Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate Admission

My undergraduate degree is in chemistry but I would like to pursue a M.S. or Ph.D. in chemical engineering. What are my chances of being admitted to your program?
An undergraduate degree in chemical engineering is not a formal requirement for admission to the graduate program in chemical engineering at Purdue University. Students whose background is in a field other than chemical engineering are given the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge base by taking supplemental courses.
I am an international student and I would like to apply for admission to the graduate program. Do my chances of being admitted differ from those who can establish permanent residency?
Admission to the graduate program in chemical engineering at Purdue University is highly competitive. Each year, we have almost 1000 applicants and can admit only a few. Therefore, your chances of being admitted are good only if you are at the top of your class and come from an exceptionally good school. The Graduate School at Purdue University requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0/4.0 and a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL.
I will be in town and I would like to stop by and tour the department. Can I drop in on a few faculty members and research groups at that time?
Regrettably the department cannot accommodate the many students who wish to make drop-in visits prior to being formally admitted to the department. Admitted graduate students may visit the department, meet with faculty and current graduate students, and tour labs and facilities in the early spring. During those visits, faculty and graduate students make every effort to clear their schedules of the many obligations and appointments which may make them unavailable at other times. However, special arrangements can sometimes be made with Deb Bowman, our Graduate Program Administrator, to meet with one or more members of the Student Recruiting Team to discuss the graduate program and tour the department.
I am thinking of applying but I am worried that my background and qualifications are such that I won't be accepted. Is there someone I can call who can tell me if I'll be accepted before I apply?
As much as we would like to offer pre-screening, regrettably we do not have the resources to offer this service. We recommend that you contact the advising staff at your own undergraduate institution for an evaluation of your current record and suggestions regarding where to apply for graduate school. Your undergraduate record, performance on the GREs, any undergraduate research experience, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement are all considered in our final decision regarding admission.
Do I need to take a Subject (e.g., Engineering or Chemistry) GRE exam?
No, only the Verbal, Analytical, and Quantitative portions of the GRE are required for admission.
When should I take the GRE?
October is the best time to take the GRE. It assures that your scores are provided to the Universities you release them to on a timely basis and allows us to make admissions decisions at the earliest possible date. Since the graduate committee starts reviewing applications in early January, it is in your best interest to submit your GRE scores before that time.
I've been working several years since I graduated from college. Do I need references from faculty members?
It is recommended that you submit references from faculty members if at all possible.
My undergraduate degree is in chemical engineering from Purdue University. I have such happy, fond memories of the department that I cannot bear the thought of pursuing graduate studies away from West Lafayette. Can I go to Purdue for graduate school, too?
Although nearly all of the best chemical engineers are Purdue graduates, this department, like most other top chemical engineering departments, feels strongly that its undergraduates are better served by pursuing graduate studies in a new and different environment. However, the Graduate Committee will consider your application.
How much does it cost to go to graduate school?
All of our students are admitted with support in the form of a research assistantship with a tuition waiver.
May I apply for admission beginning in the Spring semester?
Yes, however, it is better to apply for admission in the Fall semester since the program is geared towards students who begin their program at that time.
Do I need to commit to an area of specialization before beginning graduate school?
No. Final selections of research groups and projects takes place in the Fall semester of your first year.