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Science & Engineering Profile


Our mission is to give you the education you need to make a difference in the world.

You want to be on the first Mars mission, find alternative energy sources, or work on cancer research. At WPI we believe in the power of our students to make an impact. Our aim is to educate you broadly so you can achieve greatly.

We’re proud of our history as one of the nation’s first technological universities, founded in 1865. Our curriculum, like our students, continues to be both innovative and practical. Small classes, a flexible curriculum, hands-on project experience, and one-on-one interaction with professors make learning at WPI an experience unlike any other. Our academic programs encourage collaboration—not competition. You’ll work closely with fellow students in project-oriented classes and on projects, building valuable collaborative skills.

Over 50 areas of study in engineering, science, management, and the liberal arts allow many options to pursue the subjects that interest you, from molecular biology to music. Exciting interdisciplinary programs are driven by real-world demand and give you a chance to solve real-world problems. For example, WPI is the only university in the country that offers both undergraduate and graduate robotics engineering. The exciting interactive media and game development major combines both the technical and artistic aspects of interactive media and games, including storytelling and graphics. The biomedical engineering major integrates science and engineering practices and prepares students for health care or professional programs in biomedical research or medicine. 

Gateway Park, which includes our Life Science and Bioengineering Center and Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center, offers state-of-the-art laboratory space for faculty and students. Many students also have the opportunity to complete projects and research through a partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. To learn more about all of our programs of study, visit wpi.edu/academics/majors.

An immediate impact
Here you’ll do much more than study
science and technology in the classroom and lab. You’ll complete projects on campus and around the globe, where you’ll connect what you’ve learned in the classroom with pressing real-life challenges. WPI undergraduates complete two projects: one in their major and one working with a team of students to solve a problem at the intersection of society and technology—helping bring electricity to remote villages in Thailand or studying the bioethics of cloning, for example. Wherever you go, you’ll have an immediate impact. At the same time, you’ll gain valuable professional skills, a talent for teamwork, and the confidence to dive right in, no matter what the challenge. 

A global experience unlike any other
Over half of WPI students complete projects outside the United States, and two-thirds do projects off campus. You’ll not only experience the challenge of solving real-world problems with your fellow students—you’ll immerse yourself in another culture. Complete your projects on campus or at more than 46 project centers located around the globe, including Australia, Costa Rica, Thailand, and the United States. Recent project sponsors include the Desert Research Foundation in Namibia, the Mayo Clinic, Morgan Stanley, the Environmental Protection Agency, and UNESCO.

A focus on personal interaction
Professors at WPI have a lot in common with their students. They’re excited about learning. They like to connect new ideas with real-world problems. And each one has his or her own unique brand of genius. But the best thing about WPI professors is their accessibility—in class, out of class, via e-mail. Students at WPI have professors—not graduate students or teaching assistants—in the classroom for all of their courses. They push you—not by giving you the answers, but by helping you find them on your own. 

A strong research environment
Just as WPI professors are passionate about teaching, they’re also committed researchers and scholars with world-class credentials. Fourteen members of the current faculty are Fulbright Scholars, and more than 40 are fellows of top national and international societies. Twenty-three current WPI faculty members have won the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, its most prestigious award for young faculty members. 

With all of the amazing things WPI students and faculty do, our outstanding research facilities should come as no surprise. The Fire Science Laboratory enables students and faculty to evaluate fire safety measures in actual fire simulations. And newly renovated labs comprise WPI’s state-of-the-art Undergraduate Life Sciences Center, facilitating team-based work in the lab.

A sense of community without a sense of conformity
With its beautiful architecture, grassy
quad, and ivy-covered walls, our traditional New England campus is the kind of place where you can’t help but feel inspired. If you’re into sports, we’ve got a full roster of varsity, club, and intramural athletics. If Greek life is your thing, join one of WPI’s 13 fraternities or six sororities. There are more than 200 student clubs and activities where you can get to know people who share your interests and beliefs—or who are completely different from you. 

Worcester, Boston, and beyond
Home to nine other colleges and universities and more than 38,000 college students, Worcester is a great college town with a vibrant downtown. Boston is less than an hour away by commuter rail. There’s great skiing and boarding at nearby Wachusett Mountain. Worcester is centrally located, with easy access to Providence, New York City, the White Mountains, and Cape Cod. 

Outcomes: beyond WPI
WPI alumni are more than scientists and engineers. They’re leaders and innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and problem solvers. No matter what you study at WPI, you’ll gain experience and build confidence—through your course work, your projects, and your involvement in campus life—that will prepare you for a rewarding career in any field. Top-tier employ-ers seek out WPI graduates for their real-world experience and their team-based approach to problem solving. Within several months of graduation, over 90% of students are recruited by leading organizations such as Pfizer, General Electric, Google, and Apple or attending graduate school. Not surprisingly, WPI graduates’ starting salaries are higher than those of many other college graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Each year WPI graduates are accepted into many prestigious graduate schools, including MIT, Yale University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, and Tufts University Medical School. Learn more about our graduates’ success at wpi.edu/+results.

