The average course load for a first-semester freshman is 14 to 17 credit hours, or about five classes. You and your advisor will develop a schedule that is right for you based on the courses and majors you would like to explore, so you may carry more or fewer classes. In order to move up the classification chain (freshman to sophomore, etc.), however, you will usually need to average 30 credits per year (or 15 credits per semester).
When should I buy my books?
Both Purdue University and our local bookstores list books needed for each class, so it is easy to buy your books ahead of time. You have a better chance of getting used books if you buy them early. If you change classes or have books you don’t need, bookstores will give a full refund within the first or second weeks of classes - IF you have the receipt and have not broken the plastic wrap on textbook or software packages.
We recommend, however, that you wait to buy books for ENGL 10600 or 10800 until after the first class meeting. Book titles and quantities are determined by the section instructors and may not be posted at the bookstores.
The EDPS 10500 “Academic & Career Planning” class that all USP freshmen and transfer students take during their first semester requires a ‘course packet’ of materials which must be purchased at the BoilerCopyMaker store located in the Purdue Memorial Union (PMU), room 157. It is not available at the bookstores.
Computers are fast becoming a necessity of college life, but they are not required at Purdue and we do not recommend a specific brand or type. This is mostly because our ITaP’s Teaching and Learning Technologies supports and maintains over 50 instructional computing labs on campus. The computers in these labs provide an extensive software suite and a secure work environment.
If you are in the market for a computer or laptop, check out the ITaP store in Stewart Center (STEW), room G-65, or online at http://www.itap.purdue.edu/shopping/. Your residence hall manager can give you information about hooking up and securing your computer in the residence hall.
Software is also available at a discounted education rate through ITaP at http://www.psts.itap.purdue.edu. Students will need to use their Purdue Career Username and Password to view and order software. It is recommended that students wait until after the first day of class to purchase software, as there are no returns allowed if a mistake is made. Software can be picked up at the Boiler Copy Maker Copy Center, located in Purdue Memorial Union (PMU), room 157.
Purdue also supports a wireless network called Purdue Air Link (PAL), with hot spots in most residence halls (in common areas, but not the individual student rooms) and major academic buildings. Set up information, videos, and a building coverage list are located at http://www.itap.purdue.edu/airlink/.
Although laptops are wonderful, their portability makes them easy targets for thieves. If you do bring a laptop to campus, make sure to turn on the password protection, buy a lock (like a Kensington lock), and register it online with the Purdue Police Department.
When will I find out where my classes are?
If you registered for courses during your STAR date, your schedule, including the days, times, and locations of the classes, will be visible immediately on myPurdue. A grid view of your classes is available under the “Week at a Glance” link. A text version of your schedule is available under the “Concise Schedule” link. At that point, we recommend that you use a Campus Map to plan out your daily routes. Time between most classes is about 10 minutes. Knowing where you are going before classes begin and “walking” your class schedule can save stress and frustration later.
How much time should I spend studying?
A general guideline is about two hours of study for each hour you spend in class. You’ll spend more time for some classes, especially those with laboratories, and less for others. Consistency is the name of the game in college – studying steadily over the semester rather than cramming right before tests yields better grades and better retention of material.
Where can I study on campus if I don’t want to study in my room?
All Purdue Libraries have quiet spaces for studying. Some libraries, like the Hicks Undergraduate Library (HIKS), feature café areas, like UnderGrounds, to study and eat. All residence halls have study rooms. Students can also study in the lounge areas of the Purdue Memorial Union and Stewart Center. Some academic departments also have study lounges. On nice days, there is plenty of outdoor green space where you can study, too.
Which library can I use?
Any of our 14 libraries are available for your use, though popular locations for first-year students tends to be the Hicks Undergraduate Library (HIKS) or the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education (HSSE) Library, both located in the Stewart Center (STEW). All of the libraries have information desk staff available to assist students. If you need help finding materials or a location to study, just ask.
Will my parents get or see my grades?
