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Purdue Supplemental Essay 2022-2023

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Purdue Supplemental Essay: Quick Facts

  • Purdue University acceptance rate: 67%— U.S. News ranks Purdue as a more selective school.
  • Purdue application: Purdue only accepts the Common Application , not the Coalition Application.
  • 2 (100-word) required essays
  • 2 (500-word) Purdue Honors College essays (required if applying to the Honors College)
  • Purdue Essay Tip: We recommend answering both Purdue University supplemental essays comprehensively and thoughtfully, highlighting in each of your Purdue essays why Purdue is the perfect school for you.

What are Purdue University’s essays?

In addition to the Common App essay , students must also complete the Purdue supplemental essay prompts. 

Required Purdue supplemental essay prompts:

  • How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)
  • Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words)

Required Purdue supplemental essay prompts for Honors College applicants are:

  • One Purdue supplemental essay about your vision for your honors experience at Purdue (500 words)
  • An additional Purdue supplemental essay about the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study (500 words)

These Purdue application essays represent the final step in the Purdue application process. Strong responses to the Purdue supplemental essays can help your Purdue application stand out among the almost 60,000 applications the university receives each year.

So, if you want to get into Purdue, it’s important to spend time on your responses to the Purdue essay prompts. A solid set of Purdue application essays can make a major difference in the Purdue admissions process.

In this guide, we’ll break down each of the Purdue essay prompts and provide expert tips on how to make sure your Purdue application essays shine. Keep reading to learn how to approach your Purdue University supplemental essays!

Purdue application essay requirements

purdue supplemental essay

Many selective colleges require supplemental essays beyond the standard Common App essay, also known as the Personal Statement . The Purdue application requirements are no exception to this. 

There are two Purdue essay prompts required of all applicants. Additionally, Honors College applicants must complete two additional Purdue University supplemental essays. Pay close attention to which Purdue supplemental essays you should complete, as it varies by program. 

So, if you are applying to Purdue University, you must complete at least two 100-word Purdue essay prompts. Each Purdue supplemental essay is designed to give you a chance to show Purdue admissions officers who you are, beyond the rest of your application. You should treat each Purdue supplemental essay as an opportunity to showcase a part of yourself that isn’t highlighted elsewhere within the Purdue application requirements.

Honors College essay requirements

Like many schools, Purdue has additional requirements for the Purdue Honors College. If you apply to the Purdue John Martinson Honors College, you must complete two more 500-word Purdue Honors College essays. These additional prompts help Purdue Admissions ensure that Purdue Honors College applicants go above and beyond the typical Purdue application requirements. 

You should be sure to set aside more than enough time to craft strong Purdue Honors College essays and Purdue supplemental essays.

Purdue Supplemental Essay- Prompt 1 ( Required )

How will opportunities at purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom (100 words maximum).

The first Purdue essay asks applicants to reflect on their academic and personal interests. Then, it asks them to explain how Purdue will help them pursue those interests. In other words, the first of the Purdue essay prompts asks why you want to attend Purdue over any other school. 

You’ve probably encountered similar “why this college?” essay prompts on other applications. So, as you might expect, this Purdue application essay must be specific to Purdue. You won’t be able to copy and paste another school’s essay to answer this Purdue supplemental essay. 

Brainstorming your topic

Before starting to write this Purdue supplemental essay, think about your interest in Purdue. Write down a list of reasons why Purdue made your college list. Does Purdue offer a particular program that interests you? Or does Purdue’s campus culture fit your vision for your college experience? The best responses to the Purdue essay prompts will include specific details.

honors college essay purdue

Building your narrative

Once you have created your list of interests, identify several that you would like to write about in your Purdue supplemental essays. This Purdue supplemental essay doesn’t give you much space; picking one or two interests, therefore, will help you stay within the word count and give your essay some structure. 

When deciding which interests to focus on, remember your other Purdue essay. You can discuss your intended major in the second of the required Purdue essay prompts. With this in mind, make sure you don’t delve into topics better suited for other Purdue essay prompts. Instead, use this Purdue supplemental essay to talk about interests that you have not discussed in other areas of your application. After all, you want each Purdue supplemental essay to showcase a different part of your identity.

Making it specific

Next, research Purdue to see how your interests overlap with opportunities Purdue offers. The Purdue essay prompts are a chance to show off the research you’ve done; for example, talking to Purdue admissions representatives or visiting campus. If any of these interactions relate to one of your chosen themes, mention them in this Purdue supplemental essay. This shows your knowledge of Purdue’s strengths as a university. 

For example, a prospective student could use this Purdue application essay to discuss the state-of-the-art kinesiology labs she visited and how they would help her pursue her interest in physical therapy. Make sure you discuss what you experienced along with how it relates to your interests. Once again, the best Purdue University supplemental essays will use specific details to show why you belong at Purdue.

Writing your essay

Now that you’ve done the brainstorming and research for this Purdue supplemental essay, you can start writing. Because you only have 100 words for this Purdue supplemental essay, you need to make each one count. Avoid unrelated topics, vague wording, and forms of “to be.” Instead, use clear language and strong action verbs in each Purdue essay. Compare these two sentences below:

“There is no school that is a better fit to support my interests than Purdue University.” (16 words)

“Purdue possesses the resources to support my interests.” (8 words)

The second sentence conveys the same message as the first, but it uses much stronger language and fewer words. Specific details and short, powerful sentences will help your Purdue essay stand out. 

Purdue Supplemental Essay Reflection Questions:

  • Does your Purdue essay refer to 2-3 strong interests from your list?
  • Do you present information not found in other areas of your application?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay contain specific information about Purdue based on your research?
  • Do you clearly explain to Purdue admissions how Purdue will help you pursue your interests?

Purdue Supplemental Essay — Prompt 2 ( Required )

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words maximum).

The second of the Purdue supplemental essays is the typical “why major essay.” The “why major essay” is a common supplemental essay question that many schools require. Purdue is no different—they want to understand why you aim to pursue the field you’ve indicated on your application. 

The reality of the “why major essay” question is that schools want to know you’ve done your research on their programs. As a result of this, your “why major essay” for each school must relate to that school’s unique offerings. While you can include some general details, you should make sure this essay remains school-specific. 

Not all students know what they plan to major in. Choosing your college major is a big decision, and it requires plenty of forethought. This Purdue supplemental essay can be especially daunting if you’re unsure of your major, so let’s explore how to get around that. 

Brainstorming your major

purdue supplemental essay

Before starting to write this “why major essay,” think about the school subjects you enjoy. You may already identify as a lover of math or know you have the most fun in English class. However, Purdue University offers more than 200 different undergraduate majors across their 11 different colleges, so check the full list for options. This research will also help you show demonstrated interest in this Purdue supplemental essay.

When selecting a major for this Purdue application essay, think about the career you might want to pursue. You might consider the topics you have liked learning about, both inside and outside the classroom. If you’re having trouble selecting one major for this Purdue supplemental essay, choose the major you have the most compelling reasons to pursue.

Selecting a field of study for this Purdue supplemental essay might feel daunting. However, don’t be stressed about choosing a major. Instead, as you write your Purdue supplemental essay, focus on showing your intellectual curiosity and engagement with your studies. You can always change your major once you arrive on campus.

Using details

In order to write the best essay possible, include experiences that have made the biggest impact on your academic career. Have you had a teacher who drove you to explore more about their subject? Have you had work or volunteer experience that inspired you to pursue a particular major? Do you have a burning passion to support a specific cause? 

Your Purdue application essay should tell a story. So, highlight stories where you’ve engaged deeply with your chosen subject, whether directly or indirectly. In doing so, you’ll help readers understand why your chosen major excites you. This can help your Purdue supplemental essay showcase your intellectual curiosity.

Whatever major you choose, don’t just discuss the basic reasons why you enjoy it in this Purdue essay. Instead, go deeper. Think of this Purdue essay as a short narrative where you share moments in your life that have influenced you. A student who wants to major in electrical engineering might talk about getting a circuitry kit for Christmas and watching his dad repair wires around the house. She might then share how she helped the school robotics club win a competition. Find those formative moments in your life and use them as the foundation of your Purdue supplemental essay. Again, the best Purdue supplemental essay will be the most specific!

  • Does your Purdue essay focus on the major that most interests you?
  • Do you use specific details about how you came to love that major?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay help your reader learn something new about you?

Purdue Honors College Essay Requirements

The Purdue Honors College is a separate program within Purdue University specifically designed for high-achieving students. Recently, the Purdue Honors College became formally known as the John Martinson Honors College. According to their website , “Martinson supports new programmatic initiatives which promote undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity, leadership and professional development, global and community engagement, and innovative pedagogies.” 

You should research the Purdue Honors College thoroughly before deciding if you want to apply. Once you make the decision that the Purdue Honors College is right for you, it’s time to crack down on the Purdue Honors College essays.

The Purdue Honors College supplemental essay requirements are:

  • 1 (500-word) Purdue supplemental essay about your vision for your honors experience at Purdue
  • 1 (500-word) Purdue essay prompt about the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study

Now, let’s break down each of the Purdue supplemental essays for the Purdue Honors College and talk about strategies to tackle each one. 

For more help on writing supplemental essays, click here . For help standing out in the college admissions process, read this article .

Purdue Honors College Essays- Question 1 

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at purdue. please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the john martinson honors college. (500 word maximum).

In order to answer the first of the Honors College Purdue essay prompts effectively, you need to reflect on your reasons for applying to the Honors College. Then, you need to connect those reasons to the four pillars that express the Honors College’s values. The best Purdue application essays will directly connect an applicant’s academic goals with the four pillars of the Purdue Honors College.

Understanding Purdue

Before starting this Purdue supplemental essay, you need to have a firm understanding of the four pillars mentioned in the prompt. These pillars are: community and global engagement, undergraduate research, leadership development, and interdisciplinary academics. Reviewing the Honors College mission statement will give you more information about the four pillars. You do not need to reference all four of these pillars in your Purdue essay; instead, focus on whichever ones best fit with your future plans.

Researching the Honors College beyond the four pillars can also help strengthen your Purdue supplemental essay. Start by browsing this year’s Honors College course list . Review some of the research projects done by past Honors students. As you brainstorm for your Purdue admissions essays, look for programs and projects that connect to your interests. You might see a course or research project that lines up with one of your passions. You can use that as evidence in your Purdue essay that the Honors College will provide an ideal learning environment to nurture your interests.

Making it about you

This Purdue essay prompt asks you to imagine how you would spend your time as a Purdue Honors student. That future will likely be rooted in your past experiences. Strong Purdue application essays, therefore, should use the four pillars of Purdue Honors to connect your past experiences to your future at Purdue. 

