Program Details

Purdue University

How many tenure-track or tenured faculty -- male/female?

48 male/8 female

How many graduate students-- male/female?

122 male/22 female

How many post doctoral associates - male/female?

11 male/1 female

Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

According to the Purdue University Graduate Student Employment Manual (, graduate student staff are eligible for three working days per fiscal year paid leave for immediate family illness. "Immediate family" is defined as spouse, same-sex domestic partner, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, and corresponding in-laws and step-relatives. Family members not included here, but who reside in the employee's home, are considered immediate family. In addition, graduate student staff are eligible for up to 12 workweeks of leave per year through the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, provided they have been employed at Purdue for 12 months, consecutive or non-consecutive, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the leave.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

The Graduate Employment Manual can be found at http:// The medical insurance section starts on Page 22. According to that, graduate student employees have a medical insurance premium automatically deducted from their stipend UNLESS they file the appropriate form to waive that coverage. In addition, they have the right to use the Purdue University Student Health (PUSH) Center for many basic services listed at Some PUSH services are charged on a fee-for-service basis. In addition, graduate student employees insured through the Graduate Student Staff Health Plan may enroll their eligible spouses and dependent in the plan within 30 days of becoming insured by completing the Graduate Staff Insurance Dependent Enrollment Form.

Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

The Department of Physics at Purdue works hard to provide an environment comfortable for female students within our department and program of study. First, the department currently has 8 female faculty members (14%) who are very engaged with female students in the department. Second, through most of the last ten years, the Department has made special efforts to recruit women into its graduate program. We currently offer a Special Initiative Fellowship for incoming female students each year. We also have offer the Gary L. Wright Memorial Fellowship to a female graduate student who has completed coursework and is conducting dissertation research. Third, there is an active Women in Physics program in the department to provide a strong mentoring and social component for female students, faculty and staff. Female graduate students, postdocs, and faculty meet monthly over dinner to discuss current topics ranging from strategies for job seeking and conflicting roles women face between their research and their families to personal safety issues and opening lines of communication between men and women. Finally, the College of Science at Purdue University maintains a Graduate Mentoring Program through its Women in Science Programs (WISP). The Graduate Mentoring Program is a series of dinner meetings that feature a speaker in a relevant field, allows busy, dedicated scientists to share their experiences with one another at a convenient time. These meetings are invaluable in that they provide contact with role models, who are successful women in science, to the students in science. In addition, these meetings provide an opportunity to increase informal networking between faculty members and graduate students.

Has the institution had a Climate for Women in Physics Site Visit or Gender Equity Conversation?


Updated: June 06, 2011

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