Student FAQ

When did the core curriculum take effect?

Purdue's core curriculum began in the fall semester of 2013.


What are the Purdue (PWL) core requirements?

Students must complete approved coursework that meets the eight foundational learning outcomes as follows: one course for each of the following foundational learning outcomes - Written Communication; Information Literacy; Oral Communication; Science, Technology & Society; Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning; Human Cultures: Humanities; and Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science. Additionally, two courses in Science are required.


Which courses have been approved to fulfill the core curriculum?

Click on the "course listing" link for a complete list of approved foundational courses.


Who needs to fulfill the core curriculum requirements?

Since Fall 2013, all beginning undergraduate students are required to fulfill the core curriculum as part of their program of study. This requirement also applies to newly enrolled first-year degree-seeking students and transfer students from institutions outside the Purdue system. However, this requirement does not apply to students transferring from another Purdue campus who were enrolled in a degree-seeking program before Fall 2013, unless they choose to follow the new catalog. Degree-seeking students enrolled before Fall 2013 are not required to complete the core curriculum requirements.


What will be required for students who change majors (CODO) or transfer to Purdue?

Students changing majors will follow the curriculum in place as of their matriculation date to the University. Alternatively, they may choose to follow the curriculum in effect for new beginning students at the time of the change. Students transferring to Purdue University will follow the curriculum in effect for new beginning students at the time of their transfer. They cannot be placed on a retroactive plan of study. 


How long will it take me to fulfill the core curriculum learning outcomes?

Students will have the entire duration of their undergraduate program to meet these outcomes. However, most are likely to achieve the majority of these outcomes within their first few years.


Do placement tests count in meeting foundational learning outcomes?

Yes, AP, CLEP, and other approved placement tests can count towards meeting a foundational learning outcome if the test aligns with a specific course or subject matter approved for that outcome. For instance, achieving a score of ‘4’ on an AP Biology test would fulfill the learning outcome for BIOL 11000. It’s important to note that students must achieve a score of 75 or higher on a proctored ALEKS exam to receive credit for MA 15300.


Can students meet the foundational core curriculum requirements through study abroad experiences?

Currently, students can fulfill a foundational learning outcome through a study abroad experience only if it involves an approved course taught in that context. For instance, EDPS 26500 (The Inclusive Classroom), which satisfies the Behavioral/Social Sciences foundational learning outcome, is offered both as a traditional course during the academic year and as a study abroad course each summer.


Can a student use a single course to meet more than one foundational outcome?

Yes. Several foundational courses are approved to fulfill two foundational outcomes. Refer to the approved list of foundational courses for specifics. Successfully completing one of these courses allows a student to satisfy both associated foundational outcomes.


Can a student complete the PWL Core at the foundational level in less than 30 credit hours?

Yes, by successfully completing foundational coursework for each learning outcome, students can fulfill all learning outcomes in less than 30 credit hours. For instance, a student could take the following courses: ENGL 10600 (WC, IL) - 4 credits, COM 11400 (OC) - 3 credits, MA 16100 (QR) - 5 credits, BIOL 14501 (S) - 2 credits, AGEC 20300 (BSS) - 3 credits, THTR 20100 (H) - 3 credits, and EPCS 10100 (STS) - 1 credit, totaling 21 credit hours. However, a word of caution: should a student decide to transfer to another state institution, they must have completed a total of 30 credit hours of foundational outcomes. Therefore, students planning to transfer should aim for at least 30 credit hours of foundational coursework to avoid having to complete additional requirements at the new institution.


As a Purdue Student, I may be able to complete my core in fewer than 30 hours. However, I want to transfer to another Indiana school. Will my core transfer to the next institution?


No. If you have completed fewer than 30 credit hours of foundational core courses at Purdue, your credits will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis at the next institution, and you will need to fulfill their core curriculum requirements. To receive full credit for completing the core curriculum and meet the statewide transfer core requirements, you must complete additional foundational coursework to reach a minimum of 30 credit hours.


Is there a minimum grade students must earn to meet foundational learning outcomes?

Students must pass the course addressing the foundational outcome, in accordance with Purdue’s approved grading scale (which includes a grade of P). Successfully passing the course signifies that the student has satisfactorily met the foundational outcome.


For students attending another institution before coming to Purdue, will their courses count towards meeting the Core Curriculum requirements?

It depends on the courses completed at the previous institution. If a student transfers without completing the 30-hour core curriculum or an Associate’s degree at another institution, their courses will undergo an evaluation on a course-by-course basis. These courses will then be applied to the Purdue Outcomes-based Core Curriculum as if they were the equivalent Purdue courses.


If I CODO to another college or school, will my foundational credit transfer with me?

Once a student fulfills a foundational outcome, they receive credit for that achievement. If a student changes their program or college within the university (CODO), the foundational outcomes they have already met will continue to be recognized as completed.


If I previously attended another institution before coming to Purdue, would my courses count toward the core curriculum requirement?

Under the updated policies at Purdue, transfer students are required to complete all 8 PWL Foundational Learning Outcomes (FLO) in order to receive credit for the core curriculum, even if they had previously met the core requirements at another Indiana institution. This entails taking additional courses specific to the PWL requirements. It is important to note that this change is not retroactive. Students who transferred to Purdue before this policy update will still receive credit for the core curriculum completed at another institution. The new requirement applies only to new transfer students moving forward.


Statewide Transfer General Education Core FAQs


Will I be required to take specific foundational outcome courses for my major?

In most cases, no. The core is designed to encourage exploration and to develop knowledge and skills through any combination of core courses.


In what circumstance will I be required to take a specific foundational outcome course?

Only when specific knowledge is critical for your discipline AND it is a link in a chain of prerequisites needed to graduate on time will a student be advised to take a particular course satisfying a foundational outcome.

If it is critical a student have certain knowledge or skills to make successful progress in a major, a course from the foundational outcomes core can be REQUIRED.


What if a previously enrolled degree-seeking student wants to change to the new 120-hour program within a major that includes core curriculum requirements?

Any previously enrolled degree-seeking student may choose to change to the new program within a major. However, they cannot be required to make this change and may continue completing their original program of study (going as far back as the Fall 2011 Catalog). Students who opt to switch to a new 120-credit hour program of study will need to meet the core curriculum requirements, as these are part of the updated program.

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