Purdue HHS continues rapid growth in distinctive student body profile

Crossing the Tracks
HHS researchers

The College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) continues to grow both rapidly and substantially. This fall, we welcomed a record-breaking 4,999 undergraduate students, including 1,103 New Beginners. Since fall 2016, HHS undergraduate student enrollment has grown by 30%. Our enrollment growth comes from recruiting New Beginners but also from students who discover HHS majors after they’ve arrived at Purdue; HHS attracted 366 net major changes in 2020-2021. Additionally, HHS graduate student enrollment grew from 519 students to a record 732 since fall 2016, partially due to the increase in online master’s programs.

The profile of HHS students is distinctive from that of the other large colleges at Purdue. Sixty-eight percent of HHS undergraduate students are Indiana residents, 76% are women, and 23% are first-generation college students. Fourteen percent of HHS students identify with an underrepresented population, compared to 11% University-wide. Approximately 40% of our undergraduate students are enrolled in STEM majors.

As our enrollment has grown, so has our faculty. Thirty-six faculty member searches are currently underway for fall 2022, including nine of the cluster-hires in the area of public health, health policy and health equity, an important initiative of the Equity Task Force. HHS is grateful to be able to increase the excellence of our programs by growing the size of our faculty. However, the HHS undergraduate-to-faculty ratio is 17.2, well above the University average of 13.4. This poses challenges for educating future scientists and offering clinical and professional education in diverse disciplines, including but not limited to nursing, early childhood education, nutrition and dietetics, financial counseling and planning, medical laboratory sciences, public health, and hospitality and tourism management.