Message to students: Purdue is getting ready for you

Incoming and continuing Purdue University students will receive an email Tuesday (June 9) that highlights the comprehensive Protect Purdue efforts underway to reopen the West Lafayette campus to in-person courses as well as offering a fully online option this fall amid COVID-19.

Importantly, the email outlines additional details about the University’s plan to offer a limited lineup of online courses for students who cannot or choose not to come to campus but desire to start or continue their studies at Purdue. 

“We want you to know that your health, safety, college experience and academic progress have been at the forefront of our minds as we continue to plan for what the fall semester will look like at Purdue,” the message states. “We may not have all the answers for you at this moment, but please know our staff and faculty, with feedback from our students, are focusing all of their time and energy on finalizing the details of your Fall 2020 Purdue experience.”

The residential experience will be significantly different as Purdue works aggressively to carefully follow the necessary health and safety guidance in response to the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the first day of class on Aug. 24. For example: 

  • Classrooms and lecture halls are being reengineered with the safety of the student and faculty member in mind.
  • A variety of dining options will be available to meet various dietary needs; however, how we dine will be different. For example, meals will be carryout-only to start the semester, and new retail and on-the-go options will be added in the academic areas of campus. 
  • Everyone will be required to wear face masks in public spaces and common areas as well as while indoors and in any close-quarters setting. Early Start and Summer Start students will begin these new procedures when they return to campus in July.
  • Student-athletes are beginning to return to campus for voluntary training under strict health and safety precautions, but what the fall sports experience might look like has yet to be determined.

Online offerings this fall will include a subset of available undergraduate course offerings and were intentionally selected based on past enrollments, the likelihood of meeting the need of multiple majors’ plans of study and input from college administrators. The goal: to ensure that those students — who for various reasons can’t be on campus in person — are able to take classes fully online and make progress toward their academic degree goals. 

The deadline is July 6 for undergraduate students to opt-in to the fully online fall academic experience. For graduate students, the deadline is July 15. Students who choose the online option will pay a lower tuition rate based on the rates associated with Purdue’s summer session. No action is needed for students planning to be on campus when the semester starts in August.  

About 9,600 incoming students have selected Purdue for the upcoming fall semester, according to Purdue enrollment officials. Before the pandemic, the University was coming off its two largest freshman classes in school history — 8,056 in fall 2019 and an all-time high of 8,357 freshmen for fall 2018.

While details about Purdue’s in-person campus experience for this fall are still being worked out, the message addresses many of the questions that have been asked by incoming and continuing students and their families after Purdue administrators pledged to provide the safest experience possible for members of the Purdue community.

Of course, even the most carefully laid out plans for fall have to be resilient. Acknowledging that there is still much that is unknown about the COVID-19 virus, each member of the Purdue community must be ready to adapt and change. This could include an interruption that requires a period of remote learning with little advanced notice.

More information for students to compare the in-person experience at this point with the online option is available at The Protect Purdue website offers the latest guidance on the University’s response to COVID-19 and campus reopening efforts.

In addition, the University has launched the Purdue COVID-19 Information Center, which is available to assist students and parents with any questions they may have about the upcoming fall semester. The call center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at 765-496-INFO or toll-free at 1-833-571-1043.“Making the decision about what learning environment is the best for you is critical to your health, safety and academic well-being; we want this to be an informed decision,” the message continues. “As Boilermakers, we can do this together, we will do this together.”