Program of Study and Committee

Who needs to file a POSC?

All Ph.D. and master’s graduate students will need to submit an online POSC. Early selection of a major professor, appointment of a committee, and development of a program of study are very important. It is recommended that the committee be formed as early as the second semester of graduate study.

I am in a certificate program. What do I need to file?

If you are earning a certificate, you will need to complete a Certificate Program of Study. This is a paper form available on the Graduate College website. Do not submit the online POSC.

I am a double degree student. What do I need to do?

A double degree student will need to file one program of study form and one committee form for both the degrees. These are paper forms that can be found on the Graduate College website. The same deadlines will need to be followed that are used for the online POSC process.

Double degree students are completing two differently named master’s degrees for two diplomas at the same time. The final project must integrate subject areas from both departments.

I am a concurrent student. What do I need to do?

Concurrent students are completing two graduate degrees at the same time. You will need to submit two separate online POSC forms, one for each degree. The degrees or the forms do not necessarily have to be done at the same time. See Chapter 4 in the Graduate College Handbook for more information.

Who do I talk to regarding the information on the POSC?

You will first need to identify a major professor who will be the major advisor for the completion of your graduate degree.  More than one major professor can be identified in various situations. Committee members assist the major professor in guiding the graduate degree program.

How many committee members will I need?

If you are a master’s student completing a thesis, you are required to have at least three (3) members on your POSC form, including the major professor.

Master’s students with creative component only require from one to three members. You will need to check the requirements of your program.

Master’s students with coursework only program require at least one member of the graduate faculty in the designated major. This is often the DOGE of the coursework only program.

All Ph.D. programs require at least five (5) members, including the major professor, on their POSC form.

I have my committee, what’s next?

Once you have established your committee, it’s time to work with your major professor and committee to develop your program of study. A Program of Study Committee (POSC) Worksheet is available to assist you in preparation of submitting the POSC form online.

How do I file the POSC online?

You will complete, submit, and revise your POSC through AccessPlus. You will need to log in to AccessPlus and find the student tab in the upper right hand corner on your AccessPlus homepage. Click on it. Once you’re on the homepage, find the Graduate Student Status tab on the left menu. Click on it. On the Graduate Student Status page, you’ll see two columns. Go to the middle section of the right column and find the button labeled MY POSC Form. Click on it. Once you have your POSC form open on AccessPlus, it’s time to begin filling it out.

Is there a deadline for submitting the POSC form?

Yes! As you complete your graduate studies, there are requirements and specific deadlines associated with graduation. The requirements vary based on the degree that you are seeking. Please review these requirements and deadlines very carefully.

REMINDER: Don’t forget to check with your program for departmental deadlines which you may also be required to follow!

What type of information is in the Graduate College Handbook?

All the policies and procedures that you will need to follow as a graduate student are included in the Graduate College Handbook. All the details of the information you see on this website can be found there. Your department or program may have more restrictive requirements, but the basic policies enforced by the Graduate College can be found online: http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/handbook/

Where can I find additional help?

Check with your Graduate Program Office for specific help related to your major.

For more information about the POSC process, view the help page.

Email questions to:

Policies related to the POSC can be found in the Graduate College Handbook.