Summer Start FAQs

What is Summer Start?

Purdue Summer Start is a five-week, credit-bearing summer session that is scheduled before the start of the fall semester. This program is designed to give students a jump-start on their college career. Students join the Catalyst Learning Community, participate in extracurricular activities, explore campus, and complete three regular classes in only five weeks.

What are the benefits of Summer Start?

- Get ahead in your studies by completing seven credit hours. Students in many majors can utilize one or more future Summer Sessions to graduate early. Students graduating in 3.5 years net an average of $22,300 and students graduating in 3 years net an average of $52,094 compared to their peers who graduate in four years. 

- A more relaxed and intimate environment will provide students a chance to adjust to college living and to the rigor of college-level classes.

- Develop supporting friendships that will last throughout your time at Purdue - check out the support and activities page for additional information.

- Earn up to $1,000 in scholarship money!

- Participating in Summer Start is your gateway to earning a degree from the top-ranked university in the State of Indiana! 

Who can be in Summer Start?

Students receive an invitation to start during summer as part of the admissions process. Students who are admitted for Fall 2020 may opt to participate in a similar program called Early Start.  If you have questions, please contact us at

What are the dates?

The five-week Summer Start session spans July 13-August 14, 2020. Move-in will occur on Friday, July 10th and a free mandatory orientation program will span from Friday, July 10th through Sunday, July 12th. The mandatory orientation experience will not replace Boiler Gold Rush (BGR), which is optional. Check out our important dates and deadlines page for more information.

Where will I live?

You and other students enrolled in the program will live in Harrison Hall and participate in the Catalyst Learning Community throughout the academic year. You will have air conditioning! You must sign and complete a housing contract by June 5, 2020. Students may rush for fraternities, sororities, and co-ops. However, students must live in Harrison Hall during your first year. Check out our housing page for more information.

How much does it cost?

There is no additional fee for Summer Start - you simply pay the traditional cost for tuition, fees, housing, and a meal plan. You can find this information on the Costs and Aid page.

Which courses will I take?

You will be enrolled in seven credits during the program, which equates to two 90-minute classes Monday-Friday and one freshman seminar course that will meet three times each week for 50 minutes. You can read more by clicking here.

What happens if I’m not successful in my Summer Start courses?

Students earned an average GPA of 3.49 during Summer 2018 - higher than the university average! If you happen to experience academic difficulty during your Summer Start courses, you will be able to register for and attend fall classes. You will also receive help from our qualified faculty and staff to get back on track. Performance in fall and spring coursework will be subject to Purdue’s probation policy.

Can I have a job while doing Summer Start?

We highly discourage trying to maintain employment during the five-week Summer Start session. Completing seven college credits for the first time in a compressed format is a difficult task, but one that you can do if utilizing the resources available and the time structured around class to study. However, given the fact that you are on campus five weeks earlier than the rest of Purdue students, you will have time to find and secure a fall employment opportunity. Check out this website for links to popular on-campus employment sites. 

Do I need to register for VSTAR and/or BGR?

Due to the impact of COVID-19, Summer Transition, Advising and Registration (STAR) will be delivered remotely through Virtual STAR (VSTAR) for all students beginning May 11.

You are required to attend the Virtual Summer Transition, Advising and Registration (VSTAR). Students who have accepted their offer of admission will be automatically enrolled in VSTAR, including students who have already registered for an on-campus STAR date. This is the program that will allow you to meet your academic advisor and plan classes (summer and fall).  You are also expected to register yourself for Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) – Purdue’s orientation week that takes place between the end of Summer Start and the beginning of fall courses.

Can I have my car on campus?

During Summer Start, yes you can have a car. You will need to park in residence hall parking lots with white signs - we will point out specific parking lots during orientation - and you can also pay to park at meters across campus.  However, you cannot park in A, B, or C spots without a permit.  As for the fall and spring semesters, you will have to meet certain criteria in order to apply for parking permit. More information can be found here.

Will I have help after Summer Start is over?

Yes! Purdue’s Academic Success Center will be there for you to provide Supplemental Instruction (SI) and your success coach will be available throughout your time at Purdue. Why should you attend SI during the fall and spring semesters? On average, 95% of students who attended SI session regularly (8 or more times) earned a C or better in the course. About half of those students earned an A or B.  89% of students also believed their course grade would have been lower if they did not attend SI. SI is extremely beneficial for courses such as biology, chemistry, and mathematics, especially calculus. 

The College of Science also offers individual tutoring for first-year math and science courses through a program called COSINE. 

How do I pay for tuition?

You can pay online at the Bursar's Office website.  More information can be found on our Costs and Aid page.

Who do I contact with other questions?

Please call us at 765-496-3780 or email us at 

    Admissions Checklist

    "We have always felt supported and all of our questions were answered. We couldn't be happier!"

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

    © 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of the Provost

    Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact Office of the Provost at