Arts & Sciences
Tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators need good judgment, strategic thinking skills, and the power of a broadbased education. That’s the motivation for many students to start with an undergraduate degree—major, minor, or double—in a liberal arts discipline from WPI. Here, we understand that the scientific and engineering advances that make the greatest impact on society are ones that contemplate and integrate the social and technical implications of solutions.
WPI has a strong commitment to science-focused education, educating biochemists, biologists, statisticians, and mathematicians for a range of important roles in society. Committed to raising its undergraduate life sciences education to a worldclass level, WPI recently opened the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center. This dynamic, well-equipped learning center promotes cross-disciplinary teaching to prepare students for success in the rapidly expanding life sciences sector.
There has never been a better time to be a mathematician. Actuaries are business professionals who use mathematical skills to evaluate and model risk and uncertainty in order to solve many financial and social problems. This work involves a practical type of mathematical ability mixed with business skills and a good bit of creativity.
At WPI, the study of actuarial mathematics includes specialized math courses and introductory business and economics course work, which will put you on track to pass the Society of Actuaries certification exams. Eight exams are required. WPI hosts the exams annually, and students here have passed as many as four exams prior to graduation.
WPI's Actuarial Mathematics Program offers opportunities for students to do research projects with practicing actuaries. You will be prepared for a career with life and health insurance companies, property and casualty insurance companies, consulting firms, and state or federal government agencies. WPI graduates are employed at such companies as Aetna, Fidelity Investments, and Allmerica. WPI also offers a program in mathematical sciences. Learn more...
Biochemists work within the areas of biology, chemistry, and medicine, contributing in the pharmaceutical industry or a research hospital to study such areas as drug metabolism or bioanalytical chemistry. WPI's Biochemistry Program balances lectures and lab work, and includes a wide range of technical courses.
At WPI, you will work closely with your peers and faculty in class and at the lab bench in top-tier bioscience facilities at the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center and at Gateway Park, our mixed-use, life sciences complex. Here you will gain the experience you need to effectively complete your projects—opportunities to identify and resolve complex problems in the real world.
WPI's Biochemistry Program provides excellent preparation for graduate studies in biochemistry or related fields, such as pharmacology or immunology. Many students choose the biochemistry major as a pre-health professional, because it fulfills many of the requirements needed for admission to medical, dental, and veterinary school. Learn more...
WPI Bioinformatics and Computational Biology is a truly interdisciplinary program. Through the collaboration of faculty across biology, computer science, and mathematics, the program’s course work, labs, and experiential learning prepare students to speak the language of each discipline as they become expert in at least one. And as part of the project-enriched approach that distinguishes WPI, students will be called to make their own meaningful contributions to work under way in such areas as functional genomics, disease prediction, regenerative medicine, and biodiversity informatics. A premier engineering- and science focused research university, WPI is an ideal environment for forging new frontiers now that bioscience has become an information science. Learn more…
Biology and biotechnology, WPI's second most popular major, offers students the chance to gain extensive knowledge and experience in such areas as bioinformatics, bioprocess engineering, gene expression, developmental cell biology, tissue regeneration, plant physiology, and population genetics and evolution.
At WPI, you'll work with your faculty advisor to plan your unique program of study, including hands-on laboratory and field experiences that meet your academic and professional objectives. You will be exposed to the breadth and depth of sciences and mathematics required to process experimental data, solve problems, and to understand the chemical and physical rules under which biological systems operate. From your first day of classes, you will be working in top-tier bioscience facilities at the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center and at Gateway Park, our mixed-use, life sciences complex.
WPI's Biology and Biotechnology Program will prepare you for positions in academic, industrial, or governmental research facilities, or for further studies in graduate or professional schools. Learn more...
Chemistry is a fundamental science concerned with discovering new knowledge about the structure, properties, and reactivity of existing forms of matter, and the creation of new forms of matter by manipulating atoms and molecules. The ability of chemists to actually make new substances distinguishes chemistry from any other science. WPI's Chemistry Program will expose you to areas where chemistry has an impact, including materials science and engineering, biology, medicine, electronics, law enforcement, and even psychology.
At WPI, you will achieve broad understanding of the fundamentals of the chemical sciences and have an opportunity to create new chemical and biochemical knowledge through original research. Chemistry is inherently experimental. Performing experiments within a theoretical framework enables interpretation of experimental results and points the way to new, fruitful areas for investigation.
Many paths are available to a chemistry major, including graduate school, medical school, veterinary school, or law school. You might also pursue a career in a wide variety of areas not traditionally associated with chemistry but that require the expertise and thinking patterns of a chemist, including biology, biomedical engineering, environmental science, materials science, mental health, oceanography, and patent or environmental law. Learn more...
Computer scientists are integral to advances in fields as diverse as astronomy and healthcare, interactive media and learning sciences. WPI's Computer Science Program is equally diverse, offering course work in such areas as artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, computer networks, computer security, and graphics and animation.
