Purdue University - West Lafayette Review

Purdue University at West Lafayette offers a well-respected online graduate engineering program that includes access to several degree options, including a dual engineering-MBA.

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The Good

Nine online master's degrees are available

Purdue University-West Lafayette has eight different online master’s degrees available in the field of engineering and computer science. The online engineering degree choices include areas such as aeronautics and astronautics, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and industrial engineering, computer science, and a general interdisciplinary master of science in engineering degree. The school also offers a rare opportunity for you to combine a master of science in engineering with an MBA degree if you are interested in management positions that bridge technical and business expertise. To be accepted to Purdue’s online engineering program you must hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a closely related field such as computer science, mathematics, or physics.

Dual degree option combines with top MBA program

The online master of science engineering program at Purdue offers a dual degree opportunity to earn an online MBA as a second degree. With this 60-credit degree option you have the chance to earn two top-rated degrees, with the master of science in engineering from Purdue’s college of engineering, and an online MBA degree from the University of Indiana’s prestigious Kelley school of business. There are very few online engineering programs that offer an MBA dual degree option, and this is one of the best offerings available considering you will gain an MBA degree from one of the top business schools in the country.

View streaming class sessions

As an online engineering student you will be taking the same exact classes as campus based students as each campus class lecture is recorded and made available to you online. You will have access to the most recent class lecture shortly after the live class ends, and you can watch your course lectures at any time that fits with your schedule. Not many online graduate programs offer video lectures of actual, live class sessions, but the program at Purdue makes the full classroom experience available to remote, online students.

Pre-admissions student status is available

You are able to take online engineering courses at Purdue before actually applying for admissions to the program. For the master’s of science in engineering and the master of science interdisciplinary degree options only, you are able to take up to 12 graduate credits which is far more than any other online program allows. Many other online graduate programs have a non-degree seeking student option, but will only allow you to take one or two online courses before enrollment. At Purdue, you can take about four classes either to try out the program, gain additional industry knowledge, or while you complete an admission requirement such as taking the GRE exam.

Professional short courses are available to students

Purdue offers short courses on specific topics covering a variety of engineering and management disciplines. These courses are intended to further an engineering’s expertise in the field and foster professional development. Some of these short courses are available online and are accessible by online engineering students. If you are interested in participating in a short course as a supplement to your own coursework, the classes are made delivered either via streaming video online or on DVD. Short courses last anywhere from two to eight weeks, and can really enrich your academic experience by drawing your attention to current industry topics and trends.

The Bad

Lacking in student services and resources

The online engineering program at Purdue loses points in the areas of student services and web resources. The online engineering program does not offer online tutoring or 24/7 technical support, which are commonly offered at most top online schools. The online engineering program delivers class lectures via recorded streaming video and even DVDs in some cases, but both of these delivery modes are somewhat static and do not offer much classroom interactivity. The online engineering program at Purdue is geared more towards students who want to independently consume course content and do not need large amounts of communication with peers on discussion boards or chat rooms. Additionally, the website for the program appears outdated and lacks a lot of need to know information you may need to locate as a prospective student.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 1999-2000
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: Domestic: $60, International: $75
  • Location: IN
  • Number of Graduate Engineering Programs: 9
  • Region: Midwest
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $1,020
  • Out-of-State: $1,134


  • Master of Science in Engineering
  • Master of Science in Engineering/MBA Dual Degree
  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Industrial Engineering
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Science


  • Noise Control
  • Applied Statistics
  • Applied Heat Transfer
  • Digital Signal Processing

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Average Student Age: 27
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.47
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: 3.8
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: 159
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: 153
  • Gender Ratio: 22.2% female, 77.8% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 45
  • Total Enrollment: 640


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 5 years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 59
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 0

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 79%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 89%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 85%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 85%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 46%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 46%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 5
  • Admissions Selectivity Score; 73/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 18
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 79/100
  • Peer Reputation Mean Score (1-5): 3.9
  • Student Engagement Rank: 18
  • Student Engagement Score: 68/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 12
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 58/100

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