Purdue CS Acceptance Rate

Last Updated on August 3, 2022

The Purdue University College of Science is a highly selective, prestigious undergraduate program.  It has the reputation of being one of the best computer science programs in the world.  Many students apply to Purdue CS and only a handful are accepted every year.

It’s hard to imagine an industry that hasn’t been transformed by computer science. From big data to security – from mobile apps to healthcare software – computer scientists’ work affects millions of people. If you ever wondered what the acceptance rate is like at the Purdue’s Department of Computer Science, then reading this detailed post will help you.

Purdue (West Lafayette, IN) has long been considered one of the top computer science programs in the country. Their reputation is solidly built upon facts. This post will take a look at the Purdue CS Acceptance Rate. If you are curious to know about how competitive it is to get into Purdue CS, this post will give you insight into that as well as some tips on landing an interview.

To be sure, getting the right information online doesn’t come easy. However, the article below brings you the best and latest information on Purdue computer science admission requirements, Job prospect for computer science graduates .

Housed within the College of Science, Purdue’s Department of Computer Science is the world’s oldest existing computer science department. You’ll join a department with a legacy of innovation in both advancing scientific research and creating industry applications. Here, you’ll learn the fundamentals of computer science so that your skills can evolve as the field changes in exciting and dynamic ways.

Purdue cs acceptance rate: expectation vs reality

With around 2,000 students, computer science is the largest major at Purdue, and it is in high demand.

There are thousands of applications with a limited number of slots available for new students. Some students, who are not directly admitted into the program may look to CODO-ing as their opportunity into computer science, however, the process is not easy.

Requirements for a successful CS CODO are getting stricter. In prior years, achieving both an A in CS 180, introduction to object-oriented programming in Java and a relevant math course would guarantee admission into computer science.

“Today, you could get an A in CS 180 and you could have an A in your math course and A’s across other CS coursework, but when I have 30 seats available, but I have 90 at the door, then it’s a matter of determining which students are going to get into the program,” said Lynn Horngren, the director of undergraduate education and academic advising for the College of Science.

The competition is so steep, competitive and selective that students with A’s across the board are the only ones who have a chance at CODO-ing despite the minimum requirements. “So, the. Minimum may be a B in both of those courses. But truly, because the space is limited, it is going to those students that have a 4.0 in those required courses,” said Horngren. 

 Fall 2018Spring 2019Summer 2019
Total CODO Applications349540
Acceptance Rate59%53%47.5%

Statistics provided by Lynn Horngren over email correspondence

She feels that with the heavy caveats with getting into CS, students should be aware of the ordeal they are getting into. “We are actually very very clear, though, in the admissions process to students that ‘please do not come to Purdue if you think you’re going to go into CS unless you are directly admitted’ because there absolutely is no guarantee,” she said.

Leah MacKay, a sophomore in computer engineering, is in the process of CODOing into CS. However, she was unaware of the difficulties associated with her CODO. “I wasn’t aware until I was sitting in class (CS180) the first day. And then they were like, ‘it’s really hard to CODO in’ and I was like ‘Oh great.’”

She took and passed CS 180 this past summer in attempt to CODO into CS this fall, however her application was not processed through. “There was no communication between the CS department and the EC department. And I ended up not even being like, considered for CODO. They put me on the spring semester CODO. So, I don’t even know if I’m in CS yet,” said MacKay.

She was not notified until the Thursday after school had started this fall that she was not considered for a seat in computer science this fall. If the process does not go through, she plans on transferring to another school. 

Another option for students wishing to take CS classes is a five class CS minor. Students must take classes on off-peak semesters.

Tina Chen, a Junior in CS, was a successful CODO applicant but she was told to come to Purdue on the chances she may be accepted into the CS program. 

“I was initially applying to CS and then I got a conditional offer from Purdue to say that ‘if you change your major, we would consider accepting you.’ So that’s why I changed to CIT.”

But she was never told how she would get into the CS program.

The root cause of the lack of available slots can be traced back to a lack of instructors and space. “The department really prioritizes this course (CS 180) because they know how important it is. I’m very happy with the Colleges of Science, (it) gives the department resources (money) and the department in turns gives me a lot of grad teaching assistant and undergrad Ta’s as well,” said Buster Dunsmore, an associate professor of computer science and CS 180 lecturer at Purdue.

