Application Process and Requirements

You are welcome to apply to our program at any time, but please take note that over 90% of our students complete their application during the period of October-December for admission the following August. Review of applications for August admission begins January 1, with our first round of financial offers decided by February 1. If you want maximum consideration for financial assistance for an August admission, you must have a completed application and ensure all documents (transcripts, recommendations, test scores) have been received by December 1. We will not begin a review of an application until all of the required materials have been received. Most financial offer letters are sent to students during the period February 1-April 15. However, as new funding opportunities arise, a number of financial offers are occasionally sent to well-qualified students in May, June and July.

Our application process is entirely electronic. In preparing to apply to our graduate program, you should make the following preparation.

What you will need in order to apply:

  • An earned 4-year bachelor's degree
  • A minimum 3.0/4.0 GPA, or equivalent
  • Identify three references, and obtain their email and contact information.
  • Have an electronic copy of your resume ready to upload.
  • Prepare an Academic Statement of Purpose that articulates your professional development goals. If you are seeking financial assistance via a research or teaching assistantship, it is particularly important that you browse the research activities our faculty are involved in and identify what type of area you would like to work in. Your statement of purpose is our main tool for routing your application to the appropriate faculty member for review, and ultimately determining which students we will offer financial assistance to. This statement need not be long, but it should be carefully prepared.
  • Prepare a Personal History Statement. This document helps reviewers learn more about you as a whole person and as a potential graduate student. This may include relevant details on community service, leadership roles, participation in diverse teams, and significant barriers that you overcame to attend graduate school. Information in the Personal History Statement should complement but not duplicate information in the Academic Statement of Purpose.
    • Required of all applicants:
      1. Describe how your background and life experiences contribute to your ability to be both persistent and resourceful in graduate school.
      2. Describe how your life experiences have prepared you to contribute to an academic community where scholars with diverse research interests, abilities, backgrounds, and experiences are supported, respected, and valued.
    • Optional:
      1. Please address concerns that you may have that your academic record does not reflect your true capabilities and discuss mitigating factors that have affected your academic record. Reviewers will be interested in understanding your accomplishments relative to your opportunities.
  • Obtain pdf or scanned official transcripts from all institutions you have attended. International applicants should include original language transcripts and English translations of their transcripts that are not in English. These documents should be uploaded to the electronic application system (along with the resume and statement of purpose). If your degree is not posted on the transcripts, you should also submit a copy of your diploma.
  • Be prepared to pay the application fee with a credit card. Your application will not be released for review until this application fee has been paid. The fee is $60 for domestic applicants (including permanent residents) and $75 for international applicants.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English are required to provide proof of English proficiency for admission to degree, and non-degree graduate programs.

    Option A: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    The Graduate School accepts valid* TOEFL scores earned through the paper-delivered test and Internet-based test. The minimum Internet-Based Test (iBT) scores required for admission are the following:The minimum paper-delivered section requirements are the following (overall score is no longer reported):Purdue University West Lafayette's code for the TOEFL application is 1631.
    • Writing 18
    • Speaking 18
    • Listening 14
    • Reading 19
    • Total 90

Option B: International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • The Graduate School also accepts valid* International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores (Academic Module).
    An overall band score of 7.0 is required for admission with the following minimum section requirements:The official test score report can be uploaded to the online application under Miscellaneous Supporting Documents, sent electronically to the Office of International Students and Scholars, or the hard copy score report can be mailed directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • Reading 6.5
    • Listening 6.0
    • Speaking 6.5
    • Writing 5.5

*To be valid for admission, English proficiency test scores (TOEFL and IELTS) must be no more than two years old at the time the recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School.

  • The Graduate School will routinely admit students conditionally by waiving the English Proficiency test requirement for international applicants who have received a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree, within the last 36 months, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country where English is the native language. The list of English speaking countries recognized by the Purdue Graduate School can be found at: Then, a conferred degree or a letter stating that all degree requirements have been met,  must be received by the first day of classes in order to lift holds placed on these conditional admissions. Letters must come from the Office of the Registrar or Graduate School (or equivalent offices). If a letter from a Registrar or Graduate School is provided, the official transcript would be expected to follow later that session. Conditionally admitted students who are unable to provide one of these three documents (official transcript showing conferred degree, letter certifying completion of degree requirements from Registrar or letter certifying completion of degree requirements from the Graduate School) must take an English proficiency examination to enroll in the Graduate School.
  • The Lyles School of Civil Engineering does not accept Duolingo for English Proficiency at this time.

To apply:

In the following weeks, you will receive an email notice from our program once a decision has been made. Decision time will vary depending on the circumstance in each area.

Frequently asked questions regarding the application process

Summary of Application Dates by Term