Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA, USA

Reviews

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
4.00 Average Rating

Alana from Taunton, MA

a current student here
18 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Classes are fast paced and can be difficult but there are many resources to help you. Professors are generally willing to help, as are other students. The Math and Science Help Center (MASH) is extremely useful for early math and science classes. An emphasis on projects and hands on learning also makes learning easier.
Am enjoying being here
There is a lot to do - many clubs and activities. Sports and Greek life is also popular. Everyone knows how to get their work done but still have fun. There's a lot to do in Worcester and it's easy to get to Boston for the day. The Woo Bus allows students to travel to other area colleges and shopping centers.
Bang for the buck
A WPI degree makes it easier to get a job upon graduation. The projects teach you to solve real problems so you can make an impact on your field and do well right out of college. The campus is beautiful and the school offers everything you could need - academics, athletics, atmosphere, and experiences to help you succeed.
Tips for prospective students
Visit campus!! Talk to some students and ask lots of questions.
Great for these types of students
Students interested in math, science, and engineering who like hands on learning and group work. Those who want a small school with a great sense of identity.
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Student from RI

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Coming in as a freshmen, engineering or technology major, you will be required to take the calculus series (calculus 1-4) which covers everything from differentiation and integration, to series and partial derivatives/integrals. You will also take chemistry 1-4, and then either physics 1-2, or begin taking your humanities requirements which will be anything you want from history to English, a language, or music/drama/art.
Coming in as a biology or life sciences major typically take a slightly different track as not as much math is required for these subjects so usually a modified version of calculus will be taken.

The first courses in engineering are introductory courses offered in freshman year. They basically touch upon all of the different methods and topics that will be taught in upper level classes without going into too much detail. Many students find these to be extremely helpful come sophomore year to have already been introduced to the material, or in other cases, if deciding between majors to take the introductory course to solidify their decisions.
Am enjoying being here
There is so much to do on campus. Everyone here is extremely friendly and teamwork is not only highly encouraged by the faculty, but utilized among the student population. There are a ridiculous amount of clubs on campus, everything from academic societies, to community service organizations, to the ultimate frisbee team, to the scuba diving club. Therefore, there is something for everyone, and if the club you want doesn't yet exist on campus (which is unlikely) it only takes seven people to start a club and you can start it when you arrive.
There are also movies offered (FOR FREE ... with free popcorn) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in Fuller Labs. These are movies that have just left theaters but are not currently on DVD. We also have our own bowling alley.
Bang for the buck
WPI definitely gives you a bang for the buck. Although it is relatively expensive, there are plenty of on campus jobs available to help you through. In addition to this, what you are paying for is truly exceptional. The accessability of professors, TA (teaching assistants) and PLAs (peer learning assistants) is amazing. They not only go above and beyond the minimum requirement for office hours, but they will often meet you outside of their office, to answer questions you might have, or perhaps even just to talk about potential future jobs.
WPI is also part of the Worcester Consortium, which is a collection of the 13 colleges in Worcester. By this connection, WPI students can take classes at any of the other schools in the consortium, completely free of charge and the credits are transferrable to WPI.
WPI also hold three job fairs a year. One in the fall, one in the spring and another for the life sciences majors. These career fairs are for WPI students ONLY, and the waitlist for companies trying to get a spot in the career fair is just as competitive as the students trying to get jobs.
Another great thing about WPI is that the lab equipment in all the labs is completely gutted out and redone every 3-4 years so that students are constantly using only the most up to date equipment. This is a huge selling point too when applying for jobs because students to not need to be trained in the new equipment because it's what they have been using already at WPI.
Post graduation, WPI have above a 90% placement rate into either the work force or competitive graduate programs. This is a very high number to look at. It has to do with the way students are bred for success at WPI, and the dedication the career development center puts into helping it's students acheive their goals.
Tips for prospective students
My only advice is that you master time management skills, which regardless of where you attend, its a good skill to have. As long as you plan out your time well, you should have time to do everything you could possibly want to on campus. Also, take as many math and science classes as you can in high school. Even if you retake the material once you arrive here at WPI, having seen the material before really helps out in classes.
Great for these types of students
Students who are ambitious and driven do well here. We are a fast-paced engineering school so you have to want to succeed to do well here, but you will not be on your own if you struggle. Professors and other students want to see everyone succeed so there will be plenty of people to help you along the way. However, the desire to learn and create better products for a better world is a pretty common theme at WPI.
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caroline from norwell, ma

