Interactive Qualifying Project

The Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) immerses students in a local culture for their interdisciplinary project, generally done in the junior year. Whether down the road, across the country, or abroad, students must research, devise, and implement a solution to a very specific problem in a set time frame. It’s the kind of real-world practice that sets WPI-and our emerging health care professionals-apart.

The objective of the IQP is to enable WPI graduates to understand how their careers will affect the larger society. For Pre-Health majors, the projects are an invaluable part of the WPI education.  The skills learned during the project team work, the ability to perform research tasks, and learning effective communication with diverse groups of people-provide direct experience to face the challenges you’ll encounter as a health care professional.

About 60 percent of all IQPs are completed through the Global Perspective Program at one of WPI's Project Centers in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, or Europe.


Major: Biology and Biotechnology

Project: Interactive Qualifying Project: I completed my IQP in Puerto Rico. I worked with two government agencies to provide recommendations on how to better inform the public on coastal hazards and ocean conditions.

What I learned from my IQP:  Going away on IQP is so much more than just traveling abroad.  You get to design and implement a solution to a real-world problem and know that your hard work and recommendations will actually impact people in a positive way.  I think the experience was valuable to me both as a person, and a future health professional.  

Part of the IQP is being immersed in a foreign culture and learning to communicate with people you have never met before, a skill valuable to anyone, but especially medical professionals who interact with a variety of new people on a daily basis and need to be able to understand the patient’s needs and concerns.  The IQP also hones your leadership skills and makes you an even better group partner.  Part of working in the medical field is being able to work individually, but within a group setting, and the IQP is excellent practice for that.

How I benefited from my IQP:  I believe my IQP will help differentiate myself from other candidates because of the skills I learned while I was away and of the real-world experience it gave me.  Not many other applicants can say they worked in Puerto Rico for two months, helping improve the warning system for coastal hazards.