StudentsReview :: Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Total Grad Surveys 6
Females 2
Males 4
Avg years at University 1.0
Research Quality D (2.0)
Research Availability C+ (5.5)
Research Funding D+ (3.0)
Graduate Politics D (2.4)
Not Errand Runners D (2.2)
Degree Completion D- (1.7)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] C+ (5.2)
Sufficient Pay C- (3.7)
Competitiveness C+ (5.4)
Education Quality D+ (3.3)
Faculty Accessibility C (4.5)
Useful Research D+ (2.7)
"Individual" treatment B- (5.8)
Friendliness B- (5.9)
Safety C+ (5.1)
Campus Beauty B (7.3)
Campus Maintenance B (6.7)
University Spending C- (3.9)
Extracurriculars D+ (3.0)
Scholastic Success C- (4.1)
Surrounding City C- (4.1)
Social Life/ Environment D- (1.7)
Degree CompletionD-
Campus BeautyB
The Fire Protection Engineering program is staffed byOct 18 2010Unknown
The Fire Protection Engineering program is staffed by professors more interested in doing research than teaching. The department seems to forget students are paying customers. Many professors are more interested in establishing a reputation in industry with Factory Mutual Insurance than have interaction with students. Suggest going to University of Maryland where the tuition is less than 1/2 the price. Once the department is out of students and tuition funds, they might come to the realization that people pay money to be taught. This lack of caring about teaching is evident in that the Department never did get the Fire Protection Engineering curriculum approved by ABET.
I spent 2Mar 13 2006Physics
I spent 2 .5 years here, and did not have a good experience, changes are implemented in the program at whim, including changing the degree requirements after the fact, i was required to take a bunch of useless teaching courses that we were told we had to have so that the departments ass was covered in case we screwed up in a classroom teaching.This department is not recommended. It is struggling thru a difficult time of adjustment and change, and there are major problems with TA work load( 35+ hours a week at its worst), courses that are coverage oriented not comprehension oriented. The chair of the graduate committee is the kind of guy whom will make all sorts of promises to you and will do nothing to back them up, do not rely on anything he says. politics are an issue here, all kinds of things. Dr Phillies is helpful and has a good track record of producing PhDs but the rest of the faculty are sketchy at best. They have a brillant quantum optics guy , Zolzulya, but his classes are terrible, and he operates on the russian teaching philosophy of "throw a dozen eggs against a wall and the one that doesn't break is your star student" I cannot recommend this program to anyone, there are simply too many problems here, none of which will be addressed in the near future. and having watched too many students flounder here I only hope that someone considering this will think twice
I completed my undergraduate education at WPI andJul 31 2002Computer Science
I completed my undergraduate education at WPI and was more than pleased with the quality of education. So it was a no brainer when heading back to graduate school - I took the easy/safe way and opted for WPI which required no GRE's, waived the application fee, and had a fast decision turnaround time for alumni. That was a decision I feel I will regret for many years to come.

My views are about the Computer Science department since that my major and the only portion I am qualified to have an opinion on. (By word of mouth, the other departments are more popular / less loathed by their graduate students).

The CS department had a faculty crunch when I enrolled. They had been on a failing recruitment drive for a while, in addition to which many current faculty members were on sabbatical. Students had the opportunity of paying full tuition to be taught by part time instructors (_not_ professors) for approximately 40% of the courses being offered in 2001/02, and this trend is continuing in the 2002/03 academic year. Most of these instructors are poorly qualified to teach, they are unable to explain concepts, disorganized with course materials, and not held accountable for student dissatisfaction. WPI has had a course/teacher evaluation process in place for years (the results of which are even available on the web); however, there is no transparency as to what action is taken based on these surveys. A quick glance through the evaluation results identifies professors with significantly lower ratings than their colleagues, but these same professors are responsible for even higher course loads than in the previous year. In addition to awful faculty and course quality, WPI also stiffs graduate students' resources.

There are no dedicated computer labs for tuition paying graduate students. Example: For the multimedia course requires computers with (1) sound output equipment (2) sound input equipment (3) TCP and UDP connection to the internet (3) a choice of multiple development environments such as Java, VC++, C. There were a grand total of 3 such machines for 10+ groups. It was possible to find some haphazard combination of the aforementioned features in other computers on-campus, and this was done through time-consuming trial and error since there was no centralized documentation of available resources. This theme continues with other academics related resources, and the situation deteriorates even further for non-academic facilities which also applies to undergraduates. Examples: gym, extramural activities, career development, etc.All in all this is a completely mercenary university unconcerned about the quality of education it provides to graduate students. International students in particular should be wary since their flexibility and options are limited once in a graduate program.

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