for admission, the application is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for final review and approval. An applicant is not officially admitted until notification from the Graduate School is received. Admission letters are emailed to the email address entered by the applicant in the online application system. An email from a department or program that an applicant has been recommended for admission is not an admission to the Graduate School; rather, it is a notice of completion of the first half of the review process.

General Admission Requirements: Individual program’s admission requirements may vary. Please check your specific program for specific requirements.

  1. A four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university.
  2. Graduation index of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0-point scale for unconditional admission (individual departments and colleges may set higher indices). Admission with conditions for continued registration may be available for applicants with undergraduate GPAs which are somewhat below but near 3.0. Please check with your program of interest for these admission requirements.
  3. Other requirements, as detailed by individual departments and colleges: typically, a goal statement or statement of purpose, and/or a copy of any relevant professional license, a resume, or other documents as required by the application.
  4. Test scores or other demonstration of Academic ability for graduate work.

Applicants generally must submit:

  1. A completed online application.
  2. Three letters of recommendation, or as directed by the department or program. Recommenders’ names may be submitted online in the application and the recommendations may be completed in the online system. Hard copy letters of recommendation may also be accepted. Letters of recommendation should be submitted to the program of interest. For admission purposes, copies of the official transcripts of all previous college and university course work completed may be uploaded into the online application. (Some programs require official copies: please check your department of interest for requirements). Electronic transcripts should be submitted to the PNW Graduate Studies Office at grad@pnw.edu. If admitted, the applicant will be required to submit official copies of all transcripts during the first two sessions of enrollment. Please remove any Social Security numbers from documents before uploading, if any are listed on the transcripts.
  3. A $60.00 application fee, payable online by credit card ($75.00 for international students) — details are available in online application.
  4. Other documents as required by the individual department or college (statement of purpose, etc.).
  5. Other evidence of academic performance as required by the individual department or college.
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE), if required by the particular department or college. Consult the individual department or college for additional information.
  7. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) may be required by the College of Business Consult the College of Business for additional information.
  8. For international students, proof of English proficiency.
  9. Further information can be found at the PNW Graduate School’s Web site at: http://academics.pnw.edu/grad-school/.

When to apply

Applications, transcripts, and supporting materials should be submitted to the department or college preferably four months, but not less than one month, before the beginning of the session for which the applicant seeks admission. Some programs have specific deadlines for application. Please check with the department in which admission is sought for information on the specific deadline. Domestic Applicants who are applying outside this guideline should check with the department or program for the possibility of later admission. Applicants to programs which do not run on the traditional university semester may be able to apply for admission after the semester had started, so please check with the program for deadlines for these programs.

International students should check with the International Students Services office for application deadlines.

General Deadlines for International applicants who do not currently hold an F1 visa:

March 1st for Summer Admission
May 15th for Fall Admission
October 1st for Spring Admission

All questions concerning the visa application process or status should be referred to the International Programs Office, International Student Services.

Non-Degree Graduate Status

(Temporary Admission Status)

Students who wish to pursue study beyond the bachelor’s degree, but who may not have a specific degree objective, may take graduate courses by submitting a non-degree application in the online system. In order to be considered for non-degree admission, the applicant should submit:

  1. A completed non-degree online application located at https://gradapply.purdue.edu/apply/. There is no fee for a non-degree graduate application. Applicants may choose non-degree study in a particular program, or choose Graduate Continuing Studies.
  2. Evidence of completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree, such as a copy of the bachelor’s degree final transcript showing the date of degree completion. This copy should be uploaded into the online application for non-degree admission. Please remove any Social Security numbers from documents before uploading, if any are listed on the transcripts.
  3. Note: Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid or Graduate staff Positions.
    Graduate credits earned while in non-degree undergraduate status are not eligible for inclusion in a graduate plan of study, even if earned after completion of the baccalaureate degree.

