Features and Benefits

  • NSSE Pulse is short and to the point. Estimated completion time is only 3 minutes. View the survey instrument here.
  • NSSE Pulse is administered locally, affording institutions flexibility to determine survey populations and timing. Each participating institution will receive a unique Qualtrics survey link for distribution to students.
  • All undergraduate class years are eligible; an intentional focus on entering students and sophomores is recommended given retention concerns.
  • Indiana University IRB approval (Approved "Protocol Exempt" #2009721954) assures informed consent, protections for recruiting and protecting study participants, and NSSE’s commitment to keeping institutional results confidential. Click here for IU IRB Approval Notice
  • Survey administration schedule is institutionally determined within the NSSE Pulse survey period of October 5 – November 23 (generally, a 3-4 week survey window).
  • Invitation and reminder templates are provided and can be customized to suit institutional context, subject to IRB protocols.
  • Data will be available for download in CSV format via a Qualtrics link (within 1 week of your survey close).
  • Aggregate results afford institutions the opportunity to compare their students' responses with those of students at other participating institutions.

NSSE Pulse differs from a standard NSSE administration in several important ways:

  • All undergraduate students are eligible;
  • No population file is required;
  • Because survey links are unique to each institution, responses are anonymous and not individually identifiable;
  • Survey invitations and reminders are distributed by the institution;
  • Basic summary reports will be produced for each institution and in the aggregate.

Registration for NSSE Pulse will open September 16, 2020 and close on October 12 (survey administration is October 5 - November 23)

Indiana University

Prior to registering for NSSE Pulse, interested institutions are encouraged to consider:

  • What student populations are most important to survey?
  • When do you want to administer NSSE Pulse between October 5 and November 23?
  • What are the best ways to recruit participants (for example, post the survey link to your LMS, email students directly, post to your institutional portal)?
  • Who will manage your promotion, invitation, and reminder messaging?
  • Are other surveys or assessments being deployed on campus and how might you integrate NSSE Pulse in this effort, for instance embedding the NSSE Pulse link within an institutional questionnaire or invitation?
  • Which departments and units (for example, university college, student affairs, residence life or student activities, COVID-19 care and concern committees, or academic departments) can assist with NSSE Pulse promotion, recruitment, and data use?
  • Who will manage NSSE Pulse data and use (downloading the datafile, data cleaning, analyses, and dissemination)?
  • How will NSSE Pulse data be used (for example, will you share results with your COVID-19 leadership team to inform responses and plans, or might results be a part of ongoing quality assurance activities)?

What NSSE does:


Manage survey operations (design and program the survey, secure IRB approval, register institutions, assign and distribute institution-specific survey links); provide templates and suggestions for survey promotion, invitations, and reminders; deliver a nonidentified respondent datafile; produce institutional and aggregate reports.



What participating institutions do:

Participating institutions complete a simple registration form, a NSSE Pulse participation agreement, choose a survey launch date, determine the survey population and method(s) of contact, deliver institution-specific survey links to the survey population, access and download datafile at survey close.

More information about NSSE Pulse will be announced as the project develops

Questions and suggestions can be emailed to: npulse@indiana.edu 

Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education

Center for Postsecondary Research
Indiana University
School of Education
201 N. Rose Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-1006
Phone: 812.856.5824