FAQS

What does it take to get admitted to Purdue's College of Engineering?
Apply Early Action
Just do it! Applying Early Action allows you to be considered for scholarships, admittance into the Honors College, and gives you a better chance of admission into the engineering program.
Academic Rigor
Get good grades! Competitive applicants have a strong background in math and science courses, taking full advantage of the Honors/AP/IB classes available to them. We want to see students challenging themselves and achieving high grades. Students typically exceed minimum course requirements of Freshman Admission Criteria.

Admissions knows that all high schools are different, and people in different areas have different experiences and opportunities available to them. If you don't have many (or any) AP classes available to you, for example, Admissions will likely know that and instead focus on whether or not you took advantage of whatever advanced courses were available to you.

Trends in achievement over time is important. Did you continue taking rigorous courses over the entirety of your high school career? What trends do we see in your grades? Did they drop over time, go up over time, remain consistent? Again, we want you challenging yourself for 4 years as well as we want to see continued improvement or consistent excellence.

Average GPA for an admitted engineering student is a 3.82, unweighted. Guess what? Admissions doesn't look at cumulative GPA when looking at applications! Instead, they focus on individual grades with an emphasis on courses relevant to the major you are applying. So, in the case of Engineering, they will be especially interested in grades you received in science, math, and English classes. Remember: Admissions looked at unweighted GPA scores, so weighted scores will be converted.
Test Scores
ACT and/or SAT test scores are important, but are not the only thing! There are no minimum test scores. They are absolutely taken into consideration, but there are many, many other factors that go into admission decisions, as we realize students are more than just numbers. Send in all your scores! We'll take the highest. Students admitted to the College of Engineering for Fall 2018 had a combined SAT score in the middle 50% range of 1370-1500 (average 1432) and ACT Composite of 31-34 (average 32). 
Extra-Curricular Involvement
In addition to a strong academic record, we want students that are well-rounded and able to balance academics with involvement within their school and community. Don't be shy about pointing out any of your achievements, volunteering, and leadership positions. Participation in sports, music, clubs, competitions, community service, and civic organizations are welcome sights on an application, so be sure to include everything you've participated in. 
Essays
Your application essays are an excellent opportunity to express your personality, work ethic, and passion. Your essays shouldn't just be a re-hash of things that are already listed on your application, but instead either focus on showing a side of you that hasn't been brought across on your application yet, or how your experiences relate to making you an ideal candidate for Purdue Engineering.

Feel free to keep a somewhat informal, conversational tone in your essays. Use your speaking voice with proper grammar! Don't include anything unprofessional like swearing or inappropriate jokes/activities but do be yourself and let your personality shine!
Special Circumstances
At the very end of your application, there is a box that asks if there is any other information that you'd like Admissions to know as they review your application. This is the ideal opportunity to share any special circumstances that may have impacted your grades or additional information that you weren't able to bring across earlier on your application. 
Overall Fit
Basically, we look at all applicants as people, not numbers or words on a page. Through everything you include with your application, Admissions is looking to get a sense of who you are, what you've done, and what your passions are to determine if you would be successful in Purdue Engineering.
Other Common Faqs
What will First-Year Engineering courses be like in the fall of 2020?
Whether completely online or a hybrid on campus experience, faculty in Engineering Education are experts in engineering course content and delivery. Learn all about First-Year Engineering courses here
What are the average test scores and GPA for First-Year Engineering Students?
Test scores and GPA are a part of the equation when the Office of Admissions is reviewing applications. To learn more about all of the admissions factors, including average test scores, and GPA, check out our,  "What does it take to get admitted to Purdue's College of Engineering" section above.
Which AP classes do you recognize for college credit?
The following link lists:  AP classes accepted by the College of Engineering . Please note that we  only  accept AP Physic C because it is calculus based.  
Do I need to know my engineering major when I enter Purdue?
Absolutely not! In fact, all beginning Purdue undergraduate students complete a general first-year curriculum through the First-Year Engineering Program before moving forward to their engineering specialty. This allows students time to explore engineering careers, start to learn engineering design, and get strong foundations in math, science, English, and computer skills. Students who are confident in their career choice are more likely to succeed in the engineering major they choose. 
What are the requirements to transition to my major of choice after the first year?
Students will rank their top two engineering majors and be evaluated based on completing required course work, GPA, and EAI (Engineering Admissions Index). The transition to major process is explained here . New beginners in fall who meet specific criteria are guaranteed their first choice . This past year 91% of the students who completed the First-Year Engineering requirements received their first choice of major. 
Can I get an engineering degree in four years?
Yes! With the exception of the 5-year Professional Practice Program option or dual degree programs, all engineering degrees are designed as four-year programs. Each major requires 124-132 credit hours, which is a full course load (at least 15 hours per semester) for each of the eight semesters. Many students, for a variety of reasons, elect to take a lighter load and graduate in 4 1/2 - 5 years. The average time to degree is 4.2 years. Being successful and taking advantage of all of the opportunities afforded to you at the University is an important part of your college experience. Keep this in mind as you determine the time it will take you to complete your education. 
Do engineering students have free time?
YES! Purdue Engineers are some of the most involved on campus. Our students find themselves involved with professional organizations, community service, bands and orchestras, Greek Life, club and even varsity sports. There is always something going on at Purdue: concerts, sporting events, festivals, speakers, movies, gaming, and fundraisers (i.e. Dance Marathon, Relay for Life). There are cool places to eat right near campus or just a walk down the hill to Historic Downtown Lafayette. There is so much to do in the surrounding area. Hike along the Wabash Heritage Trail or even howl with the wolves. Really! At Wolf Park Nature Preserve. And yes, we even have the Northwest's largest corn maze, inspired by Amelia Earhart and Neil Armstrong, can you believe we pay to get lost in corn?? The entire Lafayette community has Boilermaker spirit and enjoys having students here.
How do I apply for scholarships?
You are automatically considered for Purdue merit-based scholarships when you apply to the University. For more information visit our: "How to Pay for Purdue Engineering" page. To be eligible for any merit-based award, you must have your completed application submitted prior to November 1, along with all of your application materials. We highly recommend that all students complete the FAFSA, as some merit-based funding is contingent upon having it completed.
How many students are in First-Year Engineering classes?
The average class size across the College of Engineering is 45 students. As a student progresses academically, class size generally decreases. Faculty-led lectures in science and math range in size from approximately 150-350 students and is complemented by weekly recitation sessions. These small-group weekly recitation sessions divide students into classes of 25-30 and are led by teaching assistants. Faculty and teaching assistants are easily accessible through regular office hours, e-mail, and phone to answer any questions. 

