September 14, 2023

Purdue welcomes its most selective incoming class

Strong national and global recognition, commitment to affordability combined with surging numbers of applicants to boost overall 2023 graduate and undergraduate enrollment to new records

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is welcoming its most selective class of incoming students for the 2023-24 academic year, marking a ninth consecutive record-breaking year of undergraduate applicants and enrollments, and another overall record for the number of graduate and undergraduate students. This year’s incoming undergraduate class was selected at a 50% admission rate — 3 percentage points lower than last year — from among 72,800 applicants.

“The Class of 2027 is the most selective drawn from the largest pool of undergraduate applicants since the Common App was used at Purdue,” said Purdue President Mung Chiang. “We also welcome master’s and doctorate students who are arriving to the largest graduate student enrollment on record. Excellence at scale is truly reflected in our students.”

Propelled by a string of strong rising national and global rankings reflecting its heightened academic profile, a sustained commitment to affordability from a dozen years of frozen tuition, and the resultant record applicant numbers, total enrollment at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus has reached an all-time high of 52,211 students this semester, including 47,889 in residence at West Lafayette. 

Driven by scholarly excellence, this figure includes a record 39,170 undergraduates from all 50 states and over 120 countries as well as 12,136 graduate students, the most ever, pursuing advanced degrees — up 42% over the past decade. Another 905 students are pursuing professional degrees.

Undergraduate applications increased nearly 7% this year to 72,800 — and have surged 82% from 40,025 since 2013 when Common App was adopted. That has powered a 34% jump in total undergraduate enrollment since the 2014-15 academic year.

As West Lafayette student numbers approach a plateau and construction begins on new student housing projects recently approved by Purdue’s Board of Trustees, this year’s incoming class of undergraduate beginners is 9,285 — intentionally smaller than the record incoming class of 10,191 set in 2021. On average, this year’s incoming student reports a 3.78 GPA, its highest level in 15 years.

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity Patrick Wolfe said, “Our decade-long push to enhance scholarly excellence at Purdue while maintaining affordability and access has proved a winning strategy. I’m especially proud that our enrollment of students from underrepresented groups has reached its highest count and proportion — 6,215, or 12% of total enrollment — in at least a decade. This reflects the strides being made by our faculty through Purdue’s $75 million Equity Task Force initiative, launched in 2020 by our Board of Trustees.”

Additional Information

Purdue’s College of Engineering and College of Science received over 22,000 and 18,000 applicants, respectively, followed by the newly reimagined Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business with over 7,300 applicants. Health and Human Sciences exceeded 7,000 applications for the first time, while the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and Liberal Arts received over 5,100 and 4,600 applications, respectively. More than 3,200 prospective students applied directly to Exploratory Studies, over 2,000 to Agriculture and more than 600 to Education, with undergraduate programs in Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine drawing an additional 1,400 applicants in total.

Purdue’s record graduate enrollment includes over 5,200 residential PhD students across 84 subjects, more than 3,600 master’s students enrolled through Purdue University Online and nearly 3,000 residential master’s students, among others.

Professional programs at Purdue also continue to flourish and to strengthen; one sustained high point among several is Purdue’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Applications there have risen more than 200% the past decade to 1,749, with 99 offers extended this year prior to the national acceptance date of April 15, and an enrollment of 84 new students — making it far and away one of Purdue’s most competitive and in-demand programs.

Student excellence and access

With affordability and accessibility at the forefront of its mission and buoyed by nearly a decade of record enrollment totals, Purdue has kept tuition at $9,992 per year for Indiana residents and $28,794 for out-of-state students for 12 consecutive years since 2012-13.

In tandem with that sustained effort, one-year loan borrowing per Purdue undergraduate has decreased by 40% since 2012. And with tuition unchanged at least through the 2024-25 school year, savings for Boilermaker students and their families will have totaled more than $1 billion for educational and living expenses, versus what they would have paid if Purdue had raised tuition and fees at the national average. And annual in-state tuition would be $1,400 higher today if Purdue had followed the national trend.

Seventy-five percent of Indiana resident applicants were offered admission to Purdue’s flagship West Lafayette campus this year, while nearly all others received offers of admission elsewhere within the Purdue system.

A rising national, global profile

The land-grant university’s enhanced national profile also continues to play a major role in driving enrollment to record levels:

  • Purdue boasts 42 academic programs and specialties — 29 graduate and 13 undergraduate — ranked in the top 10 or top 10th percentile by U.S. News & World Report. Highlights include the No. 1 graduate programs in analytical chemistry and in agricultural and biological engineering and the No. 1 online master’s programs in electrical engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering and engineering management.
  • QS World University rankings listed Purdue at No. 27 overall in the U.S. and No. 10 among U.S. public universities in 2024, up three spots from 2023. Purdue also was No. 99 among 1,500 global universities, rising 30 spots from 2023 to return to the top 100.
  • Purdue was recognized as a top 10 U.S. public university by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education in 2022. The rankings examined student outcomes, including graduates’ salaries and debt; academic resources such as how much is spent on teaching; student engagement and how students feel equipped for the real world; and learning environments, including diversity of the student body and academic staff.
  • For the first time, Purdue was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company — coming in at No. 16 overall and No. 1 in education — for its advances in the vital field of semiconductors and microelectronics. The only university among the magazine’s prestigious Top 50 Most Innovative Companies, No. 16 Purdue follows OpenAI (at No. 1, developer of ChatGPT and Dall-E) and leads NASA (No. 17) and The Walt Disney Co. (No. 25). Overall, the list acknowledges 540 organizations across 54 categories and regions around the world.
  • For two consecutive years, Purdue has been named a Fast Company Brand That Matters — the only university on the list both years. The annual designation honors organizations for communicating their brand’s mission and ideals with intention and authenticity.
  • Purdue has enjoyed five consecutive years as a top 10 Most Innovative university as designated by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, Purdue was named the country’s No. 4 most trusted public university by Morning Consult.

Purdue University West Lafayette and systemwide enrollment demographics for fall 2023 semester:

  • Graduate enrollment: 12,136, including 3,611 online-only, surpassing last year’s record of 12,017 students.
  • Professional degree enrollment: 905.
  • Undergraduate residency: Indiana students, 18,230; U.S. students from outside Indiana, 16,956; and international students, 3,984.
  • Total enrollment by gender: women, 22,117; men, 30,094.
  • Total enrollment by self-reported ethnicity: Black or African American, 1,421, the most in over 15 years; Asian, 6,488; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 22; Hispanic/Latino, 3,569; American Indian/Alaska Native, 56; and two or more races, 2,317.
  • Total enrollment in West Lafayette: 52,211.

Polytechnic statewide: 623. Purdue Polytechnic Institute degrees are offered in Anderson, Columbus, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette, New Albany, Richmond, South Bend and Vincennes. 

Additionally, fall 2023 enrollment reached 6,606 at Purdue Northwest, 6,288 at Purdue Fort Wayne and 5,496 at IUPUI, pushing total enrollment for the Purdue system to a record 106,331 students.

Purdue Global, the university’s accredited and affordable online solution designed for the working adult with life experience and often some college credit, but no degree, reported an enrollment of 35,107 for September 2023.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes, at

Writer, media contact: Phillip Fiorini,, 765-430-6189

Sources: Mung Chiang

Patrick Wolfe

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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