Undergraduate Program

What We Do

We educate students to think critically and become professional leaders who will solve some of the world's biggest challenges that impact the food and beverage, biopharma, biotech, and bioenergy industries. The Department of Food Science offers two majors in our undergraduate program, food science and fermentation sciences. Our faculty members are Ph.D. level, active research scientists conducting basic and applied research addressing some of world's pressing challenges including sustainability, global food safety and security, ingredients to improve human health and more! Many of our staff have experience in the food and beverage industry.

In addition to academics, students can enrich their education with the following activities:

  • Conduct research with our faculty 
  • Work a part-time job in one of our facilities
  • Participate in an international experience
  • Have one to three internships to gain real life experience within the industry
  • Participate in one of Purdue's 1,000 student clubs and organizations
  • Participate in an honors program

Our department is known around the globe for our strong relationships with industry and alumni, and our dedication to training students in technical knowledge and professional skills.
 

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Contact Us

Department of Food Science
foodsci@purdue.edu
745 Agriculture Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 494-8256

PROGRAMS

Virtual 360 tour

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

All students, regardless of major, must apply for admission through the Office of Admissions. Many factors contribute to Purdue's admission process. High school students are encouraged to apply early in their senior year. For specific admissions criteria, use the following links:

Ready to apply? Visit the Purdue Admissions website to apply.

For the most current information on the Cost of Attendance, please refer to Purdue University Undergraduate Admissions website.

Purdue's Department of Food Science offers a food science major and a fermentation sciences major. Both majors lead to a bachelor of science (B.S.) undergraduate degree and consist of 120 credit hours of course work. 

In addition to these major programs, the Department of Food Science offers three minors including food science (18 credit hours), fermentation sciences (18 credit hours), and pet food processing (21 credit hours). A minor is not required for our food science or fermentation sciences majors. However, many students can easily incorporate a minor into their plan of study. 

To learn more and view plans of study, visit the Majors and Minors webpage.

Academic Advising and Planning

New incoming undergraduate students, transfer students, and current students meet with the Food Science Undergraduate Academic Advisor, Caitlinn Hubbell each semester to create their academic plan to register for their classes. Students are also assigned a faculty mentor within the Department of Food Science with whom students the students will meet at least once per semester to discuss bigger picture topics such as research, graduate school, industry trends, etc.  

Undergraduate students must complete the required math and science courses in the Food Science curriculum during freshman and sophomore years with an overall math and science GPA ≥ 2.50 to be eligible for enrollment in upper division courses in the Food Science major in the Department of Food Science. 

Academic Resources

Certificates

Available to Undergraduate Students

Certificates Available to Anyone

Many of the Food Science Extension Workshops earn participants a certificate and some apply to continuing education credits for professionals. Visit the listings of Food Science Extension Workshops for details.​​​​​​​​

Scholarships

Purdue uses one common online scholarship application that new incoming undergraduate students and current Purdue undergraduate students submit each year. Students in the Department of Food Science fill out the College of Agriculture scholarship application. Scholarship staff determine which scholarships students are eligible for and award scholarships from the College of Agriculture and from the Department of Food Science.

Over 50% of students in the Department of Food Science receive scholarships from the University, College and/or Department. Approximately 40% of students in the Department receive scholarships specifically for students in the Department of Food Science.

Students in the Department of Food Science can access the common scholarship application through Purdue Agriculture Office of Academic Programs Scholarship web page. Questions may be directed to the Department of Food Science Scholarship Coordinator, Caitlinn Hubbell via email chubbell@purdue.edu or call (765) 494-7700.

In addition to scholarships awarded through Purdue University, new incoming and current Food Science students may apply for scholarships through the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Visit the IFT Scholarship website for details and an application.

The National and International Scholarships Office provides information and support to current Purdue students and recent graduates interested in applying for nationally competitive awards. These awards allow students to pursue graduate studies, conduct research or teach abroad. The office collaborates with Purdue faculty and staff to identify and support potential scholars early in their undergraduate career. The National and International Scholarships Office is located in Young Hall, Room 826.

