To research course offerings, view the schedule of classes, which lists the courses that are offered each semester. (If the link does not work properly, try MyPurdue and click on 'search the schedule of classes.') The classes that will be available when you are here will be posted during the semester prior to your arrival, mid-October for spring semester and mid-March for fall semester. If the courses for the semester you will be at Purdue are not yet listed, look at the comparable semester one year eariler. The listings do not change appreciably from one year to the next.
To search the schedule of classes:
- Choose a the semester you will arrive at Purdue in the Term pull-down menu. If that term is not available, choose the comparable term one year earlier.
- Once on the Class Schedule Search page, you must select a Subject, and
- You MUST choose Campus: West Lafayette. If you fail to do this, you will see courses that are offered at distant Purdue campuses that you cannot take.
- Courses numbered 49999 and below are undergraduate classes and 50000 and above are graduate-level classes. Occasionally, but not always, advanced undergraduate students are able to take one 50000-level class, with the permission of the instructor; 60000-level classes are not an option.
The schedule of classes will allow you to view a description of each course. If you need more detailed information, please contact your international office. Until you've been officially admitted to Purdue, please do not contact any academic departments or Purdue faculty members.
As part of your application to Purdue, you will need to submit a list of courses you would like to take. After your acceptance to Purdue, we forward your course requests to your designated Purdue academic advisor. The advisor will review your academic background, determine if your course selections are appropriate, and register you for those courses. The advisor will most likely email you before you arrive. Once you arrive, you will be able to meet with your advisor to evaluate your courses.
In the United States, class attendance and participation are normally considered course requirements. You can expect daily or weekly homework assignments, frequent short tests or quizzes, and teachers keeping track of the number of times you participate in class discussions. At the end of each semester, final examinations are given and may cover the entire course content or only a portion of it. In addition to a final exam, most classes will have a mid-term exam. While many different types or testing are used, multiple choice, true/false, and short answer exams are the most common in lower-level courses. Upper-level courses usually involve essay exams and research papers.
University professors generally welcome classroom questions and discussions with their students. Professors maintain regular 'office hours' – times during the week when they are available to meet with their students to discuss course topics, homework assignments, or any related subject matter in which students are interested.
Course weight or value is measured by "credits" and the amount of credit is based upon the number of hours the class meets each week; for example, a 3-credit course meets three or more hours per week. A typical 3-credit course might meet for 50 minutes three times a week, or for one hour and-fifteen minutes twice a week. Plan on spending two hours outside class for readings and homework for every hour spent in class. Exchange students are required to maintain full-time student status while at Purdue, which means a minimum of 12 credits every semester. Since most courses at Purdue are worth 3 or 4 credits, students generally take between 3 to 5 courses per semester. Exchange students in the past have commented that courses at Purdue involve a lot more work including homework, quizzes, and additional readings.
Academic performance in each course is evaluated by the professor using letter grades of "A" to "F" (see chart on right). The grading system used to evaluate a student's academic performance is based on a four-point scale. At the end of the semester you will receive a number of credits corresponding to the courses you have successfully completed. These credits are multiplied by your grades to determine your "grade-point average" (GPA). A GPA provides a general indication of overall academic performance and is used by U.S. graduate school admissions offices and employers interested in a student's academic history. Generally, undergraduate students are expected to complete their studies with a "C" average or better.
English Language Lessons for Speakers of other Languages
Exchange students who wish to improve their English communication skills can participate in English classes offered by two different organizations at Purdue. Students who are interested in taking English language courses to improve their speaking or writing skills may join classes offered by the International Center (IC). These classes are usually free, but some may require a nominal fee of $20 or less. The Purdue Village also offers classes for learners at every level: beginning, intermediate and advanced.
Approximate cost for books and academic supplies will range from $500-$800 per semester. Students can purchase required course textbooks, available new or used, at local bookstores. You may sell back your textbooks to the bookstores for a portion of the original purchase price. You can also buy textbooks through online bookstores which usually have lower prices than local bookstores including Amazon, Best Book Buys, and Wal-Mart. Students also sell their books on Facebook and Uloop. A list of the textbooks needed for a class can be found at www.purdue.edu/textbooks.
There are nineteen different academic libraries at the Purdue University campus. While you will most likely use the library in your own academic area, you will probably make frequent visits to the Undergraduate Library (UGRL). Hours of operation vary but all libraries on campus are open during weekdays. The larger libraries are open seven days a week and have evening hours.
You do not need to bring a computer with you, although having your own computer will certainly be convenient. All residence halls and almost everywhere on campus have wi-fi capability. When you activate your email account, you will be given a userID and password that will enable you to use all public access computers on campus. Located throughout campus are 2,300 computers in 60 computer labs. Many of the computer labs are open from 08:00 – 22:00. Some are open even later. The computer lab in the Math Building is open 24-hours during the academic year. All computer labs are equipped with laser printers. Students can print pages of documents at no charge up to a certain limit. All public access computers, including library computers are connected to the Internet.
At the end of the study period at Purdue, Agriculture Study Abroad will mail an official transcript to the exchange program coordinator at your institution.