Students generally feel the amount of help was adequate. “The resources for the class were like great, like I had really good TA’s. They were really helpful. They stayed after hours to help us with class work,” said MacKay. 

CS 180 has roughly 25 lab sections averaging 20 students per section seating around 500 students in total.

“If we did take in 800 students, we’d have to have three or four sections at once. We don’t have that many faculty members to offer three and four sections of everything we have,” Dunsmore said. 

Nor do they enough laboratory space. Lawson’s computer labs can only house so many students. Dunsmore mentioned that half of Lawson was constructed 13 years ago and “it does not look like there’s any possibility they’re going to add on to it”. 

Computer science used to be a much larger department, but resources took a large hit. 

“So, in CS, interestingly, if we go back to about 2008, our program was growing. It had been quite large at about 1000 prior to that and it really dipped won to about 300 because there was a change in the market about outsourcing and should you be getting a CS degree and is it all going to other countries. 

“And then all of the sudden that turned around. And so, from 2008 to today, we have seen an enrollment increase of 78%. But we have not seen that level of increase in the number of faculty,” said Horngren. 

This lack of faculty is felt by universities across the united states. 

“So, this is truly, when we talk about the resources and the demand, departments can only educate at the level of resources that they have available. And nationwide, this a tremendously difficult set of circumstances.

“Higher education does not pay what private industry pays. So many will not leave private industry though they may wish to teach,” said Horngren. 

The incentive to teach can be a compelling force to stay in academia over private industry.

“I love developing new courses.  I love working with students.  I love teaching.  Money is not that big a motivator for me,” said Dunsmore over email correspondence. 

The Best Computer Science Colleges and How to Get Accepted — Shemmassian  Academic Consulting


First, you’ll learn the foundations of computing in six core computer science courses.
Then, you can customize your degree by specializing in one or more tracks – different areas of computer science in which you can learn and grow.

  •    Computational Science and Engineering
  •    Computer Graphics and Visualization
  •    Database and Information Systems
  •    Foundations of Computer Science
  •    Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
  •    Programming Languages
  •    Security
  •    Software Engineering
  •    Systems Programming

Have a lot of interests? No problem. Our flexible curriculum allows students to pursue interdisciplinary work such as a second major or minor. Many students double major in math, statistics, and data science.

Student Life

There is a strong sense of community in Purdue’s Computer Science program. We’ve designed many resources to help you succeed, like the Bridge Program (which can introduce you to coding the summer before your freshman year begins) and the Computer Science Learning Community (where you’ll live and learn with your CS freshman peers in Purdue’s residence halls).

Transfer to Computer Science

Purdue admits to individual majors. Transfer students must meet Purdue’s overall transfer criteria, as well as any major-specific requirements. Before you apply, check the closed programs page to confirm this major is open to transfer students. If it is, refer to the information below for major-specific transfer criteria.

Job prospect for computer science graduates

IT consultant 

Working in partnership with clients, an IT consultant advises clients on the planning, design, installation and usage of information technology systems to meet their business objectives, overcome problems or improve the structure and efficiency of their IT systems.

As you represent a broad role in IT, your job will be similar to that of systems analysts, systems designers and applications programmers, whose roles are more specialized but nonetheless work on a consultancy basis.

You may also become involved in sales and business development, identifying potential clients and maintaining good business contacts. There is fierce competition in this role, so gaining work experience in a commercial environment would help increase your prospects.

Cybersecurity consultant 

Depending on what computer science specializations you studied during your degree, you may wish to specialize as a cybersecurity consultant or an information security specialist. Maintaining cyber security has become increasingly important, so in this role you will focus on understanding the risks to the security of information or data.

You’ll analyze where security breaches may occur or have occurred, and restore or reinforce systems against such breaches, to ensure that confidential data is protected. This role could include ‘ethical hacking’, meaning deliberately attempting to hack into your employer’s network to expose any weaknesses. Alternatively, you could work as a computer forensics analyst or investigator to combat the increasing phenomenon of cyber-crime.