When you talk about your future, try to be as specific as possible. For instance, saying that you want to travel to India to study their culture is not as powerful as saying that you want to travel to India to research how native fashions have changed due to modern technology in this Purdue essay.

purdue supplemental essay

You can begin brainstorming for this Purdue supplemental essay by doing a fr e e-write based on this prompt: “If I could have any academic experience I want in college, what would it be?” Think about the questions you might explore or problems you would like to solve if you had the freedom to choose. Don’t limit yourself—the best way to start writing is to free yourself from any perfectionism. 

Use this Purdue admissions essay to share the subject that you could stay up all night researching or the idea you cannot get out of your head. Let your ambition come across in your writing, using the four pillars of the Honors College as the foundation for achieving your goals. Finally, help your reader envision how you would contribute to the Honors College in this Purdue supplemental essay.

  • Does your Purdue essay clearly describe your goals for attending the Honors College?
  • Do you include references to at least one of the four pillars of the Honors College?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay indicate specific projects you might undertake or resources you might use as an Honors student?

Purdue Honors College Essays — Question 2

Please describe the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study and how it complements or supports other fields. (examples: you might describe how your work in a liberal arts career may impact or inform the work of an engineer.) (500 word maximum).

The second of the Purdue application essays asks how your chosen subject connects to other fields. At first, this Purdue essay can seem daunting. After all, most high school classes are separated by subject without much room for interdisciplinary work. However, with a little creative thinking, you can develop relationships between just about any set of subjects and use those relationships to write a strong Purdue essay.

Finding an intersection

To get you started, here are a few examples of interdisciplinary study that would make good material for Purdue application essays:

  • Creating a business plan for a health care clinic combines medicine with economics
  • Volunteering at a music therapy provider combines Psychology and Music into an interdisciplinary field grounded in helping those with mental illnesses
  • A project about the evolution of manufacturing technology combines history with engineering

These example topics for a Purdue supplemental essay represent a tiny fraction of the ways you could answer this prompt. Each of these potential Purdue application essays could also tie in with some of your activities from high school. 

You might also use your Purdue essay to consider what you have learned working with people who have different interests than yours and how you could bring that knowledge to your studies. Strong Purdue admissions essays can come from anywhere, so don’t limit yourself. 

Getting creative

If you struggle to form connections between academic fields based on your personal experience, you can use your imagination to come up with hypothetical situations that might foster collaboration across fields. These imaginary situations can still make for a great Purdue supplemental essay. 

For instance, as a lover of computer science, you might imagine its applications in the world of digital art to create vivid settings for a video game. The best Purdue supplemental essays will be unique and creative. Additionally, strong Purdue application essays will tell a story. The more you can use narratives to illustrate the wide range of uses for your discipline, the more successful your Purdue admissions essay will be.

Essays Reflection Questions for Purdue Honors College :

  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay demonstrate your enthusiasm for your chosen field?
  • Do you include a variety of possible connections between your chosen fields and other fields?
  • Does your Purdue admissions essay use stories and examples to illustrate the connections between fields?

Want more helpful tips on how to approach your Purdue supplemental essays and other aspects of Purdue University’s application process? Check out this video below from Purdue’s senior assistant director of admissions! 

What does Purdue University look for in essays?

Your Purdue supplemental essays help the admissions team get to know you beyond your demographics, transcript, and activities list. Each Purdue essay also provides valuable insight into what kind of student you would be.

These specific Purdue essay prompts help the Purdue admissions committee understand how you will use your education at Purdue. Purdue looks for students who can articulate their interests and describe how Purdue’s resources will help them pursue these interests. Your Purdue application essays, then, should show the Purdue admissions team how Purdue would help you meet your goals.

Demonstrated Interest

The committee wants to see you show demonstrated interest (DI) in Purdue. DI is a gauge that universities use to determine how interested a student is in attending their school. To take advantage of this, use your Purdue application essays to explain exactly what about Purdue interests you. You don’t need to physically visit the campus to write strong Purdue supplemental essays. However, if you don’t visit , it helps to find other ways of showing your interest. These include contacting admissions officers, reviewing the school’s website, or attending a virtual information session/webinar.

The Purdue admissions team also wants to know if you can write clearly and concisely—an important skill for succeeding in college. So, ensure your writing is strong, clear, and free of any errors. Your Purdue application essays also show your attention to detail and passion for learning. Students who use the Purdue essay prompts to showcase their passions will definitely impress the admissions team.

How do I get into Purdue University?

Getting accepted into Purdue starts with filling out the Common Application and meeting the Purdue application requirements. On the Common Application, you will report your GPA, list your high school activities, and write a 250-650 word Common App essay. 

For the fall and spring of 2023, Purdue is test flexible . This means if you have the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT, Purdue admissions would prefer you do. This is different from test optional because test optional schools truly have no preference for test scores. Purdue, however, makes it clear that they would like to review test scores as part of your application if possible. Strong scores will only enhance your application . 

Purdue application requirements

Your GPA , course schedule, test scores, Common App essay, letters of recommendation , supplemental essays, and extracurricular activities comprise the Purdue application requirements and will all factor into the committee’s decision.

Last year, approximately 60,000 students applied to Purdue University. The median GPA range of accepted applicants was 3.5-3.9, the median SAT was 119-1410, and the median ACT was 26-33. As you can see, Purdue admits students with high scores, which contributes to the U.S. News Purdue University ranking.

Purdue Application

In 2022, U.S. News assigned its Purdue University ranking among national universities at #51 overall. US News also named Purdue as one of the Top 10 most innovative universities in the last four years. Among public universities , the Purdue University ranking is #18 in the country. Purdue University’s top academic programs include Aerospace Engineering (where the Purdue University ranking is #5) and Biological/Agricultural Engineering (where the Purdue University ranking is #2). This makes Purdue a great fit for students specifically interested in those fields.

Finally, the Purdue University ranking attracts many applicants who view Purdue’s rankings as a sign of prestige. This means that Purdue supplemental essays will be used to determine which students are interested in attending for reasons beyond the Purdue University ranking. Remember, your Purdue supplemental essays are your chance to show the admissions team your genuine interest in the school. 

Looking to put your best foot forward when filling out the Common Application and writing the Common App essay? Check out this guide for helpful tips.

Top 5 Purdue Supplemental Essay Tips

How to write an outstanding purdue supplemental essay:, #1 – start early.

Be sure to leave yourself time to edit and revise each of your Purdue University supplemental essays. You don’t want to be drafting and editing a Purdue supplemental essay down to the wire.

#2 – Look at the big picture

When writing your Purdue supplemental essays, consider your application as a whole. Make sure that each Purdue supplemental essay explores something new about you. 

#3 – Be authentic

Don’t lie or exaggerate on your Purdue University supplemental essays. Each Purdue application essay is a chance for you to showcase who you are.

#4 – Show your unique self

These Purdue supplemental essays are an opportunity for you to stand out to Purdue admissions. Don’t generalize in your responses to the Purdue essay prompts. Instead, get specific about your experiences. Use the opportunity to not only demonstrate who you are, but also to show off your writing style.

#5 – Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Edit your essays . You don’t want to craft a stellar Purdue supplemental essay, only to have it marred by poor grammar or a spelling mistake. Have another person look over each Purdue supplemental essay before you submit it. 

Purdue Supplemental Essay — Final Thoughts

Although each Purdue supplemental essay is short, they are also incredibly important. Don’t think that a short essay will take you less time to write—often, short essays are the hardest to write. Given the Purdue University ranking, you should use every chance you get to stand out. This includes crafting strong Purdue supplemental essays.

Be yourself

The Purdue essay prompts help the admissions committee get to know the person behind the grades and test scores. Make sure that your Purdue supplemental essays are full of anecdotes and stories that show why you will succeed as a Purdue student! Let your readers know in each Purdue supplemental essay that you have done your research and thought about why you want to attend Purdue.

Ask for help!

And finally, seek help from trusted sources with editing your Purdue supplemental essays; sometimes a second opinion can help you improve your Purdue essays in unexpected ways.

Purdue supplemental essay

This Purdue supplemental essays guide was written by Laura Frustaci.   Looking for more admissions support? Click  here  to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how  can support you in the college application process.

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How to Respond to the 2023-2024 Purdue University Supplemental Essay Prompts

honors college essay purdue

Purdue University is a public university in West Lafayette, Indiana. Voted a Top 10 Public University in 2021, many students are hoping to gain entrance into one of Indiana’s best public colleges. This means you will have to use your very best writing skills and personal creativity to help you stand out in the Purdue supplemental essays. 

The Purdue University supplemental essays

For the regular undergraduate admissions application, you will have two 100 word prompts to write, and an additional optional 250 word prompt. It is always a good idea to write the optional essay, because this gives the admissions team at the university a better idea of the type of person that they could potentially be adding to their community and demonstrates your interest in attending.

Supplemental prompts on the traditional application focus on why you think Purdue would be a good fit for you, whereas the Honors College prompts are more focused on discovering what you may offer the college. Let’s break down the prompts for each application to give you a thorough idea of how to respond to all of them:

Also see: How to respond to the Common App essay prompts

If you are applying with the traditional application

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (250 words or fewer)

This prompt is a classic, as it can tell the individual reading your application more about you as a person than your transcript can. This is your opportunity to highlight what makes you you . There are multiple facets to this question, and although both are important, the “in the classroom” part of the question is going to tell Purdue what you can offer them academically. 

Every person has something different to offer, but there are some things that you want to avoid writing about that are seen as cliche. Think about what makes you interesting that is different from what makes your peers interesting. You could talk about how learning a foreign language in high school has inspired you to study international affairs at Purdue, or how the musical instrument that you decided to pick up during the pandemic made you decide to pursue a degree in music. 

Questions to consider

  • What makes you interesting as a student? 
  • What interests have you pursued in and/or out of the classroom? 
  • In what ways have you pursued those interests and how would you continue that pursuit at Purdue?

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Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (250 words or fewer)

Every person chooses their major for a reason. Whether it is something you have wanted to pursue your entire life, or it was a recent find that sparked your interest, now is time to tell the story of how it came about. 

You want to draw the reader in with something enticing that makes them want to keep reading. Making sure to add specific details is something that will make you stand out among other applicants. 

Questions to consider:

  • Did you choose Purdue for the program you want to go into? 
  • What made their program stand out enough for you to decide to apply?
  • What are you passionate about academically?
  • What does your desired major say about you as a person, academically or extra curricularly?

Related: Show, don’t tell essay primer

If you are applying with the honors application*

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at Purdue. Please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the Honors College. (500 words)

The honors application prompts can look like a doozy at first glance, so let’s break it down. Ultimately, they want to understand how Purdue will benefit from you being a student there. This may sound intimidating, but realistically, most colleges want to know that when looking for students to accept. How will you use what you already know to further not only your education, but also the people around you and your university? 

