Purdue University - West Lafayette

West Lafayette, United States
Website: www.purdue.edu Founded: 1869 year Type of University:Public 94 place StudyQA ranking: 1391 pts. No. Students: 39409 No. Staff: 3055 Languages: English Phone: +17654944600
Cary Quadrangle (West Lafayette, United States) Earhart Hall (West Lafayette, United States) First Street Towers (West Lafayette, United States) Harrison Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Hawkins Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Hillenbrand Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Hilltop Apartments (West Lafayette, United States) Honors College and Residences (West Lafayette, United States) McCutcheon Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Meredith Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Owen Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Purdue Village: Married & Family Housing (West Lafayette, United States) Purdue Village: Graduate Housing (West Lafayette, United States) Shreve Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Tarkington Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Third Street Suites (West Lafayette, United States) Wiley Hall (West Lafayette, United States) Windsor Halls (West Lafayette, United States)
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About Purdue University in West Lafayette

Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, United States, is a public research university and is the main campus of the Purdue University system. It was founded in 1869 after a donation of land and money from Lafayette businessman John Purdue to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students.

The main campus in West Lafayette offers more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 70 master’s and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. In addition, Purdue has 18 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 900 student organizations. Purdue is a member of the Big Ten Conference and enrolls the second largest student body of any university in Indiana, as well as the fourth largest international student population of any university in the United States.

History of Purdue University in West Lafayette

In 1865, the Indiana General Assembly voted to take advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862, and began plans to establish an institution with a focus on agriculture and engineering. Communities throughout the state offered their facilities and money to bid for the location of the new college. Popular proposals included the addition of an agriculture department at Indiana State University or at what is now Butler University. By 1869, Tippecanoe County’s offer included $150,000 (equivalent to $2.7 million in 2015) from Lafayette business leader and philanthropist John Purdue, $50,000 from the county, and 100 acres (0.4 km2) of land from local residents. On May 6, 1869, the General Assembly established the institution in Tippecanoe County as Purdue University, in the name of the principal benefactor. Classes began at Purdue on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students. Professor John S. Hougham was Purdue’s first faculty member and served as acting president between the administrations of presidents Shortridge and White. A campus of five buildings was completed by the end of 1874. Purdue issued its first degree, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, in 1875 and admitted its first female students that fall.

Emerson E. White, the university’s president from 1876 to 1883, followed a strict interpretation of the Morrill Act. Rather than emulate the classical universities, White believed that Purdue should be an "industrial college" and devote its resources toward providing a liberal (or broad) education with an emphasis on science, technology, and agriculture. He intended not only to prepare students for industrial work, but also to prepare them to be good citizens and family members. Part of White’s plan to distinguish Purdue from classical universities included a controversial attempt to ban fraternities. This ban was ultimately overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court and led to White’s resignation. The next president, James H. Smart, is remembered for his call in 1894 to rebuild the original Heavilon Hall "one brick higher" after it had been destroyed by a fire.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the university was organized into schools of agriculture, engineering (mechanical, civil, and electrical), and pharmacy, and former U.S. President Benjamin Harrison was serving on the board of trustees. Purdue’s engineering laboratories included testing facilities for a locomotive and a Corliss steam engine, one of the most efficient engines of the time. The School of Agriculture was sharing its research with farmers throughout the state with its cooperative extension services and would undergo a period of growth over the following two decades. Programs in education and home economics were soon established, as well as a short-lived school of medicine. By 1925 Purdue had the largest undergraduate engineering enrollment in the country, a status it would keep for half a century.

President Edward C. Elliott oversaw a campus building program between the world wars. Inventor, alumnus, and trustee David E. Ross coordinated several fundraisers, donated lands to the university, and was instrumental in establishing the Purdue Research Foundation. Ross’s gifts and fundraisers supported such projects as Ross–Ade Stadium, the Memorial Union, a civil engineering surveying camp, and Purdue University Airport. Purdue Airport was the country’s first university-owned airport and the site of the country’s first college-credit flight training courses. Amelia Earhart joined the Purdue faculty in 1935 as a consultant for these flight courses and as a counselor on women’s careers. In 1937, the Purdue Research Foundation provided the funds for the Lockheed Electra 10-E that Earhart flew on her attempted round-the-world flight.

