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Purdue vs Virginia Tech or WPI?

stepl100stepl100 156 replies2 threads Junior Member
Our D is accepted for Engineering at 7 colleges right now and looking to narrow her choices. Her top choices are Purdue, VT and WPI but has not ruled out any of the others yet until we go on accepted student visits. The others are RIT, Rutgers, UMD and U of Delaware. Still waiting on 3 more decisions - CWRU, Vanderbilt and UMass @ Amherst.

D wants to study Biomedical Engineering. She loves hands on learning, projects etc... interested in studying aboard, internship and co-op opportunities. She wants to potentially be part of a marching band and other bands and join women in engineering communities.
Whilst COA is always a factor all her acceptances are within 6k of each other after scholarships so that won't be the deciding factor.

Seeking opinions on Purdue vs VT and WPI as her current top 3. Any pov welcome.
20 replies
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Replies to: Purdue vs Virginia Tech or WPI?

  • promom4promom4 78 replies2 threads Junior Member
    D is at WPI and Purdue is our flagship. She loves it, it attracts a fairly specific student - cooperative, team focused. She is doing very well and we are happy with the choice, it was significantly more $ and about 10x the distance. WPI is also 10% of the population of Purdue. We are a huge Purdue family, I have 2 degrees and she would've been 3rd generation.

    There are a lot of music opportunities, women's engineering groups, co ed, etc. The other nice perk to WPI is that you are not competing for a specific major and the current president is a woman and I think it's a great place for female students.

    Have you visited?

    I have visited a handful of times during the school year and I am always very impressed. Feel free to DM me.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9079 replies89 threads Senior Member
    I have D who is in her second year at Purdue. She’s a chem e. Loves it!

    I would encourage you to look into the transition to BME and ask about the stats from last year. D has a friend who met the admission GPA cut off but still didn’t get in because of the cap. Not sure what the process is at VT or WPI.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    I can’t speak to WPI, but Purdue and VT were my D’s top two choices, She ultimately chose Purdue for ME, and is very happy, but I think either would be a good choice.

    From what I’ve read and observed, Purdue’s BME program seems to be less mature than most of their other engineering programs.

    From a rankings/reputation standpoint, I’d say Purdue has a very slight edge on VT, with WPI not as known (I’m a degreed engineer with a D in an engineering program and had to look up the WPI acronym).
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  • cbl1cbl1 Forum Champion Virginia Tech 814 replies11 threads Forum Champion
    edited February 24
    I always like to look at the classes being taken at each school

    Here is VT checksheet for classes needed for Biomed Engineering https://www.registrar.vt.edu/content/dam/registrar_vt_edu/documents/Updates/coe/2022/coe_bmes_22.pdf

    Then full course descriptions can be found here https://www.undergradcatalog.registrar.vt.edu/1819/course-descriptions.html
    edited February 24
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  • jnorrisjnorris 1 replies0 threads New Member
    I can speak to Purdue only as my daughter is a senior in Chem Engineering there. The Biomed engineering is very competitive. I believe for her year they only accepted about 75 students. I will say that the research opportunities at Purdue are EXCELLENT, especially for undergrads. Purdue grads are highly sought after. I was told that there are only 3 schools in the country where employers actually PAY to be at the job fairs....Purdue, MIT and Texas A&M. But, again, it is competitive as first year is general (like VT) and you compete for one of the spots in the major that you seek. First year is grueling, a pressure cooker, but with hard studying they get thru it.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9079 replies89 threads Senior Member
    My D is a Purdue Sophomore and they took 100 BMEs last year so the program is apparently growing :)
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  • bloomfield88bloomfield88 329 replies0 threads Member
    Congrats! All 3 of her favorite options are great.

    Since, all 3 are top tier engineering programs, the choice may come down to her non-engineering personal preferences. If at all possible, when you've heard from the remaining three and get a new short-list, visit.

    The students' affection for their university, the VT campus and the town of Blacksburg don't take a back seat to very many colleges. VT always ranks high on the quality of life factors, which can make a difference during the constant grind of trying to be an excellent engineering student. Your daughter may find she prefers WPI or Purdue, but VT is a pretty darn cool place, so it is worth checking all three out if they make her final three.
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  • stepl100stepl100 156 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thank you to all the replies so far - really helpful and fit/expand what we know already. Planning on visiting Purdue next week and VT likely in April and WPI as well early April.
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  • ArcDadArcDad 13 replies1 threads New Member
    I'd love to hear your thoughts after each visit. My son has all 3 of these schools on his list for next year.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80924 replies726 threads Senior Member
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/engineering-majors/2174743-first-year-engineering-programs-secondary-admission-to-major-criteria.html has some links to information on Purdue and VT secondary admission to major processes after enrolling.
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1546 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Also following at WPI and VT are of great interest to my S21! Please keep us posted!
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  • stepl100stepl100 156 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Yes I will be reporting back here as we continue this journey to a final decision.
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  • stepl100stepl100 156 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Yes I will be reporting back here as we continue this journey to a final decision.
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  • NJEngDadNJEngDad 96 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My son is a sophomore studying ME at Purdue. He ended up choosing Purdue and the EPICS program over Virginia Tech Honors program. As noted above, Virginia Tech is hard to beat when it comes to the student quality of life factors. The school spirit there is palpable, not to mention the food, and the campus is beautiful.. Purdue does offer up a quality division 1 sports program for spectators, especially basketball, and has over a 1000 clubs including robust Greek life. Purdue's campus is also pretty with very impressive infrastructure. As you know, both schools lead with engineering and I wouldn't get too caught up in the rankings. Ultimately, my son chose Purdue because he felt overall that the school had more of an academic focus and that was what he was looking for. As I mentioned, check out the EPICS

