November 14, 2023

Report ranks Purdue among top 10 universities for international student enrollment

Purdue also places in top 25 nationally among doctoral institutions for number of students studying abroad

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is among the top 10 institutions in the U.S. for attracting international students, and climbed one position higher over last year, according to a new national ranking. The 2023 Open Doors Report, issued Tuesday (Nov. 14) by the Institute of International Education, shows Purdue is ranked No. 8 among 4,500-plus public and private universities in attracting international students and ranks No. 24 among all U.S. doctoral institutions in the number of study abroad students. 

The report, which is based on fall semester enrollment and optional practical training data for the 2022-23 academic year, shows Purdue had a total of 11,872 students from abroad, representing around 130 countries.

Heidi Arola, assistant vice president for global partnerships and programs, said, “Purdue is an attractive choice for international students. They bring so much to our community, and their presence brings the world to Purdue, helping all our Boilermakers gain global competencies necessary to succeed in today’s workforce. At the same time, international students have a very positive impact on the economy of Indiana.”

The university’s international student enrollment rankings, based on the 2023 Open Doors Report, are:

  • No. 8 among 4,500-plus public and private institutions (up from No. 9 last year).
  • No. 3 among all U.S. public universities (up from No. 4 last year).
  • No. 2 in the Big Ten. 

The international student body comprises 18.6% of the total number of enrolled students at Purdue. International students make up 11.2% of the total undergraduate body, while international students represent 42.9% of all graduate and professional students.

Notably, India surpassed China last year for the highest number of students at Purdue, with 2,698 and 2,359 students, respectively. That follows a trend seen at universities across the U.S. 

South Korea (693) is third, Taiwan (423) is fourth, and Colombia (177) rounds out the top five.

At 41.5% of total international student enrollment, the College of Engineering has the highest percentage of students from abroad. The College of Science is second with 20.9%, followed by Purdue Polytechnic Institute with 10.2%. The Krannert School of Management (now the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business) attracted 9.8%, and the College of Agriculture represented 4.5% of Purdue’s international enrollment.

International students accounted for 6% of the total U.S. higher education population and contributed nearly $38 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Purdue’s international students and their families also generate economic value for the state of Indiana and for Purdue. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Purdue West Lafayette’s international students and their families brought an estimated $340 million to the U.S. economy, supporting 3,399 jobs. International students across Indiana account for $890.2 million and support 8,297 jobs.

Purdue also employs and hosts 1,244 international faculty, researchers and staff, representing 77 nations. 

In addition, the university creates opportunities for Boilermakers to study abroad. The Open Doors report indicates Purdue ranks No. 24 among all U.S. doctoral institutions, with 1,351 U.S. students studying internationally for credit in 2021-22.

The 2023 Open Doors Report is released as part of the nationwide observance of International Education Week (November 13-17), a joint initiative established by the U.S. State Department and Department of Education.

Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Lee Satterfield said, “Students from around the world have chosen the United States as the top destination for international study. International education is a vehicle that promotes peace and cross-cultural connections and provides the tools necessary to address the shared challenges of our time. It continues to shape the leaders of the future, both here at home and abroad, and we look forward to doing even more to attract international students to the United States and serve as the global leader in international education.”

International Education Week is celebrated at Purdue through a variety of activities supported by offices and units campuswide, including Global Partnerships and Programs, which facilitates the university’s international efforts and initiatives and bolsters global opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

“The presence of international students on the West Lafayette campus positively impacts academic success for everyone,” said Chris Collins, director of International Student Services. “These students are among the best in their home countries, and we are fortunate to have them in our Boilermaker community.”

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: Wes Mills,

Source: Heidi Arola,

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