No. Grades will be available in myPurdue and will be accessible only by you (or anyone who has your user name and password). However, we strongly recommend that you keep the lines of communication open with your parents about your grades, as they can assist your progress and often are the ones paying for college.
What if I need help in a class?
There are many ways to get help in a class. We recommend that you first talk with your instructor about your current grades and what steps you should take to improve them. Professors and TA’s all have posted office hours, usually located in the course syllabus (a document explaining class policies passed out on the first day of classes). Some instructors hold periodic help sessions, so listen for these in class.
If you find you need more day-to-day assistance, consider enlisting a paid or free tutor. Lists of tutors are available through the departments or the Office of the Dean of Students. Our students also recommend doing your homework in one of our departmental help rooms (Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, etc.). That way, if you need help with a homework problem, you can get it right away. Help rooms also tend to have copies of practice exams and other materials to help you learn the subject.
Group study is also popular at Purdue. There is no service on campus to match you up with students in your classes, so be friendly and start building your study network early in the semester. Also, make sure that you have an outside expert for consultation should a problem stump you all.
Part of being in college is learning to recognize when you need help and how to find it. Be persistent! If a certain type of help doesn’t help, seek out other types. If you don’t know where to start, ask your advisor!
What if I am unsure of my major?
Fortunately, you are in one of the best programs on campus for career exploration, USP! All USP students must take EDPS 10500, Academic and Career Planning, which will walk you through the career exploration process. If after taking this class, however, you are still unsure about your major, individual career counseling is available at the Center for Career Opportunities (Stewart Center, room 194), the Purdue Counseling & Guidance Center (Beering Hall, room 3202), and the Office of the Dean of Students Counseling Center (Schleman Hall, room 207). You can also always talk through major ideas with your USP advisor!
What do I need to do to change majors?
At Purdue, the process of changing majors is called CODO’ing (Changing Of Degree Objective). To CODO, first check with your advisor about the CODO process for your desired major. Most colleges and schools require a set of minimum grades, courses, and documents before a CODO can take place. At the very minimum, most colleges/schools will require that you attend a “CODO meeting,” which is an informational meeting about their program requirements.
After you have met all of the CODO requirements, you will need to file CODO paperwork. To do this:
Go to HOVDE, room 45, with your Purdue ID and pick up a set of two CODO papers.
Make an appointment with your current advisor to sign these papers.
Make an appointment (or sign up for a CODO meeting) with the college/school you want to enter.
Depending on several factors, the college/school may either sign the papers right away or hold them until the end of the semester (pending your grades).
Once the papers are signed by your new school, one copy of the CODO papers will either be mailed or carried back by you to HOVDE, room 45.
Once the Registrar puts your new college/school information into myPurdue, you will officially and successfully have CODO’ed!
Do professors take attendance?
Individual professors have different policies. It is to your advantage to attend class even if the professor does not take attendance, because you are ultimately responsible for learning the material presented in class. Extended class absences due to serious illness, accident, or other situations beyond your control should be reported to your residence hall counselor, academic advisor, and to the Office of the Dean of Students (Schleman Hall, room 207). The Dean of Students can then send a note to your professors letting them know the situation.
What do I do if I need to change my schedule?
Students can add, drop, and modify the times of courses themselves using myPurdue. This can be done throughout the summer and through the end of the first week of classes. However, we recommend they consult with an advisor first to discuss the consequences of any changes.
After the first week of classes, students should pay attention to their Purdue e-mail for notices from their advisors, as the rules to modify courses changes depending on which week it is in the semester. It is also strongly recommended that students print out (or at least bookmark) the Schedule Revision calendar.
Will I get the same grades I did in high school?
While some classes may be as easy as those you had in high school, most will be more difficult, faster- paced, and require more studying, reading, and problem-solving. Students may experience a slight drop in grades the first semester while adjusting to a new, more independent learning and living style. Good study habits and a proactive attitude toward learning can help prevent grade slumps.
What will the weather be like?
