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College of Engineering

First-Year Engineering Program

All beginning engineering students are admitted to the First-Year Engineering Program, housed in the School of Engineering Education. Qualified students are then admitted to professional schools of engineering after satisfactory completion of the First-Year Engineering Program requirements. The First-Year Engineering Program provides a common core of courses in calculus, chemistry, physics, engineering design and communication (oral and written). Students must also complete a first-year general education elective and either a second semester of general chemistry, biology or computer programming. The objectives of the First-Year Engineering Program are to:

  • Prepare students for entry into the engineering schools.
  • Enable students to develop the necessary skills and abilities to succeed in the chosen discipline.
  • Assist students in becoming acclimated to the Purdue University environment.

Advisors are available year-round to assist and advise students, parents and University faculty and staff about the curricula, programs and schools within the College of Engineering.

First-Year Engineering Curriculum Requirements

The First-Year Engineering Curriculum includes the following four components:

I. Courses: To complete FYE and be eligible for consideration for entry into an engineering degree program, a student must complete the following courses:

1. ENGR 13100, ENGR 14100, OR both EPCS 11100 and EPCS 12100

2. ENGR 13200, ENGR 14200, OR ENGR 13300

3. MA 16100 OR MA 16500

4. MA 16200, MA 16600, OR MA 17300

5. CHM 11500 OR both CHM 11100 and CHM 11200

6. PHYS 17200

7. A science elective course chosen from:

a. CHM 11600

b. CS 15900

c. BIOL 11000

d. BIOL 11100

e. BIOL 13100

f. BIOL 12100 and BIOL 13500

g. ENGR 14100 and ENGR 14200 for students who entered Purdue prior to Fall 2016 only

8. A course that meets the Written Communication foundational outcome (typically ENGL 10600 or ENGL 10800)

9. A course that meets the Oral Communication foundational outcome (typically COM 11400)

A current list of courses that may be substituted for these course requirements (typically old courses no longer offered, or courses offered under a different course number at the Purdue regional campuses) is available on the FYE Web site.

II. Minimum Grades: Earned grades must be C-or better for any course used to meet the requirements above, if the grades post to the Purdue transcript.

III. Grade Average: To complete FYE, the student's cumulative GPA must be 2.00 or greater, and an Engineering Admissions Index (EAI) must be 2.00 or greater.  Calculation of the EAI is equivalent to the calculation of GPA for courses used to meet all FYE requirements 1-9 above. If a student meets a requirement in more than one way, only one will be used to calculate the EAI; rules for how the EAI will be calculated in this instance are available on the FYE Web site.

IV. Total Number of Credits: Students must earn a total of at least 30 credits.

Credit by Examination

Qualified students are able to obtain credit for many First-Year Engineering Program requirements by demonstrating mastery of the subject on Advanced Placement, A-Level, College Level Examination Program, International Baccalaureate or Purdue University Advanced Credit examinations. Academic advisors can assist students in determining the scores required to obtain credit and the appropriate course placement; some information for common credit examinations is available on the FYE Web site.

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Engineering Admissions Index

The Engineering Admissions Index (EAI) is the grade point average (GPA) of all courses used to meet one of the nine First-Year Engineering curricular requirements. The EAI is calculated only from courses taken at Purdue University West Lafayette and at Purdue Regional campuses. Courses taken at another college or university and courses for which a student has received credit by examination are not included in the EAI or the GPA.

Transition to Engineering Schools from First-Year Engineering

Students in the First-Year Engineering program may transition to one of the professional Engineering degree programs through the “Transition to Major”, or T2M, process following the fall, spring, and summer terms. For some degree programs, admission may be competitive. All students who have successfully completed FYE requirements, including earning at least the minimum grade in each course and the minimum overall GPA and EAI, will be eligible to apply for T2M. Students who complete FYE requirements with a GPA and an EAI greater than or equal to 3.20 will be automatically admitted to the program of their choice in the College of Engineering, except in rare situations where the number of students exceeds the critical capacity of the program. All other eligible students (i.e., both GPA and EAI greater than or equal to 2.00, but at least one of the two less than 3.20) will be admitted on a competitive basis considering GPA, EAI, and other relevant factors. Historically, the vast majority of these students are admitted to their first-choice Engineering program. Students with a GPA or an EAI less than 2.00 will not be admitted into the schools in the College of Engineering, but may remain in FYE for up to four semesters (see four semester rule below).

The Four-Semester Rule

Students are allowed to remain in the First-Year Engineering Program for four semesters (fall and spring). Students who do not successfully complete the FYE requirements in four semesters will not be allowed to remain, and must CODO to another college, school, or program at Purdue. Fourth-semester students in FYE will not be given their registration PIN for the following semester (or summer, if the following semester is the fall) by FYE advisors; these students will receive the PIN after grades for the current semester are posted from the Engineering school or other program they transition to. More information is available on the FYE Web site.

Learning Community Choices for First-Year Engineering Students

The Engineering Learning Communities (LC) support students' transition to Purdue's First-Year Engineering Program. LCs are organized around a theme or a common interest among the members of the community. Student cohorts take two to four linked courses together, and outside-of-class activities and trips are organized. Some Learning Communities may also have a residential component. Current Engineering LCs include: Bands/Orchestra; Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS); Global Engineering Cultures and Practice; Engineering for the Planet; Engineering Honors; Introducing Diversity through Engagement and Service (IDEAS); Network Learning Community; and the Women in Engineering Residential Program Learning Community. Students are also eligible to join many other LCs that are not specifically linked to Engineering (more information is available from the Office of Student Success).

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Typical Plan of Study for the First-Year Engineering Program

The First-Year Engineering program is designed to be completed in two semesters of full-time on-campus study. An example plan showing a typical pathway is listed below. Students should contact an FYE Advisor for assistance developing a personalized plan of study that incorporates individual interests, needs, credit from other sources (such as AP), calculus-readiness (based on the score on the ALEKS test), and learning communities (EPICS or Honors). Furthermore, the list below is a typical plan of study, but some students may take courses in other semesters. Students seeking to deviate from this plan should consult an FYE Advisor to ensure prerequisites and other constraints are met.

First Semester

Engineering: ENGR 13100

Calculus: MA 16100 or MA 16500

Chemistry: CHM 11500

Communications: Either ENGL 10600 or COM 11400

The first semester is typically 13-15 credits of FYE work.

Second Semester

Engineering: ENGR 13200

Calculus: MA 16200 or MA 16600

Physics: PHYS 17200

Science Selective: Usually either CHM 11600 or CS 15900

Communications: Either ENGL 10600 or COM 11400

The second semester is typically 16-18 credits of FYE work.

In some cases, students may begin to take 200-level engineering disciplinary courses while in the FYE program; this typically happens if a student is in FYE for more than two semesters or a student has significant credit from AP, transfer, or other sources.  Students should consult an FYE Advisor to make an individualized plan.

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More Information

More information is available at the FYE Web site.