Purdue awards freshman scholarships based on academic merit as well as financial need. For maximum consideration, students must meet admission and financial aid deadlines.

See important steps for maximum scholarship consideration.

For additional details go to the Admission's Scholarships page.

Incoming New Students

Students admitted to the Food Science or Fermentation Sciences major must complete and submit the College of Agriculture scholarship application through the College of Agriculture Office of Academic Programs.

Current Students

Current Food Science and Fermentation Sciences students must complete and submit the College of Agriculture scholarship application every year to be considered for scholarship renewals and possible new scholarship awards.

food science scholarships

Full-time students enrolled in one of the undergraduate majors within the Department of Food Science may be awarded one or more of the following scholarships thanks to our generous alumni and donors. Students must complete and submit the College of Agriculture scholarship application every year to be eligible for scholarship renewals and new awards.

Alumni & Friends Scholarship

Eligibility: High school seniors planning to enroll in the Department of Food Sciences in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. 

  • Amount: Variable $500 - $1,000, non-renewable
  • Number of Awards: up to 3

Fred Babel Scholarship

EligibilityHigh school seniors planning to enroll in the Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University who are ranked in the top half of their high school class and have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0.  A 3.0 GPA must be maintained throughout 4 years.

  • Amount: Variable $500-$4,000 renewable
  • Number of Awards: 10 or more
Gary & Mary Chenoweth Scholarship

Eligibility:​ Current enrolled in-state undergraduates in the College of Agriculture Department of Food Science. 

  • Amount: varies
  • Number of Awards: one or more annually
Arnold "Bud" & Cathy Denton Scholarship

Eligibility: High school seniors planning to enroll in the Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University who are ranked in the top half of their high school class and have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0.  A 3.0 GPA must be maintained throughout 4 years.

  • Amount: $500 - $1,500 renewable
  • Number of Awards: up to 5
Garry & Sarah Hellmich Scholarship

Eligibility: Current instate undergraduate students in the Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture

  • Amount: varies
  • Number of Awards: varies
Food Science Department Scholarship

Eligibility:

  • Amount: varies
  • Number of Awards: varies
Imran Kazem Scholarship

Eligibility:

  • Amount: varies
  • Number of Awards: varies
Kellogg Scholarships 
EligibilityFreshmen in the Department of Food Sciences in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University can apply for this sophomore scholarship.
  • Amount: $2,000 non-renewable
  • Number of Awards: varies
Leesa Martin & James Kincaid Scholarship

EligibilityCurrent College of Agriculture instate students majoring in Food Science

  • Amount: varies
  • Number of Awards: varies
Mid-American Food Processors Scholarship

Eligibility: An upperclassman enrolled in the Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University showing a promise for a career specifically in Food Processing.

  • Amount: $1,000 non-renewable
  • Application Information: Complete the online Purdue Supplemental Scholarship Application
  • Number of Awards: varies
Peter Mauger & Sarah Naas Mauger Scholarship

EligibilityResidents of Jay County, Indiana

  • Amount: up to $1000
Sarah Naas Mauger Veil Scholarship

EligibilityCurrent College of Agriculture in-state students majoring in Food Science

  • Amount: varies
  • Number of Awards: varies
Ronald Rice Scholarship

EligibilityHigh school seniors planning to enroll in the Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University who are ranked in the top half of their high school class and have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained throughout 4 years.

  • Amount: $500 - $1,500 renewable
  • Number of Awards: 1
Red Gold Internship Scholarship

EligibilityOpen to Food Science students in their sophomore year. Recipient will complete a summer internship between their sophomore and junior year and receive scholarship funding for junior year.  Must reside in the State of Indiana with preference going to those who attend a High School in the following counties:  Madison, Adams, Allen, Jay, Tipton, Grant, Carroll, Hamilton, Delaware and Marion.

  • Amount: $1500 non-renewable
  • Application Information: Sent to eligible food science students 2 months prior to deadline
  • Number of Awards: 1 annually

Careers, Internships, & Jobs

Careers IN Food Science

What is Food Science?

Have you ever wondered about the processes involved to transform raw commodities to the food on your table? That's what food science is all about. Food scientists use principles from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and engineering to convert agricultural commodities into edible foods and beverages.