The old saying goes that if you don’t like the weather in Indiana, just wait a few minutes. Late summer weather is often hot, humid, and stormy with daytime temperatures of 80°F - 90°F or above. Early fall weather varies between hot and humid and cold and rainy. Students can count on rain, snow, ice, and cold in the winter, starting in mid-November and lasting until mid-March. Winter daytime temperatures average around 30°F, but can dip to sub-zero levels mid-winter. Spring weather can be nice, with highs between 50°F -80°F, but it is often rainy. Students usually bring a jacket, umbrella, and rain boots in August, and then bring their snow boots and winter coats back with them after October or Thanksgiving Break. Layering your clothing works best in Indiana weather.
Purdue has an abundance of plant life, including flowers, grasses, trees, ferns, and mushrooms. Students should consider stocking up on necessary medications in late fall and early spring to contend with pollen or mold allergies.
Our area does experience occasional severe weather, mainly in the form of thunderstorms, high winds, hail, flooding, and very rarely, tornados. Tippecanoe County and Purdue have excellent procedures in place to keep students and the surrounding community informed and safe.
Should I bring my bike?
Biking is a popular form of transportation around Purdue’s campus, but you might want to keep several things in mind. First of all, only outside storage is available (bikes cannot be stored in dorm rooms). Secondly, bike thefts do happen (about 100/year), so bring a sturdy lock. As added security, engrave identification onto your bike. You should also register your bike with the Purdue Police.
Should I bring my car?
Freshmen are not allowed to have cars unless they are living 30 minutes or more from campus, making them eligible for a commuter (“C”) parking permit. Parking space on or near campus is limited. Most campus parking is reserved for staff with permits, for visitors, or for upper classmen in the residence halls. Most off-campus street parking has time limitations set by the city.
Students usually get around campus by walking, bicycling, or by riding the CityBus (free with your Purdue ID). Shopping areas, bookstores, and restaurants are within walking distance of campus. Taxi service is also available. If you need a car permit for a special circumstance and live in a residence hall, you should talk with your hall manager. If you live off-campus, contact the Visitor Information Center (VIC) on Northwestern Avenue at (765) 494-INFO (4636).
Should I insure my stereo and computer if I bring them?
It is a good idea to insure any valuable personal items you bring. Check your family’s insurance policy as your belongings may already be covered. Keep your room locked when you leave it to prevent theft and make sure that you roommate locks it, too.
What is Fraternity Rush? Sorority Rush?
Fraternities and sororities usually have a callout early in the fall for all prospective members. Recruitment (sometimes called “rush”) is explained at the callout, with most recruitment events following immediately afterwards. Students usually do not move into the house until the fall of their sophomore year. About 20 percent of Purdue undergraduates are in Greek organizations. Information about fraternities and sororities is available at http://www.purduegreeks.com/. Greek recruitment can be a great social and networking experience, but students need to keep in mind that it may take up a lot of their time if they let it. Balance is the key to success in both academics and Greek participation.
What is Co-op Housing?
Cooperative Housing life is much like Greek life, requiring recruitment and offering great social networking experiences. Recruitment occurs in January, but members are inducted year-round, depending on space. Contact the Student Activities and Organizations Office (Schleman Hall, room 250) for more information at (765) 494-1231 or email@example.com. Information about cooperative housing is also available at http://www.purduecooperatives.org/home.
What if I don’t get along with my roommate?
The best thing to do is to prevent roommate problems before they begin and to keep the lines of communication open throughout the “getting to know you” process. Early in the fall, establish ground rules that both you and your roommate can agree upon. Some roommates even draw up written and signed contracts! If problems do arise, talk to your floor’s resident assistant (RA) immediately. If no solutions can be found, keep in mind that changing rooms is difficult early in the semester, but is often possible between semesters.
What is October Break?
October Break is a mid-semester break in classes (usually the second Monday and Tuesday in October) to give students time to catch up with (or unwind from) studies.
What is the policy concerning alcohol?
