Student Checklists

Freshman Year Checklist

  • Email is one of the main forms of communication on campus and is used by your professors, academic advisor, residence hall staff, and more.  Stay up to date by checking it every single day!  If you are trying to reach out to a professor but aren’t quite sure how, check out this faculty email template (add link) as a starting point.
  • Side note: Do NOT use automatic forwarding to link your Purdue email to your personal email, as messages do not always go through.

    Sign up for campus emergency alerts

    Stay informed about your safety on campus.  Information is available online, via text alerts, and on Twitter.

  • It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by Purdue’s large campus, and one of the best ways to overcome that is simply by familiarizing yourself with it.  Go on a self-guided tour with some people from your classes or residence hall – don’t forget to download the Mobile Tour App and a campus map!
  • No matter what classes you’re taking, having a comfortable, distraction-free study location is vital to your academic success.  While you’re exploring campus, take note of spaces you could see yourself studying in and try them out!  If you’re looking for a place with a computer, you can see real-time information about computer availability on campus here.
  • Disability Resource Center

    There may be times when there are aspects of the instruction or design of your courses that result in barriers to your inclusion or to accurate assessment of achievement. When that is the case, the DRC staff will work with you to arrange for accommodations.
  • Your academic advisor is a professional staff member in your college who is here to help you succeed at Purdue.  They can help you with scheduling the classes you need, finding resources for academic and social success, choosing a minor, and with navigating a new environment.  Make an appointment via BoilerConnect.

    Join a student organization

  • One of the easiest ways to make new friends is to join a student organization. Purdue has clubs ranging from professional organizations to athletic teams to faith-based groups and more! Check out BoilerLink to start getting involved today!
  • Student Success Programs

    Whether you’re trying to improve your academic performance, facing challenges based on your identity, curious about credit by exam or looking for other ways to thrive at Purdue, Student Success Programs can help you overcome obstacles and maximize your potential.

Sophomore Year Checklist

  • Whether off-campus, in a student organization, or in the classroom, now is the time use the communication, organization, and major-specific skills you learned as a freshman!
  • Faculty members have a wealth of knowledge for you to take advantage of. Take the initiative to connect with one of your professors. You can talk about their research, how they got to where they are now, or something you’re learning about in class. Strong relationships with faculty members early on in your college career can lay the groundwork for unique opportunities in the future!
  • Center for Career Opportunities

    It is never too early to start preparing for your next steps after Purdue.  Update your resume and take it to drop-in review hours, schedule an appointment to talk about considering graduate school, or meet with a pre-professional advisor (for students interested in pre-law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary, or other professional health careers).

    Tip: While you’re at the CCO, take a look through the Career Closet for professional attire.  You are able to select 1 outfit per academic year to keep, FOR FREE! This resource was created because we know not everyone is able to afford proper interview attire, and we want to make sure this is not a barrier on your quest for that dream job.
  • Study Abroad

    Intercultural competency is highly sought after by employers, and studying abroad is a great way to develop this skill!  Explore some programs yourself, meet with a peer advisor, and talk with your academic advisor about how studying abroad can fit into your plan of study and help you reach your goals.  The sooner you start planning, the better!
  • Get involved with research on campus

    Doing research as an undergraduate is a great way to dive deeper into your field and can give you a keen advantage when applying for internships, jobs, or graduate school. Faculty members in every college at Purdue are working on a variety of research projects and may have just the right opportunity for you! Not sure where to start? Try contacting a favorite professor of yours or a professor who taught a class you really enjoyed to see what they’re working on. You can use this template (add link) to get started in reaching out to them.
  • Having a summer internship is a valuable way for you to gain hands-on experience in your career field.  Check with the CCO and with your department to start searching for internships today!

Junior Year Checklist

  • Center for Career Opportunities

    Feel confident when you hand your resume to a future employer by first having it reviewed by a resume specialist! These reviews are an opportunity for you to drop in and spend 15 minutes with a professional. Definitely don’t wait until the last minute, because you will want to save time to make any necessary changes!