As the largest industry in the United States, food processing employs nearly 2 million people and accounts for more than 16 percent of the country's gross national product. Consumers drive the industry as they seek healthy, convenient, and affordable foods and beverages to purchase. As the industry strives to meet consumers demands, the job market for trained food scientists grows. Agriculture, food and its related industries provide 11% of U.S. employment. Food Manufacturing accounts for 14% of all U.S. manufacturing employees. Purdue's Department of Food Science is recognized word-wide for training food scientists from around the globe.

Types of Jobs for Food Scientists

Most students who graduate from our program work in the food and beverage industry in the areas of  food safety, food regulations, quality assurance, product development, ingredient procurement, food security, research, sales, sensory evaluation, and technical services. Some choose related areas such as food entrepreneurship, food communications, advertising, consumer education and protection, academia, and culinary research. Our undergraduate program can also prepare students to pursue graduate studies, medical school, veterinary school, or law school.

Other resource to learn more about food science and careers in food science are:

Average Beginning Salary for Food Scientists

The average starting salary for students who earn a bachelor's degree from Purdue Food Science program is ~$53,000. Geographic location of jobs does make a difference in salary offers.

There are several online resources that can be helpful to research salary information such as:

Placement and Jobs for Purdue Food Science Students

Students can seek employment by using the resources within the Department of Food Science, the College of Agriculture, and/or the University. Food Science continues to have 100% job placement for our graduates who are actively seeking employment. 

College of Agriculture Career Office

The College of Agriculture employs career services staff, who maintain a web site with position openings posted. They also coordinate the fall and spring career fairs hosted by the College.

Purdue University Career Services

The Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) is a resource for all Purdue students and alumni. Students can register with CCO to access their job posting site. Employers should contact CCO to post jobs on their site.

The Purdue Engineering Student Council hosts one of the largest student-run career fairs in the nation every year, usually in early September, called Industrial Roundtable (IR). This two-day career fair attracts over 400 companies and is open to all Purdue students.  

Employment Data of Food Science

The average beginning salary for bachelor's degree (B.S.) food science graduates is ~$55,000. For more details, refer to: 

Purdue's Center for Career Opportunities Data Dashboard for the College of Agriculture

Companies Hiring Food Scientists

Check out a sample list of companies under the "Companies Hiring Our Students" section below, that hire food scientists, including many graduates from our program.

Career IN Fermentation Sciences

What is Fermentation Science? 

Fermentation is an industrial process by which microorganisms, particularly bacteria and yeasts, but also plant and animal (eukaryotic) cells, are used to generate useful end products. Fermentation processes are diverse from traditional food and beverage fermentations to industrial processes that produce biofuels and refined chemicals to proteins and antibodies in the biopharma industry to improve health. In the food and beverage industry, fermentation is used to create products such as sour dough bread, cultured milk and yogurt, cheese, beer, wine, kimchi, sauerkraut and novel food ingredients like soy leghemoglobin (heme) which gives the meaty flavor and texture to plant-based protein products. With advances in biotechnology, fermentation is an important process used in the pharmaceutical industry to make products like insulin. More and more people are interested in our human body's fermenter, our gut, and how our gut microbiome impacts our health. Many of today's challenges with feeding a growing global population, advancing medicines, and creating alternative bio-based energy sources sustainable will be solved using fermentation science. 

Types of jobs for Fermentation Scientists

Fermentation scientists can be involved with the design and execution of experiments and processes, manufacturing operations of fermentation processes, quality assurance and safety of products, and regulatory and compliance affairs. Fermentation scientists work in the food and beverage, biopharmaceutical, biotech, and bioenergy industries.

Average Beginning Salary for Food Scientists

The average starting salary for students who earn a bachelor's degree from Purdue Food Science program is ~$60,000. Geographic location of jobs does make a difference in salary offers.

There are several online resources that can be helpful to research salary information such as:

Placement and Jobs for Purdue fermentation Sciences Students

Students can seek employment by using the resources within the Department of Food Science, the College of Agriculture, and/or the University. Food Science continues to have 100% job placement for our graduates who are actively seeking employment.

