Best Practice: 9 tips for getting the most out of the iPOS

The Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS) allows graduate students to plan and navigate their degree program through graduation, including the selection of their committee. Graduate advisors and faculty can help students progress to program completion by using the iPOS for monitoring student progress and communication. This best practice guide provides nine tips for getting the most out of the iPOS system.  

Download the PDF: Nine tips for getting the most out of the iPOS.

1. Program degree requirements

  • Establish set categories for the courses for your program so that they can be programmed into the iPOS (core, electives, etc.). This makes it easier for students to build their iPOS and for staff/faculty to review and approve.

2. Managing your inbox

  • Schedule a set time to focus only on reviewing and approving iPOS submissions every day/week.

3. Set up notifications

  • Set up specific notifications to go directly to your email based on the academic calendar. For example, when the deadline to schedule a defense is approaching, turn on your notifications for defenses submitted through iPOS.

4. Utilizing notes and email communication

  • Contact students regarding topics that require discussion/policy through the iPOS using the “email communication” tool.
  • Input notes in the comment section of the iPOS whenever there are petitions or special circumstances, including if the faculty have reviewed and approved it.

5. Introduce the iPOS from the start

  • Embed the importance of the iPOS into your online and/or in-person orientation.
  • Outline program specifics for the iPOS in your program handbook.

6. Encourage iPOS submission within the first semester

  • Students who submit an approved iPOS in their first semester have a roadmap for achieving their goal.
  • Academic units can monitor student timelines and milestones via the approved iPOS submissions. Some units add advising holds onto student accounts if the iPOS has not been submitted in a timely manner.

7. Check if Graduate College policies are being met

  • The iPOS checks for continuous enrollment, maximum time limit, and that program requirements are being met. These should be reviewed every time a student submits an iPOS for the first time or for any subsequent changes.

8. Know your program’s curriculum

  • Be aware of changes in course titles, numbers, topics, and requirements for each catalog year/requirement term. Changes in courses may initiate petitions in the iPOS.

9. Communicate with the Graduate College Coordinators

  • Use the Graduate College coordinators as resources regarding the iPOS.
  • Contact them if there are technical or programming issues.


Download the PDF: Nine tips for getting the most out of the iPOS.