Frequently Asked Questions
- Academic Policies
- Prospective High School Students
- Transition to Major (T2M) (for current students)
- CODO (for current students)
- Co-Op and Internships
- Study Abroad
- Undergraduate Research
Can I take a graduate-level course as an undergraduate student?
Undergraduate students may take graduate-level courses as a junior or senior so long as they meet the prerequisites for the course. Most 500-level courses can be added by the student without departmental permission; however, 600-level courses need approval by both the instructor and your academic advisor. Keep in mind graduate-level courses are typically much more rigorous than undergraduate-level courses and require a much larger time commitment.
A maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework, earned with a grade of B- or better, may be applied toward an advanced degree at Purdue if these credits are in excess of any requirements for the baccalaureate degree (other universities may have different restrictions). Students who wish to use courses as excess credit must work with their academic advisor.
Can I take a course(s) as Pass/No Pass?
All courses taken as part of your ME degree requirement must be taken for a letter grade. This includes ME Core classes, Technical Elective courses and General Education Electives. Only those extra courses, not part of the engineering degree requirements can be taken as Pass/No pass. Students must have completed all degree requirements in a particular category (General Education, Technical Elective, etc.) and have instructor permission before taking a class Pass/No Pass.
Is it true that students are only allowed to attempt a course 3 times?
Yes, students may only attempt a course 3 times at the West Lafayette campus and grades of W or WF are included in this limit. Per the School of Mechanical Engineering's policy, attempts exceeding three taken at a regional campus or another institution will also be included as an attempt.
What is the minimum grade that I need to achieve in my ME courses?
While a minimum grade of D- is considered “passing,” you must have an ME Core GPA and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to graduate with a BSME degree. In light of this requirement, although you may have passed a particular ME course, it might become necessary for you to repeat it to meet the minimum ME CORE GPA requirement. See Course Repeat Policy for more information.
Is it a good idea to repeat a course I have already passed?
Repeating a course strictly to improve your GPA is not recommended. If you feel as if your grade does not reflect your true ability, doing well in a higher level course will likely impress prospective employers or graduate schools more than just repeating a class you have already passed with a C-. Students are NOT permitted to repeat courses in which a C grade or higher was earned. Of course, if you sincerely believe that you have not mastered the material, as is likely the case if you received a D+ or lower, then repeating the class may be a wise choice. If you have failed a required course then you must repeat it.
Students may only attempt a course 3 times per University Regulations. A W or WF does count toward this limit. When repeating a course, all attempts appear on a student’s transcript; however, it is the most recent attempt that is factored into a student’s cumulative GPA. If you fail the course in your most recent attempt, even if you passed it earlier, you will no longer receive credit for that course.
Before making this decision, you need to contact your Academic Advisor because it will impact your Plan of Study and potentially will delay graduation. See Course Repeat Policy.
Am I able to transfer in ME courses from Regional Campuses and/or outside institutions?
Students can transfer in ME Core classes before they are admitted to the West Lafayette School, however credit will not be accepted for any 300 level ME Core courses. The only ME courses transferable to the program are ME 200, 270 and 274. All other ME courses must be taken at the West Lafayette campus.
If a student takes a course at Purdue (i.e. ME 200, 270, 274), he/she is then unable to retake that course outside of the Purdue system for the purpose of grade replacement. Students interested in taking a Technical Elective or General Education Elective should first consult their academic advisor.
What is the minimum GPA required for graduation?
Students must achieve a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA and 2.00 ME Core GPA in order to be eligible for graduation.
What does it mean to be on academic probation?
All ME Undergraduate students on academic probation and/or ME Core Probation will be limited to no more than 15 credits per semester to allow more time to focus on coursework and get back in good academic standing. Additional information on academic probation can be found on our Probation Policy page and the University Regulations on academic standing.
What is the process for withdrawing from the University?
A student who wishes to withdraw from the University during any semester or summer session shall begin the withdrawal process by logging on to MyPurdue, select the Academic tab, select the “Withdraw from the University” link and complete the form. Once the form is submitted, students are required to complete the process by speaking with a Student Support Specialist in the Office of the Dean of Students in Schleman Hall, Room 207, or by calling 765-494-1747 and asking to speak with a Student Support Specialist. More information can be found at The Advocacy and Support Center.
What is the deadline if I am interested in adding a dual major?
A dual major must be added no later than the completion of the fifth term. This dual major must be approved by both Mechanical Engineering and the other degree granting department. .
Prospective High School Students
As a high school student, how do I apply to the School of Mechanical Engineering?
Admission to Purdue for undergraduate study in Engineering is handled by the Office of Admissions. The School of Engineering Education's First-Year Engineering Program is the entry point for all beginning engineering students. Students must complete the First Year Engineering Requirements before being eligible for admission into a professional engineering school (i.e. Mechanical Engineering).
