Purdue’s Low Graduation Rate

Purdue seems to have a low graduation rate compared to similar institutions. I’ve read this is because there’s a bit of a ‘weed them out’ mentality and the classes are very intense. Is this true? And if so is it true for all the colleges, or just engineering? And does anyone know anything about the intensity of the programs in the polytechnic institute?

Purdue historically has had a low graduation rate but that has improved a lot in the past decade. There are tons and tons of students supports and they are committed to getting students out in 8 semesters.

My daughter hasn’t experienced any “weed them out” mentality at Purdue (she’s in engineering). Every intro class has a dedicated help room open all the time, profs and TA have weekly office hours and help sessions, there is free tutoring in all of the dorms, there are review sessions for each test, etc… My D started in '18 and I believe that we were told that over 94% of her first year engineering class remained in engineering. I think she knows only one student not graduating on time because they added a minor late in the game.

Purdue also muddies the waters with their 4 year graduation rate because so many students co-op. They don’t pull those kids out of the stats, even though they are graduating in the usual 8 semesters, just spread out over 5 or 6 years depending on the length of the co-op.

FWIW, my D loves Purdue, feels like it’s super collaborative and supportive. Lots of work for sure, but she’s having a blast there. She’s had plenty of time for clubs and fun. You can have good balance even in engineering :slight_smile:


Engineering actually has the 2nd highest retention and graduation rate of all the schools, just behind Veterinary. 1st year retention is 96% and 6yr graduation is 88%, vs the entire university’s 94/83%. (as of the 2019 data in the Data Digest). Polytechnic is 93%/83%, on par with the school as a whole.

Back in 2005, the university rates were 84%/69%.

Note that Engineering’s 4 year graduation rate is 58%, showing the impact of co-op programs.

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