Purdue University Acceptance Rate In 2022 | Admission Requirements

Information systems manager 

A similar role to an IT consultant, an information systems manager is usually a full-time member of staff, responsible for the secure and effective operation of computer systems within their company. You’ll be responsible (perhaps with the help of a team of IT staff) for the entire upkeep of the ICT infrastructure within your organization, with typical tasks involving the overseeing of system installation; ensuring systems are backed-up and that the back-up systems are operating effectively; purchasing hardware and software; setting up secure access for all users; ensuring security of data from internal and external attack; and providing IT support and advice for users. 

You’ll need to make sure the ICT facilities meet the needs of your company and are current, while remaining within a set budget, and within all relevant software licensing laws. You may also need an understanding of business and management principles in order to contribute to organizational policy regarding quality standards and strategic planning in relation to IT.


Database administrator 

database administrator (DBA) is responsible for accurately and securely using, developing and maintaining the performance, integrity and security of a computerized database. The specific role is always determined by the organization in question but is likely to mean being involved purely in database maintenance or specialized in database development. 

The role is also dependent on the type of database and processes and capabilities of the database management systems (DBMS) in use in your particular organization.

Typically, this role includes ensuring data remains consistent, is clearly defined, easily accessible, is secure and can be recovered in an emergency. You’ll also be required to troubleshoot should any problems arise; liaise with programmers, operational staff, IT project managers and technical staff; provide user training, support and feedback; and write reports, documentation and operating manuals.

Multimedia programmer 

multimedia programmer is responsible for designing and creating multimedia computer products, making sure they’re functional and maintaining fidelity to a designer’s specification. You’ll use creative as well as technical skills to develop multimedia features including text, sound, graphics, digital photography, 2D/3D modelling, animation and video. 

You’ll need to work with the designer to understand the design concept, discuss how it can be technically implemented, identify the operational rules necessary, write efficient computer code or script to make the features work, run tests of the product to test for bugs and rewrite or add new code if necessary.

You’ll also be available for technical support after the product is completed and need to keep abreast of industry news and developments in order to suggest and implement improvements.

Systems analyst 

systems analyst uses computers and associated systems to design new IT solutions, as well as modifying and improving current systems to integrate new features or enhancements, all with the aim of improving business efficiency and productivity.

This role requires a high level of technical proficiency and clear awareness of current business practices. Clients may be internal, e.g. departments within the same organization, or external, depending on your employer.

Games developer 

Games developers produce games for personal computers, games consoles, social/online games, arcade games, tablets, mobile phones and other hand-held devices. This role splits into two main parts. First, there’s the creative side of designing a game and dealing with the art, animation and storyboarding. Second, there’s the programming side, using programming languages such as C++.

To increase your chances of entry into games development careers, it would be helpful to have studied related aspects during your degree. It is also essential that you create a portfolio (for artistic roles) or working demo (for programming roles) with examples of work to show employers.

Technical writer 

Required in many industries, technical writers produce descriptions or instructions to help people understand how to use a product or service. The strong technical knowledge that you’ve gained during your computer science degree will be very useful in this role, particularly your knowledge of software packages, as you could be writing manuals for high-tech products.

Technical writers work for an extensive assortment of industries, from finance to nuclear energy. Again, relevant experience is useful, as are strong writing skills and the ability to convey instructions clearly in the relevant language/s.

Other computer science careers

If none of the above computer science careers suit you, other options with a computer science degree include: working in other areas of development (such as web, games, systems, products, programs and software), as an analyst (be it business continuity, systems or technical), as an administrator (of databases or networks), or in an academic or industrial research capacity, contributing to the ongoing development of computers and related technologies. You could also pursue computer science careers in teaching, IT training, journalism, management or entrepreneurship.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University- Fees,  Requirements, Ranking, Eligibility, Scholarship

Purdue Computer Science Requirements

The first six (core) courses, which are taken in the freshman and sophomore years, lay a strong foundation for computer science majors. Each student then selects a Track in which to complete 6 advanced courses. Each Track has 2-4 Required Courses and a list of potential electives. A student may complete more than one Track if desired.

