I was looking forward to my visit to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), because I used to work with a number of fine engineers who were WPI alumni.
Most students at WPI have a scientific bent with 58% majoring in engineering, 10% in natural sciences and math, 13% in computer science, 8% in business management, and 2% in the liberal arts.
Two things that distinguish WPI are its unusual academic calendar and its encouragement of collaborative learning. There are four 7-week terms and an optional summer term. Typically students take three classes per term or do a project. These 7-week terms also allow students the opportunity to travel abroad for up to three terms.
Students are involved in two required, real-world, hands-on projects. The interactive project is a team project which may be on or off campus, including numerous sites abroad. The major project is generally sponsored by a company, government agency, or non-profit organization. There is also an optional humanities or arts project available.
WPI students also play hard. They participate in 180 clubs and organizations. Two thirds participate in one of the 20 NCAA Division III teams, the NCAA Division I women’s rowing team, 23 club sports, or 10 intramural sports. A new gym will be opening soon. Greek life is also popular with the student body, with one third joining a fraternity or sorority.
When applying to WPI, a student can submit SAT or ACT scores or take the alternate path by submitting a major project done during high school.
If this sounds intriguing, perhaps WPI is the college for you. If you have visited WPI or are a recent alumn, add your comments or photos. For more of my WPI photos, check out http://www.slosbergcollegesolutions.com/.