Purdue University, located in West Lafayette Indiana is an active college community that I was lucky enough to go and visit in April of 2023. This R1 research institution is known for its engineering program, flight school and great Boilermaker traditions.
Walking around campus there are many water fountains, archways and memorials dedicated to STEM pioneers that showcase the school's commitment to lifelong learning. Purdue has a sprawling campus in a college-town environment. They have their own airport for the aeronautical program which is one of very few college owned airports in the country.
One highlight from my trip was meeting the outstanding faculty! The department leaders that I met in Engineering, Business, Polytech, the Honors College had exceptional information, great connections with their students and most importantly a love for the subject matter.
Now to what they taught me…
Purdue is known for its Engineering school. It is one of the top in the country and touring their facility it is clear why.
Did you know that Purdue has a new state of the art engineering building? The Gateway Complex (in addition to the other 6).
Features makerspaces - FREE for students to use with unlimited materials to create whatever they would like.
Student run supply chain facilities - building products that students create!
Innovation happening DAILY!
The faculty at Purdue are truly passionate about research and providing opportunities for students to learn, grow and create. My tour guide was a junior in BioMedical Engineering and PreMed. She was doing research with one of her professors on Wearable/computing physiological sensing.
Even as a freshman students in the Engineering program are encouraged to join organizations or seek out research opportunities from their professors.
Another fantastic opportunity for students in Engineering is the EPICS program.
E - Engineering
P - Projects
I - In
C - Community
S - Service
Through EPICS students can get involved and work in groups creating projects for the good of the community. Clean water, storing and reusing energy, transportation - there were so many projects that the students were doing! Projects are then pitched to companies and many times picked up. Students are running and navigating these projects which is leading to great job placement after graduation.
What can you expect as an Engineering student?
At Purdue when you apply to Engineering you choose just that - Engineering. Year 1 you can expect to take exploratory classes. This helps you build a strong foundation to achieve in the future. Sample courses are listed on the right. Calculus I, II & III, Physics, Chemistry as well as intro engineering classes.
If you are interested in Purdue Engineering, Calculus is a MUST in High School!
Purdue Business - an amazing surprise!
Did you know that Purdue is leading the charge with an Integrated Business and Engineering major? This program teaches students how to turn technological advances into economic and social benefits. Tech companies are looking for professionals who can lead engineers and grow the business at the same time.
Students in this program can expect to take both Engineering and Business classes. The need in this industry cannot be filled fast enough. Purdue is growing the program each year to meet the demand.
Another highlight from the business program is that very student in the school of business has an alumni mentor who works in their desired field.
A New Look on Pre-Med
At Purdue, like many colleges, Pre-Medicine is not a major, however a cluster of additional electives that help students get into graduate doctoral programs. The College of Agriculture is a fantastic place to major while interested in pre-med. Food Science is a growing field as well as a knowledge set that medical schools are seeking.
Nutrition, digestion, weight management are all included in the Food Science program at Purdue. The focus is on how different foods impact the human body, help with illness or harm certain areas. This launch pad of a major is full of research opportunities to propel students into medical school.
Admissions and Getting In
While at Purdue it was clear that everyone had Boilermaker pride and that they look for it in applicants as well. Some tips that I got from admissions:
I believe that if Purdue could have one deadline they would. They encourage applicants to apply Early - November 1st deadline. There are benefits to majors, financial aid and also it tells the admissions office that you are prepared and interested.
Short Answer questions
Purdue’s two questions are 100 word max essays that ask - what opportunities from Purdue will you use in and out of the classroom & why did you choose your intended major.
Visit & Connect
The way to find out about the opportunities is by visiting or reaching out. The faculty is very approachable and ready to help. Some questions you could ask are:
What high school classes do you think are most important to be successful in xyz major?
What are extracurricular opportunities in the xyz department? - (for example EPICS in Engineering)
What are some of your favorite parts of the program?
These sample questions demonstrate interest as well as get great information for high school course planning, and school specific opportunities.
I have visited many college campuses as a counselor and a prospective student (years ago). Purdue stands out to me for its commitment to growth. Every person I met wanted to be connected with prospective students and was eager to answer any questions and advise. This is very uncommon at top tier universities. The number of applicants is growing each year and it is clear why students want to head to West Lafayette Indiana.
There are so many amazing colleges in the country offering great opportunities and Purdue is leading the charge in so many ways!
Here are some more photos from my trip: