Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Policies

  • 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 notice?

    All ME Undergraduate students on academic notice and/or ME Core Notice 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 notice can be found on our Academic Notice 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. .

Admissions Criteria

Prospective High School Students

Transition to Major (T2M)


Co-Op and Internships


  • 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.

Study Abroad

  • 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 academic notice?

    Please use this link to view policies on being on Academic Notice and studying abroad:
    If you are placed on Academic Notice at the conclusion of the semester before departing, you are not permitted to study abroad. If you are placed on Mechanical Engineering Core Notice 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.

Undergraduate Research

  • 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.