The flexibility of the Computer Science curriculum comes from requiring only six foundational (core) courses followed by one or more Tracks, which allow students to deepen their understanding in a specific area of computer science. Some intersection between tracks allows specialization in multiple areas, for example, Systems Programming and Software Engineering.

All beginning computer science majors are required to take CS 19100, Freshman Resources Seminar and CS 19300, Tools. These are 1 credit courses that Computer Science students take in their first semester. Students are equally encouraged to take CS 29100, Sophomore Development Seminar, and CS 39100, Junior Resource Seminar.

All CS core courses, all track requirements, and their pre-requisites, regardless of department, must be completed with a grade of C or better.

CS 18000Problem Solving and Object-Oriented Programming41
CS 18200Foundations of Computer Science32
CS 24000Programming in C32
CS 25000Computer Architecture43-4
CS 25100Data Structures and Algorithms33-4
CS 25200Systems Programming44

Transfer credit (including credit from regional campuses) for 100 and 200 level core courses is possible only if those courses are taken before the student enters the Purdue West Lafayette Computer Science program.


To view course details for all tracks at the same time, click Computer Science Track Details Prior to Fall 2019 (PDF) or Computer Science Track Details as of Fall 2019 (PDF).

The Department of Computer Science does not accept transfer credit for 300 or 400 level CS coursework (with the exception of pre-approved Study Abroad coursework). 

No course can be counted both for required and elective credit. (This holds for all tracks).

TracksPrior to Fall 2019 Fall 2019 & ForwardTrack Chair
Computational Science and Engineering Track: Introduces computer science basics of Computational Science and Engineering.LinkLinkDavid Gleich
Computer Graphics and Visualization Track: Prepares students for work and/or for graduate school in computer graphics, visualization, and related areas.LinkLinkDaniel Aliaga
Database and Information Systems Track: Prepares students to apply database principles, algorithms, and optimization techniques to design, build, and manage current and future database and information systems.LinkLinkWalid Aref
(Algorithmic) Foundations Track: (Formerly: Foundations of Computer Science) Gives students a broad education on foundational concepts, tools, and techniques underlying existing and future areas of computer science.LinkLinkMikhail Atallah
Machine Intelligence Track: Prepares students to work in fields related to analysis of data, including areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, information retrieval, and data mining.LinkLinkChris Clifton
Programming Language Track: Prepares students to work in fields related to program understanding, analysis, manipulation and transformation.LinkLinkBen Delaware
Security Track: Prepares students to design and develop secure software and to use techniques for testing and assessing systems for secure operation.LinkLinkNinghui Li
Software Engineering Track: Prepares students to design and develop large software products, be familiar with analysis, design, testing, and maintenance, and be able to work in teams.LinkLinkBuster Dunsmore
Systems Software Track: (Formerly: Systems Programming) Prepares students to build low-level operating system software, system tools, and programs that communicate over a network.LinkLinkDouglas Comer
Purdue computer science club to host hacker b00tc4mp - Purdue University  News

Purdue Computer Science Admission Requirements

Students who apply should have a GPA of at least 3.5 in CS coursework and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. A student should apply for the BS/MS program in their 5th or 6th undergraduate semester (approximately Junior year). The student’s application to the BS/MS program will then be reviewed after the student’s plan of study shows the completion of at least 100 of the 120 credits required for the BS. 

Admission Process

  1. Complete a term-by-term plan of study to include all remaining courses for both BS and MS 
    degrees. Your Undergraduate Advisor must review and approve the remaining BS degree requirements.
  2. Send to [email protected] for MS Graduate Program Coordinator/ Advisor approval. 
  3. Complete and sign a Graduate School Form 27 (Combined-Degree Program Request)
  4. Submit the electronic graduate application. 
  5. The application system requires you to list three recommenders in order to submit the application. For the BS/MS Degree Program, only a brief recommendation from your Undergraduate Advisor or CS faculty member is required. Responses are not needed from the other two listed recommenders. 
  6. You are not required to submit GRE scores or a Diversity Essay. 
  7. The Statement of Purpose should be a brief overview of why you feel you will be successful in the program. 
  8. When you have completed the above, send an email to [email protected] with a statement indicating your application has been submitted. Attach your approved plan of study and Form 27. 

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