Preparation for innovation and leadership
Every aspect of the WPI education is designed to help you see and solve problems in fresh, creative ways. Our mission since 1865, simply put, has been to give you the education you need to make a difference around the world.

We invite you to join us
Learn more at admissions.wpi.edu.

 

AT A GLANCE

AREAS OF STUDY

ARTS AND SCIENCES
• Actuarial Mathematics
• Biochemistry
• Biology and Biotechnology
• Chemistry
• Computer Science
• Economics
• Engineering Physics
• Humanities and Arts
- American Studies
- Art History
- Drama/Theatre
- English
- Environmental Studies
- German Studies
- Hispanic Studies
- History
- Humanities Studies of Science and Technology
- Literature
- Music
- Philosophy
- Religion
- Writing and Rhetoric
• Mathematical Sciences
• Physics
• Psychology
• Society, Technology, and Policy
• System Dynamics

Business
• Industrial Engineering
• Management
• Management Engineering
• Management Information Systems

ENGINEERING
• Aerospace Engineering
• Architectural Engineering
• Biomedical Engineering
• Chemical Engineering
• Civil Engineering
• Electrical and Computer Engineering
• Environmental Engineering
• Fire Protection Engineering
• Mechanical Engineering
• Robotics Engineering

Interdisciplinary Studies
• Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
• Environmental and Sustainability Studies (B.A.)
• Interactive Media and Game
Development
• International Studies
• Liberal Arts and Engineering
• Professional Writing
• Robotics Engineering 

PRE-PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
• Pre-dental
• Pre-law
• Pre-medical
• Pre-veterinary
• Teacher Licensure

OTHER OPTIONS
• Individually designed programs
• Interdisciplinary Studies
• Undecided (Engineering)
• Undecided (Science)
• Undeclared
• Five-year B.S./M.S. programs
- Fire Protection
- Mathematics

WPI AT A GLANCE

• One of the nation’s first private, independent technological universities
• 4,123 undergraduates from 49 states and 72 countries
• Admitted student profile: GPA, 3.84;
average class rank, top 11%; SAT average, 1307 (CR + MA), 1921 (CR, MA, WR)
• 90% of full-time faculty with a Ph.D. or terminal degree
• Two Fulbright Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, and 20 Goldwater Scholars
• 20 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s varsity teams; 40 club and intramural sports; more than 85% of students participating in sports activities
• More than 200 student clubs and organizations offering something for everyone
• 97% of first-year students living in college-owned housing
• 95-acre campus with 44 major buildings set in a residential neighborhood within a vibrant city

TouchTomorrow Celebrates NASA Challenge at WPI

TouchTomorrow has brought science, technology, and robot enthusiasts of all ages to the WPI campus since 2012 to celebrate the NASA Sample Return Challenge. 

For the first time ever on a college campus and the first time on the East Coast, NASA selected Worcester Polytechnic Institute as the venue to host its Centennial Challenge. WPI transformed its campus into a family-friendly festival of hands-on technology and exhibits to promote and advance science and technology education to students at the K–12 level.

Ten teams were given the oppor-tunity to build, program, and demonstrate robots that attempted—without human control—to navigate a complex terrain while seeking out samples they must return to a designated point in a set period of time. The NASA Sample Return Robot Centennial Challenge potential prize was $1.5 million if a team achieved a perfect performance.

Pre-College Summer Enrichment Programs
What are you doing next summer? Explore new subjects and get hands-on experience in science, engineering, and technology using our cutting-edge equipment and labs at one of our Summer Enrichment Programs. Connect with other students like you and have fun! There’s no better way to experience life at college. 

Frontiers
Would you love to spend your summer splicing DNA or designing a robot? Or would your prefer creating your own multimedia Web pages, investigating interplanetary travel, or exploring flight? Choose from one of 16 areas ofstudy: aerospace engineering, biology and biotechnology, biomedical engineering, chemistry/biochemistry, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, engineering exploration, environmental and sustainability studies, global sustainability, interactive media and game development, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics, robotics, and women’s leadership. Explore innovations in these fields from WPI faculty and gain experience using cutting-edge technology. This is a two-week or four-week residential program for rising juniors and seniors. Learn more at wpi.edu/+frontiers.

Launch
Explore the outer limits of knowledge in biology, computer science, or robotics. You’ll attend workshops and do labwork in your chosen area of study. With classmates you’ll work on projects and assemble your findings. You’ll learn from outstanding WPI instructors and students and use state-of-the-art experimental, analytical, and computertechnology. Launch is a week-long program designed for rising freshmen and sophomores. Students may live on campus or commute from home. Learn more at wpi.edu/+launch.

WPI offers residential and non-residential programs for
elementary, middle, and high school students. To learn more or to apply, visit wpi.edu/+summer.


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