The four pillars of Purdue’s John Martinson Honors College are leadership development, undergraduate research, community and global experiences, and interdisciplinary academics. Visualize what you want for your future and how those goals align with what Purdue looks for in a student attending their Honors College. Let those goals guide your writing. 

  • What career path do you want to pursue and how did it lead you to Purdue?
  • How will your career benefit from your time at Purdue and from the opportunities offered by the Honors College?
  • If you imagine yourself as a Purdue student, what do you see yourself doing?
Please describe the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study and how it complements or supports other fields. (Examples: You might describe how your work in a liberal arts career may impact or inform the work of an engineer.) (500 words)

This is a unique question, but an important one to answer. They want to know if your mind works like a team player. Are you able to think about how what you do affects others, or is your mind a one way road looking at just your journey through college and into your career? Take this question and run with it.

You want to think of a career that compliments yours well. For example, if your major is journalism, talk about the ways that a major like food science or history can impact your work, and vice versa. As a journalist, it is important to have sources, and on the other careers side, they need journalists for publicity. This can go both ways for any career, just try to be creative with it. 

  • What career compliments yours best?
  • Is there another major that you would want to work closely with?
  • What goals can you accomplish better if you worked as a team?

* Students must select “yes” on the last question of the Purdue application (“Are you interested in applying to the Honors College?”) for the two Purdue Honors College questions to appear.

Summing up the Purdue supplemental essay s

We made it through all of the Purdue supplemental essays! In general, for any essay that you choose to write for college admissions, you want to be open and honest about any and all experiences that you write about. Admissions readers will be glad to hear your honesty and transparency, and they will value that in the long run. Make sure to read over your responses and consider giving your essay to a peer or advisor to read over before you submit it. We also recommend taking a break from your essay and going back to it another day to get a fresh pair of eyes. 

Other colleges to apply to

  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Campaign, IL)
  • Pennsylvania State University (Throughout PA)

Additional resources

While you continue your college decision process, you have a lot to think about. Let us take some of that pressure off of your shoulders, and check out some of our helpful resources that can help alleviate some of the stress! Learn about how many colleges to apply (including reach, match, and safety schools ) and what looks good on college applications . When it comes time, learn  how to choose the right college ! Throughout the process, make sure that you apply to all the scholarships you qualify for! 

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How to write the purdue university essays 2020-2021: your complete guide.

Purdue University is a byproduct of President Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862. A decade later, the doors were open to students, and Purdue’s legacy began.

Today the university hosts over 40,000 students and has educated innovators and inventors who will have an impact on our society for many years to come.

  • Purdue has an acceptance rate of 57%.

Holding fast to ethics and integrity on the journey to innovation lies at the heart of Purdue University’s mission. The school further believes that “ Our responsibilities and obligations toward the advancement of learning, discovery, and engagement in the University and in Indiana extend to our nation and the world.”

This mission can be seen woven into the fabric of university culture.

What Are the Purdue Essay Requirements?

Purdue University gives prospective students two different options to apply for admission. You may choose to apply via the Coalition for College Access, Affordability, and Success Application or through the Common App.

Check out our advice for the Coalition App  and the Common App .

In this guide, we will focus on the supplemental writing prompts that are nearly identical on both application platforms.

Purdue Supplemental Essays: How to Write Them!

Click above to watch a video on how to write Purdue Supplemental Essay.

  • These responses are short –  each 100 words or less.

Before you get started, it’s important to know that Purdue University is well known for their Online Writing Lab. In fact, you have probably used this website at some point in your high school career.

On their admissions page, Purdue notes that they expect your essay to demonstrate “your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and… [to] distinguish yourself in your own voice.”

Additionally, they are looking for what “you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores”. They even suggest you seek out writing help from their Online Writing Lab .

Clearly, Purdue values writing as a skill and, therefore, the admissions committee will be looking for much more than content in your essays.

Below, we will outline advice for writing these specific supplemental responses, as well as general writing advice that will help you to tighten up the style and form of your writing.

The two standard prompts are as follows:

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected.(Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

For reference, the first two paragraphs of this blog post are roughly 115 words.

While you may have a lot to say about each topic, you will be forced to be brief, as the online application will not allow you to break the word count limit.

If you choose a second major, then you will have to answer a prompt that is similar to the second one:

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

There is an honors prompt , which we will address toward the end of this guide:

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at Purdue. Please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the Honors College. (500 word maximum)

Purdue Supplemental Essay 1: Your Interests & Purdue

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?

The first writing supplement question is the type of essay prompt that you will see asked in a similar fashion on many college applications. It’s the quintessential “ Why This College ” essay prompt.

Purdue opens your response up to elements in and out of the classroom. Since the second prompt asks specifically about your intended major, you should probably only quickly mention this in your essay in order to conserve your word count.

  • First, explore Purdue’s website to learn more about the many opportunities the school provides, such as study abroad options, intramural sports, and clubs.
  • Look over the activities you have listed on your admission application.
  • What activities, sports, clubs, etc. interrelate?
  • Are there activities that you have always wanted to try but never had the chance to? Perhaps they are offered at the university.
  • For example, maybe you pursued swimming or diving throughout high school because you did not have the opportunity to pursue sailing.
  • There are many activities in college, such as sailing, archery, and rifle club, which you would not usually be exposed to as a high school student.

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Next, perform the same process with researching academic programs and activities at the university.

  • Are there any particular research fellowships that you are interested in?
  • Did you do research in a lab during your summer breaks that got you interested in a particular field? For example, you might have competed in a science fair based upon your research in a biology research lab.
  • You might be interested in pursuing similar research further with the intent of publishing, or you might be interested in pursuing something completely orthogonal. The main point here is to explain your motivations and where they are coming from.
  • Any professors that you have heard about and would like to take a class with?
  • How do these match up with the classes you completed in high school or topics that you are interested in moving forward?

Be specific in describing how your academic and non-academic interests align with Purdue’s opportunities.

  • For example, let’s say that you have been a strong student in high school taking mostly honors and Advanced Placement/IB courses when available.
  • You could have taken AP Computer Science A and then developed your own web apps or games. You could be interested in taking this further and going into software engineering principles, something you could pursue through class offerings at Purdue.
  • You might be particularly drawn to the leadership opportunities available to students who are members of Purdue University’s Honors College.
  • Perhaps you were in a leadership position of a service such as Beta Club in high school. You could be interested in further developing your academic and service leadership experience through similar organizations at Purdue.

In your response, link your high school experience in rigorous classes with your expectations of yourself as a college student.

  • You might write about how taking classes in the Honors College would allow you to branch out of your major classes, collaborate together with other students on a team, and work on gaining leadership skills, which are important to you as an aspiring professional.

When describing your out-of-classroom interests, you might write about Purdue’s theatre program.

  • In high school, you may have worked on many school plays on the technical side rigging lights.
  • However, you’re excited about the opportunity to volunteer in other avenues of production, such as costume design and makeup.
  • In your actual response, focus on activities that either further your current interests or allow you to try something new.

In both of the above scenarios, we chose specific examples of opportunities actually offered by Purdue University. You should do the same.

Not only will it reflect well in your essay, but it will also allow you to gain a better understanding of whether this university is the right home for you.

Purdue Supplemental Essay 2: Your Major(s) at Purdue

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. Optional: Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

This prompt is also fairly standard in the college application realm. The admissions committee is interested in understanding how your experiences led you to choose this particular major.

You do not randomly select crop science as a major; rather, you are drawn to it.

  • There are many different reasons you could list for choosing the major that you have, but you should avoid simply listing money or status as your intention.
  • While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make a decent living, you should push yourself to list more intrinsic motivations for your choice.

Just like the previous question, you should make an effort to be specific.

  • Being interested in crop science because you think farming is interesting and you took one horticulture class isn’t going to cut it.
  • Instead, describe what it is about farming that specifically interests you – the ability to cultivate living plants, providing food for people, watching the process of farm to table, etc.
  • You might personally know some farmers or been involved in your high school’s FFA (Future Farmers of America) club in high school. There are a lot of innovations being applied to agriculture, from IoT to crop growth simulation and forecasts.
  • By focusing on the specifics of what interests you, you will be able to convince the reader that you are engaged in what you would like to pursue at Purdue.
  • You could definitely write about that horticulture class but, instead of mentioning it in passing, add detail about what you learned , how it changed the way you think about plants, and how it opened your eyes to careers you had never even heard of.

If you are unsure of your major, you can still address this prompt.

Choose a field that you could see yourself working in. Remember, this is not a contract you are bound to for the rest of your life, so it doesn’t hurt to explore one of your “maybe” options.

Let’s say that you might be interested in pursuing a degree in an English-related field. In high school, you took three years of creative writing and joined a tutoring club, where you helped students whose first language isn’t English.

  • In your essay, you could describe how much you enjoy writing and imagining landscapes but also that you felt rewarded by working with your peers.
  • You could see yourself working full-time in a writing field or maybe even becoming an ESL teacher.
  • Explain how you plan to explore these interests while taking introductory-level English classes at Purdue.
  • You might even mention specific programs, clubs, and activities you are interested in.

It’s common to not know exactly what you want to major in during your freshman year of college. However, don’t let this be a weakness in your essay when it could be a strength.

If approached correctly, this essay could show that you are passionate and motivated to find a career that you will thrive in.

This journey, you believe, will benefit you the most if traveled at Purdue University.

Purdue Honors Essay

Now that you have more of a word count to work with, take the liberty to brainstorm a story or anecdote that connects to your desire to engage in rigorous learning and the pillars of the Purdue Honors College.

The pillars of the Purdue Honors College are leadership development, undergraduate research, community and global experiences, and interdisciplinary academics

  • Perhaps you are an immigrant who appreciates the opportunity to learn more during your formative years. You want to learn more because your home country had much fewer resources for students.
  • You have a secondary goal to build bionic arms and legs for kids is in Laos who’ve stepped on landmines and lost limbs. You firmly believe that an honors education at Purdue would give you the knowledge and practical expertise to jumpstart this dream.

Once you’ve found your story, connect it to how you’d take action as a Purdue honors student. In the same case as the standard two Purdue essays, do your research and list how you’d become a proactive student:

  • Do you want to start a club, nonprofit, or charity on campus?
  • Perhaps you want to organize town halls to discuss solutions to economic inequality.
  • Is there a program or fellowship you want to take advantage of?
  • Do you want to apply for a tech grant and perform research in the artificial intelligence field?
  • Perhaps you want to join a study-abroad program in Guatemala that promotes the building of Internet infrastructure in villages.

Pick one or two of these actions. Then, explain their significance to you and how you’d build momentum to make a difference in the Purdue community or world at large.

Whatever you choose, focus on action. Tell the reader how you’d use Purdue’s resources and values to improve the world around you.

