U.S. News Rankings
|Ranking score and category|
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private institution that was founded in 1865. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,849, its setting is city, and the campus size is 80 acres. It utilizes a quarter-based academic calendar. Worcester Polytechnic Institute's ranking in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 65. Its tuition and fees are $41,380 (2012-13).
Among the 13 colleges located in Worcester, Mass., Worcester Polytechnic Institute stands out as a close-knit private school grounded in scientific education. The student body is actively engaged in campus activities, such as the rivalry contests like the gigantic tug-of-war held throughout the year that pit the freshmen class against the sophomores. More than 30 percent of students are members of the school’s 15 or so fraternities and sororities. Even more—close 70 percent—are involved in campus sports at some level. The WPI Engineers compete in the NCAA Division III New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference, supported by mascot Gompei, a goat. Though the original school mascot was the head of a once-live goat, the school now uses a man-made replica for a mascot. WPI students also come out in droves for the school’s club sports and intramural program, and all students must take four physical education courses, ranging from lifeguarding to Leisure Education: Redefining Social Norms. Freshmen do not have to live in campus residence facilities, which include standard dormitories and four houses with student-selected themes. A university seal is imprinted on the ground in the center of campus, but make sure not to step on it; school lore warns that any student who does won’t graduate on time. Off campus, students can use Woo Cards to get discounts on food and activities around Worcester. Boston is 45 miles away, or about an hour’s trip by train.
At WPI, “M*A*S*H” is not just a decades-old hit television show; it is also the student-led tutoring program more formally known as Math And Science Help. The student body population is decidedly male dominated, with men accounting for more than 70 percent of undergraduates. Notable WPI alumni include Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket, and Nancy Pimental, a writer for South Park and cohost of Win Ben Stein’s Money.
|School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):|
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. Today, WPI is a small, independent university centered on engineering, science, technology, and mathematics, with strong academic and co-curricular programs in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and business. The university's 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, leading to the BA, BS, MS, ME, MBA and PhD. WPI places a high premium on excellence in undergraduate education, with rich student-faculty interaction and a unique approach to active, collaborative learning through a project-based curriculum. Each WPI undergraduate must complete two major projects, one in the major field of study and one that addresses an open-ended need or problem at the intersection of science, technology and society. Through these projects, which are often sponsored by leaders of major corporations, senior officers in government agencies, and key representatives of professional societies in the U.S. and around the world, students demonstrate their ability to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world problems, and to gain an appreciation for how the solutions to those problems might impact the world around them. In addition, all students must complete a humanities and arts requirement equivalent to a minor that culminates in an inquiry seminar or practicum. Through the university's innovative Global Perspective Program, students have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world. WPI established its first off-campus residential project center in 1974 in Washington, D.C., and its first international center in 1987 in London. Today, it maintains a network of project centers that span the globe, with more than 25 project centers located throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe. About two thirds of WPI undergraduates now travel off campus to complete professional level projects, with half working overseas, gaining an invaluable global outlook. WPI awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today most of WPI's academic departments offer advanced degree programs that can be pursued on a full- or part-time basis. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics.. Notable academic and research centers at WPI include the Center for Fire Safety Studies, the Metal Processing Institute, the largest industry-university alliance in North America; and the Bioengineering Institute, which develops and commercializes cutting-edge technology in the life sciences. WPI is making a significant investment in life-sciences-related research and in the economic development of its home city by jointly developing an II-acre mixed-use, life sciences based campus adjacent to downtown Worcester. The first building at the site, the 125,000-square-foot WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, houses the university's graduate research programs in these disciplines. A second building will house, among other tenants, the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center, the new Fire Sciences Laboratory, which will support one of the world's only graduate programs in fire protection engineering, and the university's School of Business. Gateway Park is a short walk from WPI's attractively landscaped 80-acre campus, which is bordered by public parks and scenic residential areas. WPI's 29,000 alumni are located throughout the United States and in more than 80 other nations. Through the years, WPI alumni have been responsible for many world changing innovations, including the liquid-fueled rocket, stainless steel, the airbag safety system, and the Segway Human Transporter.
|School type||private, coed college|
When applying to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, it's important to note the application deadline is February 1, and the early action deadline is January 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due March 1. The application fee at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is $60. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 56.7 percent and an early acceptance rate of 67.3 percent.
For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.
|Fall 2011 acceptance rate||56.7%|
|Application deadline||February 1|
|SAT/ACT scores must be received by||March 1|
The student-faculty ratio at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is 14:1, and the school has 65.2 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute include: Mechanical Engineering; Electrical and Electronics Engineering; Computer Science; Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering; and Civil Engineering, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 94.2 percent.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,849, with a gender distribution of 69.0 percent male students and 31.0 percent female students. At this school, 50.0 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 50.0 percent of students live off campus. Worcester Polytechnic Institute is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.
|Student gender distribution|
|Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity|
|Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority|
|Collegiate athletic association||NCAA III|
Campus Info & Services
Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Worcester Polytechnic Institute also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
|Students who have cars on campus||N/A|
|Health insurance offered||Yes|
|Students required to own/lease a computer||No|
Paying for School
At Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 70.2 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $19,681.
Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.
|Tuition and fees||$41,380 (2012-13)|
|Room and board||$12,650 (2012-13)|
|Financial aid statistics|
* Overview details based on 2011 data