How do I find out more information about the First-Year (FYE) Engineering Program and the College of Engineering?
You can find out more about the College and FYE program by visiting the Office of Future Engineers website.
What courses should high school students take to be best prepared for the Mechanical Engineering program?
Students must satisfy the minimum admission requirements outlined by Purdue’s Office of Admissions. Although not required, additional preparation for study in Engineering disciplines can be obtained through the rigor of AP coursework, a computer science course, and additional courses in science and mathematics. Information about which AP credit Purdue accepts can be found on the Admission's webpage.
Transition to Major (T2M)
If I am a First Year Engineering student, how do I go about getting a guaranteed admission to Mechanical Engineering?
Acceptance into the School of Mechanical Engineering is contingent upon a student’s successful completion of the First-Year Engineering program at the Purdue West Lafayette campus. Please check out the Transition to Major (T2M) process for FYE students transitioning to an engineering professional degree program. For guaranteed admission into Mechanical Engineering, students must have both an overall 3.2 GPA and a 3.2 Engineering Admission Index (EAI).
I am a current FYE student with the 3.1 GPA and 3.0 EAI, what is the probability that I will get into Mechanical Engineering?
If a FYE student doesn’t meet the guaranteed admission GPA’s, then the Mechanical Engineering Admissions Committee will review the student’s holistic record, provided there is still available space in ME. This review will be based on performance in engineering core classes taken at the West Lafayette campus and other factors such as attendance and participation at required orientation and registration meetings, grades on select technical courses known to align well with success in ME, academic trends, diversity considerations, and semester load among other factors. The School of Mechanical Engineering admits approximately 300-350 FYE students at the completion of the spring semester. Admission at the completion of summer and fall terms vary based on the student cohort size and space availability of classes.
As a FYE student I have a 2.8 GPA and a 3.0 EAI, if I go back to First-Year Engineering to repeat courses, can I get into Mechanical Engineering the following semester?
The answer is dependent on what courses are repeated and the grade outcomes in those courses. If you don’t repeat any of the FYE required courses, then your EAI will never improve, which is a factor in admission decisions. There is no guarantee of admission if a student repeats a course or takes more than two semesters to complete FYE. A holistic review will occur of students records and admission decisions will be made accordingly.
If I can’t get into Mechanical Engineering (ME) through the T2M process, can I CODO into (ME) in future semester(s)?
The likelihood of you CODOing into ME after moving into another professional engineering school is not likely. The School of Mechanical Engineering typically meets the enrollment capacity each semester after admitting the FYE cohort. Please review the CODO requirements for more information.
I have met the academic guidelines and I have the required GPA to CODO into ME, do I have a guaranteed admission for the next semester?
No, you will be notified after the incoming First Year Engineering students have been accepted for that semester. Once space availability has been determined, you will be notified regarding your status. This typically occurs two weeks after the semester grades have posted.
Co-Op and Internships
What is the difference between a Co-Op and an internship?
A Co-Op student is required to work multiple work sessions with the same Co-Op qualified employer. These work sessions must alternate with academic sessions which will typically extend the graduation date by one year. Because you work with a single employer, you are given increased levels of responsibility in each successive work session.
An internship is a one-time work experience with an employer and is typically conducted over the summer and does not necessarily delay graduation. While you may be invited back for future internship sessions, there is no commitment by either party to do so. You therefore have the option of working for multiple employers.
Are international students eligible to participate in the Co-Op program?
Yes, though there are limited Co-Op opportunities for international students and you should check with ISS about CPT and OPT work rules.
As an International student, how do I apply for CPT/OPT?
International students must apply for CPT/OPT in order to work in the United States. You will need to work with ISS and an academic advisor to complete the necessary paperwork. Review the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Process.
How do I apply for the Co-Op Program?
Information on how to apply can be accessed via the Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Process page.
Please go to the Purdue Bursar’s website.
Information about the Co-Op fee can be found on the Office of Professional Practice webpage.
How does participating in the Co-Op Program affect my scholarships?
Please check with the Division of Financial Aid to determine how your financial aid package will be affected.
Do I have to register for a Co-Op course during my summer work sessions?
Yes, you must register for all Co-Op work sessions, including summers.
What do I need to do to register for the internship course (ME 39699)?
Once you have secured an internship, including an offer letter, please make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss registration for ME 39699. If you are an international student, you must also complete CPT once registered for ME 39699.
I just have a quick question and my assigned academic advisor is not available, can I speak to anyone in the ME Undergraduate Advising Office?
No, you may think it is only a quick question, but most times, your question can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. If you have a question that pertains to your current or future curriculum, you need to bring a hard copy of your updated POS to meet with your advisor. It is important to your academic advisor that they provide you with accurate information.