    opportunity.https://www.purdue.edu/learningcommunities/profiles/engineering/epics.html

    My son loved the experience ( you can chose the living component or not, my son did not live in) it and is thrilled with Purdue.

    I just visited VT last weekend with my younger son (a HS junior interested in business) and was again impressed by the campus life. That said, as a parent, Purdue feels more organized when it comes to student support services. Visiting is the best way to compare the two schools and there is no wrong choice. Feel free to PM me with any questions.
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  • stepl100stepl100 156 replies2 threads Junior Member
    We have just come back from Purdue for Me day on Monday and very impressed. The visit answered many questions about the First Year Engineering course - whilst rigorous for sure 93% go on to get their first choice major with 90% retention into sophomore year. Women in engineering organization very helpful with brand new dorm coming in August. Liked the EPICS learning community, many support networks, mentoring programs etc... and the dedicated BME building. Band/orchestra org very welcoming as well as many flexible options on study abroad. Co-ops and internship opportunities from top companies as well as undergrad research opportunities from freshman year.
    So Purdue ticks all the boxes and is a definite lead option now for our daughter but she is still holding back on commitment as she is concerned about the sheer size and getting lost with 400+ class sizes for some classes in freshman and sophomore year.
    Our eldest daughter (who is the indecisive one in our family) just knew Fordham was her college and is loving the life there as a sophomore - we did not get the same passion from our D about Purdue on Monday - something is still not fully there yet.
    So we are definitely going to visit WPI and maybe VT (and potentially U Mass or U of Delaware) - so we will see.
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1546 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Tks for the report on Purdue and looking forward to the others!
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  • chestie69chestie69 46 replies0 threads Junior Member
    stepl100 wrote: »
    daughter but she is still holding back on commitment as she is concerned about the sheer size and getting lost with 400+ class sizes for some classes in freshman and sophomore year.

    FWIW, I graduated from Purdue in 2013 (biochem major.) While I can attest that the size of the school may seem overwhelming at first, I actually didnt mind the large class sizes. I could choose to be "noticed" by the professor by attending office hours, sitting up front in lecture, asking questions after class, etc or I could ride under the cover and just be one of many faces. I really loved the atmosphere and felt my general Ed classes were well taught. Plus the large lecture classes generally have a smaller more intimate "recitation" class that questions can be asked if daughter does not want to ask during lecture. I really loved my time at Purdue! Wishing your daughter the best in her decision!

    (Note: This is also coming from someone who was homeschooled most of her primary education. )
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  • stepl100stepl100 156 replies2 threads Junior Member
    So to wrap up this thread just wanted to report back to everyone. Our daughter has made her final choice and it was a close run thing in the end between Purdue and Virginia Tech - but she decided on VT.
    Her rationale was that she decided against WPI as she was concerned about the 7 week terms and did not think that was for her, less well known than Purdue or VT and dorms/food did not appear as good from the visits, reviews and online videos.
    Between Purdue and VT it was very close and despite visiting Purdue for accepted students day before the COVID-19 shut down she has chosen VT for the wider life opportunities.
    For engineering both Purdue and VT offer the general first year and then choose your major at the end, both offer hands on project based learning, both have great internship, study abroad, UG research etc... not much in it there at all - both great options.
    Both have a great marching band which our daughter wanted and wider music program to be part of. But VT slightly edged out Purdue on the spacious campus, food options (daughter is a vegetarian), dorms and she liked Blacksburg slightly more than Lafayette, access to the mountains for hiking etc... Also the women in engineering living learning community guaranteed her a place with a small scholarhship whilst this was not certain at Purdue and they offered no scholarship (but still affordable cost for us so that was not a factor at all). Final factor was travel - Purdue is a plane ride away (Philly to Indy) whilst VT is a 6 hour drive so in all slightly easier to get to and from.

    She is very happy with her choice and we are very happy she has found what she is looking for - assuming coronavirus does not get in the way.
    Looking forward to a great 4 years as a Hokie!

    Best of luck to everyone as they make their final choices!
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1546 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Thank you sooooo much for reporting back to us! VT is at the top of my S21's list right now.

    Best of luck to your daughter! I'm sure she'll do great.

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