PREFACE stands for Pre-Freshman and Cooperative Education. It seeks to create a cooperative environment for students heading into their sophomore or junior year of high school who aspire to attend college. It is a 1-week, 1-credit residential summer workshop that focuses on college readiness with a strong emphasis on math and engineering projects. PREFACE is an early outreach strategy aiming to attract underrepresented students, i.e., African American, Native American, Hispanic American, to Purdue. Participants will learn more about engineering careers, see how engineers move the world forward, and discover, engage, and apply engineering principles through hands-on learning. They will live in one of Purdue University's world-class residence halls, meet current undergraduate and graduate engineering students, faculty, administrators, and learn about 15 unique engineering majors.

National Outreach

PREFACE participants will meet like-minded students from major cities across the United States and Puerto Rico. They will be able to explore the Purdue campus, learn about the College of Engineering and First-Year Engineering requirements, tour selected research laboratories, and examine career choices that relate to their values, abilities and goals.

Hands-On Projects

In collaboration with one or more of the schools within the College of Engineering, students will be exposed to the engineering design process used to solve some of the world's most pertinent challenges. They will complete an engineering project, led by faculty and/or graduate assistants and engage in friendly competition while developing presentation skills.

Academic Relations

Most importantly, participants will leave with skills to help them improve their academic profile. With a strong focus on mathematics, students will have a pre-assessment and receive a license for an online academic program that they can continue to use after the program has concluded. 


Scholarships are available for students who meet need-based scholarship requirements.


To apply, please click here

Individuals of all races, genders, and backgrounds are welcome.

Program Privacy Notice

Frequently Asked Questions
2024 Program Dates
June 23 - June 28
  • Format: In-Person
  • June 23: Check-In
  • June 28: Check-Out
What grades are accepted into PREFACE?
PREFACE is for rising 10th and 11th grade students or students who have completed 9th and 10th grades
What do you do in PREFACE?
  • Students get exposure to engineering careers and the impact engineers have on the world 
  • Engineering projects introduce students to different engineering disciplines and engineering design
  • Career planning and academic skills required for engineering are thoroughly discussed
  • Test-taking abilities are assessed
  • Math abilities are assessed using an online tutorial system
  • Social activities help students make friends from all over the country
Important Dates and Deadlines
  • Application Deadline: April 22, 2024
  • Admission Decision: May 6, 2024
  • Payment Deadline: June 1, 2024
Decision Notification
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Once all elements are in (transcript, recommendation, application) a decision will be made and parents will be notified.
Helpful Information Regarding Cost, How to Pay, and Scholarships
  • There is a $60 application fee that must be paid during the application process
  • Summer workshop fees:
    • Indiana Resident: $724.10
    • Domestic nonresident: $1324.55
  • The fees cover:
    • Room and board (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and lodging) 
    • Hands-on Engineering Project + Project Materials
    • Hands-on Engineering Project + Session Instruction
    • Math Review Sessions (Lectures + ALEKS)
    • ALEKS Subscription (1) Year + Scheduled Tutoring Sessions
    • Exploring Engineering Sessions (Faculty, Students, Alumni, Industry) 
  • Admissions FAQs: FAQs - Summer College for High School Students - Purdue University
  • Fees DO NOT Include:
    • Travel to and from Purdue University
Does this program offer college credit?
Yes. PREFACE participants will receive 1 college credit. Students apply through Purdue Admissions and the course will be listed on an official transcript and maintained as part of their permanent record.
Will my college credit transfer to another institution?
Your institution of choice determines if the credit transfers. Purdue credits transfer to many other institutions as direct and free elective credits.
Do the students stay on campus?
Yes, program participants will lodge at one of our residence halls. Lodging details are provided upon acceptance of the summer offer. 
What do students need to bring to camp?
For summer camp essentials, please click here.
My child needs to leave the program early. Can they still participate?
PREFACE requires participation in all five days
My child is not a minority. Can they still participate?
Our programs are open to all students and we welcome all students. The programs are focused to increase interest and representation of underrepresented minorities in engineering. 

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