Jump to main page content
Purdue signature

Boiler Babble

Success is facilitated by your ability to express yourself effectively. The following terms and expressions are frequently used on this campus. Learn them and add to the list as you encounter other words and phrases that may be unique to the university environment.

Academic Advisor: A person in department who provides course, major, and career information and advice.  The academic advisor is often involved in other student-centered educational initiatives, such as teaching, mentoring student organizations, and high school outreach and recruitment.  This person usually has a broad knowledge of campus and career resources and opportunities.

Academic Course Load: A typical course load is 15-17 credit hours per semester. Students will take more or less depending on their needs and commitments, such as employment.  Students with learning disabilities should talk with their advisor or learning disabilities specialist early to determine their recommended load per semester.

Ambassadors: Students who represent their department or group at various recruitment and alumni events.  It’s a a wonderful way to get involved at Purdue and a great resume builder.

Boilermaker: This Purdue student or athlete nickname originated in 1889 when discouraged coaches hired several husky boilermakers from the Monon Railroad and a few burly policemen to play football.  After enrolling in one course, the men started playing and won one game after another.  Angry Crawfordsville newspapermen wrote uncomplimentary stories, calling the team “sluggers”, “cornfield sailors”, and “boilermakers”.  The last name stuck and has been a nickname ever since.

Boilermaker Special: This unique mini-locomotive, cared for by The Purdue Reamer Club, promotes Purdue spirit and is the official University mascot.

Call-out: A general meeting sponsored by one of the 900+ student organizations to attract new members. These usually occur within the first two weeks of each semester.  Many offer free food!

Classification: A number from 1 - 8 that corresponds to the number of credit hours you've earned toward graduation.  The classification number increases by 1 for every 15 credit hours earned.  For example, someone who earned 30 - 44 credit hours would be classified as a "3," a first-semester sophomore, where "1" describes a first-semester freshman and "8" a second-semester senior. 

Classification is recalculated when final grades are posted at the end of every semester.  Non-grade-bearing credits, like AP, transfer, and foreign language placement credits, count toward classification, but Purdue courses with failing grades do not.

CODO: The process of officially changing from one college or school to another at Purdue is called Change Of Degree Objective, or CODO. It is used both as a noun ("CODO") and a verb ("to CODO" and "CODO'ing")

To CODO, students must complete the college- or school-determined CODO requirements.  These usually includes a CODO meeting (where advisors give program and CODO information), a certain GPA (sometimes in specific courses), and the completion of CODO paperwork.  CODO requirements differ from college to college.

Convos: An abbreviated form of "Purdue Convocations."  This is the main Purdue organization that brings touring shows, plays, bands, and events to campus. The Convocations Voice Network is the student-run ushering and PR arm of Convos.  Students on the Student Concert Committee have successfully booked current big-name acts like Avicii and Lady Gaga since 1979. 

Co-op Education: Co-ops offer students the opportunity to spread multiple paid working experiences within the same company over a period of 2-3 years while still attending college.  To do this, students alternate working experience and coursework on a semester-by-semester basis.  The program is housed in the Professional Practice Program office in ARMS and offered to students in Engineering, Agriculture, Science, and Technology. 

Co-op Housing: Co-operative Housing. These are small housing units for students, much like fraternities or sororities, where the members save money by managing all aspects of house operation from meal planning to maintenance and improvements. 

CRNCourse Registration Number.  This is a 5-digit number that represents a single, unique section of a course.  It's very useful to know when registering for classes on myPurdue, especially those with multiple parts (like CHM 11500 or BIOL 11000).  One quick way of registering is to look up all the CRNs for your courses and then type them into the Add/Drop section of myPurdue. 

Dead Week: The last week of classes before finals. No exams are to be scheduled during the week.

Hold: A lock on your academic records that prevents a student from registering, ordering transcripts, or receiving grades.  Holds are issued if a student owes money for tuition or housing, has an unpaid parking ticket or library fine, or is missing required immunizations.  In order to remove a hold, the student must contact the department who issued the hold (usually the Bursar or the Purdue Student Health Center) and complete their requirements. 

Exponent: The independent newspaper published by Purdue students and distributed free at many locations.

Grand Prix: The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing held every spring since 1958. The evGrand Prix (electric vehicle) debuted in 2010.

ITaP: Information Technology at Purdue.  This department is the IT center for the university, maintaining computers available to students in the labs, and those used by staff, faculty, and departments.  They also offer discounts on computers and laptops in Stewart Center (STEW), room G-65.

Mortar Board: A calendar published each fall by the Mortar Board Honor Society. It lists important Purdue events, holidays, library hours, call-outs, etc. It’s sold at most stores near campus, and all proceeds go to scholarships.

myPurdue: Purdue's student web portal, with access to registration, financial aid, bursar, and student organizations resources.

OWL: Online Writing Lab, designed to help students work on writing assignments via the Internet.

Pappy's Sweet Shop: A popular eatery in the lower level of the Union that serves fast food and snacks, and is a common meeting place for students.

PMO: Purdue Musical Organizations. It includes the Glee Club, Purduettes, All-Campus Chorale, and Bell Choir.

PSG: Purdue Student Government, an all-campus student government that represents and provides service for students. It also coordinates various student activities through its many departments.

PSUB (pronounced "p-sub"): The Purdue Student Union Board plans student activities in the Purdue Memorial Union and Stewart Center.  Purdue Student Union Board, a volunteer student organization that presents programs throughout the year.

PUID: PUID (Purdue Identification) refers to both your identification card and the 10-digit unique identification number printed on it.  Use your PUID Card as a residence hall identification and meal card; check out items from the library; cash checks and purchase convocation and theater tickets; visit the Recreation Sports Center; and ride the CityBus.

If you choose to open a debit account, you also can use your PUID to do your laundry in the residence halls, eat at any of the Purdue Memorial Union (PMU) restaurants, by items from the residence halls’ vending machines, and lots more.  Debit account applications are available at the Card Services Office (PMU 130), all residence halls, and various locations across campus. Carry your PUID at all times.

PUSH: The Purdue University Student Health Center is a place for students to go for medical care.

Recitation: A small group discussion class that meets once or twice weekly in addition to a large lecture.  It allows the instructor to work with students to clarify lecture material and review homework and assignments.  Quizzes are sometimes given in recitations, as well.

RHC: University Residences Residence Hall Council.  This is the coordinating body for all residence halls, includes the president or governor from each hall, student representatives, and hall managers.

RSC: Recreational Sports Center, which offers gymnasium facilities to students and staff. Organized intramural competition also is offered.  Use your Purdue ID for entry.

Rush: Rush (or "recruitment") activities are held by sororities, fraternities, and cooperative houses to select new members. Participate in rush if you are interested in joining a Greek or co-op house.

TA: Teaching Assistant. A TA is usually a graduate student who instructs a lecture, a recitation, or assists a professor with a class or with grading.

The Union – The Purdue Memorial Union (PMU), a center for many student activities, houses restaurants, the Sweet Shop, a video game room, bowling facilities, offices for many student organizations, lounges, an art gallery, a check cashing service, bank machines, and a hotel.

The USP Newsletter: A monthly publication from the office of the Undergraduate Studies Program.  Brief articles offer both students and parents information about registration, drop and add deadlines, upcoming events, and internship and job opportunities. 

Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen: A popular pizza emporium in the lower level of the Union.

updated 5/25/12