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Freshman Admission Criteria

students sitting on a bench in the sun in front of the Purdue P statue

Are you ready to take your next giant leap?

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?

Purdue applications are reviewed individually and holistically with these two primary questions in mind. There is no definitive answer to 'what does it take to be admitted?' You can use our Freshman Class Profile Page to 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 space availability or the rigor of the program's curriculum.

Those that accept their offer of admission to Purdue must have a high school diploma or receive a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma (e.g., GED) unless they are 18 years of age or older. Purdue requires that students submit proof of high school graduation. Purdue will review to confirm that enrollment conditions have been met.

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:

Complete Your Application

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

  • The application itself
  • Purdue-specific questions from the application
  • Self-reported high school grades
  • Self-reported ACT or SAT test scores*
  • Proof of English proficiency (for citizens of non-English speaking countries)
  • The application fee (or qualified fee waiver)

Students apply to Purdue using the Common Application. This application requires you to provide a personal essay and answer Purdue-specific questions. View current essay questions.

We accept SAT or ACT scores and have no preference on which test is taken. You may report the best scores from across different tests. If able, you should take one or the other in the spring of your junior year in preparation for the November 1 Early Action deadline that encompasses scholarship consideration.

When you apply, you are able to report best components from different test dates. School codes for Purdue West Lafayette: ACT – 1230; SAT – 1631.

*For Spring, Summer, and Fall 2023, Purdue is test flexible. This means that if a student can take an SAT or ACT, we prefer they do so. However, we recognize that possible cancellations and postponement of national standardized tests due to pandemic restrictions may be impacting students’ applications. With that in mind, we will move forward and review any application from a student who is unable to take a standardized test.

Looking ahead: In 2024, Purdue will return to requiring the SAT or ACT test score(s) for admission consideration. 

Don't Miss Deadlines

Meet the Minimum Requirements and Be Competitive

You should meet or exceed these minimum high school expectations.

  • Math—eight semesters
  • English—eight semesters
  • Lab science—six semesters (for engineering applicants, chemistry experience is expected; for nursing, pharmacy and veterinary nursing, two semesters must be chemistry and two must be biology)
  • Social studies—six semesters
  • World language—four semesters

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

If you are an Indiana resident, we strongly encourage you to pursue the Academic Honors Diploma. While this does not guarantee admission to Purdue, those who earn this diploma are generally stronger candidates and better prepared for the academic rigor of Purdue classes.

Admission to Purdue is competitive and we’ll use the following factors to evaluate your application:

  • 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?)
  • Grades in academic core coursework (English, academic math, laboratory science, foreign language, social studies)
  • SAT or ACT scores (if provided)
  • Proof of English proficiency (for citizens of non-English speaking countries)
  • 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
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