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Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Today, WPI is a small, independent university centered on engineering, science, technology, and mathematics, with strong academic and co-curricular programs in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and management. The university’s 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, leading to the BA, BS, MS, ME, MBA and PhD. WPI places a high premium on excellence in undergraduate education, with rich student-faculty interaction and a unique approach to active, collaborative learning through a project-enriched curriculum. Each WPI undergraduate must complete two major projects, the most distinctive of which addresses an open-ended need or problem at the intersection of science, technology and society. Through these projects, which are often sponsored by leaders of major corporations, senior officers in government agencies, and key representatives of professional societies in the U.S. and around the world, students demonstrate their ability to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world problems, and to gain an appreciation for how the solutions to those problems might impact the world around them. In addition, all students must complete a humanities and arts requirement that culminates in an inquiry seminar or practicum. Through the university’s innovative Global Perspective Program, students have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world. WPI established its first off-campus residential project center in 1974 in Washington, D.C., and its first international center in 1987 in London. Today, it maintains a network of project centers that span the globe, with more than 20 project centers located throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe. About two thirds of WPI undergraduates now travel off campus to complete professional level projects, with half working overseas, gaining an invaluable global outlook. WPI awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today most of WPI’s academic departments offer advanced degree programs that can be pursued on a full- or part-time basis. WPI’s world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Notable academic and research centers at WPI include the Center for Firesafety Studies, which offers one of the world’s only graduate programs in fire protection engineering; the Metal Processing Institute, the largest industry-university alliance in North America; and the Bioengineering Institute, which develops and commercializes cutting-edge technology in the life sciences. WPI is making a significant investment in life-sciences-related research and in the economic development of its home city by jointly developing an 11-acre former brownfields site adjacent to downtown Worcester into a mixed-use, life sciences based campus. The first new building at the site, the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, a 124,000-square-foot research facility, now houses the university’s graduate research programs in such areas as tissue engineering and stem cell biology; tissue mechanics and mechanobiology; plant systems; molecular nanotechnology and molecular sensors; applied molecular genetics; and medical imaging, diagnostics, and sensing. Gateway Park is a short walk from WPI’s attractively landscaped 80-acre campus, which is bordered by public parks and scenic residential areas. WPI’s 29,000 alumni are located throughout the United States and in more than 80 other nations. Through the years, WPI alumni have been responsible for many world changing innovations, including the liquid-fueled rocket, stainless steel, the airbag safety system, and the Segway Human Transporter.

Key Data

School Type: Campus
Degrees Offered:
Student Life
Enrolled Students: 4,980
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
Annual Cost
In State Tuition: $38,910
Out of State Tuition $38,910
Books and Supplies $1,000
Students with Financial aid:** 97%
  • ** Refers to % of students receiving some form of financial aid
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