The Complete Guide to being a Purdue ME Online Student

You're an online student, but you're also part of the Boilermaker family! This means you have access to almost all of the same resources available to on-campus students. We’ve surveyed our current students and asked them to share with us, things that they started doing once they’d accepted admission, or resources they found to be helpful as new students.  So, we’ve included their feedback in the accumulated resources and added some of our own, and hope you find it helpful, as you start your Purdue experience! As you come across new resources you feel would be helpful to share with our students, please let us know by sending an email to

ME Resources

  • ME Grad Website—your go-to for ME policies and procedures, as it outlines just about everything you need to know administration-wise.  Review the incoming student to-do list,, and complete tasks that you can before arriving to campus, especially getting registered for your first semester as soon as you can as seats can fill up fast, and there’s a good chance that registration has already been open by the time you’ve accepted admission. 
  • ME Grad Blog—highly recommended you subscribe to this posting blog as you can subscribe for daily or weekly summaries of all new posts.  This is where we place all notices we receive that might be of interest to you, so that we don’t have to tie up your email inbox.  When you subscribe, you’ll automatically get an email of all new postings, so you don’t have to search the blog for anything new.  This is a great place to find notices on courses, funding, employment, seminars/workshops, etc.   This is also the place to find all the details/links on all our virtual meetings, including the virtual office hours!
  • Anonymous Feedback to ME Department Head—If you feel you have feedback to share about anything ME-related, you can send an email through this link anonymously and it will be seen directly by Dr. Groll. 
  • Nominate any ME Staff Member for an Award—Students can nominate a ME staff member for a $10 gift card, in recognition of someone helping you above and beyond.  You will be asked to submit a short description of how they helped you, and that will also be shared with the staff member you’re nominating.   This is a great way to express your ‘Thanks’ for someone’s help.

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Purdue University Resources

  • Bursar’s Office -This is the department to contact to set up payment options, including when your tuition is being covered by your employer or outside sponsor.  Remember, payment in full is due by the first day of classes, or a payment plan should be established.
  • Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS)—“is an umbrella of units that empower, support and advocate for students in the classroom and beyond.”  They offer a variety of services and programs, but this is the place you want to contact should you ever be hospitalized, called away for military service, etc, as they can help you with notifying your course instructors, etc.
  • Purdue Fellowship/Scholarship Office
  • Disability Resource Center
  • Veteran’s Success Center
  • Women in Engineering
  • Cultural & Resource Centers--Asian American and Asian Cultural Center; Black Cultural Center; Diversity Resource Center; Latino Cultural Center; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Center, Native American Educational and Cultural Center, etc.
  • PU ID Card Office - Since you’re enrolled in our online ME’s Master’s program, you should complete their Qualtrics Survey to request a Purdue ID card.   ID cards will not contain PUID number or student photo.

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Math Refresher Courses

Just a reminder of the opportunity to refresh your calculus skills.  As students in our online program, you are eligible to take the below self-paced math courses --all cover why we do things from an applied perspective and you'll be able to see plenty of examples worked out.  Normally, each course retails for $99 USD, but our students are able to enroll in these for free!  Once enrolled, you'll have access for 90 days, and the courses usually take 2-3 weeks to complete.

To enroll, please use ME's special promo code 'ME-Prep' when registering in these Calculus Refresher courses, so you won't be charged.   

Linear Algebra:  Course covers basic concepts of Matrices and how to represent Systems of Linear Equations in Matrix form and how to use various Matrix techniques to solve Systems of Linear Equations.

Multivariable Calculus:  Course covers how to represent functions in three dimensions and apply the fundamental tools of calculus to them.

Single Variable Calculus:  Course covers the basic elements of Calculus, including limits, Derivatives, and Integration.  It also covers ancillary topics of Exponents, Logarithms, and Trigonometric Identities. 

We’ve also had a student share that they’ve found this site,, to be very helpful if you need help remembering old techniques, as it provides lots of practice problems and theory summary.

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Professional Development Resources

The Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development offers nearly 250 workshops annually, addressing topics such as: Communication & Networking, Mental Health, Teaching, Research, Industry & Academic Career Preparation, Grantsmanship, and more! In addition to workshops, this office hosts two major competitions, including Purdue University’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) research competition, and Say It In 6, a competition aimed at highlighting the Purdue graduate student experience. Looking for an opportunity to feature your research? Check out the Graduate School’s premiere graduate research magazine, InnovatED. To discover all of the professional development opportunities available to Purdue’s graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, please visit:

  • College of Engineering-Graduate Education offers a lot of professional development opportunities, including workshops, teaching experiences, mentoring information, entrepreneurship resources, job search information, and much more.  Communications Workshops: Learn about Designing and Delivering Oral Presentations; Discussing Research with Various Audiences; Effective Graphics; English for Engineers; Online Writing Groups; Overview of Academic Paper Writing; Preparing a CV; Writing a Publishable Paper, and more!
  • Purdue Writing Lab and Online Writing Lab (OWL) assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives. The Purdue OWL offers global support through online reference materials and services.
  • Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives offers all students from diverse backgrounds, free innovative programs, workshops, and opportunities that enable you to thrive in a diverse, global environment
  • Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG) is the legislative arm of, and the dedicated advocate for, the Purdue graduate student body, and offers many events covering Life, Career, Professional Development and Community.
  • Purdue BoilerLink is the way to find various student organizations at Purdue and get involved!