Why am I required to meet with my academic advisor to get my registration PIN?
Your academic advisor provides more than just your access to the myPurdue Registration system. Your advisor will discuss current academic progress in your courses and may provide recommendations and referrals if needed. During that time, you and your advisor will discuss planned field experiences (i.e. internships, co-ops, study abroad options, research, etc.). It is important that you are prepared for your registration appointment with a hard copy of your updated Plan Of Study.
It is the first week of classes and the Schedule of Classes shows that all space is full in a required ME course, can I go to the professor/instructor and request for space in the course?
No, if you can’t add yourself to the class via the myPurdue system, then you cannot seek entry into the course. If you have specific concerns about registration for a required ME class, you need to schedule an appointment to see your academic advisor.
I want to add a course or make changes to my registered courses, but my registration window/time ticket is closed. Can you re-open my registration window/time ticket or make the changes for me?
Registration windows and time tickets are managed by the Office of the Registrar. Advisors do not have control over the assigned time or the opening/closing of students' time tickets. Students who do not have active registration windows or time tickets will need to wait until open registration to make schedule changes. Additionally, advisors do not have the ability to amend a student’s course requests, registration, or schedule.
I am interested in taking an ME course, but am not an ME student. How do I register?
Non-ME students should complete an override request via the Scheduling Assistant/Unitime in MyPurdue. Enrollment in ME courses for non-ME students is contingent upon space being available.
What happens if I forget to or am unable to register during my registration window?
Students who miss their registration window must wait until Open Registration.
What should I do if I lose my registration PIN?
After students use their PIN once, they may retrieve it themselves via MyPurdue on the Academic tab under “Registration Tools.” If students lose their PIN prior to using it, they should check their BoilerConnect notes.
What is the process for withdrawing from a course?
Early in the semester, students are able to drop courses with no advisor or instructor authorization via the Scheduling Assistant in MyPurdue. As the semester continues on, students can still initiate a drop via the Scheduling Assistant but it will require authorization from the instructor and advisor. For exact dates and deadlines, please refer to the add/drop/modify calendar from the Office of the Registrar. It is best to consult your academic advisor when withdrawing from any course.
I am currently registered for 18 credit hours and I would like to take a 1 credit course that won't take too much time, can I get a credit hour override?
The University credit hour maximum is 18 credits per semester. Rarely credit hour override exceptions are given to Mechanical Engineering students due to the academic rigor and workload of each course. Exceptions to the 18 credit hour maximum is only granted after grades have posted for the previous semester. Therefore, if you want to take 19 credits in the spring term, you must wait until your previous fall grades post to your transcript before you can make your request. It is expected that your overall GPA is at a 3.85 or higher for an exception to be given.
Can my ME advisor give me an override to register for a non-ME course?
ME Advisors can provide an override for your first language course. For all other non-ME courses, the student must contact the department of the course for why they are requesting an override.
A class I want to take is closed, how can I get an override to register?
If a student is unable to register for a course because that course has reached enrollment capacity, no override will be given to allow the student to register unless classroom space is available and the School deems additional space in that class or section is merited. Many factors go in to enrollment capacities of courses and overrides are not permitted. Do not ask the instructor of the course for permission as they do not have the capacity to allow the exception.
How do I switch to a different section of an ME course?
Students can make schedule changes in the first week of classes within the MyPurdue system if there are seats available in the desired section. However, if a section is closed, a change in section is most likely not possible (please see A class I want to take is closed, how can I get an override to register?). At the completion of the first week of class, no switching of sections will be permitted for ME courses.
What steps do I need to take if I would like to get credit by examination (test-out) for a course?
You may not be registered for the course you are attempting to test-out of in the upcoming semester. There will be no guarantee for space should you not successfully pass the exam. This could delay degree completion.
ME courses: Students may only sit for a test-out exam for ME 200, ME 270, or ME 274. If a student feels they have a mastery of the subject, they need to discuss with their assigned academic advisor the process. The student will sit for the final exam of the course and must earn a 70% or higher on the final exam to be awarded credit.
Non-ME courses: Academic departments have their own policies and procedures regarding test-out exams. Please check the department of the course you wish to attempt a test-out for specific information. Commonly taken test-out exams include Math courses: https://www.math.purdue.edu/academic/undergrad/credit/
Can I take a course at a different institution my final semester to transfer back to Purdue?
No, all courses in the final semester must be taken at the Purdue West Lafayette campus. Transferring credit in the final semester will delay the processing and awarding of your degree.
I took a course over the summer at a different institution, how do I transfer the credit to Purdue?
Students who have completed courses an institution other than Purdue must submit their official transcript to the Office of Admissions. More information is available at: https://www.admissions.purdue.edu/transfercredit/index.php.
