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Oklahoma State University

Plan of Study FAQ

A Plan of Study serves as a contract between a student and the university. Graduate education at OSU is highly personalized, and your POS is the blueprint for successful completion of your degree requirements. 


The original Plan of Study must be submitted to the Graduate College prior to the completion of the second semester (excluding summer sessions) of enrollment for a Master’s degree.

The original Plan of Study must be submitted to the Graduate College prior to the end of the third semester (excluding summer sessions) of enrollment for a Doctoral degree.

A hold will be placed on your future enrollment until a POS is submitted. 

If you tell us a hold is in place when you submit your Plan or Study, it will be released by 5pm the same day. If we do not know to look for a hold, it may take twenty-four to forty-eight hours before the hold is cleared. 
Graduate students submitting their first original plan of study should use the new Online Plan of Study. The online POS application is an interactive web form designed to make 
the process of completing and submitting a plan of study more transparent and prevent common mistakes. The link to the online POS can be found at the Graduate College website. 
The Online Plan of Study is set up so all active graduate students can access it using their O-Key login information.

A Plan of Study is only valid if it has been approved by the student, advisory committee, and graduate coordinator. The Online Plan of Study has streamlined the approval process, by allowing all required approvals to be done electronically. The Graduate College does not receive notification to review the submitted plan, until it has been approved by all required parties. 


All graduate students at OSU are required to have a Graduate Advisory Committee. Your committee will approve your proposed plan of study and work with you throughout your graduate program. Masters students must have a minimum of three people on their committee: a chair/advisor and two regular members. Doctoral students must have a minimum of four people on their committee: a chair/advisor, an outside member and two regular members. The outside committee member must be a faculty member at OSU who is in a different department than you. Your advisor or graduate coordinator can assist you in selecting a committee. 
On the committee page, you can either search for members by last name or department. Be sure you have the last name spelled correctly. Sometimes it is easier to enter a department name, then pick from the generated list. The Online Plan of Study does not recognize department acronyms, so it will not find “IEM” or “HDFS”. You can  however simply enter the first part of the name, for example “NREM” will yield no results but “Natural Resource” should pull up every eligible faculty member in Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Please remember that only individuals who are current members of the Graduate Faculty at OSU can serve on graduate advisory committees. The Online POS pulls faculty information directly from the Graduate Faculty Database.
We understand that the further away from graduation you are the harder it is to predict your later courses and graduation date. You simply need to provide the best estimate you can for the courses as well as your expected graduation date. For purposes of the Online Plan of Study, the expected graduation date is used in establishing a timeframe for calculations. You will not be allowed to enter courses in any semester after your expected graduation date. And you will not be allowed to enter courses in any semester more than ten years earlier than your expected graduation date.

Yes. If the successful completion of ENGL 0003 or ENGL 4893 was a condition of your admission, those courses need to be listed on the Plan of Study. ENGL 4893 can be entered like a regular graduate course through the search function. ENGL 0003 will have to be entered manually in the “Transfer / Non-Graduate Courses” section at the bottom of the Update Courses screen

Transfer courses should be entered individually in the “Transfer / Non-Graduate Courses” section at the bottom of the Update Courses screen. Be sure to enter all information for the course(s) as it appears on the transcript from the institution where the credits were earned. You do not need to match transfer courses to equivalent courses at Oklahoma State University.
. . . I haven’t been able to form a committee yet 
. . . I can’t find everyone to sign my POS 
. . . Etc. 
You may request a one-semester waiver of submission of your POS with permission of your department. To receive the waiver you will need to complete and submit a Request for Extension to Submit a Plan of Study form, which is available on the Graduate College website or at the reception area in our main office. This form will need to be signed by you as well as your advisor or departmental graduate coordinator
Your hold will not be removed until a POS is submitted. However, the effective semester has been moved forward to the following semester to allow you to enroll for the upcoming semester. Also, a statement explaining that a one-semester waiver has been granted has been added to your enrollment hold information

When submitting your original plan of study using the online application, you will receive email confirmations for each step. You will receive an email confirming your online plan of study was successfully submitted when you complete the submission process online, Once your committee and coordinator have approved the plan online, it will be moved onto the graduate college for approval. When the POS is approved you will receive another email. And you can log in to the Online Plan of Study at any time to see the current status of your plan 

At the beginning of the Semester of graduation. The exact deadline for submitting the revise Plan of Study and the Graduation Clearance form for a given semester can be found on the Graduate College Academic Calendar.

If your plan of study was submitted and approved in the Online Plan of Study application, you can simply log in and revise the approved plan. The system will load the complete plan that has been approved and allow you to make changes then resubmit. You will need to follow the procedure for submitting the POS exactly as before. If you wish to revise your plan of study, but you do not have a current plan of study in the online system, you can submit the update plan using the online POS Application but you will need to enter everything from scratch.

If you need to submit a revise version of an already approved paper plan of study, you may mark out any courses that you no longer need to take to earn your degree, and neatly print (if any). Then all you need is to have your advisor initial next to each change you have made on the Plan. the student and Department Head (or Graduate Coordinator) also has to re-sign or initial by their original signatures. If there are so many changes need they can not neatly be made on the original form, then you are encouraged to fill out a completely new form. If this happens you will need to secure all the signatures again

No. There is another form, the Committee Change Request Form which is specific for that purpose and which can be submitted anytime a change is needed.

No. Masters students have seven years to complete their degree and doctoral students nine. You need to work closely with your advisor to complete your degree program within the appropriate time frame. Graduate Course work is valid for ten years, so when you submit your revised plan of study no courses can be used that were taken more than ten years before your graduating semester. If you will not be able to complete your degree within the time limit, you will need to contact the Graduate College

The Graduate College website is packed with useful information, and should always be the most recent version of any of these forms available for download.