Every school and department at the university was involved in some type of military research or training during World War II. During a project on radar receivers, Purdue physicists discovered properties of germanium that led to the making of the first transistor.The Army and the Navy conducted training programs at Purdue and more than 17,500 students, staff, and alumni served in the armed forces. Purdue set up about a hundred centers throughout Indiana to train skilled workers for defense industries. As veterans returned to the university under the G.I. Bill, first-year classes were taught at some of these sites to alleviate the demand for campus space. Four of these sites are now degree-granting regional campuses of the Purdue University system. Purdue’s on-campus housing became racially desegregated in 1947, following pressure from Purdue President Frederick L. Hovde and Indiana Governor Ralph F. Gates.

After the war, Hovde worked to expand the academic opportunities at the university. A decade-long construction program emphasized science and research. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the university established programs in veterinary medicine, industrial management, and nursing, as well as the first computer science department in the United States. Undergraduate humanities courses were strengthened, although Hovde only reluctantly approved of graduate-level study in these areas. Purdue awarded its first Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1960. The programs in liberal arts and education, formerly administered by the School of Science, were soon split into their own school.

The official seal of Purdue was officially inaugurated during the university's centennial in 1969. Consisting of elements from emblems that had been used unofficially for 73 years, the current seal depicts a griffin, symbolizing strength, and a three-part shield, representing education, research, and service.

In recent years, Purdue’s leaders have continued to support high-tech research and international programs. In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited the West Lafayette campus to give a speech about the influence of technological progress on job creation. In the 1990s, the university added more opportunities to study abroad and expanded its course offerings in world languages and cultures. The first buildings of the Discovery Park interdisciplinary research center were dedicated in 2004. Purdue launched a Global Policy Research Institute in 2010 to explore the potential impact of technical knowledge on public policy decisions.


Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools


Name of Ranking Publication

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
4International Colleges & Universities 17 17 21 15  8
Academic Ranking of World Universities - Shanghai Jiao Tong  World Rank 56 57 60 61  63
Academic Ranking of World Universities - Shanghai Jiao Tong  National Rank 38 38 38 37  35
ARWU Alumni score 14.3 14.1 13.9 13.6  13.6
ARWU Award score 23.8 23.2 23.1 23.1  23.1
ARWU Highly Cited score 28.9 28.9 27.7 27.7  25.1
ARWU Nature&Science publications score 25.6 26.7 25.8 25.1  24.4
ARWU Publications score 50.8 49.6 49.5 49.0  50.1
ARWU PCP score 20.8 21.7 22.2 22.4  24.2
ARWU Broad Subject Fields          
ARWU Science - Natural Sciences and Mathematics 47 46 51-75 49 50
ARWU Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences 10 10 14 19 18
ARWU Life & Agriculture Sciences 101-150 101-150 76-100 101-150  101-150
ARWU Social Sciences 51-75 51-75 76-100 51-75  76-100
ARWU Subject Fields          
ARWU Mathematics 51-75 51-75 51-75 51-75  
ARWU Physics 101-150 101-150 101-150 76-100  
ARWU Chemistry 19 20 21 20  
ARWU Computer Science 20 19 21 21  
ARWU Economics/Business 51-75 51-75 51-75 51-75  
Brookings Institute Mid Career Earnings Value Added Score       86  
Brookings Institute Occupational Earnings Value Added Score       94  
Brookings Institute Loan Repayment Value Added Score       83  
Business Week Full-Time MBA Programs 41 NA 43 53  
Business Week Undergraduate Busines School Programs 45 58 57  NA 57
CWUR - Center for World Universiy Rankings World Rank 42 38 52 43 56
CWUR - Center for World Universiy Rankings National Rank 30 26 33 27 36
CWUR Faculty Rank 49 52 54 47 48
CWUR Publications Rank 61 71 72 75 77
CWUR Influence Rank >100 >100 87 95 94
CWUR Citations Rank 58 65 73 68 84
CWUR Patents Rank 19 36 20 28 30
CWUR Education Rank 95 95 81 55 72
CWUR Employment Rank 70 39 52 33 41
Eduniversal 19 16 17 16 16
DesignIntelligence Undergraduate Landscape Architecture Program 3 7 3 7  
Financial Times Global MBA 59 68 56 48 NR
Financial Times Global MBA US Public Institutions 12 13 13 7 NR
Forbes America's Best Colleges 195 106 119 136 127
Global Language Monitor 48 28 31  NA NA
Indianapolis Business Journal Largest IN Colleges/Univ 2 2 3  NA  NA
Indianapolis Business Journal Online Degree Program NR 7 7  6  5
Indianapolis Business Journal Largest Indiana Employers 8 7 7  8  7
Kiplinger Report Best Values in Public Colleges In-State 60 51 40 27 19
Kiplinger Report Best Values in Public Colleges Out-of-State 76 68 51 52 37
Open Doors - International Students 4 3 5 7  
Open Doors - International Students Public Rank 2 2 2 3  
Open Doors - Study Abroad 38 40 40 29  
QS World University Ranking 95 99 102 89 92 
QS World University Ranking : Subject Ranking 33 33 32    
QS World Rankings by Faculty - Engineering and Technology 33 40 38 55  
QS World Chemical Engineering 26 40 38 36 35
QS World Civil Engineering 25 23 23 29 26
QS World Electrical Engineering 32 48 45 43 47
QS World Mechanical Engineering 17 15 14 13 17
QS World Computer Science 44 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100
QS World Rankings by Faculty - Life Sciences and Medicine 118 137 178 135  
QS World Agriculture and Forestry NR 6 8 5 8
QS World Pharmacy and Pharmacology 101-150 51-100 51-100 11 21
QS World Psychology 51-100 51-100 101-150 101-150 101-150
QS World Biological Sciences 51-100 101-150 101-150 101-150 101-150
QS World Medicine 151-200 151-200 NR 251-300 251-300
QS World Veterinary NA NA NA 30 32
QS Rankings by Faculty - World Arts and Humanities NR 271 320 245  
QS World Philosophy 101-150 101-150 51-100 151-200 151-200
QS World Geography NR NR NR NR NR
QS World Linguistics 101-150 151-200 151-200 151-200 NR
QS World English Language and Literature 101-150 51-100 101-150 151-200 151-200
QS World History 101-150 200 NR NR NR
QS World Modern Languages 151-200 101-150 NR 201-250 201-250
QS World Rankings by Faculty - Natural Sciences 121 65 49 77  
QS World Materials Science 51-100 45 48 47 43
QS World Chemistry 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100
QS World Environmental Sciences 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100
QS World Mathematics 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100
QS World Physics and Astronomy 101-150 101-150 51-100 51-100 51-100
QS World Earth and Marine Sciences 151-200 151-200 101-150 51-100 51-100
QS World Rankings by Faculty - Social Sciences and Management 181 151 191 172  
QS World Statistics and Operational Research 43 30 32 26 31
QS World Accounting and Finance 51-100 51-100 51-100 51-100 101-150
QS World Communication and Media Studies 51-100 51-100 37 31 49
QS World Economics and Econometrics 151-200 101-150 151-200 101-150 101-150
QS World Education 51-100 101-150 101-150 51-100 101-150
QS World Politics and International Studies 151-200 151-200 151-200 NR NR
QS World Sociology 101-150 200 151-200 NR NR
Smart Money 8        
Times Higher Education World University Rankings  98 69 62 102 113
Overall Score 54 63.8 60.7 54 57
Teaching 56.6 59.8 53.7 48 50.2
International Outlook 52.6 54.8 60.6 64 66.4
Research 49.4 71.9 62.5 50 57.7
Citations 57.8 63.1 67 62 63.2
Times Higher Education Top 100 Universities for Engineering and Technology 39 42 50 45 33
Times Higher Education World's Most International Univeristies 2016         196
Times Higher Education Global University Rankings  Rank By Reputation 47 50 48 71-80 51-60
THE Overall 7.1 6.5 6 NA NA
THE Teaching 7.3 6.2 6.2 NA NA
THE Research 7 6.6 6 NA NA
The Alumni Factor - National University Rank 33 37      
The Alumni Factor - Overall Rank 78 88      
US News Graduate Education 37 32 38 38 42
US News Graduate Engineering 10 8 8 6 9
US News Graduate Management 42 44 40 53 47
US News Undergraduate 65 68 62 61 60
Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education - U.S. Institutions         37
Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education - Public U.S. Institutions         5
Washington Monthly College Guide 58 33 46 50 45
Webometrics Ranking of World Universities 14 30 19 19 33

Student life @Purdue University in West Lafayette


About one-third of the single undergraduate students on the West Lafayette campus are housed in University Residences. The rest live in fraternities, sororities, cooperatives, or private off-campus housing. There are 11,844 spaces available for undergraduate students, graduate students, and student families who choose to live on campus. Sixteen percent of the undergraduate student body are members of the 40 fraternities and 20 sororities on campus.

