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| Are you a math and science lover? Then WPI is absolutely the ideal place for you. Students, although frequently overwhelmed with work, are very excited about their majors. It is not uncommon to enter the Campus Center for a slice of pizza and find yourself in a conversation about stem cells or The String Theory. Most professors are highly qualified in their fields. Professors will do almost anything to help their students succeed, including hand our their home phone number and allow you to make up extensive amounts of late work (thank you Physics Department!)Be prepared to do a ton of work in whatever major you enter including term to yearlong projects. |
Administration is absolutely fabulous. They will help you with anything you need and I have never had to wait to get into a class.
Extracurricular activities are very easy to get into and very worthwhile. Social life is strained due to the lack of females; quantity and quality. As far as men go "the odds are good, but the goods are odd". Although these statements are true there are always exceptions to the rule; I managed to find a top-notch guy and I must say my boyfriend got pretty lucky himself. If you are a decent looking girl you will find that in most cases you are completely revered. If you are an attractive girl, you will find that the amount of male attention is often overwhelming and you will need to not only watch out for yourself but expect rumors to fly about your level of "sexual activity". If you are a guy, you are in a rather unfortunate situation and will have to try exceedingly hard to get a girl. Many girls will completely ignore you just because they can. If you are an attractive guy; recreational sex will occur but you may find yourself lowering your standards. My advice is to make several visits to your buddies at larger, highly female populated schools such as Umass to get your "quick fix". If you do managed to score a WPI chick you should consider yourself blessed, your degree combined with hers = SERIOUS $$$
If you have any interest in the arts or humanities you will find that WPI has the least challenging humanities courses of any school. I received an A in a course I rarely went to and wrote my final paper for drunk.
There is a huge separation among the student body between the "super geeks" and everyone else. If you are at WPI you are obviously somewhat of a nerd, some people just embrace their nerdiness more than others. The "super geeks" include those who play dungeons and dragons, wear capes and half shirts around campus and participate in Medieval Sword battles in broad daylight. Not to mention, the body odor is reminiscent of a time when people only bathed yearly. The "normal" kids include girls that think they are gods gift to man, football break out into fights with the notorious wrestling team, extremely cliquey sorority girls and arrogant frat boys. Somewhere in the middle there are some fascinating and extremely approachable people who spend their time working, hanging out at off-campus apartment parties, attending the weekly $2 movie and attempting to smoke pot without getting caught by the overbearing RA's.
I am transferring out of WPI after two years. I loved the people, professors and atmosphere but absolutely could not tolerate the academics. Not only am I not completely in love with math and science but also I lack the capabilities to ever excel in these fields. It's extremely fast paced; each course that would normally be a semester at another school is squished into seven weeks. Many students love this fact because they can get a lot of classes out of the way quickly. I found this strangling and causing me to study more than anyone in the entire school.
|Jul 26 2005|| 2nd Year Female --
Class 2007 |
| WPI is a unique university that has much to offer a motivated student. The engineering curriculum places an emphasis on project work with a minimum of classes that are little more than busywork. For Electrical Engineering, there are few, if any, courses that are specifically required; most requirements offer students the choice of several options. The downside to this is that it is necessary to map out coursework several terms in advance in order to get the most out of the experience, and academic advisors are not always up to this task. Courses outside the major can be selected based on applicability to future coursework or personal preference. Of all the classes I took as an undergraduate, I would say that only Statistics and Statics were wasted effort used only to satisfy degree requirements (I had already covered the material from these courses in more detail in other courses). |
In addition to classes, WPI requires three major projects that total an equivalent of seven or more classes worth of work (in reality, the Major Qualifying Project will take more effort, especially if success is desired in addition to good documentation). The projects offer the best opportunity for off-site study (in the US and abroad), and no student should attend WPI without seriously considering these opportunities. The best approach to these projects is not to simply complete a task, but to add something personal to the work. Successes and failures provide students with valuable experiences that will serve them well later in life.
WPI's main weak point while I was there was in the area of career placement. The Career Development Center seemed to be more about mandatory training, formats, and procedures than finding jobs. Unfortunately, you have to jump through their hoops to be visible to the majority of employers. The single best source of job opportunities is the annual career fair, which exposes students (primarily those in high-demand majors) to a large number of local employers. Every student should attend each career fair, even if just to gain experience interacting with company representatives. As with much at WPI, the student's motivation and interest will determine how much will be gained here.
While I completed my graduate studies at WPI, I did so only as a matter of convenience. WPI, and the ECE department specifically, makes it extremely easy to continue your education at a graduate level. Developing good relationships with the faculty as an undergraduate (which is not difficult, as the professors are generally available to students and genuinely interested in assisting students in their professional development) really pays off as a graduate student and opens doors to many valuable research opportunities. However, students who complete their undergraduate work at other universities should still have little trouble getting such opportunities.
Social life is a different yet fundamentally similar matter; the opportunities exist, but the students must seek them out. As with any small university, groups of people with similar interests tend to devolve into cliques, but that does not prevent "outsiders" from getting involved in some form. The literary and theatrical opportunities in particular are open to people with all levels of interest (though some bias toward "insiders" is apparent). Students willing to take chances and seek out their own place will be well rewarded outside of class. Those looking to follow the herd will probably end up drunk at frat parties; there isn't much middle ground. If you do choose to spend party nights (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday) in your room, keep the door open. If nothing else, you'll get to know the RAs when they go on rounds. Yes, the city of Worcester is far from world-class. I've seen worse, and I didn't see anything particularly disturbing (aside from the usual loud drunks, who usually keep their distance) during my six years in Worcester. Still, this was several years ago, so I will defer to more recent students in this matter. WPI's position between two parks does keep it somewhat isolated though, and the street through the middle of campus has been closed off to traffic for a decade. As it does in the academic world, WPI carves out its own little corner of Worcester and makes it something very worthwhile. WPI was not my first choice of schools, but the unforeseen sequence of events that landed me there have put me in a position that I can find no fault with. I may wish I had done minor things differently at WPI, but I can think of no better university to have attended.
| Starting Job: Communications Engineer, Preparedness: B+, Reputation: B+ |
|Apr 01 2005|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| WPI is a great place to be. I feel confident that I made the right choice to go here over Tufts and MIT. I love English, and WPI nicely weaves Humanities into their Engineering disciplines. Everybody here is very friendly and open... and some are a little weird. : ) |
|Mar 05 2005|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2007 |