Purdue University

#84 / #31
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School

Public research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, United States

Purdue University Featured Rankings

About Purdue University

By James Barham, PhD

Purdue University was founded in 1869 with substantial financing provided by industrialist John Purdue. Its purpose was to train students in agriculture and engineering. The school officially opened for business in 1874 and grew quickly.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Purdue had been organized into five schools: agriculture, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, and pharmacy. Later, schools of education and home economics were added. An early attempt at creating a medical school was later abandoned.

In other respects, Purdue was spectacularly successful. By 1925 the university was home to the largest number of engineering students in the US. It remained the nation’s largest engineering school for the next half-century.

Today, Purdue operates four satellite campuses: in Hammond, Fort Wayne, Columbus, and Indianapolis. Overall, the Purdue system has a student body approaching 75,000 souls.

Purdue is associated with 13 Nobel Prize winners, including:

  • Physicists, Ben Roy Mottelson, Edward Mills Purcell, Julian Schwinger & Wolfgang Pauli
  • Chemists, Ei-ichi Negishi, Herbert C. Brown & Akira Suzuki
  • Economist, Vernon L. Smith

In addition, the Turing Award winning computer scientist, Alan J. Perlis, spent time here as a researcher.

Among other prominent Purdue-connected individuals, we may note the following:

  • Astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Roger Chaffee & Eugene Cernan
  • Heroic airline pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger
  • Mathematicians, Andrew Majda, Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar & Feydoon Shahidi
  • Computer scientists, Mikhail Atallah, Markus Kuhn & Jill Zimmerman
  • Computer software developer, Sanjiva Weerawarana
  • Physicist, Albert Overhauser
  • Chemist, C.N.R. Rao
  • Chemical engineer, Rakesh Agrawal
  • Molecular biologists, Seymour Benzer & Ronald Breaker
  • Microbiologist, Rita Colwell
  • Nanotechnology pioneers, Supriyo Datta & James Tour
  • Physiologist, Leslie Geddes
  • Economist, Hugo Sonnenschein
  • Anthropologist, Peter Peregrine
  • Novelist and playwright, Booth Tarkington
  • Actors, George Peppard & Kenneth Choi
  • Stand-up comic, Jim Gaffigan
  • Photographer, Margaret Bourke-White

According to Wikipedia, Purdue University is a public land-grant research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, and the flagship campus of the Purdue University system. The university was founded in 1869 after Lafayette businessman John Purdue donated land and money 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. It has been ranked as among the best public universities in the United States by major institutional rankings, and is renowned for its engineering program.

Purdue University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
57,510 67% 83% 1315 28

How Much Does Purdue University Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state) Fees (in-state)
$9,208 $784

How Much Do Purdue University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from Purdue University, then you can expect to earn an average of $62,200 per year. You also have a 92% chance of being employed after 10 years.

Purdue University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student Body Under-Grads Graduates
43,377 34,649 8,728

Where is Purdue University?

Purdue University is located at Hovde Hall of Administration, West Lafayette IN 47907-2040

How Safe is Purdue University?

West Lafayette has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is Purdue University Known For?

Purdue University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

Purdue University's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are Purdue University's Most Influential Alumni?

Purdue University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, and Chemistry. Here are some of Purdue University's most famous alumni:

Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
An American astronaut and the first human to walk on the moon.
James Samuel Coleman
James Samuel Coleman
An American sociologist.
Ward Cunningham
Ward Cunningham
An American computer programmer who developed the first wiki.
Edward Mills Purcell
Edward Mills Purcell
An American physicist .
C. N. R. Rao
C. N. R. Rao
An Indian chemist.
John C. Reynolds
John C. Reynolds
An American computer scientist .
Mohamed M. Atalla
Mohamed M. Atalla
An Electrical engineer and "Father of the PIN".
Gus Grissom
Gus Grissom
An American astronaut.
Seymour Benzer
Seymour Benzer
An American geneticist.
Bertram Kostant
Bertram Kostant
An American mathematician.
Booth Tarkington
Booth Tarkington
An American novelist.
Herman Cain
An American writer, businessman and activist .