The legal age in Indiana for alcohol consumption or possession is 21. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in University facilities, with certain exceptions, and violation will result in disciplinary action.
How can I meet people?
Talk with people who sit near you in class. Participate in activities at the Recreational Sports Center (RSC) or join an intramural team. Join a musical organization. Contact your campus religious organization. Your residence hall counselor can tell you about programs and activities in your hall and on campus. Check out all of the wonderful activities and organizations Purdue has to offer at the Get Involved at Purdue web site: http://www.getinvolved.purdue.edu/. Flyers for call-outs are posted on the flyer board on the front page.
What types of clubs does Purdue have?
Purdue’s large size equals huge diversity in activities, clubs, and organizations – about 880 in all. Organizations usually revolve around an activity (like ballroom dancing), a major (like the Pre-Vet Club). Groups focusing on culture and religion abound, too. Furthermore, if we don’t have a club for your favorite activity, you, a friend, and a faculty advisor can start your own! Many clubs hold call-outs or informational meetings early in the fall. These are announced in your Mortar Board, the Exponent, on the Get Involved at Purdue online flyer board, on posters around campus, and on table notices in the residence hall dining rooms.
How can I become involved in student government?
Purdue Student Government (PSG) welcomes new student involvement. Visit their offices in Stewart Center (STEW), Room G-6 or contact them via their web site at http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~psg/. PSG frequently runs announcements in the Exponent about opportunities for involvement. You could also serve in student government within the residence hall or your college or school.
What do students do on the weekend?
We definitely encourage students to stay on-campus for most weekends in their first semester to help them feel more established at Purdue. A variety of plays, intercollegiate athletics, lectures, concerts, intramural contests, and other University-sponsored events are always available. Clubs, organizations, and residence halls also arrange weekend activities. Students can visit many parks, museums, and other attractions locally. Indianapolis and Chicago are within 2 hours driving distance, as well. Purdue’s 39,000-plus students even budget some weekend time for studying!
What religious activities are offered at Purdue?
Student religious foundations and organizations, in cooperation with the churches and synagogues of the Greater Lafayette area, offer creative and varied spiritual ministry and welcome your participation. Consult the Get Involved at Purdue site for specific information and watch the Exponent for activity notices. There is also a listing of religious organizations in the front of the Purdue University Telephone Directory.
How can I become involved in recreational sports?
Sign up for your housing unit’s athletic program. Off-campus students also have teams. You can sign up at the Recreational Sports Center, which coordinates a large intramural program. Non-competitive and individual activities also are available at the RSC. Group exercise classes abound. Visit their website at http://www.purdue.edu/recsports/. If you are interested in varsity sports, contact the appropriate coach at Mackey Arena.
How can I purchase athletic tickets?
Information about purchasing football tickets will be mailed to you during the summer and about basketball tickets early in the fall. There is a charge for student tickets for all athletic events. If you have questions, or if your parents want to purchase tickets, contact the Athletic Ticket Office at (765) 494-3194 or toll free at (800) 497-7678. You can also visit their website at http://www.purduesports.com/tickets/pur-tickets.html.
The VIP “All Sport” Card, which gives card holders access to all regular-season home games in all sports, is available in limited quantity at various points throughout the semester, and sells out fast!
How can I buy Purdue Musical Organizations (PMO) Christmas Show tickets?
The ticket form for the PMO Christmas Show will be available on August 1, 2010. Tickets can be purchased starting in mid-October through Ticketmaster, by visiting the box offices within Elliott Hall, Pao Hall, or Stewart Center, or by calling the Purdue Box Office at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Student deals are also available after Thanksgiving. Click on the FAQ link for more information: http://www.pmojo.com/events/christmas-show/.
Is public transportation available?
Along with privately-run taxi services, Lafayette is served by CityBus of Greater Lafayette, which offers free bus service to Purdue students, staff, and faculty with a valid Purdue ID. The Campus Loops run a regular, convenient route around campus both day and night. City routes visit popular Lafayette and West Lafayette sites, including shopping centers, apartment complexes, and parks. For more information, call CityBus at (765) 742-RIDE or visit http://www.gocitybus.com/.