A good way to structure this essay is to use an example from your past – perhaps a volunteer or leadership experience – and connect it to what you want to accomplish as a Purdue Honors student.

This is what the structure of your essay could look like:

  • Flashback anecdote that tells us a quick story about your past
  • Tell us how your past inspired you
  • Discuss what you want to do in the future and how this relates to the Purdue Honors Pillars
  • State what you want to do at Purdue Honors and how you will take advantage of its resources

Conclusion: The Purdue Supplemental Essays

Once you have written a draft of your responses, it’s time to revise . At a most basic level of revision, you should:

  • Spell Check
  • Grammar Check (use your best judgment, since not every suggestion will be accurate)
  • Ask a Peer/Adult to Review

For further impact, analyze your word choice. Have you chosen words that carefully express your ideas? In a 100-word (or less) response, this is particularly important since there is not much room for explanation.

  • For example, instead of writing that “I really liked horticulture class and learned a lot of new stuff,” you might instead say, “I enjoyed horticulture and the opportunity to explore new concepts through experimentation.”

Both of these sentences are 12 words in length, but the latter is much more effective in its message.

As you can see, specific word choice is not about choosing long and difficult words to sound “smarter.” In fact, this strategy often backfires and “your voice” disappears from your essay.

Varying sentence structure is another way you can increase the effectiveness of your responses.

Avoid writing that sounds like a list or opens with the same structure.

For example:

  • “I would like to become an English teacher. I think tutoring was a great experience in high school. I will be majoring in English and Education. I want to graduate and then teach at a private school.”

Instead, you should vary your sentence structure by writing:

  • “I would like to become an English teacher. As a tutor, I learned about the relationship between student and teacher. It was a great experience and has led me to believe that teaching at a small private school would be ideal. Therefore, I intend to major in both English and Education at Purdue.”

The second example captures the reader’s attention. This is unlike the first example, which is boring and difficult to take seriously at an academic level.

Finally, read your responses while looking for a clear progression of ideas. Do you jump from topic to topic, or do you wrap up one idea before transitioning to the next? Consider reorganizing your sentences so that similar topics are together. Use transition words such as “additionally” and “also” to bridge your writing.

Purdue University’s advice is solid, so it is worthwhile to check out their Online Writing Lab . It has many resources that could help you to write their supplements as well as essays for other college applications (shh, we won’t tell).

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Purdue University’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Why this college short response.

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?

Honors College Short Response 1

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at Purdue. Please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the John Martinson Honors College.

Honors College Short Response 2

Please describe the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study and how it complements or supports other fields. (Examples: You might describe how your work in a liberal arts career may impact or inform the work of an engineer.)

Select-A-Prompt Short Response

Please answer one of the following questions

Oxy’s central mission emphasizes the value of community amidst diversity. What do you value in a community and how do you see your perspectives and life experiences enhancing it?

Briefly describe a current event or social movement that is affecting a place that is important to you. Describe its significance to you and the future implications for that community. How do you anticipate an Oxy education helping you better understand and respond to that event/movement?

Research is an integral part of an Oxy education. Completing a senior comprehensive is a requirement of every Oxy student and there are a myriad of opportunities for research throughout your four years. Imagine you were just awarded one of our research grants for a project of your choice. What are you researching and why?

Why This Major Short Response

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected.

Common App Personal Essay

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

What will first-time readers think of your college essay?

Undergraduate Admissions

Purdue University Office of Admissions logo

Application Essays

Below are essay prompts for the 2024-2025 Common Application. First-time college students (future freshmen) will use the Common Application to  apply to Purdue .  

When applying to Purdue you should use the Common Application.

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Purdue's own  Online Writing Lab  offers advice on  writing essays for college applications .

The Common Application Freshman Essay Prompts 

Required minimum-maximum word count: 250-650

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. 

Purdue Questions 

Respond in 250 words or fewer.

  • How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?
  • Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected.

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Honors College Essay: Tips, Prompt examples and How to Write

Honors College Essay: Tips, Prompt examples and How to Write

Writing honors college essay

Writing honors college essay

An honors college essay is an academic paper that students typically complete to establish entrance into an honors college, program, or division. An honors paper seeks to test students’ research skills and focus their analytical abilities on a subject of academic interest. 

Due to the specialized focus of the paper, students benefit from serious attention to the college essay topics, which are vital in developing the essay.

honors college essay purdue

An Honors College essay is unique in terms of its requirements, structure, and background. The purpose of this article is to provide advice on writing and structuring an Honors College essay.

Which Universities do Ask for Honors College Essay

1) uci (university of california irvine) .

The UCI has two programs, the Academic Honors Program and the Honors Program. Both are popular with many members. They are not mutually exclusive, but they have different requirements and different goals.

The Academic Honors Program is for students who want to get recognized by their professors for academic achievement. It does not require an essay but several letters of recommendation from faculty members.

You should not apply to either program if you are only interested in one or the other because there is no guarantee that either program will accept your application or that you will gain acceptance into either program.

2) VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Colleges for Honors Essay

The applicants must complete the 500-word Essay on Honors. The essay should address the following topics:

  • Your interests and goals, especially as they pertain to your intended major(s) and career path(s). How do you feel about being a lifelong learner?
  • Your ideas about leadership, including h
  • How you would define leadership, what your leadership style is, how you would use your abilities as a leader to positively impact your community in and out of college, and how you would lead if given the opportunity.

3) NJT (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

NJT requires you to write an essay and submit it along with your application.

These honors college essays usually focus on your intellectual interests and experiences, using specific examples to illustrate your points. It’s essential to select an area you are interested in and know about. 

You should also pick something that you can write about easily; it will be evident if you are writing a research paper or other academic work instead of an honors college essay, so don’t try to fake it!

4) Purdue University

Purdue University’s Honors College focuses on scholarship, leadership, research, and engagement by integrating residential and co-curricular learning opportunities with academic classroom experiences.

Your college application essay needs to breathe life into your application. It should capture your genuine personality, explaining who you are beyond a series of grades, test scores, and after-school activities. 

Take a minute and think about the college or university admission officers who will be reading your essay.

5) Stony Brook University

The Stony Brook Honors College provides an exceptional opportunity for students who want to pursue a challenging course of study in the company of talented peers. Your essay should be no longer than three double-spaced pages and should address certain questions.

It is an opportunity to explain an event that took place on any day in history; what would that event be? Discuss why you chose this particular day. Also, as this question, what do you hope to learn/experience by being present?

How to Write a Good Honors College Essay

Honors college essays follow a formal style with a clear structure. To get your honors college essay, follow these tips:

an essay introduction

  • Think about the prompt and what you want to say.
  • Brainstorm.
  • Organize your thoughts into a logical outline.
  • Write your introduction.
  • End with a conclusion that sums up the main points of your argument and connects those points back to the prompt.

Technically, the honors college essay can be a five-paragraph essay, but it should be more than that.

It should be closer to a 10-paragraph essay, with an introduction and conclusion paragraph that are each about four or five sentences long.

The introduction and conclusion paragraphs should be about the same size. The middle of the essay should be about three paragraphs long, and each of them should be about four to five sentences long.

1. Introduction 

The introduction should have a hook which is a catchy sentence or two that gets the reader interested in reading your essay. Furthermore, it should have an explanation of why you want to go to Honors College: This is usually possible in one sentence. 

Also, there should be a thesis statement. This is usually evident in one sentence at the end of the paragraph. The thesis statement tells the reader what you plan to write about in your essay. For example: “I want to attend honors college because of their strong pre-med program.”

Write the body of your paper using transition words to connect your ideas and explain the connections between them.

The middle paragraphs should include an explanation of why you have chosen your career path and why you are interested. 

3. Conclusion

End with a strong conclusion that ties together everything you discussed within your paper, providing important takeaways for readers as well as leaving them feeling satisfied with what they just read.


  • You are writing an essay, not a text message. In other words, please use complete sentences and correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If proper English is not your strong suit, enlist someone proficient at it to help edit your essay.
  • Be specific about what you want to study and why. Do not just say that you want an education; tell the reader what kind of education you want and why. This is particularly important if you plan to study something that you did not find at your high school. 
  • The readers do not expect you to know everything about the field you plan to enter. They expect that you give serious consideration to it and explain why you want to pursue it beyond the fact that “it sounds interesting” or “it pays well.”
  • Proofread your essays before sending them in. Errors will distract from whatever else is in those essays and may give us a negative impression of your abilities.

To remember

Things to Remember about Honor Essays

The honors essay is one of your best chances to stand out in a meaningful way from other applicants, so be sure to invest time in crafting a great response.

The admission office is looking for the following:

  • The office wants to know that you understand what makes the honors program special. We have a diverse group of students and faculty who are passionate about learning and interacting across disciplines.
  • What do you think this will mean for you? How will you take advantage of being in an environment that values interdisciplinary thinking?
  • Your accomplishments. Let the audience know your talents. Have you excelled academically? What leadership roles have you taken on, or awards have you won? They want to discover what drives your passion for learning, leadership, and service.
  • Your plans for the future. The honors program will prepare you for success beyond your skills, whether that’s graduate school or medical school, or a career in a completely different field. 

Examples of Honors College Essay Topics

  • Considering your lifetime goals, explain how your present and future academic activities will assist you in achieving your goals. 
  • Settle for an issue of importance to you, whether it is political, personal, local, or international related. Then, craft an essay to explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your community, and your generation. 

Josh Jasen

When not handling complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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3 Purdue University Essay Examples

Home of the Boilermakers, Purdue University was established in 1869 and is steeped in history and tradition. From the first 39 students to attend in 1874, to over 33,000 in attendance today, Purdue is matched in tradition only by innovation. Known for its world-class faculty, curricula, and facilities, Purdue attracts many future engineers.

As it is a selective university, you will need a strong application to stand out. A crucial aspect lies in your essays. To get some inspiration for your Purdue essays, we will be sharing three essays by real students who applied to Purdue in this post. We will also go over what they did well and where they could’ve improved. 

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our Purdue essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

Essay Example #1

Prompt: Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected (100 words)

To most Gen Z, life without computers and smartphones is like life without food: it’s impossible. However, I only started to appreciate the work behind the scenes (and screens) in the summer of 9th grade, when I created a small chatting program to exchange jokes with my sister in the next room. Through programming, I have found a clear and compelling way to reach the world beyond my fingertips. By majoring in computer science, I hope to build a solid foundation in AI, algorithms, UX design and more, with which I’ll help bring society a new generation of digital food.

What the Essay Did Well

This essay is short and sweet; every sentence is intentional and conveys a new idea clearly and concisely. Comparing their generation’s reliance on technology to “ life without food ” speaks volumes more than the three words it takes up. They simply explain what they did and why without any extraneous fluff or flowery language: “ I created a small chatting program to exchange jokes with my sister in the next room. ” Getting creative with your prose is great for a longer essay, but this is not the time or place, and this student understood that. They also get straight to the point when discussing what they hope to gain and achieve from a degree in computer science—another plus.

Despite the limited space, this student still manages to work in some of their personality. The analogy of smartphones being as crucial as food is a humorous example of hyperbole that helps humanize the student.  The phrase “ behind the scenes (and screens) ” is another way of them expressing their playful side while also adding a rhyme to make the essay more interesting. Including these little crumbs with humor, coupled with the knowledge they learned to program to share jokes, makes the student come across as a fun person admissions officers would want on their campus.

What Could Be Improved

Although the opening line about Gen Z is a chance for the student to inject some of their personality, in reality it is not the best use of space. As we said above, every word counts in an essay this short, and although the observation about Gen Z did contribute to the essay, it’s not as crucial to include as additional details about the student.

They could have kept the analogy to food, but instead of generalizing to all of Gen Z, this student should have made themselves the focus of the sentence. For example, they could say something like this: “ At this point my phone is a permanent appendage of my hand; life without it is like life without food. ” This sentence focuses the attention on the student right from the beginning, telling us about their phone addiction rather than everyone else’s.

Essay Example #2

How much duct tape would my boat need to stay afloat?

I will never forget my first Do-It-Yourself Project of building a boat with cardboard. While the outcome of the project was bitter-sweet as my boat sank, my passion for engineering surfaced. Subsequently, I voyaged across countless pursuits until I reached an epiphany while developing a customized voice assistant for an enterprise; I was fascinated by the multifaceted applicability of technology. Hence, I intend to pursue Computer Engineering because the skills from this major will enable me to pursue my widespread goals of lobbying for technological advancements in under-developed societies.

Starting the essay with a question is a great way to catch the reader’s attention in a short amount of space. Right off the bat, we are asking ourselves why are they using duct tape, what’s the boat for, how much duct tape do they need,  all of which get us engaged and excited for what is to come.

The student also does a nice job of incorporating sailing-related language with lines like “ my passion for engineering surfaced ” and “ I voyaged across countless pursuits. ” This is a creative way of linking the main points of their essay with their anecdote.

The student’s realizations are a bit underdeveloped. They don’t explain how they realized the “ multifaceted applicability of technology ” or why exactly they want to lobby “ for technological advancements in under-developed countries. ” They could’ve perhaps been better-served by eliminating the boat anecdote and beginning with the voice assistant story, which would allow them to explain their realization and goals. 

A common mistake students make with this prompt is that they think they have to include the very moment they got interested in the major. You certainly can use this technique, but it may not always be the best way to approach this essay, especially when there is such limited space. Instead of starting with the introduction, students should first focus on writing the reasons they like the major and what they hope to accomplish with it, and find a story or moment that flows with these points.

Essay Example #3

Prompt: How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)

The Computer Engineering course at Purdue has a dynamic combination of fundamental courses and enthralling electives such as ‘Engineering Environmental Sustainability’, allowing me to apply my engineering proficiency to resolve complex global issues such as technological disparity. Furthermore, by joining the Engineers Without Borders – Purdue organization, I will gain first-hand experience in tackling real-world humanitarian problems and push my intellectual ability to higher stakes. Having followed EWB- Purdue’s pioneering Bolivia project, I aspire to contribute in both the Technical and the Leadership team. Hence, Purdue is the best institution for me to grow as an enthusiastic humanitarian engineer. 

Right off the bat, the student is specifically noting courses the school offers that they are eager to take. This is great! They show that they’ve been following a specific organization within the school, and already have ideas as to how they could contribute. They really specified why they wanted to attend the school, and personalized the essay accordingly. 

This student also chose two opportunities at Purdue that seamlessly fit into their future career. They want to be a humanitarian engineer, so discussing a class about environmental sustainability and an organization that creates solutions to humanitarian issues around the world is a great way to demonstrate their affinity to their career throughout the essay. When they tell us their career aspirations at the very end of the essay, it makes perfect sense to the reader based on the 100 preceding words we just read.

The main issues in this essay come from minor grammatical mistakes that could confuse the reader. For example, the first sentence covers too much ground: The Computer Engineering course at Purdue has a dynamic combination of fundamental courses and enthralling electives such as ‘Engineering Environmental Sustainability’, allowing me to apply my engineering proficiency to resolve complex global issues such as technological disparity. Instead, the reader should separate these ideas into two sentences. In the first sentence, the student can explain the courses they are interested in, and the second can give reasons why and explain what the student’s career goals are. Overall, it very clearly addresses the prompt, shows the student has done their research, and shows their ambitions after graduation. It is very well done. 

Where to Get Your Purdue Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your Purdue essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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Home — Application Essay — National Universities — Pioneering Personal Growth: Applying to Purdue Honors College

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Pioneering Personal Growth: Applying to Purdue Honors College

  • University: Purdue University

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Words: 690 |

Published: Feb 15, 2024

Words: 690 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, pursuit of knowledge, intellectual curiosity, embracing adversity, leadership and community engagement, research and innovation.

From a young age, I have always sought challenges that pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone. It is this innate curiosity and thirst for personal growth that has shaped my academic journey thus far. As I embark on the next phase of my educational pursuit, I am drawn to the Purdue Honors College, where I believe I can cultivate my intellectual curiosity in an environment that fosters innovation and excellence. This application essay serves as an opportunity to reflect upon my past experiences, outline my aspirations, and highlight why I am a fitting candidate for the esteemed Purdue Honors College.

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Ever since I can remember, I have viewed education as a catalyst for personal development and societal progress. Throughout my high school years, I consistently sought to challenge myself academically - not for the sake of accolades, but rather to uncover the untapped potential within me. My passion for acquiring knowledge extends beyond the confines of the traditional classroom setting; I have explored various online courses, attended academic conferences, and relentlessly sought out mentors who could expand my understanding in diverse fields. By doing so, I have not only deepened my intellectual curiosity but also developed a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

What sets me apart as a student is my insatiable thirst for knowledge and my ability to connect seemingly unrelated concepts. I thrive on the interplay between various disciplines and actively seek opportunities to integrate knowledge from different domains. Whether it is blending psychology with computer science or fusing art with technology, I believe the interdisciplinary approach is fundamental in addressing complex societal challenges. The Purdue Honors College, with its emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, offers the perfect platform for me to explore and contribute to groundbreaking research initiatives.

Adversity has been an integral part of my journey, shaping my character, resilience, and perseverance. Growing up in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood, I witnessed firsthand the disparity in educational opportunities. Instead of succumbing to these challenges, I relentlessly pursued excellence in academics, knowing that education was my path to a better future. Despite the adversities I faced, I remained committed to my education, consistently maintaining high grades while actively participating in extracurricular activities. This resilience in the face of adversity is a testament to my unwavering determination to succeed and contribute positively to society.

Beyond academic pursuits, I have always sought opportunities to make a positive impact in my community. Throughout high school, I actively engaged in service projects and leadership roles that allowed me to contribute to the betterment of others. From organizing food drives to mentorship programs, I have learned the transformative power of collaboration, empathy, and effective leadership. I am excited to bring my leadership skills and passion for community engagement to the Purdue Honors College, where I can contribute to the vibrant campus community and inspire others to make a difference.

The Purdue Honors College's commitment to research and innovation aligns seamlessly with my aspirations. I am particularly intrigued by the opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research at Purdue, especially in the field of artificial intelligence and its applications in healthcare. I believe that by leveraging the power of technology, we can revolutionize healthcare delivery and make it more accessible and equitable for all. The chance to work under esteemed faculty mentors in the Purdue Honors College would enable me to contribute meaningfully to existing research while further honing my critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

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In conclusion, my passion for knowledge, intellectual curiosity, resilience in the face of adversity, leadership experience, and commitment to community engagement make me an ideal candidate for the Purdue Honors College. I firmly believe that by embracing challenges and pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, I can continue to evolve personally and academically. With the interdisciplinary opportunities, research avenues, and dynamic campus community that the Purdue Honors College offers, I am confident that I will thrive and make a substantial contribution while embodying the core values of the institution. I look forward to joining a community of like-minded individuals who are driven by the pursuit of excellence and aspire to make a lasting impact on the world.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, purdue supplemental essay: 4 top tips for writing yours.

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College Essays


Known for its highly ranked engineering program and huge array of academic programs, Purdue University is an excellent public university to consider for college. To apply here, though, you will need more than just good grades— you will need to write unforgettable essays as part of the Purdue supplement .

In this guide, we go over the current Purdue essay prompts and offer helpful tips on how to write each Purdue supplemental essay you're required to submit. 

Feature Image: Wes Jackson /Flickr

What Is the Purdue Supplemental Essay?

Freshman applicants to Purdue are required to submit two short answers; there's also one optional longer Purdue supplemental essay. You must additionally write an essay in response to one of the Common Application or Coalition Application prompts , depending on which application system you apply through.

In total, then, you'll be writing three to four Purdue essays of varying lengths.

For each Purdue supplemental essay, you'll get a specific prompt to answer . (By contrast, the Common App/Coalition App personal essay offers you multiple prompts to choose from.) Every Purdue supplemental essay prompt has its own word limit and angle.

Here are the prompts for the 2022-2023 application cycle:

  • [OPTIONAL] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words max)

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

The first Purdue supplemental essay above must be no longer than 250 words , whereas the two short answers may only be up to 100 words. Note that there is no minimum word count for any of the essays.

Now, how can you ensure you're writing your best Purdue supplemental essay possible?

Every Purdue University Essay Prompt, Analyzed

In this section, we'll look at each Purdue University essay prompt in more detail and give you tips for writing a highly effective response.


Purdue Supplemental Essay

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

As a reminder, this longer Purdue supplemental essay can be up to 250 words and is optional (though we highly recommend answering it) . The prompt here's pretty straightforward: just give a bit more detail about one of your extracurricular activities listed on your application.

The activity you choose could be pretty much anything , from a sport or instrument you play to an animal shelter you volunteer at on weekends.

The admissions committee at Purdue asks you to elaborate on one of your activities because they want to see other facets of your personality and learn more about what drove you to do a specific activity.

The key is to pick an activity or experience that has helped define you in some way. The best activity to choose is one that showcases an important and unique quality of yourself, such as your leadership skills, your can-do attitude, your adaptability, etc. You should also be heavily passionate about the activity you choose.

Here are examples of activities you could write about for your Purdue University admission essay:

  • Clubs or organizations you're a member of
  • Volunteer service
  • Arts and music
  • Work or internships
  • Family responsibilities
  • Any activity or experience that is meaningful to you

When trying to decide on an activity, it might help to ask yourself these questions :

  • Do you have a story to tell about this activity?
  • How has this activity positively impacted or influenced you?
  • If you're still doing this activity, why is that? What about it makes you want to keep doing it?
  • Have you already written about this activity in another Purdue essay? If so, consider choosing a different topic for this essay.

Don't feel obligated to pick your most "impressive" activity either. For example, maybe you've been figure skating competitively since middle school and have won many big national awards, but you'd rather write about your more recent experience with trying out for and making your school's basketball team after realizing you wanted to get involved in a new sport.

Be sure to explain what the activity is, when/how you started it, and what kind of meaning it holds for you. You won't have a lot of room here (just 250 words!), so make sure to keep the focus on its significance.

Purdue Short Answer 1

This first Purdue short-answer question is essentially a mini "why this college" essay that's asking you to answer the basic question, "Why Purdue?"

A cogent essay will answer these two questions:

  • What does Purdue offer academically that makes it a good fit for you? 
  • What does Purdue offer in terms of extracurriculars, student clubs and sports, professional connections, contests, etc. that makes it a good fit for you?

Note that you don't need to go into much detail about your major here, as that's what the second short answer is for (see below). But you will still need to identify two key points about Purdue (one academic, one non-academic) that drew you to apply to this university specifically .

To start, do some research on the university by browsing the official Purdue website . Look for any defining features that stand out to you, such as a professor with whom you wish to work, a course you can't wait to take, a club you'd like to join, a study abroad program you want to do, etc. Think about how these qualities, both academic and non-academic, could help support your own aspirations, whatever they may be.

For example, maybe you visited a Purdue art gallery and felt inspired to apply after realizing, as an artist yourself, just how much Purdue values creativity and freedom of expression.

Finally, be extremely specific here . You want it clear that your essay is about Purdue only . So use actual names and places while avoiding generalizations that can apply to other colleges!

Purdue Short Answer 2

This second short-answer question is all about your intellectual curiosity. Admissions officers want to know not only why you have selected your major, but also how studying this major at Purdue will help you achieve your goals .

Like the Purdue supplemental essay above, you don't have a lot of room here (just 100 words!), so you'll need to be concise but effective.

While it's great to mention how you got interested in your field, you should also try to steer your response toward your academic and professional goals. What do you plan to do with your major once you graduate? How will Purdue help you do this?

For example, perhaps you've been fascinated by bugs since you were little and now plan to major in insect biology.

In your essay, you could talk about what propelled your interest (perhaps a bully tried to shove an ant in your face once, but instead of being scared, you were enamored with the insect's tiny body), mention what you've done to further that interest (e.g., taken some classes and built your own ant farm), and then discuss how the insect biology program at Purdue gives you the opportunity to do real fieldwork and participate in the College of Agriculture's Career Fair so you can find jobs in pest management.


How to Write a Great Purdue Supplemental Essay: 4 Tips

To wrap up, here are four tips to help you write a great supplemental Purdue University admission essay.

#1: Write Succinctly and Purposefully

All three Purdue supplemental essays you need to write are pretty short, with one 250-word essay and two 100-word essays. You'll have to really use your space wisely if you want to produce solid and memorable essays in the end. This means that you should practice being more concise.

If you have a tendency to go on and on or add way too many details or flowery language to your writing, take some time to practice writing more directly and more crisply . You likely won't have enough room to throw in any extended metaphors, so don't even try—just write honestly about your passions and goals.

Additionally, be sure to cut out any words, phrases, or sentences that don't directly answer the prompt or reveal more about you as a person.

You might feel that your writing is boring, but as long as you're telling your story openly and with real emotion, you're sure to write an unforgettable Purdue essay.

#2: Be Extremely Specific

One thing lots of students struggle with in their college essays is being specific enough . Especially when it comes to such short essays, you want to ensure you're telling admissions officers the most important and essential information you can give them about yourself.

Remember, they already know the basics about your achievements—they can see your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars. But what they don't have is a clear understanding of what makes you you . It's your job to paint this picture for them.

For example, don't just write that you want to major in Jewish studies because you're Jewish. What specifically drew you to this major over all the others out there?

Maybe you had a special experience that cemented your connection to Jewish history and culture, or maybe somebody you deeply admire inspired you to research your ancestry, making you want to use this knowledge to support and empower other young Jews like yourself.

Whatever you choose to write about for your Purdue essays, just be sure that you give admissions officers the "what" and "why."

#3: Always Bring It Back to Purdue

As we saw with the Purdue supplement essay example we analyzed, it's critical that you bring your essays (mainly the two short answers) back to Purdue and why this school is ultimately a good fit for you, your talents, and your ambitions .

Avoid bland, meaningless compliments, such as "Purdue is very prestigious," and instead focus on the unique and specific aspects that you believe make this school worth applying to.

Here are some qualities of Purdue you could mention in your essay(s):

  • A professor whom you wish to work with
  • A specific class you're excited to take
  • A piece of equipment, facility, lab, etc. you really want to use
  • Opportunities for career building, such as its 30+ annual career fairs
  • Schoolwide competitions or events you want to take part in
  • A student club or organization you plan to join
  • Its emphasis on inclusion and diversity
  • Its vocal support of the arts

Regardless of what aspect of Purdue you choose to focus on in your response to the Purdue University essay prompt, just be sure to tie this characteristic back to yourself somehow and explain how it will help you achieve your goals.

#4: Polish It Up

Our final tip is to spend ample time editing and proofreading each Purdue essay you write.

Once you've written a rough draft, put the essay away for a few days. Then, take it out again and look it over with a fresh set of eyes. Note any irrelevant, incorrect, or unclear places and edit as needed. Do this process a few times until you have a fairly clean draft.

Next, hand your essay off to someone you trust, such as a parent or teacher, and ask them to read it over and edit for content, structure, and grammar. Use their feedback to tweak your essay until you're satisfied with how it sounds.

Right before you submit your application to Purdue, proofread your essay one final time . Follow these tips and you're guaranteed to have one great Purdue supplemental essay!


What's Next?

Want to learn more about what it takes to get into Purdue? Then check out our Purdue admission requirements page to see what GPA and SAT/ACT scores you'll need to aim for.

Applying to other colleges in and around the Midwest? Then it might help to look at our college essay guides for Notre Dame , UIUC , and the University of Michigan .

If you're getting ready to write your long Common App essay , you'll definitely want to read our in-depth guide to all Common App prompts and how to answer them effectively .

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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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Purdue Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts and Advice

July 26, 2023

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Purdue is a school where the non-scary acceptance rate figures are not truly indicative of just how competitive the admissions process actually is. This public land grant research university in Indiana is actually a draw for students from around the world—out-of-staters apply at three times the volume of Hoosier State residents. Highly renowned academic programs in areas such as computer science, engineering, and business are part of the reason that the average enrolled applicant attending Purdue today possesses an SAT of 1300+ and a 3.7 unweighted GPA. This brings us to the topic of the Purdue supplemental essays.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into Purdue? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into Purdue University: Admissions Data and Strategies for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

In a competitive admissions environment, Purdue’s essay prompts are viewed by the committee as being “important” to the evaluation process. Therefore, it is vital that all Boilermaker applicants dedicate a significant amount of time to these three essays. Below are Purdue University’s supplemental prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with our advice for composing winning essays.

Purdue University Essay Prompt #1 (Required)

1) How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)

Purdue’s essay may not directly ask the applicant, “Why Us?”, but make no mistake—this is very much a classic “Why Us?” essay. This one is going to require some research and you’ll need to be judicious with your language as the 100-word count can be a bit restrictive.

Examples of items that quality “Why Purdue?” essays touch upon include:

  • Firstly, opportunities available through the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • Purdue has more than 30 study abroad programs .
  • The 600 student organizations on campus.
  • The Pathmaker Internship Program.
  • Numerous combined degree opportunities for ambitious students.

Of course, these are just five out of countless features that could be part of a successful essay. You may also wish to address items like specific courses you are excited about, particular professors, or internship/co-op placements that you would aim to take advantage of.

Purdue Supplemental Essays (Continued)

Essay Prompt #2 (Required)

2) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words)

Share an authentic story here of why you are interested in your selected discipline. What books have you read on the subject? What documentaries have you watched? Which podcasts have you listened to? What subtopics most intrigue you? Did a teacher excite you about a topic or was it a parent or outside mentor? Do you know where you want to take this knowledge post-bachelor’s degree? Do you aim to one day go on to pursue a graduate/professional degree or is there an occupation you are shooting for right out of undergrad? Include as much detail as possible.

You can structure the narrative of this essay as a soup-to-nuts chronicling of your entire journey toward your discipline of interest (even in limited space) or you could share one or two vignettes that illustrate your burgeoning passion for engineering, history, French, computer science, business, psychology, etc.

Essay Prompt #3 

3): Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

This may say “optional” but this essay should be considered mandatory for all serious applicants. Unlike many “optional” essays that may or may not apply to you (e.g. COVID impact, gap in education, gender identity, etc.), just about every applicant has at least one extracurricular or work experience worth elaborating on.

With this prompt, Purdue is not necessarily asking you to write about the activity where you earned the most prestigious awards or held the highest position of leadership. The university is going to see all of your activities in that section of the Common App. As such, you want to ask yourself which of your entries is crying out for more explanation and detail. Which one is closest to your heart and most representative of your unique passions? Pick the option that will allow you to deliver additional detail that may be memorable to the admissions reader. For example, you may be a volunteer EMT and have compelling, drama-filled experiences to share.

Alternatively, you may have worked in a local restaurant and learned more about the lives of your undocumented coworkers. Start this process by asking yourself, “What is the most interesting and consequential moment that I have experienced in one of my extracurricular activities?” If you can identify one clear-cut moment, that is likely the activity worth sharing with the Purdue admissions staff.

Essay Prompt #4 (Required if listing a second major)

4) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

See answer #2 re: your first-choice major. You are essentially repeating this process for a different field. However, you probably don’t want to have two completely unrelated majors/career goals. For example, if your first choice was business and your second choice was economics, it’s easy to explain the relationship. If the fields are more disparate (e.g. Dance & Chemical Engineering, be sure to provide a thorough explanation.

How important are the Purdue supplemental essays?

The essays (both the Common App essay and three supplemental essays) are “important” to the Purdue admissions committee, given the same weight as recommendations, extracurricular activities, character/personal qualities, and first-generation status. This places the essays behind only GPA, standardized test scores, and the rigor of your secondary school record which are designated as “very important” by Purdue.

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Online Master of Health Administration

Department of Public Health

Be a leader in health administration

Healthcare administrators are senior-level management professionals who must be highly trained to plan, direct and oversee the daily operations of medical centers, hospitals and health organizations. Purdue’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) will prepare you to become a healthcare administrator by helping you develop your healthcare business acumen, learn the healthcare industry’s regulatory framework and gain strategic-planning skills to keep organizations competitive in a changing market.

