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Worcester Polytechnic Institute - 2016

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Engineering Information

College Description

Engineering College Description and Special Characteristics

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been at the forefront of engineering, technology, and science education for 150 years. The nation’s third oldest technological university, it first changed the course of American education by introducing a radical new curriculum in 1865, becoming the first school in America to focus its education on equal parts theory and practice.
WPI led another dramatic shift in education in 1970 when it implemented the renowned WPI Plan, a daring new approach to undergraduate education built around collaborative, team-based global projects that gave students more control over their education, while providing faculty more opportunities to work closely with students, inherently creating a strong focus on innovation, exploration, and real-world competency. Today, WPI’s pioneering approach is widely emulated by science and engineering schools from around the globe.
WPI’s groundbreaking approach to undergraduate education combines theoretical study with hands-on project requirements. This project-based approach gives WPI students the opportunity to gain professional skills, a talent for teamwork, and the confidence to dive right in, no matter the challenge. It’s these skills"real-world experience and the ability to work collaboratively"that set WPI graduates apart from their peers. Not surprisingly, top-tier employers continuously seek out our students because they know they’ll hit the ground running.
The four projects that comprise the WPI Plan and span an undergraduate’s four years include: the Great Problems Seminar, an introduction to university-level research on a theme of global importance; the Humanities & Arts Project which encourages students to find their inner artist, musician, philosopher… on campus or at locations abroad; Interactive Qualifying Project which brings together students from various disciplines who work in teams, either on campus or at one of our 30+ project centers located around the globe to solve problems that matter to real people and real communities; and the discipline specific Major Qualifying Project which provides students graduation the opportunity to gain real-world design or research experience within their major field"developing skills along the way that employers and graduate schools require.
The Engineering degree programs at WPI include all the usual cornerstone disciplines such as Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical & Computer and Mechanical Engineering programs; additionally WPI offers degrees in which we have unique history and strengths such as Aerospace, Architectural, Environmental, and Robotics Engineering. In fact, WPI was the first institution to offer an undergraduate degree in Robotics Engineering and still the only university in the nation with bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in Robotics Engineering.
WPI's graduate programs place an important emphasis on meaningful, practical applications of science, technology. Our graduates emerge with the knowledge and skills to pursue exciting careers in a range of fields " from bioinformatics to software engineering to information security to robotics and fire protection engineering. A national doctoral university with a heritage of educational innovation, WPI delivered its first graduate program in 1893. Today the university offers an array of master's and doctoral degree programs in engineering, science, and management, which are pursued, part-time (for practicing professionals) or full-time, on campus and via distance learning, by a diverse population of students from more than 70 nations. These programs include: Aerospace, Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Construction Project Management, Electrical & Computer, Environmental, Fire Protection, Manufacturing, Materials Process, Materials Science, Mechanical, Power Systems, Robotics and Systems Engineering.

WPI's graduate programs are marked by a high degree of interdisciplinary collaboration. WPI has long been known as a place where ideas, innovation, and discovery freely cross disciplinary boundaries. Increasingly, the collaborative spirit at WPI is being expanded to include exciting academic and research partnerships with industry, government laboratories, and other universities. Our new Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center has been expressly designed to promote research across disciplines and to facilitate external research and development partnerships.