How do I get home if I don’t have a car?
Greater Lafayette is serviced by Amtrak, Greyhound, and private bus services to the Indianapolis and Chicago O’Hare airport, as well as rental cars. In 2009, Purdue began a free web service called Boiler Ride, which facilitates the arrangement of carpools to and from class and rides home: http://www.purdue.edu/transportation/boilerride.htm.
How much money will I need?
The amount of money that you will need will vary, depending on your activities, where you live, and whether you will hold a job during the school year. We recommend that students and parents sit down during the summer and draw up a budget. Some suggested budget items include: textbooks, special items needed for classes, food, movies, clothes, laundry, grocery items, room decoration, concerts, and transportation home.
In terms of the *big* bill (your tuition, fees, and housing), check for this on myPurdue under the “Financial” tab. All information will be available through the Bursar’s e-Bill service. Students will need to indicate their parents as an “Authorized User” through the e-Bill service in order for the parent to be sent an e-mailed copy of the tuition bill.
What happens if I am awarded financial aid?
When possible, your financial aid award will be credited against your Purdue bills. If aid funds remain after your account is paid, the bursar’s office will issue a check. You should plan to pay your initial expenses (books, off-campus rent, etc.) from other resources and be reimbursed when your aid check becomes available. If you have questions, call the Division of Financial Aid at (765) 494-5050 or by
Many students find checking accounts (and the debit cards) convenient. Local merchants usually will accept your check from an out-of-town bank or credit union if you have a Purdue ID card. There is a PEFCU (Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union) located in the Purdue Memorial Union (PMU), room 163. In addition, several automatic teller machines are located in the Purdue Memorial Union and in the residence halls. The Union has a check cashing service located at the Cashier’s Office on the first floor. This office will cash checks for a maximum of $50 per day for a $1 transaction fee with a Purdue ID card.
How can I find a part-time job?
The residence halls employ many students. Ask for an application at your hall’s main office. Check the ads in the Exponent and the Lafayette Journal and Courier. Watch the bulletin boards in your academic area or an area in which you’d like to work. Often departments have jobs posted in their offices. Both Work-Study and non-Work-Study student job postings are available through the Division of Financial Aid’s Student Employment Service: http://www.purdue.edu/dfa/studentjobs.php.
What if an emergency arises and I am short of cash?
The Office of the Dean of Students, in Schleman Hall (SCHL), room 207 offers small loans for 30 days with no interest. Contact (765) 494-1747 or visit their web site for more information.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
What if I need medical attention?
The Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) is a fully-accredited, primary-care outpatient facility. Services are available by appointment or walk-in. The center offers a variety of services including medical, urgent care, diagnostic X-ray and laboratory, physical therapy, counseling and psychological services, and alcohol and other drug counseling. Most services are covered by your University fees. Others, such as laboratory tests, X-rays, and physical therapy, are provided on a fee-for-service basis. The University recommends that every student be covered by health insurance, either through their parents or by purchasing Purdue-sponsored insurance.
How do I arrange for health services such as allergy shots or blood tests?
The Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) offers many services, including an Allergy & Immunization Clinic. Contact PUSH at (765) 494-6504 as soon as possible to work out the details for this or any other routine services you need.
What if I have to miss a class because of illness?
You might ask another student in the class for notes and assignments, but you need to contact the professor if you will miss a test. If you miss a class for an extended period, contact your residence hall counselor so your instructor can be notified. For extended absences (more than five days), contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (765) 494-1747.
What is the Safe Walk Program?
The Safe Walk Program is a service of the Purdue Student Security Patrol (PSSP), which provides an escort to and from university residences, the academic campus and the Chauncey Village area. The PSSP is staffed by students who are selected and trained by the Purdue Police Department. This free service is provided all year, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. Contact the Safe Walk Program at (765) 494-SAFE (7233).