As a healthcare administrator, you’ll play a prominent role behind the scenes in directing medical facilities and making decisions that improve the health of the populations you serve. Feel confident taking your next giant leap by pursuing your MHA at Purdue. As a leader in healthcare administration education, Purdue’s MHA program has achieved top rankings from (2022) and (2023)


Source, Year

Experience the Purdue difference in your online healthcare administration master’s degree: 

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Master healthcare leadership, operations and quality improvement.
  • Patient-Centric: Focus on healthcare access for vulnerable populations.
  • Global Network: Connect with peers and experienced faculty. 
  • Flexible Learning: Complete your work100% online — no GRE required.
  • Fast credentials: Maximize your degree withstackable graduate certificates.

Program Quick Facts

Degree Type : Master’s Degree

Format : 100% Online

Weekly Commitment : 15 hours

Cost : $30,000 (in-state) and $34,000 (out-of-state)

Graduate Certificates

Who should enroll in the online MHA degree program?

This program is intended for early- and mid-career professionals looking to pursue administrative careers in health facilities. Classes focus on U.S. health systems and are relevant to a broad range of healthcare roles, including:

  • Health service managers
  • Healthcare IT/informatics staff
  • Mental health workers
  • Clinical staff
  • Insurance managers
  • Pharmacy staff
  • Assisted living facility staff
  • Quality assurance project managers
  • Risk management employees
  • Dentist office employees
  • Ophthalmology specialists
  • Home healthcare workers
  • Radiology staff
  • Emergency medicine staff
  • Medical billers
  • Finance and business managers

The curriculum also applies to government-run facilities such as the Veteran Administration hospital system and other government-funded health organizations.

The learning objectives include:

  • Identify the main components and issues of organization, financing and delivery of health services and health systems in the United States. 
  • Demonstrate analytical and systems thinking to identify obstacles and opportunities in organizational processes and design.  
  • Demonstrate leadership skills by supporting individuals and teams through coaching and mentoring to improve human capital. 
  • Develop financial roadmaps by interpreting and communicating financial and accounting information, developing and evaluating program budgets, and strategically investing in long-term improvements.

The Master of Health Administration and its graduate certificates are taught by leaders in the healthcare field and led by program director Cody Mullen .

View a complete list of department faculty.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a recalibration of the country’s healthcare system, infrastructure and policies. Healthcare administrators must keep pace with rapid advances in technology, patient care and regulations. Purdue prepares professionals to navigate the complexities of this changing industry and lead organizations into the future.” -Cody Mullen

Cody Mullen, PhD

Director, Master of Health Administration Program

[email protected]

Cody Mullen, PhD Director, Master of Health Administration Program Clinical Associate Professor, College of Health and Human Sciences Research specialties: Rural healthcare Quality of care delivery Advanced payment models Office: Matthews Hall, Room 219B Phone: 765-494-8310 Email: [email protected]

Is the degree program practice-oriented or theory-oriented?

Our faculty focus on skills that are grounded in proven health administration research. The courses are designed to teach skills for the workplace. The seminars and capstone are industry-focused. In addition, the seminar can be taken across cohorts that provide students with professional networking opportunities.

What is the difference between a Master of Health Administration (MHA), a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA)?

The Master of Health Administration degree focuses on skills in leadership, management and operations specific to healthcare systems, such as hospitals and clinics. An MHA prepares you to navigate these systems with knowledge of a broad range of healthcare-specific management, including accounting/finance, marketing, management, law, policy, operations and quality assurance.

A Master of Business Administration improves your business acumen in a broad range of industries. MBA skills transfer into anything from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Profit-driven industries benefit from the business knowledge people with their MBAs possess.

A Master of Public Health is specific to those who want to focus on work that improves the health of entire communities and populations. This includes an understanding of social and behavioral science, environmental health, biostatistics, epidemiology and health policy.

All three degrees help you move into leadership and management positions; however, the MHA and MPH are designed for those looking to become leaders within the health field. Those who earn their MBA can often work in industries that support healthcare but are not necessarily employed by the health systems directly.

How do online classes work? Do I have to be at my computer at a specific time?

As a Purdue student, you will be taking classes in an online environment. Instructors provide materials, lectures, tests and assignments that can be accessed at any time. Your lectures are not time-restricted, meaning you don’t need to be logged in to view your course materials at a specific time. However, all your course activities, assignments and exams must be completed by their due dates. You will need to view course lectures regularly to keep current.

How much time should I plan to spend on the program each week?

Students should expect a time commitment of approximately 15 hours per week.

How will I be graded?

Students are graded based on their performance in class. The courses we offer online will have various methods for grading depending on the specific requirements for a given class. You can expect to experience any combination of homework, graded exams, final projects, group work or graded reports. View the Purdue Grading Scale for more information.

Can I count the graduate certificate toward the Master of Health Administration?

Yes, students who complete one of Purdue’s online healthcare management graduate certificates can count the credits toward the MHA.

What will my diploma say?

Master of Health Administration awarded by Purdue University.

What is the frequency of starts for this program?

There are three starts for this program: fall (August), spring (January) and summer (May).

Featured News

Purdue online MHA grad lands prestigious fellowship at University of Iowa

Purdue student seeks to address stigmas around aging and caretaking with MHA degree

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California Today

Key Races to Watch in California’s March 5 Primary

Voters will choose nominees for president and weigh in on state and local contests that could have big ramifications.

Soumya Karlamangla

By Soumya Karlamangla

A young man wearing glasses and a backward baseball hat writes on a piece of paper as he leans down over a folding table. A woman wearing a name tag looks on, and a U.S. flag hangs on a wall behind her.

Primary season is officially underway for the 22 million registered voters in California.

Ballots have already gone out for the March 5 primary, in which voters will choose their nominees for president , and also weigh in on a number of state and local contests that could have big ramifications for the state’s future.

Voters will have their say on a ballot measure championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that would finance mental health treatment; choose candidates for the State Legislature; and decide many local races, including the crowded contest for district attorney in Los Angeles.

Ballots were sent on Feb. 5 to every registered voter in the state, and they can be returned by mail or handed in at secure drop-off locations or county elections offices. Some locations for early in-person voting will open on Saturday.

Here are some of the key races.

Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat

When Dianne Feinstein died in September, the U.S. Senate seat that she had held for more than three decades fell vacant. Newsom swiftly appointed Laphonza Butler to serve until elections could be held to fill the vacancy, and Butler decided not to run, clearing the way for an open primary race.

Four leading candidates have emerged from a crowded field:

Representative Adam Schiff , 63, Democrat of Burbank, currently the front-runner in polls and perhaps best known for having served as the lead prosecutor in the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump;

Representative Katie Porter , 50, an Orange County Democrat known for grilling powerful leaders during congressional hearings;

Representative Barbara Lee , 77, Democrat of Oakland and a longtime progressive;

Steve Garvey , 75, a former first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres and the only Republican among the four leaders.

In California’s election system, all candidates, regardless of party, compete in a single primary, and the two who receive the most votes advance to the general election. For a while, it seemed that Schiff and Porter were headed for an intraparty battle in November. But Garvey’s fame and some strategic ads from Schiff have made Garvey a serious threat to knock Porter out of the running, as my colleague Shawn Hubler explained Tuesday .

An Emerson College poll released on Tuesday showed Garvey overtaking Porter for second place in the primary race. Since Schiff appears to be well positioned to survive the primary, the main question is whether Porter will as well, and give him a serious challenge in November. Garvey would stand little chance of winning the general election; California voters haven’t elected a Republican in a statewide race since 2006.

Tipping the scales in the U.S. House

Though California is generally a heavily blue state, there are pockets of red and purple, and some congressional districts in suburban areas and the Central Valley are competitive. Narrow victories by Republicans in the San Joaquin Valley, Orange County and other more conservative parts of the state in 2022 helped their party take control of the House.

California is likely to play a big role in determining control of the House again this year. Republicans now have only a seven-seat majority in the House, and California’s delegation has 40 Democrats, 11 Republicans and one vacant seat.

Of the 72 most competitive House races in the nation, 10 are in California, according to the Cook Political Report. Many of them involve the same districts where races were extremely close in 2022, including the 47th District seat in Orange County, which Porter is giving up to run for the Senate; the 27th District in northern Los Angeles County, represented by Mike Garcia, a Republican; and the 22nd District in the Central Valley, where David Valadao , a Republican, won with 51.5 percent of the vote in 2022.

Choosing L.A.’s top prosecutor

George Gascón was elected in 2020 to be the district attorney of Los Angeles County, in what was then seen as a major victory for the movement to back liberal prosecutors after nationwide protests against police brutality.

Gascón, 69, is running for re-election this year, but as my colleague Tim Arango has reported, this time the race feels much more traditional, animated by crime concerns rather than by reducing racial disparities and reining in the police.

“I think that this race now, for 2024, has gone back to, for a lot of people, law and order, lock ’em up,” Gascón told Tim in a recent interview .

Gascón faces 11 opponents , most of whom are running to his right and are challenging a number of his policies. He has been criticized over his reluctance to pursue enhancements — for gang affiliations or for the use of firearms during a crime, among other things — that can add years to a sentence. He also faces attacks for declining in most cases to charge juvenile offenders as adults, and for limiting the use of cash bail.

Unless one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a remote possibility, the top two contenders in the primary will advance to a general election in November.

Drug screening for welfare recipients

When Mayor London Breed of San Francisco said welfare recipients should undergo drug screening or lose their assistance, liberal critics thought it was a surprising throwback to the 1990s era of cracking down on people who rely on public benefits.

But Breed went ahead with her proposal, and it has reached the March ballot. The measure, Proposition F, would require people receiving county aid to undergo a screening process if they are suspected of drug addiction. Those who are deemed to be drug users would have to enroll in a treatment program to continue receiving benefits.

With San Francisco experiencing a record number of overdose deaths, Breed said last year that her proposal “aims to create more accountability and help get people to accept the treatment and services they need.”

The proposal also may help Breed shore up her standing among frustrated voters as she runs for re-election later this year. She is facing challengers who have attacked her from the right , as my colleague Heather Knight wrote recently.

Proposition F could offer a gauge of voter attitudes in San Francisco, a city that may slowly be shedding its longtime progressive identity. Two years ago, voters in the city recalled school board members and a district attorney who were seen as too far left. Requiring drug screening for welfare recipients would once have been politically unthinkable in San Francisco, but these days, polls are showing that voters are in a foul mood.

The rest of the news

President Biden arrived in California for a three-day trip during which he plans to hold a series of private “campaign receptions” to attract the richest members of the Democratic establishments in Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office now says that the state’s projected budget deficit is $15 billion worse than previously forecast.

