WPI's project-based curriculum makes it unique by requiring undergraduate students to complete a Sufficiency in the Liberal
, an Interactive Qualifying Project
(IQP) to study the social effects of technology with students from other disciplines, and a Major Qualifying Project
(MQP) within their own
discipline. These projects are based on WPI's founding principle of theory alongside practice.
Sufficiency in the Liberal Arts
To provide intellectual breadth and a better understanding of themselves, their cultures and their heritage, every student
must complete a Humanities and Arts Sufficiency Project. Students majoring in a scientific or engineering field or in business
management or the social sciences must fulfill this requirement in a humanities and arts area. Sufficiency projects generally
consist of five thematically related courses concluded with an independent research project or, in the case of languages, an
Interactive Qualifying Project
To provide an understanding of the priorities of other sectors of society, develop the ability to communicate effectively with
disparate groups, organize and derive solutions to complex problems, and gain an awareness of the interrelationships between
technology and people, every student must complete an Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP). Consisting of independent study,
often in a team environment, and equating to three courses in terms of work and credit, it may be performed on-campus or at one
of many global project centers.An IQP shall address a topic relating science and/or technology to society. In this context, both "society" and "technology"
should be construed as broadly as possible. Technology refers to the application of rational and efficient principles to a body
of knowledge or to the control of space, matter and/or human beings. Thus, the IQP encompasses not only techniques of production
embodied in tools and machines, but also advances in methods of social and economic organization, in managerial techniques, and
in methods of analysis in science, mathematics, and engineering. Society refers not only to a grouping of individuals but also to
the culture, values, laws, customs, and institutions shared by these individuals.
Major Qualifying Project
To provide a capstone experience in the professional discipline, to develop creativity, instill self-confidence and enhance
the ability to communicate ideas and synthesize fundamental concepts, every student must complete a Major Qualifying Project
(MQP). This consists of an independent team-oriented project equivalent in credit to three courses of work. It may be performed
on-campus or at one of several project centers around the globe.