Certificate Admissions

Students who wish to pursue a graduate certificate must submit a separate online application for the certificate program. An application fee is required for admission to a certificate program. Please check the individual certificates for requirements, but typically the certificate application requires an upload of a copy of an official transcript of undergraduate academic work. The application for certificate study can be found at https://gradapply.purdue.edu/apply/

Twelve Credit Rule

No more than 12 hours of graduate credit earned as a non-degree-seeking student may be applied to a graduate degree plan of study. If an applicant for a regular degree program is approved during the semester in which the student is enrolled for the twelfth credit hour as a non-degree student, all credits completed prior to and during that semester are eligible for inclusion in the plan of study. However, the courses must be appropriate for the degree and be acceptable to the department or college. Students who fail to gain admission as degree-seeking students in a timely fashion may lose credit already earned.

Grades Earned While In Non-Degree Graduate Status

No course in which a student receives less than a B- may be included in a plan of study if the student completed the course while in non-degree status. Please see the Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual and Academic Catalog for requirements for undergraduate excess and transfer credits at the graduate level.


Graduate Credits Earned While In Non-Degree Undergraduate Status

Graduate credits earned while in non-degree undergraduate status are not eligible for inclusion in a graduate plan of study, even if earned after completion of the baccalaureate degree.

Teaching License Registrants

Bachelor’s degree holders seeking graduate credit without a degree objective, such as those working in teaching licensure programs or seeking to enhance professional qualifications in their occupations, may be admitted in non-degree graduate status. For further information about teacher licensure, please see the School of Education and Counseling’s web site at:

Academic Regulations

GRADES. Success in graduate study requires academic performance of a high quality. Only grades of “A,”“B,” or “C” — while maintaining a “B” average (3.0) — fulfill Graduate School requirements. A graduate advisory committee or a department or college may require grades higher than C- in certain courses or in all courses on the plan of study. Pass-fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades are not acceptable for inclusion on the graduate plan of study, although those courses may be a requirement for the degree. (Required courses which do not qualify for inclusion in the plan of study because they do not receive the letter grades required above should be listed in the notes on the plan.)  Some graduate programs do not accept a grade of C in any course on the graduate plan of study. Please see your academic program for specific requirements on grades for courses. Regulations for the Purdue system graduate academic programs and students may be found at: https://catalog.purdue.edu/content.php?catoid=15&navoid=18646

Progress Toward Degree

Student progress is reviewed each semester by the individual college or department. If the student fails to perform satisfactorily, in the judgment of the department or college, the student may be asked to discontinue graduate study at Purdue University Northwest.

English Requirement

Candidates whose native language is not English must prove proficiency in the English language by achieving one of the following:

  1. A TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language) score of 80 (including score minimums of Writing 18, Speaking 18, Listening 14, Reading 19). Note that in addition to required minimum scores for each category, the Graduate School also requires a minimum overall score that is higher than the minimums for the four area tests combined. Applicants must meet or exceed each of the five scores for admission to the Graduate School. For further information, go to http://www.toefl.org
    Purdue University Northwest’s campus code for TOEFL, GMAT, and other tests through Educational Service (ETS) is 001638.
  2. The Graduate School also accepts International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Scores with an overall band score of 6.5 or more. For more information, go to http://www.ielts org. An overall band score of 6.5 is required for admission with the following minimum section requirements: Reading 6.5   Listening 6.0   Speaking 6.0   Writing 5.5
  3. An additional English proficiency option may be available to those enrolled in the English Language Proficiency Program at Purdue University Northwest. Please check with the Graduate Studies Office for more information.
  4. English proficiency scores will be required for non-degree admission.
  5. The Graduate School will routinely waive the English Proficiency testing requirement for applicants who have received a baccalaureate or graduate or professional degree, within the last 36 months at the time of recommendation for admission, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the native language. Please see the Grad Studies website for a list of official English-speaking countries

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT. There is no general foreign language requirement, though some colleges and departments do require a reading knowledge of a foreign language as a relevant research tool.


Students are strongly encouraged to register during the early (priority) registration period for the best range of course selections.

