Interactive Qualifying Project
Better known on campus as IQP, this is WPI's most distinctive academic requirement, and it is unique in higher education. The IQP challenges students to address a problem that lies at the intersection of science or technology with social issues and human needs and is done under the direct guidance of one or more faculty advisors, usually in teams of 2-4 students.
The objective of this interdisciplinary requirement is to enable WPI graduates to understand, as citizens and as professionals, how their careers will impact the larger society of which they are part. Generally, these projects involve some analysis of how technology affects, and is affected by, individuals and communities.
Many projects are proposed by external agencies or organizations, and most are done in teams. 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.