Purdue University operates fifteen separate residence halls for its undergraduate and graduate students, including Cary Quadrangle, Earhart Hall, First Street Towers, Harrison Hall, Hawkins Hall, Hillenbrand Hall, Hilltop Apartments, McCutcheon Hall, Meredith Hall, Owen Hall, Purdue Village, Shreve Hall, Tarkington Hall, Third Street Suites, Wiley Hall, and the 5 Windsor Halls: Duhme, Shealy, Warren, Wood, and Vawter. Of the residence halls, Cary and Tarkington are male-only while Windsor is female-only; the remainder are coed.

There are 12 cooperative houses at Purdue (5 men's houses and 7 women's houses). The men's houses include Circle Pines, Fairway, Marwood, Chauncey, and Gemini. The women's houses include Ann Tweedale, Glenwood, Twin Pines, Maclure, Stewart, Devonshire, and Shoemaker. All cooperative houses are governed under the Purdue Cooperative Council which is led by Purdue University students who live in these houses. The cooperative system allows for a much lower cost of living than other types of housing, averaging $2900 annually with all-inclusive monthly rent ranging from $250-$625 varying by house. The members take an active role in sharing chores and cooking all meals themselves, as opposed to hiring out cleaning and cooking staff.

Purdue University hosts the nation's third largest Greek community, with approximately 5,000 students participating in one of the 46 men's fraternities or 29 women's sororities. Several of Purdue's most distinguished graduates are members of fraternities and sororities.Purdue's Greek system is very strong and works together in various aspects, including the Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic, and many very successful philanthropies. Every chapter has their own national philanthropy dedicated to a certain cause that many chapters also participate in. Besides philanthropy, Purdue Greeks are involved all over campus, including College Mentors for Kids, Purdue University Dance Marathon, Boiler Gold Rush, Purdue Student Government, and other activities.

Activities and events

Students at Purdue participate in more than 900 student organizations that cover a variety of interests. Some of the notable clubs founded by Purdue students include the Purdue Reamer Club (a school spirit organization that cares for the Boilermaker Special mascot and raises funds for scholarships) and two clubs that eventually became nationwide organizations: the National Society of Black Engineersand the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

Several campus-wide programs are planned by the Purdue Alumni Student Experience (part of the Alumni Association), Purdue Student Union Board, Purdue Student Government (PSG), or the Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG). PSG and PGSC are made up of representatives from each of the university's academic colleges and give recommendations to the faculty, administration, and sometimes to the state legislature.

Annual campus events include Boiler Gold Rush, Spring Fest, and Grand Prix. Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) is Purdue's new-student orientation program. BGR, which takes place before each fall semester, was formed to ease the transition to college for incoming students and to help them get acquainted with successful college life. Boiler Gold Rush activities include speaker presentations from various academic, cultural, safety and professional organizations on campus, campus tours led by Team Leaders, academic 'meet the schools' picnic and interest sessions, late night events at the Purdue Memorial Union, Recreational Sports Center and local stores, and a sports pep rally. Spring Fest is an annual carnival with entertaining exhibits from many academic departments. A highlight of the weekend is the Entomology Department's Bug Bowl, where the sport of cricket spitting was invented in 1997. The Purdue Grand Prix, a 50-mile, 160-lap go-kart race is "The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing" and wraps up Gala Week each year. All 33 participating karts are made from scratch by student teams. The event has been raising money for student scholarships since it began in 1958.


The Purdue Exponent, an independent student newspaper, has the largest circulation of any Indiana college newspaper, with a daily circulation of 17,500 copies during the spring and fall semesters. From 1889 to 2008 Purdue published a yearbook called the Debris.

WBAA is a radio station owned by Purdue University. The station operates on the AM frequency of 920 kHz and FM frequency of 101.3 MHz. Its studios are in the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue campus, and the transmitters are located in Lafayette, Indiana. WBAA is the longest continuously-operating radio station in Indiana, having been licensed on April 4, 1922. WBAA airs NPR and local news/talk programming during the day. Overnight, the AM station airs jazz while the FM station airs classical music.

There are also a few campus radio stations on campus. Currently, three radio stations operate from residence halls, broadcasting via internet only; WCCR from Cary Quadrangle (not to be confused with the current WCCR FM or WCCR-LP stations in other states), WILY from Wiley Hall, and WHHR from Harrison Hall.