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
wpi was my top choice for colleges, and it lived up to all of my expectations. i have made amazing friends and taken some pretty awesome, engaging classes. overall, a great college experience.
Tips for prospective students
get involved! there are tons of clubs and teams on campus, and there are definitely some like-minded people who you'll find fun to hang out with.
Academic Rigor
i felt fairly well prepared for my freshman year coming out of high school. i personally struggled in classes outside my major, but it was extremely easy to find help when i needed it. the tutoring center was an absolute godsend for calculus 3 and 4. professors offer office hours, but a lot of times those didn't jive with my schedule.
Dorm Life
i lived in daniels hall. i liked daniels because you could sit upright on your lofted bed to do homework. i pretty much lived on my bed. the rooms are sort of small, but you make it work. i had a lot of teammates on my floor, so it was awesome living near them. it was fun to keep our door propped open so that people could come in and hang out. daniels didn't really have that much of a giant "clique" but a lot of people became really close after living on the same floor. riley and stoddard residents usually end up in more of a floor crew than morgan and daniels.
Food and Dining
the food in the dining hall isn't too awful, its edible. every once in a while (when there are big open houses or on tour days) it's pretty good! the dining hall cookies are amazing though. they have some other options in the campus center, and goats head pub is sometimes a nice change from the usual dining hall food. overall it's meh, but you won't starve.
What to do for fun
get involved! there are lots of clubs and teams, and greek life here is really awesome. i'm on a varsity team and in a sorority, and i am literally never bored. also, free movie night is the best thing ever.
Bang for the buck
i mean, i haven't graduated yet, but everyone keeps telling me i'm going to get an awesome job after graduation which is extremely reassuring. also, if you look up best return on college investment, i guarantee that wpi will come up. so yes, it is extremely expensive, but hopefully i can dig myself out of debt pretty quickly.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
the seal! if you step on the seal in the middle of the quad, you have to run to the gompei statue as quickly as you can and rub its hoof or else you won't graduate in four years (the horror!).
Great for these types of students
everyone here is very smart, and everyone here has their nerd thing. but we aren't those nerds in an 80s movie with taped glasses and zero muscle tone. we have athletes that are also pokemon enthusiasts and frat boys that love to knit. a lot of people that visit wpi are surprised how "normal" people seem, not all of us spend all our free time playing video games or solving math theorems (although a lot of us love that sort of stuff). a lot of the people i've met are also extremely kind and accepting and intellectually driven. definitely don't write wpi off because of "nerd prejudice", the people here are amazing!
Clubs and Activities
everyone is extremely passionate about their clubs and their sports. it's very easy to get involved, and i've met some of my best friends though my team. there are tons of clubs, ranging from the protection of animal welfare society to the vietnamese student society to the chess club to the cheese club. the activities fair that showcases these clubs fills up the entire quad and almost everyone on campus is involved in something.
Greek Life
greek life here is amazing. wpi challenges the bad reputation of greek life, especially in their sororities. as a woman, joining a sorority was one of the best decisions i've made so far. hazing is nonexistent, and the sororities get along extremely well thanks to our amazing panhellenic council.
Campus Safety
the campus is open to worcester, which isn't the greatest city. wpi is in a fairly nice part of worcester. campus police works extremely hard to keep students safe. there is a blue light system in place and a shuttle that runs at night to transport students home safely. i have not felt unsafe on campus.
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Sonya from Nashua, NH

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
In WPI, the teachers focus on making sure the students understand what they're teaching. But students have to meet halfway and want to learn. Take classes that interests you and/or are required for your major and you'll learn so much more. WPI has outside help sessions such as MASH (Math and Science Help) where students who have aced the class you are taking help you in your homework, studies, and whatever questions you have as long it's within their ability to answer.

One thing that's unique to WPI is that their grading system is A, B, C, or NR. With this system, you don't have to worry about your score and it encourages you to learn without that grade breathing over your back. The other thing that's unique to WPI is the 7-week terms. You learn in a fast paced environment that's very similar to the corporate world and if you hate the class, don't worry, it's only 7 weeks.
Am enjoying being here
WPI is a small campus, yes, but in your four years, you won't learn who everyone is and you won't be able to recognize everyone by sight. Not only that, the clubs here are diverse and always have enough members to be active and since there's so many of them, you'll have an easy time to find one you like. If you don't, just start one. At WPI, you're not required to go anywhere on your free time, you can eat whenever you like as long as you make sure where you're eating at is still open.

