100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280, USA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute was established in 1865 as the Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science by founders John Boynton and Ichabod Washburn. The institute aimed to provide practical education in science and engineering to the working class of Worcester. The school was founded with a fund of $100,000 from an anonymous donor, and the citizens of Worcester contributed to the construction of the original building.
The first president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Charles O. Thompson, inaugurated the institution on November 11, 1868. The Institute's first two buildings, Boynton Hall and Washburn Shops, were named in honor of their respective donors and symbolized the institution's educational objectives of theory and practice. Worcester Polytechnic Institute was the first American polytechnic school to be founded after Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1824.
In its early years, Worcester Polytechnic Institute offered a four-year course of study in mechanical engineering, emphasizing practical experience in the shops. The first graduates were awarded their degrees in 1871. The Institute expanded its offerings in 1887 with a course in electrical engineering and added a course in civil engineering in 1896.
During the early 20th century, Worcester Polytechnic Institute continued to expand its curriculum and facilities. The Institute established a Department of Chemical Engineering in 1919, a Department of Physics in 1920, and a Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1930. The Institute moved to its current location on Salisbury Street in 1927.
Under the leadership of president Harry P. Storke in the 1960s, Worcester Polytechnic Institute underwent significant change. Storke expanded the Institute's academic programs and research initiatives, and oversaw a major building program that added several new academic and research buildings to the campus.
Throughout its history, Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been committed to innovation and experimentation in education. In the early 20th century, the institute pioneered a new approach to engineering education known as the "Worcester Plan," which emphasized hands-on learning and practical experience. This approach became a model for engineering education around the world.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has also been a leader in research and innovation. In the early 20th century, the institute established a research program focused on metallurgy and materials science, which produced many important discoveries and innovations, including the development of tungsten filaments for incandescent light bulbs. In the mid-20th century, Worcester Polytechnic Institute expanded its research programs to include fields such as robotics, computer science, and biotechnology. Today, the institute is home to several research centers and institutes, including the Robotics Engineering Program, the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center, and the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has also been committed to expanding its campus and facilities.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute boasts a diverse range of academic offerings, with 18 departments providing over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. These programs encompass various fields such as science, engineering, technology, business and management, social sciences, humanities, and arts. Some of the departments available at the university include Applied Mathematics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Computer Science, Environmental & Sustainability Studies, Interactive Media & Game Development, and Social Science & Policy Studies, among others.
The faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is highly accomplished and well-regarded, with professors who are not only passionate about teaching but also committed researchers and scholars with impressive credentials. These professors integrate their research into the classroom, offering students the opportunity to actively participate. Rather than providing answers, they guide students in discovering solutions themselves, fostering inspiration and motivation for higher achievement and success.
In addition to the academic departments, Worcester Polytechnic Institute also offers a vibrant theatre program, a music program, and an interdisciplinary robotics program. The theatre program features Little Theatre, which hosts New Voices, the nation's longest continuously running collegiate play festival, and Masque, the university's student-run theatre group. The music program provides concentrations and minors in music, as well as numerous award-winning ensembles that perform both on campus and internationally. The interdisciplinary robotics program encourages collaboration between students and faculty from various fields, such as music, biology, computers, and engineering, resulting in the development of software for robots.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is situated in the bustling city of Worcester, located in the Northeast region of the United States. The university's address is 100 Institute Road, Worcester, with a ZIP code of 01609-2280. This vibrant city is home to over 35,000 college students across eight campuses, providing a lively and diverse atmosphere for prospective students.
The institution is easily accessible, as the nearest airport to Worcester Polytechnic Institute is Worcester Regional Airport.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private research university in Worcester, Massachusetts, with a mission to prepare and support future scientists, engineers, and business leaders to become empathetic, collaborative, and resourceful STEM professionals. The university's vision is to develop globally responsible leaders who shape the world by bridging business and technology. To achieve this, Worcester Polytechnic Institute provides a transformative educational experience that combines rigorous academic study with real-world problem-solving and collaboration.
The curriculum at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is interdisciplinary, allowing undergraduate and graduate students to collaborate with each other, faculty across the university's four schools, and public and private partners. This approach aims to develop broad-scope solutions to socially relevant problems. The university also values diversity and inclusion, striving to create a welcoming and supportive community for all members.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Business School focuses on the intersection of business, innovation, STEM, and society. It aims to develop adaptive leaders who create sustainable solutions, deliver globally responsible impact, and conduct transformative research at the intersection of business, technology, and people. The Business School follows the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and seeks to develop leaders who can extract value from organizational processes using tools like axiomatic design and Lean Six Sigma methods.
The educational programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are designed to prepare students for successful careers in a rapidly changing global economy. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering, science, business, and the humanities and social sciences. Emphasizing hands-on learning, Worcester Polytechnic Institute's project-based approach to education encourages students to apply their knowledge to real-world challenges. This commitment to excellence, innovation, and social responsibility reflects the university's dedication to preparing students to become leaders in their fields and make a positive impact on society.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute boasts several notable accreditations, reflecting its commitment to high-quality education. The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) accredits the university, signifying that it consistently meets or surpasses the criteria for institutional quality through a rigorous peer review process. This accreditation is essential for prospective students as it demonstrates the institute's dedication to maintaining high educational standards.
In addition to the NECHE accreditation, Worcester Polytechnic Institute's engineering programs have earned accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This recognition is crucial for students seeking a reputable engineering education, as it ensures that the programs adhere to the highest standards in the field.
Furthermore, the Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is an accredited member of AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This prestigious accreditation has been associated with the highest standards in business education for over a century, making it a significant factor for students considering a business degree at the institute.
Name of the institutionWorcester Polytechnic Institute
Level of institutionFour or more years
Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)Private
Setting typeCity: Midsize
Institution size category5,000 - 9,999
Main student bodyCoeducational
Institutional CategoryDegree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above
Biological and Biomedical Sciences$43,603
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services$63,868
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services$63,765
Mathematics and Statistics$64,512