At WPI, you will work on large-scale projects with your peers, both in the classroom and on your own, and always with the support of faculty. In software engineering, for example, you will gain professional-level experience in software development. Each senior project is an exciting endeavor and may be completed on campus or with industrial sponsors around the world, including in Budapest, London, Silicon Valley, or on Wall Street.
WPI's computer science graduates work for new venture companies, for large and established computer companies, including Google and Microsoft, and for companies that use computer technology in their products, including Raytheon and GE. Many go on to graduate school, leading to careers in advanced development and research. Indeed, WPI alumni have had a hand in advances in the Internet, real-time weather forecasting, MP3 players, smart phones, and other devices. Learn more...
Economic science devises solutions to economic problems through the use of computational tools and experimental methods. WPI's Economic Science Program offers traditional macro- and microeconomics and applied topics, such as development economics, environmental economics, and information economics and policy. Here, you will also learn to build computer models, simulating economic systems that aid policy analysis.
At WPI, you will be exposed to the full range of theoretical and methodological approaches in economics, including nontraditional heterodox economics. Students interested in applied fields at the interface of economics and technology— information economics and engineering economics, for example— may pursue a double major in economics and an appropriate technical discipline.
WPI's Economic Science Programs will prepare you for a career in public administration or the economic, financial, international, marketing, and general management areas of industry. It also offers an excellent foundation for graduate study in economics, business, and law. Learn more...
The next generation of environmental professionals will need to understand both the technical aspects of environmental decision making and the social aspect of those decisions. WPI's Environmental Studies Program offers courses, projects, and seminars that focus on integrated approaches to environmental issues.
At WPI, you will get intensive technological and social training to prepare you to help solve the complex environmental problems of our time—particularly the consequences of human-induced changes to the environment. The program is interdisciplinary, with course work spanning mathematics, biology, chemistry, environmental engineering, social science, and the humanities.
WPI's Environmental Studies Program will prepare you with strong, marketable skills translatable into graduate school, law school, or a professional environmental position, including work in such fields as integrated solid waste management, environmental product design and packaging, environmental policy and analysis, environmental planning, hazardous waste mitigation and assessment, environmental advocacy, environmental compliance, environmental management, environmental education, and environmental communications. Learn more...
The humanities and arts prepares students for a variety of careers. Some go on to law, business, or medical schools, or pursue advanced studies in the discipline of their concentration.
WPI's Humanities and Arts Program offers concentration in these areas:
- American Studies
- Art & Art History
- Drama & Theatre
- Environmental Studies
- International Studies
- Modern Languages
- Philosophy & Religion
- Professional Writing
- Science & Technology
- Writing & Rhetoric
Strength in the humanities and arts is a reason many students choose WPI. Indeed, the university requires that all students take five courses of their choice outside their major, plus a seminar or practicum. This practice, part of WPI's renowned project-enriched curriculum, is designed to assure that every student graduates with a broader perspective than that provided solely by the study of science and technology.
Students may major or minor in the humanities and arts or pursue a double major in combination with a science, engineering, or management program. Learn more...
Interactive media responds to user actions, such as digital whiteboard presentations, virtual environments, and performance-based media that combine artistic performers with multimedia applications. Computer games are a form of interactive media that can be created for entertainment and serious application in such areas as education, healthcare, and public policy.
At WPI, you will get an outstanding interdisciplinary education in the principles of interactive applications and computerbased games. Here, you gain a solid background in computer science, math, and the visual arts and acquire the analytical skills to assess the social and philosophical issues that continue to arise in the wake of these emerging media.
WPI's Interactive Media and Game Development Program prepares you for a variety of career paths in design and content—as a character artist, environment artist, technical artist, level designer, creative director, or producer—or on the technical side, as a programmer, technical director, tester, or QA lead. Learn more...
International studies prepares students for leadership roles in global business and industry, government, and public affairs. WPI's International Studies Program is interdisciplinary, combining course work in the humanities and arts, social sciences, and math, science, and engineering or computer science. There is a requirement for a study abroad experience.
At WPI, you can choose international studies as a minor, major, or as part of a double major. As with every WPI program, the International Studies Program requires a capstone project. Graduate of this program have continued their study in law, public health, veterinary medicine, international affairs, medical school, and many areas of engineering and science—and many work in international law firms and businesses, as well as in the Peace Corps and the military. Learn more...
A liberal arts and engineering education provides excellent preparation for students who want a broad background spanning engineering and other disciplines as preparation for further studies in engineering or in other fields such as medicine, law, public policy, international studies, business, or wherever a solid technical background would provide a unique edge. The program is also designed to allow students to transfer to an engineering bachelor of science program with minimum loss of time.
WPI's Liberal Arts and Engineering Program recognizes that societal and technological issues are becoming more and more interdependent. Leaders of government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations who are typically educated in nonengineering disciplines would benefit from a more technological grounding.
At WPI, this strong bachelor of arts program will give you a solid foundation on which to pursue a career in such fields as engineering, law, medicine, and healthcare, energy policy, environmental policy, technology management, and international relations. Learn more...
