Here, you don’t just learn – you do. Everything about WPI is designed to stimulate your curiosity, challenge you, and support you so that you can imagine anything and innovate everything.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a private college with a unique and innovative curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, and math. WPI's founding motto of "Theory and Practice" provides a distinctive approach to education by balancing rigorous academics with hands-on learning.
WPI's renowned project-based education converts classroom concepts into real-world impact. The WPI Plan (wpi.edu/wpi-plan) will set you apart in the world first as a student, then as a sought-after young professional, and ultimately across your career and life. In 1970, the WPI Plan was a bold experiment. Today, it's a proven and highly effective model for undergraduate learning that's both adaptable and rigorous. Through the Plan, you learn how to learn by applying your classroom experiences to projects that challenge you from a proficiency, social, and global perspective.
Projects are the core of the WPI Plan. All WPI students complete two projects that allow them to tackle issues they feel passionate about and make a lasting difference on the world around us from improving access to clean water in rural communities to developing robots for underwater research.
At WPI, students go above and beyond traditional classroom education. Here, you don’t just learn – you do. Everything about WPI is designed to stimulate your curiosity, challenge you, and support you so that you can imagine anything and innovate everything.
WPI consistently receives high rankings as one of America's Best Colleges, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The university has earned praise and attention for its project-based curriculum, small class sizes, robust career services, study-abroad opportunities, return on investment, and ability to create futures. These results are typical at WPI. The education you get here is anything but. Find out more at wpi.edu/+formula.
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."
Students are academically engaged during the week "because it's practically a requirement at WPI," but know how to let go on weekends and occasional weeknights. With around 200 organizations and "a very active Social Committee" there is always something happening on campus, such as "free movies on weekends (post-theater but pre-DVD release)," "dances, fundraisers, activities, socials, concerts," LARPing, and robot competitions. "We definitely are a geeky campus," says a student. Now, "a geeky tech school is not the place someone would expect to find a flourishing Greek community," says a student. "But in fact the Panhellenic community on campus is excellent."
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Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety
The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security