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Well-Being Resources

  • CAPS—Purdue’s Counseling & Psychological Services, offers short- to mid-term counseling and therapy services for students, and online resources.  Most services at CAPS is provided to students at no charge, but there are a few services that do have fees associated with them.
  • Task-Human—Purdue has partnered with TaskHuman, a mobile app that helps you achieve your personal wellness goals, including life coaching, stress management, and more, all on your phone, for free!
  • WellTrack boost (interactive self-help therapy)
  • Steps to Leaps—offer seminars and self-improvement tools to bolster student fortitude and success; seminars are usually offered live but recorded as well for viewing later.
  • Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) offers a variety of student programs and services, but this is definitely the office you want to contact should you run into extenuating circumstances (health, military deployment, etc) that may prevent you from attending or finishing a semester.  This is also the office that receives ‘student of concern’ reports, if someone is worried about you, or where you could submit one if you’re noticing a classmate may need some assistance.

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Social Media Recommendations

Students have shared the following social media platforms to consider using to connect to various Purdue student groups, like Purdue, Mechanical Engineering, OMEGA, Purdue Graduate School, Purdue Grad Student Government, etc., or to keep in touch with those back home:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • GroupMe
  • WhatsApp
  • Discord
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • ME Grad Student blog
  • WeChat
  • Slack

Here are ME’s specific social media links:

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School Spirit

You’re now a Boilermaker, so check out the various Purdue traditions, including the official fight song ‘Hail Purdue’, school colors, mascots, etc.  You can find ‘150 things to Love About Purdue’, in the Purdue Alumnus newletter.

If you get a chance to come to campus and attend a Purdue football games or other sporting activities, be prepared in advance for the various traditions and jargon, you’ll encounter.

You can check out the official Purdue Team Store for online merchandise purchases.

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How to meet other Grad Students

Socializing is important and will greatly improve your Purdue experience.   Watch the Grad School Newsletter which is emailed out every Friday, and Purdue Today for events held around campus as some may be held virtually.  Get involved with OMEGA, ME’s graduate student association as they hold various activities throughout the year, and there are leadership opportunities as well.  Subscribe to the ME grad blog, as event notifications the Grad Office receives will be posted there. 

Purdue has several cultural centers that you should check out as they are open to everyone, not just members of that specific culture.  They host a variety of activities and events throughout the year and offer a great place to learn new things and meet new people.  You can also check out the Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives (OGDI) newsletter for other event opportunities. 

Women in Engineering programming is open to all races, genders, and backgrounds, and host interesting events throughout the year.

Boilerlink provides information on various student organizations and events on campus.  You can search for specific ethnic/cultural organizations, or by graduate and professional student organizations, or by specific athletic or hobby interest, or in many other ways, to find what you interest you and give you the opportunity to make connections.

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Advice students wanted to share

  • Do your homework for classes early on; don’t postpone it to the last minute.  Most courses will require homework, and have mid-terms and final exams or projects.
  • Don’t try to be a super-hero; try to be a regular person and people will respect you for it.   On the other hand, stand up for yourself and have difficult conversations right away, as it only gets harder over time, especially after you’ve been going along with it.
  • Don’t try to please a crowd, do what is best for you.
  • Be patient with yourself.  Grad School isn’t like undergrad, and you will never know everything.  Do your best, Purdue is determined to help you succeed and graduate.  If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • The first year is the hardest, but stick with it.  After the first year, it gets better.
  • Treat your graduate studies like a job and you will be successful.  Classes are important.  Classes will take time even though you may only take one or two classes a semester.  Make a schedule, if you need one, to stay on track.
  • Start strong but don’t be too stressed out.  Don’t be afraid to communicate with your course instructor, when needed.  
  • Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to your peers.   People learn material at different rates.   You belong in ME at Purdue, or you would not have been admitted!
  • Collaboration is encouraged as long as it is helping you learn the subject faster, but cheating is not allowed.
  • Enjoy life.  School is not everything.  Go out, relax, workout, eat well, sleep well. 
  • Keep a work-life balance.  Use the mental support options provided by Purdue, if needed, and participate in leisure activities in your community.
  • There are resources for almost everything, but it may take time to find the right department.  Start with the ME grad office and they’ll be happy to help you find what you need.
  • Take advantage of the free ME research seminars offered, as many are offered virtually and they’re great for networking, but also for learning about others research.  Other seminars will be offered as well, and any the ME grad office is notified on, will be posted on the ME Grad Blog.

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Visiting Campus

The Complete Guide to Living in West Lafayette has a collection of resources and information about the campus area as shared by current ME grad students.

Campus Map

Lafayette/West Lafayette Visitor’s Guide

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