New Liberal Education for the Age of Technology

WPI and the New Liberal Education for the Age of Technology

WPI is a different kind of technological university. Nearly three decades ago, the university developed a unique project-based approach to education that has a strong emphasis on the liberal arts and interdisciplinary studies. Students can major in engineering; the physical, biological, mathematical and computer sciences; management; the humanities and arts, and the social sciences; and can also design their own interdisciplinary programs.

For two of the usual four-year undergraduate program, technologically oriented students at WPI pursue courses and projects in the liberal arts (defined as the sciences, mathematics, the humanities, the social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies). WPI faculty in all departments are expected to advise students in WPI's most distinctive degree requirement, the Interactive Qualifying Project, a nine-credit-hour project, on a topic of the student's choice, relating science, technology and culture.

More than 130 years after its founding, WPI continues to pursue excellence in existing and emerging technological fields. As a learning community, it also remains committed to helping students understand that their responsibility to manage technology wisely must be taken as seriously as their responsibility to create new technology. And as an educational community, we value breadth and depth of education, as well as the pursuit of academic outcomes that prepare students both for careers and for citizenship. To reinforce those values, which are reflected in its vision statement, WPI annually presents a symposium on the topic of "The New Liberal Education for the Age of Technology.

The topic of the 1998 symposium is "Careers Merging Liberal Arts and Technology," a theme we feel is in perfect harmony with WPI's curriculum, culture, and student outcomes.


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Last modified: Mon Mar 30 11:44:53 EST 1998