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Chad Smitson, Alum '23

Majors: Political Science, Economics

Minors: History, English


Chad Smitson

Hi! My name is Chad Smitson and I am part of the Class of ’23, double majoring in Political Science and Economics. I am also minoring in History and English pursuing a certificate in Entrepreneurship. I hail from Carmel, Indiana where I went to Brebeuf Jesuit for high school.

My college search was pretty focused on the Midwest, as I wanted to stay within driving distance of home. Most schools I visited were better known for liberal arts, but Purdue was always on my radar for the spectacular reason that my grandfather was a Boilermaker (While here, he roomed with Neil Armstrong! Sorry for the egregious name-drop). I did not start out with a lot of info about Purdue, but upon visiting, I fell in love with the culture and the small school feel of the College of Liberal Arts.

When it came to selecting a major, the hardest part for me was narrowing it down. I am a passionate learner and I loved almost every subject I studied in high school. However, the academic area that stood out to me the most was social studies. At Brebeuf, I exhausted the history, government, and economics classes that were offered. I loved learning about how our institutions and systems work and change over time, and I loved the discussions that emerged when my teachers would ask us to compare and contrast different time periods or political systems. I eventually narrowed it down to Political Science when I began to look for schools, but upon learning about how easy it would be to pursue a major in Economics here in the College instead of having to enroll in the management school as well, I was able to begin taking economics courses my freshman year. Thanks to the expertise and helpfulness of my advisor, I am now working on two majors, two minors, plus a certificate in entrepreneurship (which is kind of like a minor) which has always interested me, while still having plenty of time for other clubs and opportunities. Turns out, I didn’t have to worry about narrowing my interests down, because Purdue encourages me to pursue every topic that piques my interest.


My favorite thing about Purdue is the fact that I am in a smaller college within a big university. This means that I get to see the same people in a lot of my classes, which are usually no more than 40 if not less, while I still get to traverse an expansive campus home to hundreds of opportunities and organizations.

Speaking of organizations, I keep myself busy by being involved with a few. Besides being a Dean’s Ambassador here in the College of Liberal Arts, I am an Editorial Intern at the Center for C-SPAN Scholarship & Engagement and am a member of their student community, I am the active president of the Political Science Honor Society (Pi Sigma Alpha), I am a moderator in the Political Discourse Club, and I am a member of our very active (despite being landlocked) Purdue Sailing Club.