Students looking for a relatively small, undergrad-oriented college where they can study engineering or other technical majors do not have many options to choose from. But Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) may fill the bill. WPI has 3893 undergrads and less than 800 grad students. The college emphasizes collaborative, project-based academic work. It’s the only test-optional technical college, as of this writing.
90% of majors are in STEM, 40% are engineering. 40% of projects that students undertake are sponsored by industry, and students often work 9 to 5 on their projects. So, the experience is a lot like co-op programs. But, even though students get that sort of experience, 75% still graduate in 4 years, as compared to rates in the 40’s % at many engineering schools at major universities.
Notable majors are robotics, computer science and bio-informatics (which is popular for premed students)
Both a bachelors and a masters degree can be earned in 5 years (a few academic stars do it in 4 years).
Grading at WPI is designed to be non-punitive: Grades are A, B, C or No Record. No GPA is calculated.
- Average starting salary, $66,000
- Full time employment within 6 months, 89%
- Admit rate, 44%
- Freshmen returning as sophs, 97%
- Average % of need met, 79%
- Greek, 30% men, 40% women
- To grad school directly after WPI, 27%
WPI is member a consortium of 12 colleges and universities in the Worcester area, including Holy Cross and Clark. WPI students can register for classes in consortium institutions.