WPI has roughly 3500 undergraduate students with a faculty population hired to teach specifically those individuals. Our student to faculty ratio is 14:1 with average class sized of 15-25 students. Professors are required to hold office hours for each class that they teach. Lab experience is built into the curriculum and there are several research opportunities that students partake in, generally through their professors.
There are no basic core classes instead there are a list of classes required for each major so students start off taking what is relevant to them. The only liberal arts requirement is called the Humanities and Arts Component. Students can choose to do this short requirement, only six classes, in anything from music, theater, arts, drama, languages, religion, philosophy, writing, English, and history.
WPI also runs on 4 seven week terms. We only take 3 classes start to finish in seven weeks. We then have either a fall, winter, or spring break respectively and then return to campus for another seven weeks and 3 more classes.
Students at WPI cannot fail a class but it is possible to not pass a class. The grades students can receive are an A, B, or C. Anything less than a C level grade is called an NR or No Record. It does not show up on the transcript and basically looks like the student never took the class. We also do not have pluses or minuses. An 81% is the same as an 85% is the same as an 89%.
WPI is very project based and has two major projects required for graduation. The first is called the Interactive Project done junior year. This is an interdisciplinary project typically in the environmental or sustainability field. The second is the Major Project done senior year. This culminates everything students have learned at WPI over four years and applies it to something tangible that a student could show a potential employer.
Both of these projects are able to be completed aboard and, therefore, aboard programs are built into our system without students having the fear of delaying graduation. To date, WPI has sent over 5000 students abroad, more than any other technical university in the nation. 70% of students will leave the WPI campus with 50% going out of the country.
The workload can be moderate to heavy but WPI has tens of free academic, technological, and medical resources available to help students achieve academic, social, and professional excellence.Quality of Life
Over the past several years WPI, donors, and its alumni have been investing millions of dollars to develop research space, laboratories, classrooms, residence halls, academic space, and athletic facilities. There are multiple residence halls for both freshman and upperclassmen along with several dining areas. WPI spans 33 buildings on 80 acres and is confined at the top of a little hill. We are more in the residential part of Worcester with downtown about 10 minutes away. It is still in the city, however, we do have our own campus police staffed 24/7 that are Massachusetts State trained and SWAT trained. On campus we call the community the WPI Family. Everyone sort of keeps an eye out for each other.
Some of our buildings are sponsored by outside organizations and every couple of years they come to campus and outfit the labs and classrooms with new and updated technology. We work with in the classroom what we would work with in the workforce.
Recent renovations include Daniels Residence Hall, Morgan Hall, Gordon Library, Goddard Labs, Salisbury Labs, Project Center, Washburn Shops, Alden Hall, and a 5-story Sports and Recreation facility.Admissions
WPI is Common Application exclusive with a short WPI supplement. Interviews are optional, if students would like to do one they can and simply offer up any additional information. There are three rounds of admission: Early Action 1, Early Action 2, and Regular Decision. There are NO Early Decision, binding options. Students will also receive their financial aid packages shortly after receiving their admissions decision. WPI is need blind in admissions and the application for admittance also doubles as the application for merit based scholarship.Level
I am very happy as a student. As an international student I have come to see WPI as a my second home. At WPI students aren't just a number. Professors and staff take the time to know the student body and cater various facets to the needs of the students. Overall it a very collaborative environment.Level
We are a project based learning environment. We have two major projects that have to be completed before you can graduate. One is interdisciplinary and students often go abroad for this. The projects are usually based around how science impacts society and it is great because I do not know what school allows you to go abroad for 8-10 weeks and you still have the ability to graduate on time. But this all comes down to the fact that we have 4, 7 week terms so where most students can only get through calc 1 and calc 2 their freshman year we have the ability to do calc 1 through 4. So it is expeditied so that we can fit these projects in. The second project is a major project you do your senior year and it is your way of showing how you can apply your knowledge to the real world. WPI is not just about taking a test and moving on the the next class to learn how to apply things once you get a job....here at WPI we need to KNOW how to create, be inovative, and be independent learners before we go in to industry.Quality of Life
Most students will live off campus come sophomore year. The food is better than other schools but still gives people upset stomachs....its not like it is home cooking.Admissions
The application allows students to submit a piece of research rather than SAT scores.Level