Students should always verify in advance that a course will transfer back as an equivalent Purdue West Lafayette course by using the Transfer Credit Course Equivalency Guide.
My friend said I can take ENGL 421 at Ivy Tech for technical elective credit, is that true?
Be careful taking academic advice from friends! No, ENGL 421 taken at Ivy Tech will no longer transfer to Purdue as an equivalent credit and therefore, will not meet technical elective credit in the ME program.
After the first week of classes, how do I add an ME Course?
Once the MyPurdue system closes to students at the completion of the first week of classes, no student will be permitted to add a ME course to the current semester.
I am not a Purdue West Lafayette student, can I take a Mechanical Engineering course from the West Lafayette campus?
Due to large enrollments and course space limitations, West Lafayette Mechanical Engineering courses are only open to degree-seeking students enrolled at the West Lafayette campus in the Fall and Spring terms. Students from other universities or Regional Purdue campuses are not permitted to enroll in West Lafayette Mechanical Engineering courses in the Fall or Spring terms. Students from other universities or Regional Purdue campuses that meet the minimum pre-requisites may be permitted to enroll in Mechanical Engineering courses on the West Lafayette campus in the summer terms if space remains. Requests will be reviewed beginning May 1st for non-degree seeking students.
Can a co-op student do a study abroad?
It may be possible for a co-op student to do a study abroad. However, this will require scheduling the Study Abroad session during a regularly scheduled semester at Purdue. This could extend your graduation date. To best plan a study abroad with a co-op schedule, interested students should see their academic advisor as early in their ME program as possible.
Will a Study Abroad add time to my ME Program?
Generally, an Engineering Term Abroad program (ETA) will not add an extra full-term semester, but it could add an extra summer pending your progress in the ME curriculum when you leave for your term aboard. Consult with your academic advisor and they can help you determine an ETA program that might not delay your graduation based on your current curriculum standing in the ME program.
If I am interested in doing a Study Abroad, whom should I speak with?
Interested students should first consult with their academic advisor if they are considering an Engineering Term Abroad. If you are interested in other Study Abroad programs, you should start with the Study Abroad website. For the best Study Abroad experience, you should start planning this no later the spring semester of your sophomore year.
When I arrived at my ETA location, the courses I had approved were full. I have had to choose new courses, what should I do?
Any course changes while abroad must be approved by the Undergraduate Office. A new course approval form must be submitted to the Study Abroad Office with the change in courses as well as the pass/no pass grade option.
Can I study abroad while on probation?
Please use this link to view policies on being on Academic Probation and studying abroad: https://www.purdue.edu/IPPU/SA/Policy/index.html
If you are placed on Academic probation at the conclusion of the semester before departing, you are not permitted to study abroad. If you are placed on Mechanical Engineering Core Probation at the conclusion of the semester before departing, it is HIGHLY encouraged that you do not study abroad. This includes all ETA’s, short-term, and Maymester programs.
Can a ME student complete a semester-long study abroad in their final semester?
No, ME students are not permitted to complete a semester-long study abroad program in their final semester due to delays in grade reporting from partner institutions. Students in the final semester are encouraged to review short-term study abroad programs in the spring break or Maymester period.
What research opportunities are available within the ME department for undergraduate students?
Research is a beneficial supplement to students’ traditional coursework. It can offer both hands-on and team experience as well as provide opportunities to gain additional skills that may be advantageous in the workplace or in graduate school.
ME 297, ME 498 and ME 499 are variable title courses that allow students to partner with a ME faculty member to engage in research for credit, either independently or as part of a small group. Students are permitted to use a maximum of 9 total research credits towards the BSME degree. Students are responsible for approaching faculty and discussing expectations for their projects. Your academic advisor should be consulted to review how the course will count toward your degree and to obtain the necessary forms to register for the course. Learn more here.
What research opportunities are available at Purdue outside of the ME program?
- Directed Research with College of Engineering Faculty outside of ME is an opportunity to work with faculty in other College of Engineering schools. If this research is for academic credit then it could be used to meet Technical Elective requirements.
- Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) courses create a vertical project track under which students work in multidisciplinary teams on long-term engineering-based design projects.
- Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) matches undergraduate students with a faculty member and graduate student mentor who introduce them to research in the areas of science, engineering, and technology. During the summer, SURF is an 11-week program during which students conduct research 40 hours per week. SURF is also sometimes offered during the academic year, where full-time students conduct research activities for approximately 10 hours per week.
- The Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) program is designed to immerse Purdue undergraduates in the interdisciplinary research environment of Discovery Park. The program provides opportunities for students to work with faculty affiliated with Discovery Park on cutting edge research projects that involve combining two or more disciplinary strengths.
- The Vertically Integrated Projects Program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to earn academic credit while engaging in authentic and extended research and design projects with interdisciplinary and vertically-integrated teams.