The people here are entertaining even if we are nerds. There will always be conversation about sophisticated topics like the string theory, but there are also everyday conversations because, honestly, who can keep up the act of sophistication? Here, we have fun and in your first year, you'll make friends with the people on your floor and in classrooms easily.
Bang for the buck
I don't have personal experience of what happens after graduation, but my older friends tell me that the experience they had at WPI greatly helped them land a job over most of their high school friends. Their resume was beefed up thanks to IQP (Interactive Qualifying Project) and MQP (Major Qualifying Project), both of with you need in order to graduate. The IQP and MQP are projects you usually do in your junior and senior year respectively where you team up with other students to try and solve local or world problems. Both projects can be taken abroad.
Tips for prospective students
Visit the campus and take the tour. Ask your guide to take you into classrooms if they can. This will help you make your decision in terms of location and environment. If you want to know what the classes are like, attend the overnight sessions WPI offers to prospective students. You'll get to shadow a student and see all the classes they're taking.
Great for these types of students
Students who are interested in Math, Science, and Engineering. Enjoy working in a group and actively working instead of learning by theory. Who wants to live in a small school with people who are like them.
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Tori from Jefferson Hills, PA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
if an engineering degree is what you desire, wpi is the place to go. excellent academics and highly accredited programs. an emphasis on projects and hands-on learning provides real-life experience and preparation.
Tips for prospective students
stay strong in your math and sciences (that's big here!).
wpi likes (and is trying to produce) well-rounded students, despite its recognition for being a geek school. they like extracurriculars and athletics. we take pride in our athletes too!
Academic Rigor
courses range from stimulating to quite difficult. completion of the courses, however, guarantees a thorough understanding of the material.
Dorm Life
freshman residence hall living is never perfect. housing ranges from singles to quads. however, if you make the most of it, and become friends with your floor, it can be pretty awesome. it's a great way to make friends.
Food and Dining
if you live on campus, you basically must purchase a dining plan your freshman year. there is a dining hall, a food court in the campus center, a restaurant in founder's hall, and a cafe in the library. the meal plan is really what you make of it.
What to do for fun
join organizations and student groups! really! some of the most fun i've had was working with my organizations. and you'll meet upperclassmen as well as freshman who are interested in the same things are you. life long friendships can be made this way. :)
Bang for the buck
as a private engineering university, wpi is fairly expensive. however, you are going to gain a great degree, and even better understanding, experience, and practice. wpi loves to get jobs for its students!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
the goat's head trophy - gompei the goat is the mascot. years ago, the head of a goat was casted in bronze. the trophy is now a solid bronze replica (of course!), but a schoolwide, year-long competition between different student groups goes on to gain the goat's head every year. truly a coveted prize, and its always awesome to have your picture with it!
Great for these types of students
geeks! (just kidding! or am i?) no really, the school is great for a lot of people. while it is affectionately referred to as a geek school, anyone interested in technology, engineering, math, and and science is perfect here!
Clubs and Activities
there's a club for everyone! from the science fiction club, to habitat for humanity, student alumni society, student government association, etc etc, you're guaranteed to find somewhere you fit in - and probably multiple somewheres at that!
Greek Life
wpi tries to hold its greek life to a higher standing than the typical stereotypes. if it's your thing, i would definitely say to join. emphasis is on community service and well-rounding of character, and fun!
Campus Safety
campus police are very quick to respond. they patrol the campus at night to ensure no harm comes to students, however, they are not overbearing in the least. very friendly and helpful. call boxes are easily visible and accessible. worst case - duck into a campus building. they're locked to non-students past 5pm. snap is available for rides in a 1 mile radius of campus. police can escort you across campus at night. never a reason to be alone.
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Kyle from Norton, MA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Be prepared to do a lot of work. The classes are harder here than at another school for some reason. Their are always people willing to help you.
Tips for prospective students
Check out what majors you would be interested in if you wanted to attend. Also think about if you would be interested in doing you Interactive Qualifying Project abroad (more than 50% do).
Academic Rigor
The classes seem to be extremely hard. Some of the classes, you will need to rely on a scale. The lowest math class offered is calc 1.
Dorm Life
The freshmen dorms are alright, but they could be better.
Food and Dining
The food in the main dinning center is usually good, you are able to eat at an on campus restaurant twice a week with your residential meal plan.
What to do for fun
Study!!!
Bang for the buck
The college has a great reputation, the average starting salary is around 60,000 a year.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
You walk on the earl bridge when you get here with your entering class. When you graduate, you walk in the opposite direction symbolizing the completion of your undergraduate career.
Great for these types of students
It really is a melting pot of student's at WPI, from the jock who likes Pokemon to the to the nerd who is on the crew team.
Clubs and Activities
Over 200 clubs and activities!!!
Greek Life
One of the best Greek to Non-Greek campus relationships.
Campus Safety
They have a blue light system and shuttle system to keep you safe.
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Morgan from Park City, UT

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
A tight-knit community for geeks and nerds alike. Expensive but worth the money based on rankings. I am very excited to attend because of the campus and also the academics.
Tips for prospective students
Keep up with your math and science in high school. You are required to take at least pre-calc to apply here. Also, do something that sets yourself apart. This is pretty clear due to the fact that they let you submit a Flex Path project instead of your test scores. They want you to make a change and to be different. My biggest suggestion, visit campus! Make sure it is right for you. We visited campus but were late and missed the tour. One of the tour guides who did my interview took her OWN, UNPAID time and showed me around campus in her pink slippers. So personal and neat to be able to get a real one on one perspective. Don't be afraid to ask questions and to be yourself.
Academic Rigor
Of course I haven't started here yet but to my understanding it is fairly rigorous, especially after freshman year. I think it is interesting that they do the four, 7 week quarters. Quick paced but will get a better understanding.
Dorm Life
From what I saw on my tour the dorms were pretty nice. They were generally a bit bigger than the majority of rooms I have seen while visiting other schools. They also have questions for you on your housing application so you are paired up with other people in your room and on your floor that are like you. They were a bit outdated though. The only concern to me would be the bathrooms since they are for a bit bigger of a community, but to my understanding they are well kept.
Food and Dining
I ate on campus in the food court in the student center. Although I love pasta as it is, the food seemed pretty good. A lot of people have mentioned that it can get boring, yet that's how most cafeteria's are. While visiting I noticed that there were other places and also that there is a quite a few restaurants right off campus that you can go to.
What to do for fun
WPI has the zip cars. You can check them out for the day or for a few hours. Personally I like this because I love the city of Boston and think it would be so fun to drive the 45 to spend a weekend there. Also, even though I visited in February there were still students out on the quad playing frisbee. Seems like a fun community.
Bang for the buck
I am accepted and received some scholarship money. The cost is still overwhelming though. It is the only thing that I don't like about this school. Then again you also have to consider that it is a private engineering school and that they are 4th in the nation for average starting salary out of undergraduate. It may pay it self back if you work hard.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
They have a seal by the quad. They say that if you step on it you won't graduate on time. Scary! I need to keep an eye on that. They also have a bridge you cross on your first day. Then, on your graduation day you walk back across the bridge the opposite direction.
Great for these types of students
Geeky, involved, smart, small community, inventive, passionate, wanting to make lots of money/opportunity.
Clubs and Activities
Seems like they have a lot clubs and if for some reason one of the 200+ clubs don't interest you, make your own! Movie nights on Sundays. Division III sports teams but also club sports. Good work out facilites!
Greek Life
To my understanding, a big part of campus but not in a sterotypical way. Very involved in service.
Campus Safety
I felt very safe on campus. They have van services to drive you where ever you need, even if you aren't on campus. Campus police. Call boxes. And student walk-along services so you are never alone!
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Corey from Palisade, CO

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
WPI is a wonderful school, especially for engineering students. It has a project-based curriculum that has students creating solutions for actual problems (and implementing them) from their freshman years. It has a beautiful campus and a wonderful community.
Tips for prospective students
Take the AP Calc BC test while you're in high school. Try to schedule early. Don't be afraid to ask students for scheduling help--try to get in contact with upperclassmen in your major *before* you schedule.
Academic Rigor
Freshman classes start out fairly unexcitingly; they accelerate quickly, however, so don't get too comfortable.
Dorm Life
Good dorms, with a good variety of choices.
Food and Dining
DAKA (Morgan Common's) food gets a little old after a while, but there are always other options, and the terms last only 7 weeks.
What to do for fun
There are always events! Movies (good, newly released movies!) on Sundays, always some club meeting or another that you can go to. As long as you make an effort to get involved, you'll never be bored.
Bang for the buck
Unless you've got good scholarships, the tuition is definitely crazy. If you know that this school has what you want, though, it's worth it.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Don't step on the Seal! If you do, you won't graduate in four years...
Great for these types of students
Type A personalities do quite well here. Anyone who enjoys doing real work and doesn't mind writing as well as the math and science aspects will thrive here.
Clubs and Activities
Personally, I'm in the Pep Band (we march half-time shows as well as play pep music), and it's absolutely wonderful--the entire group is full of energy! I am also a part of Engineers Without Borders, a club that is currently working to bring clean water to a small community in Guatemala.
Campus Safety
Worcester city is not a good place to wander alone, it's true. Daytime campus is safe, however, and as long as you're not alone (and it's easy not to be alone, with programs like SNAP) while walking at night, you're just fine.
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DeWitt, NY

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
WPI is a great school. The professors love what they do and it shows. The classes are really enjoyable.
Tips for prospective students
Join clubs. It's probably the best way to make friends that have things in common with you. Also ask your parents for a gift card to dunkin donuts or the Bean Counter. Unless you have your own coffee maker, you probably need some cash to spend just on coffee.
Academic Rigor
The classes you take in your freshman year are mostly review, but after that the classes become significantly harder. Expect to spend a lot of time writing up lab reports and if although there are no official prerequisites, you might find yourself lost if you didn't do well in your recommended or suggested courses.
Dorm Life
Most of the dorms are lofted for freshmen. On campus housing isn't guaranteed for all students, but all students who want to live on campus almost always find a place to live. The dorms are put together based on peoples schedules and Residential Services tries to make it so that not only roommates, but an entire floor will get along.
Food and Dining
The food is pretty good. It's definitely better than other colleges I've visited as far as food goes, but there are only a few places to eat on campus. There are lots of great places to eat just off campus and there is a grocery a very short walk from campus. You definitely won't go hungry.
What to do for fun
Shrewsbury st is nearby and along it are some of the most popular restaurants in worcester. For cheap, delicious food, go to T-Sams. The campus holds many fun events, but if you want to leave campus, the palladium holds concerts through out the year. There is an ice skating rink not too far away either. There is also a free bus for college students that will take people to the local mall and movie theatre for fun as well.
Bang for the buck
Most of the students at WPI will have a job or go to grad school after getting their undergraduate degree. Many of the students will make around 50,000 or more at their first job as entry-level. That's not bad. While WPI is more expensive, it's a pretty solid bet for your future.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The Bartlett tree is great for climbing. We have a huge LARPing (Live Action Role Play) community. All the freshmen get awkward looking beanies as they are taken into the school. WPI students have their own language of acronyms and slang, but people pick it up quickly.
Great for these types of students
Hardworking students who are not afraid to ask questions if they don't understand will do well at WPI. Students have to be willing to spend time on their studies outside of class.
Clubs and Activities
Loads of awesome clubs and activities. Outing Clubs, Gay Straight Alliance, Pep Band, Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Crimson Key...just to name a few.
Greek Life
Mostly community service and networking based. Students should expect to work hard and spend a lot of time volunteering and fundraising for their fraternity or sorority.
Campus Safety
Incredibly safe. There's never a reason to feel like you have to put yourself in an unsafe situation. There is a student run service that will drive you somewhere you need to go (even off campus) and you can always ask for someone to walk you to where you need to go as well. Have the Campus police number on your phone just in case.
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Alexander from El Paso, TX

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
It's a great place to meet a lot of highly dedicated and hardworking students. Everyone here practically embodies the engineer stereotype, so if you are this type of person, you will feel at home. Tons of cool projects to work on and get involved in.
Tips for prospective students
Time management! Visit the school, and make sure you keep your mind open to new ideas. Have fun, college searching can be stressful so when you visit WPI, be interested in learning about the school.
Academic Rigor
This school is definitely not easy. For those of you looking for easy A's good luck. Everyone here has to complete a series of mandatory calculus classes.
Dorm Life
The Dorm's are tiny, but it does give you the opportunity to make friends. So be prepared to be patient with your fellow roommates.
Food and Dining
DAKA is pretty good. Remember, you are in control of what you eat. So if you decide to eat only fast food for two months, be prepared for the consequences.
What to do for fun
Everything and anything, from climbing the huge tree in front of Alden, or sneaking into the classes at 12 a.m. writing nonsense on the chalkboards. If you are a fan of white boards, you will be extraordinarily pleased with the amount that are available to the students to write on.
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