REGISTRATION FOR RESEARCH CREDIT. Graduate students who use university facilities or are supervised by a faculty member must register for research hours. Registration for research hours should reflect the nature and amount of the student’s research activities accurately. Research includes literature reviews and thesis writing.

Registration in the student’s last semester. A candidate for any advanced degree or graduate certificate must be registered during the last semester or session before receiving the degree. Students in the last semester of a master’s program with a thesis option must be registered for a minimum of three hours of research credit. Students who have completed the required course work and are not otherwise registered in graduate coursework must be registered in a candidate course section (CAND) in order to graduate. A flat fee is charged for registration in candidate courses (CAND).

Undergraduate and Transfer Credit

Course credits earned while an undergraduate at Purdue University or other accredited institution of higher learning may be applied toward an advanced degree if these credits are in excess of any requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Such credits must be certified as available for graduate credit by the institution from which the student received the baccalaureate degree, but will be accepted only if: (1) the student had senior standing and a 3.0 graduation index when taking the course, (2) the student received a grade of B- or better, (3) the course was designated as a graduate course, and (4) the course was taken at the graduate level.

Transfer of graduate credits earned at another institution is subject to the approval of the student’s graduate committee and the chair of the graduate program.  Transfer graduate credits must not have been used to support the award of a graduate degree at another institution. Transferred graduate credits may only be used if the student has earned a grade of B- or better.

Advisory Committees

Each candidate for the master’s degree with a capstone or thesis will have an appointed graduate committee consisting of at least three faculty members. This committee assists the student in preparing the plan of study and advises the student during graduate work. In the case of the thesis option, the committee also advises the student about research and writing the thesis. With the approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies, College Dean for Graduate Studies, or Grad program Chair, the student will select a major professor, who must agree to the appointment. The major professor chairs the advisory committee and oversees the student’s research. The major professor and student must agree upon the related areas in the plan of study.

Candidates for coursework-only master’s degree programs may have a single faculty advisor (major professor) within the program.

Plan of Study

The plan of study includes specific courses which the student is expected to complete and all other requirements for the graduate degree; the student and the advisory committee for the department develop the plan of study together. The student is responsible for completing and submitting the plan of study form to the Graduate School one semester prior to the semester in which he or she plans to graduate. The plan of study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor before submission. In order to graduate, the plan of study must be submitted not later than the last business day before the start of classes for the session of expected graduation. If it becomes necessary to revise the plan of study, a Request for Change to the Plan of Study must be submitted with a justification. Plans of study are submitted electronically through the ePOS (Electronic Plan of Study) system. The electronic plan of study is available to graduate students through the myPNW portal (Electronic Plan of Study Generator).

Admission to Candidacy-Graduation

Admission to candidacy for the graduate degree is granted only after approval of the formal plan of study. A candidate for any advanced degree must be registered during the semester in which the degree is awarded. (See requirements above). Students must notify their graduate program of their intent to graduate by the deadline in ther term of completion of degree requirements in order to be approved for award of degree or certificate. See the Grad Studies Calendar for deadlines for notifying department of intent to graduate.

Oral and Written Examinations

The requirements for oral and written examinations are established by the advisory committee or the college or department. A final examining committee for each candidate certifies to the Graduate School that the student has met the requirements of the major department or college.

Graduation Deadlines

Graduating on time is very important to most students. Therefore, a student must be aware of the rules and the deadlines set forth by the university and the academic department. Many rules and deadlines that apply to our Graduate School can be found on the Purdue West Lafayette website at: https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/about/calendar/ and related pages, as well as on the PNW Graduate Studies Office pages, including https://academics.pnw.edu/grad-school/calendar-of-events/

Graduate Plans of Study must be submitted as final not later than the last business day preceding the start of classes in the term of graduation. Please see the websites listed above for details. You may find the plan of study generator on the Graduate students tab in myPNW.

For more information about graduate study at Purdue University Northwest, visit the Office of the Graduate School’s website at http://academics.pnw.edu/grad-school/ or call (219) 989-2257. Email: grad@pnw.edu