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One of the more unique aspects of the WPI curriculum is the project activity, which includes the Major Qualifying Project (MQP) and the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) for juniors and seniors, both of which are done with an advisor and often involve off-campus sponsorship. This, along with the grading system (students are awarded a grade of A, B, C, or No Record) “encourages cooperation among students rather than cut-throat competition.” Classes run in a quarter system (three classes for each of the four seven-week terms), which means faculty is “forced to only teach us the most important material, without material that may be considered “filler material.”
The majority of professors are “very engaging” and “present material in better ways then just showing Powerpoint slides one after the other.” As you get into higher level classes the subjects are more focused, and “almost all classes have a lab component.” Students are “always helping one another, [and] everyone (including the professors) wants the students to succeed.” The project-based learning and reputation of WPI gives students “the ability to work on real engineering projects around the world.” As one sophomore puts it: “WPI won’t teach you everything you need to know to be a good engineer, but they’ll teach you where to find all the information you need to face any obstacle.”
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