Exploratory Studies Explore. Discover. Decide

VSTAR (Virtual STAR 2022)

VSTAR (Virtual Student Transition, Advising, and Registration) is Purdue's required orientation program for our new undergraduate beginning and transfer students.  The main parts of VSTAR are:

  • VSTAR - Part 1, a learning module which orients students to Purdue and their college, school, or program.  It teaches them how to use Brightspace, our main class content management system.  Finally, students will complete the Student Information Form (SIF), which advisors use as part of the Fall registration meeting.
    • We ask that you complete VSTAR - Part 1 before June 24th (or before June 10th if you are an Early Start or Summer Start student). 
  • VSTAR - Part 2, a learning module which continues the process of orienting students to campus resources. 
  • Fall Registration Meeting, where students meet with their assigned academic advisors and develop a set of courses to take in the Fall semester. 
    • Students can make an appointment with their assigned academic advisor after VSTAR - Part 1 and the Student Information Form are completed. 
    • A "campaign invitation" e-mail from Boiler Connect, our advising calendar, will be sent to your Purdue e-mail, so that you can schedule a date and time that works for you.
    • Appointments will be between 45 - 60 minutes, depending on the advisor. 

For more information about VSTAR 2022, please visit the main VSTAR website.  The Purdue Orientation and Transition Office has posted a video about what to expect during VSTAR.  In addition, they've created a list of popular FAQs about the VSTAR process.

Before you begin

Complete the VSTAR Brightspace Course and the Student Information Form (SIF)

  • Complete VSTAR, part 1 in Brightspace. This will be available beginning May 2nd.
    • Once in Brightspace, click on the "Purdue West Lafayette" button, look under the "My Courses" box, then click on the "VSTAR 2022 - Part 1" orientation module. 
    • Make sure to complete the Student Information Form (SIF).  Advisors use this to get to know you and your accomplishments.  The SIF also helps us plan potential course options before meeting with you.
  • Later in the summer, go back to Brightspace > My Courses and complete "VSTAR 2022 -  Part 2" module. This will help you plan out the resources you will need before and during your first semester.

Complete the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment

All beginning Purdue mathematics courses have minimum requirements that can be satisfied by the SAT, ACT, or ALEKS Math Placement Assessment scores.  Here is a chart to help you determine which math course you might qualify for.  VSTAR - Part 1 should include another chart detailing which majors want which math courses.

  • If you do not meet either the SAT or ACT minimum score for the math course you want (or did not take the SAT or ACT), please take our free, online ALEKS Math Placement Assessment.
  • Budget about 1.5 - 2 hours for to complete the ALEKS.  You get 5 attempts.
  • You can use books, calculators, and other resources on the test (it's not monitored).  However, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT, as many Purdue math courses do not allow calculators on their exams.
  • The ALEKS score tells you the highest starting math course you can begin taking at Purdue.  However, you can always choose to take a lower-level math course if you feel it would be best for you! 
We recommend that you take the ALEKS even if you have AP, CLEP, A-levels, IB, dual credit, or transfer credit coming in. Why?
  • Scores earned this year are often not sent to Purdue until July and can take a long time to be processed.  Unfortunately, this is well after you have registered for courses.
  • Dual credit and transfer credit require that a college transcript be sent to Purdue admissions High school transcripts cannot be used for this credit.  Request college transcripts early, as it can take time for it to be sent and processed!
  • Since math placement can affect other course placement, it is best to take the ALEKS now.  Then in July, when your AP, IB, dual credit, etc. scores come in, you can adjust your schedule.

What to Expect at Your Exploratory Studies Fall Registration Meeting

  • You will meet your assigned Exploratory Academic Advisor!  If you want to learn a bit about our staff in advance, check out our Staff Biography Booklet (PDF) or at our Meet Our Team page.
  • Your advisor will ask you about your interests, advanced credit tests (like AP's, A-levels, IB's, etc.), and possible major choices.  Plus, he or she can answer your questions about anything Purdue!
  • Your advisor will help you select, add, and submit your Fall course requests into MyPurdue.  The registration computer will then use those requests to create your schedule on July 21st (available at 5:00 pm EDT).
  • After your registration appointment, your advisor will send you a copy of your Course Request Form and your Registration PIN so that you can make adjustments to your schedule on July 26th.
  • Your advisor will send schedule viewing and course changing instructions to your Purdue e-mail in mid-July.