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100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609-2280
p. 508-831-5000
w. www.wpi.edu

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Rating: 3.3/5 (15 votes)

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is the third oldest private technological university in the United States. Worcester Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1865 by New England industrialists Ichabod Washburn, John Boynton, and their associates as America was witnessing massive industrial growth and technological innovation. The institute continues to advocate the educational philosophy of balancing theory with practice to this day.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers more than 50 graduate and undergraduate programs. The institute was ranked as one of the best colleges in the Northeast by the Princeton Review’s 2011 Best Colleges.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is located on an 80-acre hill-top campus in Worcester, Massachusetts and has a total enrollment of 3,700 students. The WPI campus features include Boynton Hall, Magnetic Laboratory, Salisbury Laboratories, Stratton Hall, Higgins House, Gordon Library, and the Stoddard Residence Center.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees, as well as various diplomas and certificates.

Undergraduate Degrees

The undergraduate programs offered by Worcester Polytechnic Institute include both Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs. Bachelor of Science candidates can major in areas such as Actuarial Mathematics, Biology/Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Economic Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Engineering Physics. Bachelor of Arts candidates can major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Liberal Arts and Engineering disciplines. Students can also opt for double majors in areas such as Actuarial Mathematics and Mathematics, Computer Science and Computers with Applications, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and Physics and Engineering Physics.

Undergraduate students are required to complete two types of qualifying projects to enrich their educational experience.

Graduate Degrees

The graduate programs offered by Worcester Polytechnic Institute include the Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Engineering (M.E.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), and Master of Mathematics for Educators (M.M.E.) degree programs. Graduate degrees are offered in areas such as Biochemistry, Fire Protection Engineering, Learning Sciences and Technologies, Mathematical Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering.

Diplomas and Certificates

WPI also offers various career-oriented diplomas and certificates for students who want to prepare for specific occupations and those who want to upgrade their skills.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Admissions to Worcester Polytechnic Institute are based on each student’s secondary school record, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, work experience, and the recommendations of teachers and counsellors. Prospective students are actively encouraged to visit the campus to determine if it is a good match for them.

Undergraduate Admissions

To apply for undergraduate admissions to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, students are required to submit either the Common Application form with the WPI supplement or WPI’s own application. Students that want their test scores to be considered for admission are required to submit their SAT or ACT scores. Other admissions requirements include a school transcript and four years of math including pre-calculus, four years of English, and two years of lab science.

International Applicants

International applicants seeking admission to Worcester Polytechnic Institute are required to submit the international student application form as well as transcripts from all high schools, colleges, or universities previously attended. They are also required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English by submitting their TOEFL/IELTS scores.

Financial Aid

Worcester Polytechnic Institute provides financial aid to eligible students to help them meet their educational expenses. The basic objective of financial aid is to help bridge the gap between family resources and the annual educational expenses of attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Different financial aid programs available for the students include grants, work-study opportunities, scholarships, and student loans.

Scholarships, Grants, and Loans

Merit-based scholarships and awards include Presidential Scholarships, Marshall/Chavez/Means Scholarship, Chemistry and Biochemistry Scholars program, Pre-Medical Scholars program, University awards, Exxonmobil Scholars program, and NCSSSMST Scholarship program. Need-based types of financial aid include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), MASSGrant (for Massachusetts residents), and Massachusetts Gilbert Matching Grants programs. Students may be eligible for various student loan options such as the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans and Federal Perkins loans. Students can also apply for different on-campus jobs–both regular and work-study positions.


To apply for financial aid from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education. Worcester Polytechnic Institute recommends a priority deadline of February 1 to apply for the financial aid. To be eligible for financial aid, students must be U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 295th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Massachusetts.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute has the philosophy that learning occurs both within and outside the classroom, and therefore provides numerous opportunities for students to explore their potential.

Student Services and Campus Amenities

The Career Development Center provides assistance that allows students to gain a better perspective of their career goals. It provides guidance related to major selection, career guidance, resume writing, interviewing, and job searching. WPI encourages students to get involved in community and volunteering service. There are numerous opportunities available for students to hone their leadership skills.

The campus center provides a connection between academic and social life on campus. The center consists of game room, student lounges and TV room, and it also houses the Social Committee and Student Activities offices. There are more than 200 student groups at WPI, including Active Minds, Alpha Phi, Badminton Club, Billiards Club, Cricket Club, and the Green Team.

The Student Government Association (SGA) represents the voice of the students. The Towers and Peddler are student publications.

Housing and Dining

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers numerous on-campus and off-campus housing options for its students. The residence halls offer single, double, and triple occupancy rooms and suites for four to six students. Students can also opt for off-campus options such as rooms in private homes, apartments, and fraternity/sorority living.

Dining facilities are available for WPI students at Morgan Commons, Quiznos, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Goat’s Head. The food options include buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner, entree choices, vegetarian options, and soups, salads and burgers.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Worcester Polytechnic Institute encourages students to participate in sports. There are 20 varsity sports and the teams participate in various regional and national tournaments. The varsity sports include Baseball, Softball, Field Hockey, Football, men’s and women’s Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, and Swimming & Diving.


  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute. About WPI. Web. 11 December 2011.
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Academics. Web. 11 December 2011.
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Undergraduate Catalog 2011-12. 2011. Print.

Information Summary

Ranks 18th in Massachusetts and 228th overall
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Bartlett center :: Worcester Polytechnic Institute Campus center :: Worcester Polytechnic Institute College building :: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 4 0.07
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 2 0.03
Robbery 2 0.03
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 5 0.09
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 3 0.05
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 1,342 0.74
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 11 0.01
Forcible Rape 36 0.02
Robbery 411 0.23
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 2,066 1.13
Larceny 3,481 1.91
Vehicle theft 530 0.29

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Worcester, MA 01609-2280
Surrounding communityMidsize city (inside urban area, pop. between 100,000 to 250,000)
Total Population21,166 (21,166 urban / N/A rural)
Households7,537 (2.33 people per house)
Median Household Income$31,521
Families3,816 (3.12 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Doctoral/Research Universities
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, high graduate coexistence
GraduateSTEM dominant
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, more selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemQuarter
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2502

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 113th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $42,178 $42,178 $42,178
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $600 $600 $600
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $1,172 $1,172 $1,172
FT Graduate Tuition $23,058 $23,058 $23,058
FT Graduate Required Fees $60 $60 $60
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $1,281 $1,281 $1,281
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $58,060 $58,060 $58,060
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $57,628 $57,628 $57,628
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $46,478 $46,478 $46,478

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $40,030 $41,380 $40,030 $41,380 $40,030 $41,380
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,000(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $11,934 $12,650
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,200(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $11,540 $11,934
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $1,200(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $2,700(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$60
Graduate Application Fee$70
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 8,578 (6,425 male / 2,153 female)
Admitted 4,425 (3,063 male / 1,362 female)
Admission rate 52%
First-time Enrollment 1,103 (737 male / 366 female)
FT Enrollment 1,103 (737 male / 366 female)
PT Enrollment N/A (N/A male / N/A female)
Total Enrollment6,296

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association
NCAA Basketball Conference New England Women's & Meni's Athletic Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference New England Women's & Meni's Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference New England Women's & Meni's Athletic Conference

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,984
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$7,466
Board Fee$5,616

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 306 36 86 83 7 874 60 1,452
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering 4 1 4 3 2 25 1 40
Applied Mathematics, General 2 3 1 6
Architectural Engineering
Biochemistry 6 1 1 2 15 25
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 8 3 8 7 72 6 104
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 2 4 4 4 36 4 54
Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Other
Business Administration and Management, General 13 1 1 24 1 40
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other 16 2 18
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other 2 3 4 2 18 29
Business/Commerce, General 1 1 2 8 12
Chemical Engineering 6 7 5 56 1 75
Chemistry, General 1 1 1 9 2 14
Civil Engineering, General 5 5 12 3 53 78
Civil Engineering, Other 1 1
Computer Science 20 3 5 3 53 3 87
Economics, General
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 69 6 7 13 1 74 13 183
Engineering Physics/Applied Physics
Engineering, Other 6 2 3 7 66 4 88
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering 1 1 25 1 28
Financial Mathematics 18 3 21
Humanities/Humanistic Studies
Industrial Engineering 7 2 1 4 14
International Relations and Affairs 1 1
Learning Sciences 1 1 2
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other 1 1
Management Information Systems, General 18 1 1 3 10 33
Manufacturing Engineering 3 3 6
Marketing, Other 28 3 31
Materials Engineering 19 1 2 1 8 31
Mathematics and Statistics, Other 2 1 13 16
Mathematics, General 9 1 1 8 19
Mathematics, Other 8 3 11
Mechanical Engineering 24 2 16 19 3 185 5 254
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 3 1 5 2 37 8 56
Physics, General 5 2 12 19
Psychology, General 5 1 6
Science, Technology and Society
Social Sciences, General
Social Sciences, Other 1 5 6
Speech Communication and Rhetoric
Statistics, General 6 1 7
Systems Engineering 1 1 27 6 35
Systems Science and Theory 1 1

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 196th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $101,932 ($104,848 male / $86,349 female)
Number of FT Faculty 332 (245 male / 87 female)
Number of PT Faculty 448
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $11,836,000

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