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Worcester Polytechnic Institute - 2016

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Engineering Information

Degree Requirements

Bachelor's Degree Requirements

WPI TERMS AND CREDIT UNITS The Bachelor degree from WPI normally is based upon a residency at WPI of 16 terms. WPI operates on a system with four seven-week terms, two in the autumn semester (Terms A
and B) and two in the spring semester (Terms C and D). A summer session, Term E, is also available. The normal academic load for each term is defined as one unit of work, usually divided among three courses or projects. Thus, the usual credit unit forcourses or independent study/projects is 1/3 unit. Qualifying Projects, defined on pages 13-17, require one full unit of activity which may be concentrated into a single term (especially if conducted off-campus) or spread throughout an academic year. The degree will be awarded upon completion of the following:
DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
1. The Humanities and Arts Requirement
Qualification by overall evaluation of two units of work in the humanities and arts. To provide intellectual breadth and a better understanding of themselves and the diversity and creativity of human experience, every WPI student must complete a Humanities and Arts Requirement.
2. The Mathematics and Science Requirement (See distribution requirements for individual programs)
The Mathematics and Science Requirement defines a
minimum standard of scientific, technological, engineering,
and mathematical literacy for graduates of WPI, regardless of major field. Most degree programs will provide a substantial
level of preparation in most of these areas, far beyond this
standard. Students will satisfy this requirement by satisfying
the program requirements of their individual major programs.
The goals of the Mathematics and Science Requirement at
WPI are that students will be able, in their careers and daily lives, to: 1) explain and apply key concepts and principles of
scientific disciplines and use an understanding of scientific
methods to make critical judgments, 2) apply mathematical
methods to understand the solution of real-world problems,
3) productively and appropriately use computers and other
technology, 4) use methods from the quantitative, natural or
engineering sciences to systematically identify, formulate, and
solve problems.
The specific requirement is two units of work in science, engineering, mathematical science or computer science. Two-thirds units of work must be in Quantitative Science
(courses with prefixes CS or MA count by default); two-thirds units of work must be in Natural or Engineering
Science (courses with prefixes BB, BME, CHE, CE,CH,
ECE, ES, GE, ME, PH or RBE count by default); the final
two-thirds unit may be from any of the Quantitative, Natural or Engineering Sciences. Each major program may
set more restrictive requirements as the program sees fit. Programs may also propose other work to fulfill any portion
the two-unit Requirement; such alternatives must be approved by the Committee on Academic Policy and the
Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
3. The Interactive Qualifying Project
Successful completion of a qualifying project relating science
and/or technology to society (the Interactive Qualifying Project, or IQP) representing at least one unit of credit in
project or independent study work. The format of the documentation is to be in accordance with current WPI
policy on such documentation.
4. The Major Qualifying Project
Successful completion of a qualifying project in the major area of study (the Major Qualifying Project, or MQP)
representing at least one unit of credit in project or independent study work. The format of the documentation is to be
in accordance with current WPI policy on such documentation.
5. Distribution Requirements (See program description for specified departments) Satisfaction of published academic activity distribution
requirements in or relating to the major area of study. These requirements typically total no more than ten units (including the MQP and two units to fulfill the Mathematics and Science Requirement) and are specified by general topical subject area, not by specific courses. Completion of distribution
requirements will be certified by the appropriate Program Review Committee (PRC), upon recommendation
by the student’s academic advisor. For students desiring designation of a major area for which a determination
regarding distribution requirements has not previously been made and published, a faculty committee will be appointed
by the department head or IGSD dean to review and approve the student’s program of study.

Master's Degree Requirements

Minimum of 30 credit hours of acceptable course, thesis or project work. If a thesis is required, it must include 6 credit hours of research and the student is required to make a public presentation of the thesis. Minimum of 21 credit hours of graduate-level courses or thesis including at least 15 credit hours of graduate-level courses or thesis in the major field of the student. See Graduate Catalog http://www.wpi.edu plus any individual program requirements.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Minimum of 90 credit hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree, or a minimum of 60 credit hours of graduate work beyond the master's degree. In either case at least 30 credit hours of research is required. Establish residency by being a full-time graduate student for one continuous academic year. Attain status as a doctoral candidate. Prepare a doctoral dissertation and defend it before a Dissertation Committee. See Graduate Catalog http://www.wpi.edu plus any individual program requirements.