Freshman Admission Criteria

Purdue applications are reviewed individually and holistically with two primary questions in mind.

  • Are you academically prepared to succeed in your desired academic program?
  • Are you a competitive candidate in the context of the overall pool of applicants for the program based on available space?

Evaluation begins when we have received your application and all required material. Here's what you need to know when preparing for admission to and success at Purdue.

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For most first-time college students (future freshman) a complete application includes:

  • The application itself
  • All official transcripts
  • An old or new SAT or ACT test score (sent directly from the agency)
  • The application fee (or qualified fee waiver)

If you’re a high school student and want to begin at Purdue in the fall, you should apply early in your senior year. November 1 is the admission application deadline for scholarship consideration as well as the priority deadline for Nursing and Computer Science and firm deadline for Veterinary Technology.

January 1 is our priority application deadline for fall enrollment, meaning we will continue accepting applications until at least this date for most programs. However, after November 1 admission will be more competitive.

Visit the deadlines page for more information.

You should meet or exceed these minimum high school expectations.

  • Math—eight semesters
  • English—eight semesters
  • Lab science—six semesters (for engineering, nursing, pharmacy and veterinary technology, two semesters must be chemistry; nursing also requires two semesters of biology)
  • Social studies—six semesters
  • Foreign language—four semesters

Visit the high school course requirements page for more specific information.

Most students apply to Purdue using the Common Application OR Coalition Application (not both and we have no preference). These require you to provide a personal essay and answer Purdue-specific questions. View current essay questions.

Admission to Purdue is competitive and we’ll use the following factors to answer the academic preparation and available space questions mentioned at the top of this page.

  • High school course expectations
  • Overall grades in academic coursework
  • Grades related to intended major
  • Strength of your overall high school curriculum
  • Trends in achievement (if you have weaker grades/courses, were they earlier in your high school record)
  • Overall grade point average
  • Core grade point average (English, academic math, laboratory science, foreign language, social studies)
  • SAT or ACT score sent from the testing agency. Test scores must be sent electronically from the testing agency. When registering to take one of these tests, take advantage of the free reporting option to have the testing agency send your scores directly to Purdue West Lafayette (ACT School Code: 1230; SAT School Code: 1631). A writing score from one of these tests is not required. (See ACT and SAT Tests section below for more information.)
  • Ability to be successful in intended major
  • Essay and answers to Purdue questions
  • Personal background and experiences
  • Information provided by your high school
  • Time of year you apply
  • Space availability in the desired program

Though this question is often asked, there is no definitive answer. You can use our Freshman Class Profile Page see “middle 50%” ranges for GPAs and SAT or ACT tests. However, these ranges represent the entire freshman class — the middle 50% for individual majors may be higher or lower based on the rigor of the program’s curricula or space availability.

To meet the ACT or SAT test requirement, Purdue will accept the old or new SAT or the ACT — we have no preference. You should sit for one of these tests in the spring of your junior year to ensure that you are able to meet our November 1 application deadline for scholarship consideration. The College Board provides an online SAT Score Converter so that you can see how specific scores from the old and new tests compare to each other.

At the time of registration, you should use your free score report options to have your scores sent to Purdue. We will always use the best available score for admission decisions and scholarship consideration and will not penalize you if earlier scores were lower.

School codes for Purdue West Lafayette: ACT – 1230; SAT – 1631.

If you’re an Indiana resident, we strongly encourage you to pursue the Academic Honors Diploma. This does not guarantee admission to Purdue but those who earn this diploma are generally stronger candidates.

Purdue University Office of Admissions, 475 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-1776, Hearing impaired only: 1-800-743-3333

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