 

College of Agriculture Career Office

The College of Agriculture employs career services staff, who maintain a web site with position openings posted. They also coordinate the fall and spring career fairs hosted by the College.

Purdue University Career Services

The Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) is a resource for all Purdue students and alumni. Students can register with CCO to access their job posting site. Employers should contact CCO to post jobs on their site.

The Purdue Engineering Student Council hosts one of the largest student-run career fairs in the nation every year, usually in early September, called Industrial Roundtable (IR). This two-day career fair attracts over 400 companies and is open to all Purdue students.  

Companies Hiring Fermentation Scientists

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Abbvie
  • Anheiser Busch
  • Archer Daniel Midland (ADM)
  • AstraZeneca
  • Beyond Meat
  • BP
  • Cargill
  • Corteva
  • E&J Gallo
  • Eli Lilly
  • Evonik
  • EuroFins
  • Diageo
  • DSM
  • Ginko Bioworks
  • Impossible Foods
  • International Flavors & Fragrances
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kalsec
  • Kerry
  • LanzaTech
  • Miyoko's Creamery
  • Moderna
  • Native Microbials
  • Noosa Yoghurt
  • Novozymes
  • Pfizer
  • Roche
  • Sazerac
  • Schreiber Foods
  • SIMULATE
  • Vivolac Cultures

Career Advising Resources

Department Level

The Department of Food Science has a dedicated career services coordinator staff person. Contact us to learn more about resources available for you: foodsci@purdue.edu

College Level

The College of Agriculture Office of Academic Programs employs career resource staff who coordinate two careers fairs each year.

University Level

Purdue University's Center for Career Opportunties (CCO) staff can also assist students with resumes and cover letters. The CCO posts job opportunities, publishes the CCO career success handbook resource, offers interviewing practice, and more!

 

Purdu​e Food Science Students 100% Placement for Over 30 Years!

Sample list of companies that have recently hired our food science students and graduates for internships and permanent positions:
  • Aldi
  • Amcor Packaging
  • Ameriqual
  • Argana Fruit
  • Aunt Millie's Bakeries
  • Boar's Head
  • Cargill
  • Clasen Quality Coatings
  • Coca Cola
  • Conagra Brands
  • Continental Mills
  • Dannon
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • DuPont Nutrition
  • Diageo
  • Ed Miniat
  • EggLife
  • E&J Gallo
  • Foxtail Foods
  • General Mills
  • Griffith Laboratories
  • Heartland Food Products Group
  • Hershey's
  • Hormel
  • Ingredion
  • Kalsec
  • Kellogg's
  • Kerry Flavors and Ingredients
  • KraftHeinz
  • Kroger
  • Land O'Frost
  • Land O'Lakes
  • Leprino
  • Litehouse Foods
  • Maplehurst Bakeries
  • Maple Leaf Farms
  • M&M Mars
  • Morgan Foods
  • Nestle
  • Newly Weds Foods
  • PepsiCo
  • PT Dinaco Grasia
  • Red Gold
  • Reinhart Food Service
  • Safeway
  • Sensient
  • Skjodt Barrett
  • Starbucks
  • Trilliant Food & Nutrition
  • Tyson
  • U.S. Foods
  • Van Drunen Farms
  • Vivolac Cultures
  • Zentis

Over 90% of our students do at least one paid summer internship during their time at Purdue. Internships are available for food science students as early as their freshman year. Students have obtained internships in product development, food safety, quality, food processing, supply chain, regulatory compliance, and more. Internships allow students to gain hands-on experience in the food industry while building their networks and making connections for their future careers.

The Purdue Food Science Department offers students the unique opportunity to gain experience by working part-time in the department while pursuing their degree. These may be paid opportunities, or students may opt to receive academic credits for their work. Undergraduate and graduate students work in our Pilot Plant, Sensory Evaluation Laboratory, Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute (FEMI), or faculty research laboratories

Students may also opt to work on-campus, outside of the Department. Visit the Purdue Student Employment website to learn more.