    Tip: While you’re at the CCO, take a look through the Career Closet for professional attire.  You are able to select 1 outfit per academic year to keep, FOR FREE! This resource was created because we know not everyone is able to afford proper interview attire, and we want to make sure this is not a barrier on your quest for that dream job.

  • Career Fair

    Purdue is one of the top institutions when it comes to career fairs on campus. These career fairs are available whether you are looking for an internship, or looking for that first big job! This is your opportunity to network, ask questions, and interview with a variety of employers.

  • Read through current job offerings in your field and their applicant requirements. Are there requirements you don’t currently meet? If so, now is the time to start gaining those skills. You will then be better prepared when you’re searching for your first professional position.
  • Finding a graduate school can feel overwhelming, so take a breath and start the process by first researching schools that interest you. Talk to professors in your field and use resources provided by professional organizations to get the ball rolling. Be sure to look into possible funding, graduate assistantships, and research opportunities.
  • Do the schools you’re looking at typically require exam scores, letters of recommendation, and/or a resume?  Begin compiling these materials today!

    If you’re looking into exams, remember that Purdue offers GRE testing and the Law School Admission Test. Be proactive; you don’t want to wait until the last minute to sign up!

Senior Year Checklist

  • Typically these references are from individuals you have worked closely with and would feel comfortable asking to speak on your behalf regarding work ethic and rapport. Having two professors and an employer is a great start, but not the requirement.
  • By now you have hopefully attended at least one career fair. If not, this is your time to do so!

    Be sure to take resumes with you so employers have a tangible copy.

  • Did you know that the Center for Career Opportunities has a Career Closet where you are able to select 1 outfit per academic year to keep, FOR FREE! This resource was created because we know not everyone is able to afford proper interview attire, and we want to make sure this is not a barrier on your quest for that dream job.

  • Make sure you can confidently walk across that stage at graduation without any concerns about having fulfilled all of your degree requirements. MyPurduePlan is an excellent resource to check if you are meeting your major and minor requirements, but your academic advisor is the expert. Log on to BoilerConnect and make an appointment with them to make sure that you’re on track!

Transfer Students*

  • Many transfer student elect to live off campus.  If you fall into this category, be sure to check out Purdue’s Off-Campus Housing Website.  Here you can find living spaces off campus as well as resources to be successful in those spaces.  No matter what your living situation, get familiar with CityBus as a means of transportation on and off campus – it’s free for Purdue students!

  • One of the best ways to start feeling comfortable at Purdue is to make connections with other students.  Some ways to do this include joining a student organization through BoilerLink, checking out our cultural resource centers, and/or finding resources on campus that you connect with, such as Nontraditional Student Services.

  • Office of the Dean of Students

    The Office of the Dean of Students is there to help you overcome obstacles to your success. They can provide information and resources to help with issues that may be negatively affecting you academically, financially, or emotionally.

  • Student Success Programs

    Your courses at Purdue may be different or more challenging than courses you’ve taken in the past.  Whether you’re preparing for an exam, looking for help in a class, or wanting to calculate your GPA, Student Success Programs is a great starting point for achieving academic success.

  • Doing research (especially as an undergraduate) is a great way to start achieving your career or graduate school goals.  Working with a professor to gain hands-on experience in your field not only gives you an unique experience for your resume, it also gives you the opportunity to form a personal relationship with a faculty member (a connection that could be very valuable during your time at Purdue and afterwards!).  Check out the Office of Undergraduate Research to find opportunities in every college.

    *While these resources may be of particular interest to you as a transfer student, we highly encourage you to check out the page for your class level (add link) as well.

Prudie Miller Sometimes, there are changes in direction, sometimes there are struggles, but I am happy to help students attain the goals they have set for themselves. Seeing my students at graduation in cap and gown or hearing they were offered their dream job is truly the best part of my year.
-Prudie Miller