Graduate Plan of Work

The Graduate Plan of Work (POW) is a required document for your Soil Science graduate degree. It provides the road map towards completing your degree.  It also serves, importantly, as a contract between the student, their advisor, and the Advisory Committee.  While it provides a path to completion, it can also be modified as needed to accommodate changes in direction or interest for a student in consultation with the advisor and committee.The following information is adapted directly from the NC State Graduate Handbook. 

See section 3.3 Graduate Plan of Work in the NCSU Graduate Handbook for complete details. If you need clarification, please contact the Soil Science Director of Graduate Programs or the Graduate Services Coordinator.

Components of a Graduate Plan of Work

The Graduate Plan of Work includes the following components:

  • A complete listing of coursework to be taken during the degree
  • Accurate information about any transfer credits to be used for the degree. Any request to include transfer credit should be submitted to the Graduate School prior to the start of the student’s graduate program or no later than before the end of the first semester
  • The thesis or dissertation topic (except for MR students)
  • The name of the student’s major professor
  • The members of the student’s advisory committee (except for MR students)

Development and Submission:

The POW must be:

  • Developed by the student in collaboration with his/her major professor and, where applicable, advisory committee
  • Approved by the student’s committee and the Director of the Graduate Programs (DGP) prior to submission to the Graduate School for approval
  • Submitted online through MyPack Portal
  • Evaluated by the Graduate School, which will inform the program as to whether or not the Graduate Plan of Work meets the Graduate School requirements. The Graduate School will deny approval of any student’s Graduate Plan of Work until all documents necessary to complete that student’s permanent file are received (e.g., signed Patent Agreement, Transfer of Credit form, if applicable). If any materials are missing, the Graduate Plan of Work will be denied with the reason for the denial communicated to the DGP and the student.

Timing of Submission

  1. All Graduate Students: Course Component of the Graduate Plan of Work
    • By the end of their first semester students must submit at least a preliminary course schedule using “place holders” where necessary, defining the specific courses or, at a minimum, courses in a curricular area, including electives, required to fulfill the degree requirements for their respective degree programs.
  2. MS and PhD Students: Committee and Other Milestone Components of the Graduate Plan of Work
    • By the completion of 18 hours, but no later than the third term of enrollment, those graduate students enrolled in the MS and PhD soil science degrees must submit additional elements of the POW that include the topic of their thesis/dissertation research, their committee chair(s), committee members, and estimated completion times for important milestones, such as the preliminary and final oral examinations.
  3. Master of Soil Science (MR) Students
    • All MR students are required to do a degree project under SSC 675.
    • The topic and name of their project advisor is to be submitted by the completion of 18 hours or earlier.
  4. Submission of Final Graduate Plan of Work
    • MS and PhD Students must submit the final version of the POW before the MS student’s final examination and before the PhD student’s preliminary oral examination.
    • MR students must submit their final version of the POW prior to the completion of their Application to Graduate in their final semester.

Review and Revisions

  1. The POW should be reviewed (and revised as necessary) annually to reflect the student’s academic trajectory as they become better defined.
  2. This review of the POW should be part of the required Annual Progress Evaluation