Undergraduate Research with Faculty

Purdue University is one of the nation's leading research institutions. There is a vibrant culture of undergraduate student research at Purdue with almost 2,000 research projects completed every year. An emphasis on experiential learning and the real-world application of knowledge are two distinguishing characteristics of the Purdue student experience.

Undergraduate students who are considering pursuing graduate school or professional school (medicine, veterinary medicine, law) are highly encouraged to engage in research.

Students may engage in research in a variety of ways:

For more details and lists of research opportunities, current undergraduate students can refer to Purdue's Undergraduate Research website.

Purdue's Graduate School maintains a listing of summer research opportunity​​e​s​ available for current undergraduate students and incoming graduate students.

Purdue showcases students work through The Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research and through the annual Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference. You may also find additional information and stories about students who are doing undergraduate research on Purdue's Office of Undergraduate Research website.

Undergraduate research is open to freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in food science. Once a student connects with a faculty member, they often stay with them for their undergraduate career.

Purdue Food Science faculty conduct research in four major areas within the food science discipline

  1. Food chemistry, structure and function
  2. Foods for health
  3. Food safety and microbiology
  4. Food processing and technology development
Some faculty conduct research in several of these signature research areas as listed in our Research Overview Ha​ndout​ (PDF)

To learn more about each of our faculty, check out our food science faculty research interests (PDF) and  list of faculty with their area of expertise and contact information (PDF).

International Experience Opportunities

Many Purdue food science students have an international experience ranging from a one-week course to a full year study abroad. 

For more information on the College of Agriculture's International Programs & Study Abroad opportunities, check out the International Programs in Agriculture (IPIA) website

For more information about University Study Abroad opportunities, please visit the Purdue University Study Abroad Office site.

Honors Programs & Transformational Experiences

Undergraduate students (new incoming freshman, transfers, continuing students) may be invited to join the Purdue University Honors College. To learn more about the selection criteria, admission to Purdue University deadline, and more, please visit Purdue's Honors College website.

Undergraduate students majoring in Food Science who meet the selection criteria, may be invited to participate in the College of Agriculture Dean's Scholars Program. For more information, please visit the College of Agriculture Dean's Scholars Program website.

phitausigmalogo.pngPhi Tau Sigma is the honor society of Food Science and Technology founded in 1953 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst by Dr. Gideon E. (Guy) Livingston, a food technology professor. The society's name is derived from the Greek words ΦΙΛΕΙΝ (Philleen) ~ Love , ΤΡΟΦΗΣ (Trophees) ~  of Food, and ΣΠΟΥΔΗΝ (Spootheen) ~ Study. 

Purpo​se

The purposes of the society are to:

  • recognize and honor professional achievements of food scientists and technologists;
  • encourage the application of fundamental scientific principles to food science and technology in all its branches;
  • stimulate the exchange of scientific knowledge through meetings, lectures, and publications, and;
  • promote exclusively charitable, scientific, literary and educational programs.

How to Beco​me a Member

Food Science senior and graduate students may be nominated as outlined by the nomination criteria by Phi Tau Sigma members to become a Student Member of Phi Tau Sigma. The Hoosier Chapter membership committee typically submits nominations to the national Phi Tau Sigma leadership during the fall and spring semesters of each year. Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be contacted by the Chapter Officers and asked to complete the nomination form which they will submit to the national office. Selected students will be notified via email and asked to attend the Hoosier Chapter annual luncheon to celebrate achievements of current members and to welcome the new initiates. An award is given every year to the Outstanding Undergraduate Senior.

National D​ues

Student Member Nomination Fee: $20
Annual Student Membership Renewal:  $20
Professional Member Nomination Fee:  $40
Annual Professional Member Renewal:  $40
Lifetime Member (one-time fee):  $400

Hoosier Chap​​ter Dues

Student Member:  $15 (covers events including annual initiation luncheon)

Waived for the 2020-21 academic year.

