Growing graduate programs serve NWI with applied learning
HAMMOND and WESTVILLE, Ind. — Purdue University Northwest (PNW)’s fall 2023 enrollment figures show steady core enrollment, increases in the university’s graduate and international student populations, and continued growth in campus diversity.
“Enrollment data for 2023-24 show that motivated students continue to view Purdue Northwest as an excellent choice to attain a high-quality college education and enhance their lifelong career opportunities,” said PNW Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “It is also clear that continued investment in PNW’s advanced degree programs are attracting talented minds who want to earn additional credentials, grow their skills and improve their professional competitive advantage.”
While the total number of undergraduate students at PNW decreased slightly compared with fall 2022, notable increases were observed in graduate student enrollment, up 5.7%, and international students, up approximately 43%.
Core undergraduate enrollment, which measures the number of students attending classes on the PNW campuses, was down by just 2.8%. Causes of the decline include the “demographic cliff,” the term used nationally for the lower number of people of college-going age compared to past years, and the declining percentage of Indiana students attending college. According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, just over half (53%) of Indiana’s high school graduating class of 2020 chose to go to college, a drop from 65% in 2015.
Doctoral and master’s programs serve regional needs
Multiple graduate degree program cohorts grew in size, including in Biological Sciences; Business Administration; Computer Science, Education; Nursing; and Technology.
Many of PNW’s graduate programs are focused on practical application and hands-on experiences to create impactful change for the region. PNW received approval in summer 2023 from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to offer a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) applied doctoral program. The program is pending final approval by the Higher Learning Commission and should begin enrolling students in fall 2024. PNW began enrolling students in its doctor of Technology (DTech) applied doctoral program in fall 2022. A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) has been offered since 2015.
PNW’s international student population grew to 489 students, the most international students at the university since 2018. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, more students from around the world are taking opportunities to attend PNW and further their career aspirations. PNW’s international student population has representation from 50 countries.
A representative university
PNW’s undergraduate student population includes over 25% of students who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino. PNW is an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution and anticipates future designation by the U.S. Dept. of Education. The undergraduate population also includes over 11% of students who self-identify as Black or African American. As a premier metropolitan university, PNW is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment that reflects its neighboring communities.
PNW’s Honors College is the most diverse honors college in Indiana. More than 680 high-achieving students engage in enriched research and academic opportunities, leadership engagement and community volunteerism. A total of 293 new students have joined the Honors College for fall 2023. New admits include 124 first-generation students and 171 who self-identify as non-white or multiracial. Of those students, 33 are Indiana 21st Century Scholars and 41 are student-athletes.
On-campus housing at PNW’s University Village is at capacity for a second consecutive year. Although a majority of PNW students commute to campus, PNW student housing allows for over 750 students to live and grow in a traditional, on-campus living experience with their peers.
“PNW’s vibrant campuses provide students with numerous avenues for engagement, increasing their leadership, learning and growth opportunities,” said Elizabeth Babcock Depew, PNW Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “Participating in any of our more than 90 student organizations, contributing to research projects, attending NCAA athletic events, living on campus and taking part in the many cultural celebrations are just some of the many examples of those opportunities.”
PNW fall 2023 enrollment highlights
Overall university enrollment is 8,679. Total enrollment is comprised of continuing students, transfers, students new to college and others enrolled in online or high school concurrent/dual credit programs. Highlights include: