Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private university in Worcester, Massachusetts, US, founded in 1865.
The institute uses a process of learning called the WPI Plan, which has been running since 1970. The Plan helps students apply their classroom experiences to projects that cover a social and global perspective.
This includes a first-year course called the Great Problems Seminar, which analyses issues in public health, water, food security, energy and education; an Interactive Qualifying Project in which students offer a solution to a science, technology and society problem; and a Global Projects Programme which sends students to over 40 off-campus project centres. The programme is structured across seven-week terms and there are no failing grades. All students are required to study a core humanities and arts course.
Beyond academics, students can join student organisations such as the African percussion and dance ensemble, fencing club, freestyle wrestling club and table tennis among others.
In terms of athletics, there is the option to play baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, volleyball and wrestling competitively.
The university has a 97 per cent first-year retention rate, one of the highest in the US.
A few notable alumni are entrepreneurs Dean Kamen and Naveen Selvadurai, actress Nancy Pimental and chemist George Cowan.