Benefits of Members​hip

Leadership * Scholarships * Awards * Pursuit of Excellence * Connection with Food Science Professionals

Hoosier Chapter at Purdue ​University

Phi Tau Sigma Hoosier Chapter at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana was chartered in 1966 with William "Bill" .J. Stadelman as the first president. Dr. Stadelman was a poultry scientist on faculty in Purdue's Department of Animal Sciences at the time. When the Department of Food Science was formed in 1983, Dr. Stadelman along with nine other Purdue faculty members joined Dr. Philip Nelson to build and lead the newly created department. The current professional member, Dr. Bruce Hamaker, Professor of Food Science, serves as the Hoosier Chapter Advisor. The Hoosier Chapter promotes excellence in food science and technology through several events every year such as the annual new initiates luncheon, coffee hour with undergraduate students to promote continuing education opportunities, and community service activities.

Use the Following Links to Learn More!

Con​tact us

2020-21 Executive Board

President: Merve Yildirim, myildiri@purdue.edu
Treasure: Connie Muniandy, amunian@purdue.edu
Advisor:  Dr. Bruce Hamaker, hamakerb@purdue.edu

We invite you to join!

Campus Life and Extracurriculars

Purdue

At Purdue, your opportunities for learning, involvement, and fun extend far beyond the classroom walls. At a campus with students from all 50 states and 130 countries, you will enjoy getting to know people with many different perspectives, backgrounds, and philosophies. More than 1,000 student organizations present myriad ways to find friends, develop new skills, and serve others. The residence halls, which accommodate 85 percent of the first-year class, are like neighborhoods — a great place to get to know people. Big Ten sports fuel school spirit. 

Get involved in the campus community, and you will quickly discover that extracurricular activities are an unforgettable part of the Purdue experience. 

Extracurriculars

With more than 1,000 student organizations at Purdue, students and members of the University community enjoy infinite opportunities to build friendships and rewarding experiences through co-curricular involvement in student organizations.  Getting involved at Purdue shrinks the University to... well, almost... the size of the campus model in the Purdue Memorial Union! Check out the Purdue University Student Organizations Boilerlink website.

Housing

Where you choose to live plays an integral role in your college experience. Purdue University Residences provide an environment that will make you feel right at home and, at the same time, right in the middle of campus offer a wide variety of housing choices, dining options, and activities.

Division of Recreational Sports also known as the "Co-Rec"

The France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center was the first university building in the United States created solely to serve students' recreational sports needs. It also is the administrative center for all programs coordinated by the Division of Recreational Sports.


Co-Rec web site

Food Science Club

ilan-dave.jpgThe Purdue Food Science Club is an organization of students studying and/or interested in the discipline of food science. The purpose of the club is for students to interact with other students, professors, and professionals in the field of Food Science outside the classroom atmosphere and to develop professional skills. Students can join committees to better enhance their interests in other aspects of their major. Meetings typically include presentations from potential employers in the food industry or food science faculty. Fellow students share their study abroad, internship and other experiences.  The Club is a chapter of the national Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA). Club members have the opportunity to compete in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) College Bowl competition and IFTSA Product Development competitions.

The Institute of Food Technologists Student Association, IFTSA, is an internally recognized organization within the Institute of Food Technology, IFT, based in Chicago, IL. IFTSA is a way undergraduate and graduate Food Science students across the nation and around the world can collaborate, compete, and learn about the current affairs of food industry. The student organization allows for colleges and universities to be internationally recognized as IFTSA Chapters. Purdue’s Chapter has had the opportunity to compete in product development competitions, college bowl trivia competitions, poster presentations, attend national conferences, network with industry and academia, develop relationships with other Food Science departments at other institutions, and find new career areas within the industry. The Purdue Chapter has won awards the past three years for its activity and involvement in the Food Science Club and Graduate Student Association, the two groups within the Food Science Department that make up Purdue’s Chapter. Being involved in IFTSA has helped grow the chapter and department’s international reputation as one of the top universities to study and pursue a career in Food Science.

Food Science Envoy's are selected and act as liaisons for the Department of Food Science to industry executives, alumni, and prospective students. Envoys give tours of the Department's facilities, host guest speakers, and other activities that promote Purdue and the Department of Food Science.

Take your next giant leap

Discover Purdue Food Science! Set up a campus visit to see if Purdue Food Science is the right fit for you.

Visit Purdue