Southern California

Leaders in Rancho Palos Verdes are considering asking the state to waive environmental reviews and other regulatory hurdles so they can fortify the city sooner against landslides, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Russian authorities have arrested a Los Angeles resident who is a dual citizen of Russia, accusing her of committing treason by raising money to support Ukraine.

One person was arrested after being accused of setting off a “mortar-type firework” near a shopping center in Tustin, The Associated Press reports. There were no injuries and no damage to the shopping mall.

Central California

Former President Donald J. Trump has endorsed State Assemblyman Vince Fong in the race to replace Kevin McCarthy in the 20th District, The Fresno Bee reports. McCarthy, who retired last year after his ouster as House speaker, also endorsed Fong.

Northern California

Three businesses in San Francisco’s Mission District are threatening to sue the city over a center bike lane that they say has had a “negative economic impact,” The San Francisco Chronicle reports. A spokesperson for the city attorney’s office said it was reviewing the claims.

Sacramento State University will soon open a Black Honors College in an effort to boost Black student enrollment, retention and graduation rates , CBS Sacramento reports.

And before you go, some good news

Two storms caused by atmospheric rivers drenched California this month, dropping record rainfall on Los Angeles and causing mudslides in the hills above the city. But the storms had a positive effect, too: They helped replenish the state’s snowpack, which had been in an extended period of drought.

New satellite photos from NASA show the extent of this relief on mountains across the state, The Los Angeles Times reported recently. In a side-by-side comparison, the photos, from Jan. 29 and Feb. 11, show previously bare mountaintops in the Sierra Nevada and Southern California blanketed in snow.

Data from the California Department of Water Resources reflects the increase, too. On Feb. 11, the state’s snowpack reached 75 percent of normal levels, up from 52 percent on Jan. 31, data shows . As of Tuesday, the statewide snowpack had grown to 85 percent of normal levels.

See the satellite photos here .

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword .

Heather Knight, Kevin Yamamura, Maia Coleman and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected] .

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox .

Soumya Karlamangla reports on California news and culture and is based in San Francisco. She writes the California Today newsletter. More about Soumya Karlamangla

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The Loss of Things I Took for Granted

Ten years into my college teaching career, students stopped being able to read effectively..

Recent years have seen successive waves of book bans in Republican-controlled states, aimed at pulling any text with “woke” themes from classrooms and library shelves. Though the results sometimes seem farcical, as with the banning of Art Spiegelman’s Maus due to its inclusion of “cuss words” and explicit rodent nudity, the book-banning agenda is no laughing matter. Motivated by bigotry, it has already done demonstrable harm and promises to do more. But at the same time, the appropriate response is, in principle, simple. Named individuals have advanced explicit policies with clear goals and outcomes, and we can replace those individuals with people who want to reverse those policies. That is already beginning to happen in many places, and I hope those successes will continue until every banned book is restored.

If and when that happens, however, we will not be able to declare victory quite yet. Defeating the open conspiracy to deprive students of physical access to books will do little to counteract the more diffuse confluence of forces that are depriving students of the skills needed to meaningfully engage with those books in the first place. As a college educator, I am confronted daily with the results of that conspiracy-without-conspirators. I have been teaching in small liberal arts colleges for over 15 years now, and in the past five years, it’s as though someone flipped a switch. For most of my career, I assigned around 30 pages of reading per class meeting as a baseline expectation—sometimes scaling up for purely expository readings or pulling back for more difficult texts. (No human being can read 30 pages of Hegel in one sitting, for example.) Now students are intimidated by anything over 10 pages and seem to walk away from readings of as little as 20 pages with no real understanding. Even smart and motivated students struggle to do more with written texts than extract decontextualized take-aways. Considerable class time is taken up simply establishing what happened in a story or the basic steps of an argument—skills I used to be able to take for granted.

Since this development very directly affects my ability to do my job as I understand it, I talk about it a lot. And when I talk about it with nonacademics, certain predictable responses inevitably arise, all questioning the reality of the trend I describe. Hasn’t every generation felt that the younger cohort is going to hell in a handbasket? Haven’t professors always complained that educators at earlier levels are not adequately equipping their students? And haven’t students from time immemorial skipped the readings?

The response of my fellow academics, however, reassures me that I’m not simply indulging in intergenerational grousing. Anecdotally, I have literally never met a professor who did not share my experience. Professors are also discussing the issue in academic trade publications , from a variety of perspectives. What we almost all seem to agree on is that we are facing new obstacles in structuring and delivering our courses, requiring us to ratchet down expectations in the face of a ratcheting down of preparation. Yes, there were always students who skipped the readings, but we are in new territory when even highly motivated honors students struggle to grasp the basic argument of a 20-page article. Yes, professors never feel satisfied that high school teachers have done enough, but not every generation of professors has had to deal with the fallout of No Child Left Behind and Common Core. Finally, yes, every generation thinks the younger generation is failing to make the grade— except for the current cohort of professors, who are by and large more invested in their students’ success and mental health and more responsive to student needs than any group of educators in human history. We are not complaining about our students. We are complaining about what has been taken from them.

If we ask what has caused this change, there are some obvious culprits. The first is the same thing that has taken away almost everyone’s ability to focus—the ubiquitous smartphone. Even as a career academic who studies the Quran in Arabic for fun, I have noticed my reading endurance flagging. I once found myself boasting at a faculty meeting that I had read through my entire hourlong train ride without looking at my phone. My colleagues agreed this was a major feat, one they had not achieved recently. Even if I rarely attain that high level of focus, though, I am able to “turn it on” when demanded, for instance to plow through a big novel during a holiday break. That’s because I was able to develop and practice those skills of extended concentration and attentive reading before the intervention of the smartphone. For children who were raised with smartphones, by contrast, that foundation is missing. It is probably no coincidence that the iPhone itself, originally released in 2007, is approaching college age, meaning that professors are increasingly dealing with students who would have become addicted to the dopamine hit of the omnipresent screen long before they were introduced to the more subtle pleasures of the page.

The second go-to explanation is the massive disruption of school closures during COVID-19. There is still some debate about the necessity of those measures, but what is not up for debate any longer is the very real learning loss that students suffered at every level. The impact will inevitably continue to be felt for the next decade or more, until the last cohort affected by the mass “pivot to online” finally graduates. I doubt that the pandemic closures were the decisive factor in themselves, however. Not only did the marked decline in reading resilience start before the pandemic, but the students I am seeing would have already been in high school during the school closures. Hence they would be better equipped to get something out of the online format and, more importantly, their basic reading competence would have already been established.

Less discussed than these broader cultural trends over which educators have little control are the major changes in reading pedagogy that have occurred in recent decades—some motivated by the ever-increasing demand to “teach to the test” and some by fads coming out of schools of education. In the latter category is the widely discussed decline in phonics education in favor of the “balanced literacy” approach advocated by education expert Lucy Calkins (who has more recently come to accept the need for more phonics instruction). I started to see the results of this ill-advised change several years ago, when students abruptly stopped attempting to sound out unfamiliar words and instead paused until they recognized the whole word as a unit. (In a recent class session, a smart, capable student was caught short by the word circumstances when reading a text out loud.) The result of this vibes-based literacy is that students never attain genuine fluency in reading. Even aside from the impact of smartphones, their experience of reading is constantly interrupted by their intentionally cultivated inability to process unfamiliar words.

For all the flaws of the balanced literacy method, it was presumably implemented by people who thought it would help. It is hard to see a similar motivation in the growing trend toward assigning students only the kind of short passages that can be included in a standardized test. Due in part to changes driven by the infamous Common Core standards , teachers now have to fight to assign their students longer readings, much less entire books, because those activities won’t feed directly into students getting higher test scores, which leads to schools getting more funding. The emphasis on standardized tests was always a distraction at best, but we have reached the point where it is actively cannibalizing students’ educational experience—an outcome no one intended or planned, and for which there is no possible justification.

We can’t go back in time and do the pandemic differently at this point, nor is there any realistic path to putting the smartphone genie back in the bottle. (Though I will note that we as a society do at least attempt to keep other addictive products out of the hands of children.) But I have to think that we can, at the very least, stop actively preventing young people from developing the ability to follow extended narratives and arguments in the classroom. Regardless of their profession or ultimate educational level, they will need those skills. The world is a complicated place. People—their histories and identities, their institutions and work processes, their fears and desires—are simply too complex to be captured in a worksheet with a paragraph and some reading comprehension questions. Large-scale prose writing is the best medium we have for capturing that complexity, and the education system should not be in the business of keeping students from learning how to engage effectively with it.

This is a matter not of snobbery, but of basic justice. I recognize that not everyone centers their lives on books as much as a humanities professor does. I think they’re missing out, but they’re adults and they can choose how to spend their time. What’s happening with the current generation is not that they are simply choosing TikTok over Jane Austen. They are being deprived of the ability to choose—for no real reason or benefit. We can and must stop perpetrating this crime on our young people.

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Diane lourdes dick’s essay forthcoming in david r. kuney, the purdue papers: amicus briefs and commentaries related to bankruptcy case of purdue pharma l.p..


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  1. Purdue Supplemental Essay

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  13. Scholarly Project

    Complete HONR 460, 462, or 464: designated scholarly project completion courses. Complete HONR 460, 462, or 464 courses designated as fulfilling the scholarly project 3-credit, project-based courses taught by an honors college faculty member, designed to meet the learning outcomes of the scholarly project in one semester.

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  25. Online Master of Health Administration

    [email protected]. Cody Mullen, PhD Director, Master of Health Administration Program Clinical Associate Professor, College of Health and Human Sciences Research specialties: Rural healthcare Quality of care delivery Advanced payment models Office: Matthews Hall, Room 219B Phone: 765-494-8310 Email: [email protected] < BACK TO ARTICLE

  26. Key Races to Watch in California's March 5 Primary

    Sacramento State University will soon open a Black Honors College in an effort to boost Black student enrollment, retention and graduation rates, CBS Sacramento reports. Image

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    Hammond Campus 2200 169th Street Hammond, IN 46323 (219) 989-2400 (855) 608-4600. Hammond

  28. Literacy crisis in college students: Essay from a professor on students

    Yes, there were always students who skipped the readings, but we are in new territory when even highly motivated honors students struggle to grasp the basic argument of a 20-page article.

  29. Diane Lourdes Dick's essay forthcoming in David R. Kuney, The Purdue

    Diane Lourdes Dick's essay forthcoming in David R. Kuney, The Purdue Papers: Amicus Briefs and Commentaries Related to Bankruptcy Case of Purdue Pharma L.P. ... The University of Iowa. College of Law. 280 Boyd Law Building Iowa City, IA 52242. Melrose & Byington. 319-335-9034. Social Media. Facebook; Instagram; Linkedin; Twitter; Admin Login.