Established in 1970, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) is located one hour south of Indianapolis. While Columbus has a population of only 39,000, it is ranked sixth in the nation for architectural innovation and design by the American Institute of Architects. Visitors will find more than 60 buildings and pieces of public art by internationally noted architects and artists, including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, Dale Chihuly, and Henry Moore. Columbus is also home to the Indiana University Center for Art and Design, which opened in 2011.
Students and faculty
IUPUC primarily serves students who live in Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Ripley, Shelby, and other counties in southern Indiana, although it has begun to attract a growing number students from outside the state of Indiana.
In 2011-12, IUPUC served more than 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Many students complete their entire degree programs on the IUPUC campus. Other students complete their first year or two at IUPUC and then transfer to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) or Indiana University's Bloomington campus to complete degree programs that are not currently offered on the Columbus campus.
- About 60 percent of IUPUC undergraduate students carry a full-time academic load. In comparison, 75 percent of its graduate students carry part-time academic loads. At 61 percent, the majority of its students are 24 years of age or younger, although nearly 40 percent are 25 years of age or older. Nearly 70 percent of the undergraduate students are female, while males comprise nearly 60 percent of its graduate student population.
- IUPUC has 53 full-time faculty members, seven of whom are tenured and 19 of whom are tenure-track, as well as 125 part-time adjunct faculty. On average, they teach more than 90 online and 475 on-campus courses in Columbus each fall and spring. A small number of courses are also taught off-campus at learning centers in Seymour and Greensburg.
- IUPUC works closely with its educational partner, Ivy Tech Community College of Columbus, to develop articulation agreements so that students who hold associate degrees can apply those credits toward a bachelor’s degree.
The advantages IUPUC offers include: (1) a campus that is close to where its southern Indiana students live and work, making it geographically convenient; (2) the ability to earn prestigious IU and PU degrees in Columbus, and (3) an affordable, cost-effective alternative to relocating and/or commuting to campuses in Bloomington, Indianapolis, or elsewhere.
Currently, IUPUC offers undergraduate degree programs in business, education, mechanical engineering, general studies, liberal arts, nursing, and psychology and two graduate degree programs (Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling).
Closely affiliated with IUPUI, IUPUC affords students the opportunity to complete general education, elective, and some major courses at IUPUC and then transfer to IUPUI to complete degrees in areas that are not available on the Columbus campus, like informatics, physical education, health sciences, tourism management, public and environmental affairs, and other academic disciplines. IUPUC graduates also enroll in graduate programs in law, medicine, and other fields at IUPUI or other institutions.
In 2011, the Indiana Commission on Higher Education granted IUPUC approval to launch its second graduate program: The Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. Students are expected to begin this program in Fall 2012.
In addition, IUPUC has a long-standing tradition of partnering with key business and civic leaders to develop educational solutions aligned with regional needs. The university received a substantial grant from Duke Energy in 2011 for a regional outreach initiative to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching and learning in K-6 school districts throughout southern Indiana.
Because the region IUPUC serves has a strong and growing niche in advanced automotive manufacturing, there is a growing need for professional engineers in the local workforce. To help meet that need, IUPUC launched a Purdue University Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) in 2011, making it the only university in the southern half of the state to offer a four-year degree in engineering. The new program will be fully developed in collaboration with faculty and staff at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Purdue University. With support from two private funding sources, IUPUC was also able to establish an endowed scholarship for women engineers in 2011.
Although many IUPUC students begin their studies in Columbus and transfer to IUPUI or other campuses to complete their degrees, data indicates that most IUPUC graduates have deep roots in the region. The majority of its graduates have lived, worked, and raised families in southern Indiana for generations.