Career opportunities for mathematicians and statisticians abound in business, industry, finance, government, healthcare, and education. Through hands-on project work with real-world sponsors from these sectors, mathematical sciences majors at WPI apply their skills to a wide range of interesting problems.
At WPI, you can focus your studies in a variety of ways. In computational and applied analysis, you might develop mathematical models of continuous phenomena in engineering and in the physical and biological sciences. In discrete mathematics you might engage in solving problems involving discrete phenomena in disciplines such as ecology, cryptography, and computer science. In operations research, you might use mathematical methods to determine optimal solutions to problems in business, industry, and government. In statistics and probability, you might develop models of random phenomena that point the way to effective decision-making strategies in the face of uncertainty.
WPI's Mathematical Sciences Program prepares mathematicians and statisticians with a firm foundation in science and engineering and the ability to develop modeling, analysis, and simulation tools that are in demand in many fields and by leading companies. WPI graduates are employed at such companies as Raytheon, Microsoft, and Pratt & Whitney and at consulting firms, including Accenture and Towers Perrin. Learn more...
Physicists are problem solvers, and there may be no better place to learn to solve problems than WPI. The excitement that propelled physicists toward some of the most dramatic scientific breakthroughs of the last century—radar, lasers, fiber optics, transistors, semiconductors, and medical imaging— continues to invigorate WPI's physics faculty and students.
At WPI, all physics majors begin their studies by focusing on the fundamental principles of classical and modern physics, which includes forces/energy, motion/kinetics, the nature of electricity and magnetism, the nature of matter, and the relativistic and quantum nature of the universe. Working with your academic advisor, you will create a program that meets your individual needs and interests, choosing either a traditional program of physics study or one that has engineering applications to such areas as computational or thermal physics, biophysics, green energy, optics, electromagnetism, or nuclear science.
WPI's Physics Program prepares you for traditional fields like teaching or research; it can also be a component to positions in management, engineering, computer science, and technical writing. Learn more...
Demand is rising for communication professionals who can translate the knowledge and discoveries of scientists, engineers, physicians, managers, policymakers, and other experts into meaningful information for the public in our various roles as consumers, workers, voters, patients, students, and parents.
At WPI, you will be exposed to course work in writing and rhetoric, technical communication, journalism, education, and the study of culture, as you find the path that makes the most of your talents and aspirations. Our project focus provides opportunities to apply your writing skills to help solve realworld problems.
WPI's Professional Writing Program prepares you for a career in technical and scientific communications, including writing and editing, Web authoring, information design, public relations, translation, and intercultural communication. Students may major in the humanities and arts or pursue a double major in the area of science, engineering, or management. Recent graduates are using their writing skills along with the latest print and digital media to communicate about science and technology in useful and accessible ways. Other have gone on to medical schools, veterinary schools, pharmacy schools, and law schools. Learn more...
Psychology promotes human welfare through the rigorous scientific study of human thought and behavior. Teaching and research in psychology at WPI emphasizes cognitive and social psychology. Cognitive psychology is the study of basic mental processes like perception, memory, learning, and problem solving. Social psychology is the study of how people think about, interact with, and feel for other people.
At WPI, course work and projects emphasize applications of psychological knowledge and methods to important policy questions in such diverse areas as public health and safety, law, business, education, public policy, criminal justice, and environmental issues. Students interested in applied fields at the interface of psychology and technology, such as sciences, human factors, artificial intelligence, and biopsychology, may pursue a double major in psychology and an appropriate technical discipline.
WPI's Psychological Science Program provides you with the research skills and quantitative expertise necessary to pursue graduate study and research in psychology. The degree is also appropriate if you want to pursue careers in fields where a working knowledge of human cognition and behavior is essential, including human services, public relations, advertising, marketing, management, and education. Learn more...
The great challenges that face our society, from environment to health, energy to education, are recognized as policy areas in which technological change is playing an important role.
WPI's Society, Technology, and Policy Program is interdisciplinary and provides the social science foundation essential to understand contemporary public policy, interpret technical materials produced by physical scientists, engineers, and social scientists, and synthesize these materials for policy consideration on the part of government and industry.
Graduates are valuable contributors on the administrative or research staffs of a variety of businesses, regulatory agencies, government departments, and contract research organizations. Besides work in government and industry, our graduates have continued their education by completing graduate degrees in public policy, law, public health, and planning. Learn more...
WPI is the only university in the country to offer an undergraduate degree in system dynamics. System dynamics uses computer simulation to analyze the impact of cause-effect relationships in social and economic system. It emphasizes the kind of whole-system, big-picture, long-term thinking needed to address many of today's complex, global problems.
At WPI, you will be immersed in a systems dynamics curriculum and project work that covers research, decision making, and policy analysis in the social sciences through model building and experimentation. A system dynamics study can help policy makers determine why policies failed, alternative approaches, and the social, economic, and environmental impacts of adopting a new technology. The construction and analysis of a model often yields new policy insights.
WPI's System Dynamics Program provides graduates with a combination of analytical and problem-solving skills, technical know-how, and global perspective—all highly prized attributes in the job market and in graduate or professional programs. Learn more...