W9YB is the callsign of the Amateur Radio Club at Purdue University. W9YB is the longest standing club on campus and also holds the self declared title of having one of the largest and most active collegiate amateur radio stations in the country. W9YB actively participates in emergency management for the Tippecanoe County area and maintains ready status with its members in skills to assist. W9YB is among the longest standing amateur radio clubs in the United States, with the current callsign dating back to 1932 and the previous callsign 9YB dating back to 1920.


On October 26, 1891, a newspaper in Crawfordsville, Indiana, called Purdue's football team the "Boiler Makers" when writing about their trouncing of Wabash College. Lafayette newspapers soon picked up the name, and in October 1892, The Purdue Exponent, Purdue's student newspaper, gave it the stamp of approval. In the early days of Purdue football, the team was called other names as well, including "haymakers," "railsplitters," "sluggers," and "cornfield sailors." This heritage is reflected in Purdue's current mascots: the Boilermaker Special (a truck-like vehicle that resembles a locomotive) and Purdue Pete (a muscular hammer-wielding boilermaker). The school colors of old gold and black were selected by Purdue's first football team in 1887 to resemble the orange and black of Princeton's then-successful team. The best known fight song is "Hail Purdue!".

Purdue has one of the few college athletic programs that is not funded by student fees or subsidized by the university. It is home to 18 Division I/I-A NCAA teams including football, basketball, cross country, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball, and others. Purdue is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, and played a central role in its creation. Traditional rivals include Big Ten colleagues the Indiana Hoosiers, the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Purdue’s baseball facility was named in honor of two alumni, Anna Margaret Ross Alexander and her husband, John Arthur Alexander, when the new stadium was dedicated in 2013.


The Boilermaker football team represents Purdue University in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Darrell Hazell is Purdue's current head coach, the 35th in the program's history. Purdue plays its home games at Ross-Ade Stadium on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Boilermakers compete in the Big Ten Conference as a member of the West Division. With a 592–515–48 record, Purdue has the 49th most victories among NCAA FBS programs. Purdue was originally classified as a Major College school in the 1937 season until 1972. Purdue received Division I classification in 1973, becoming a Division I-A program from 1978 to 2006 and an FBS program from 2006 to the present. The Boilermakers have registered 64 winning seasons in their history, with 19 of those seasons resulting in eight victories or more, 10 seasons resulting in at least nine wins, and just one season with ten victories or more. Of those successful campaigns, Purdue has produced five unbeaten seasons in its history, going 4–0 in 1891, 8–0 in 1892, 8–0 in 1929, 7–0–1 in 1932 and 9–0 in 1943. The Boilermakers have won a total of 12 conference championships in their history, including four Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles and eight Big Ten Conference titles. The program is also notable for being one of only two universities – the other being the University of Alabama – to produce three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Found on a farm in southern Indiana, the Old Oaken Bucket is one of the oldest football trophies in the nation. The winner of the annual Purdue vs. Indiana University American football game gets to add a bronze "P" or "I" chain link and keep the trophy until the next face-off. Ironically, the first competition in 1925 led to a 0–0 tie, resulting in the first link on the chain being an "IP." Purdue currently leads the trophy series at 57-27-3.

During "Breakfast Club", best described as a cross between a pep rally and a Halloween party, students and even some alumni dress up in costumes, from traditional Halloween garb to creative hand-made costumes, as they bar-hop before Boilermaker home football games. The Breakfast Club plays a significant role during the football season and is informally a part of Purdue tradition. Many Boilermaker fans are dedicated; getting up at 5 am on Saturdays and lining up at the bars on Chauncey Hill and the levee by 6 am. The Breakfast Club tradition also takes place the day of the annual Purdue Grand Prix race in April.


The Purdue Boilermakers basketball team competes in NCAA Division I and is a member of the Big Ten Conference. In 2005, Matt Painter became the head coach in West Lafayette. Painter took over the head coaching job from the winningest coach in school history, Gene Keady, becoming the second former Boilermaker basketball player to take the lead role. Purdue basketball holds the record for most Big Ten Championships with 22. The Boilermakers have reached two NCAA Tournament Final Fours and won a non-NCAA recognized National Championship for the 1932 season, awarded several years later by the Helms Athletic Foundation. It has sent more than 30 players to the NBA including two overall No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. Purdue shares a traditional rivalry with in-state foe Indiana University, and holds a 112-88 series lead, although Indiana leads the series by a significant margin since the 1939 NCAA tournament era. The Boilermaker men's and women's basketball teams have won more Big Ten Championships than any other conference school, with 27 conference banners. Purdue men's basketball has an all-time winning record against all Big Ten schools except Ohio State.

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