All First-Year Engineering students take a sequence of two engineering courses called "Ideas to Innovation" (i2i), which are held in our state-of-the art Learning Lab/Design Studios. These interactive classes will combine hands-on experiential learning and theory. Students will be teamed into groups of 4 where they will collaborate on projects throughout the year. First-Year Engineering class sizes range from 120 students for the traditional First-Year Engineering (FYE) program to 60 students for the Honors FYE.
Can I double major in engineering?
A student who is doing well academically can typically double major in engineering; however, we see it done infrequently due to the extra time to degree. We do have many engineering students that do a variety of value-added minors. Adding a second degree in physics or math is typically more efficient. The College of Liberal Arts has a degree+ program that waives their core requirements so picking up a second degree in areas like English and communication could be done in 5 years. 

We may also encourage students to consider a master's degree rather than two bachelor's depending on their goals. Purdue's College of Engineering does have some master's and bachelor's combined degrees.  
What is the Honors Program for Engineering?
A small percentage of our students participate in the Honors College. The Honors College is a multidisciplinary, multifaceted experience with a focus on scholarly exchange. To learn about benefits and admissions process please go to the Engineering Honors Program page.
What is the difference between an engineering degree and a Purdue Polytechnic Institute degree?
At Purdue University, our goal is to help you find the program that is the best fit for your learning style and goals. Both the College of Engineering and Purdue Polytechnic Institute offer excellent degrees, strong job placement, and high starting salaries, which can make the decision of which one to apply to a difficult one. 
The College of Engineering focuses on the conceptual stages of solving societal challenges and early stages of creating products that do not exist and therefore requires more in-depth study in math and science. Engineering students participate in hands-on labs and many experiential opportunities to design products and process. Engineering graduates (engineers) are capable of doing computer modeling to predict performance prior to the build stage as well as working through all phases of the production process. 

The Purdue Polytechnic Institute specializes in bringing products to life and to the consumer. Purdue Polytechnic Institute students have fewer theoretical classes, such as math and science, and focus more on the hands-on lab components with each class. Purdue Polytechnic Institute graduates (technologists) are involved in product design later in the production process and help to determine the best way to manufacture products. Both the College of Engineering and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute emphasize teamwork, problem solving, and communication. These skills can lead to similar job functions across areas of design, manufacturing, and management depending on students' interest and experience.

It is important to note that some professions, like Civil Engineering, require a Professional Engineering (PE) license. The College of Engineering provides students in all majors (with the exception of Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies) the opportunity to work towards their PE. 
Do I need my own computer at Purdue?
It's not necessary for you to bring your own computer. Purdue maintains 20 open computer labs that are available to students at various times. This does not include the open labs that are available in each residence hall for residents. However, it should be noted that over 95% of all engineering students bring their own computers to campus. In general, engineering students say that they like to have their own computer on campus for convenience. Either laptop or desktop computers will work well depending on a student's preference. For more information on hardware and software guidelines, check out the Computer Guidelines for FYE Students page. The majority of Purdue's campus is for wireless laptop computers. Computers are available for sale at Purdue-negotiated prices through Information Technology at Purdue-ITaP Shopping. 
Can engineering students live in the same residence hall?
The College of Engineering is the largest college on Purdue's campus; therefore, engineering students live in ALL of the residence halls. During the first year, there are engineering-only housing options through the Learning Communities. For more information, visit Engineering Learning Communities.  
What is the average starting salary and placement rates for Purdue Engineering graduates?
The average starting salary across engineering disciplines for Purdue Engineering graduates for 2017 was approximately $66,000. 95% of engineering students were successfully placed into a job in their field or another chosen plan (graduate school, Peace Corps, military, etc.) within 6 months of graduation. Visit Purdue's Center for Career Opportunities for more detailed starting salary information.
Are there any engineering programs or summer camps I can attend?
There are several programs offered on the Purdue campus. We have Engineering campus offered via our Minority Engineering Program  and Engineering Honors Program.  For Purdue campus-wide outreach programs go to the  P-12 Portal and the Summer Camps pages.

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