All WPI students complete a Major Qualifying Project that lets them apply all their knowledge to real projects where their work can have big impact. The MQP is designed to give students real-world experience before they leave college and to show them how their work can change the world. Applying the skills and knowledge gained throughout their undergraduate years, students solve real problems typical of what they might find in whatever mechanical engineering direction they choose.
The MQP is also a starting point when applying for jobs or graduate schools as students already have valuable hands-on experience in areas like research, development, and application. Because of its very nature, an MQP provides students with experience in their chosen industry that equals the caliber of an entry-level professional or a graduate student. Project work is often team-based and also includes activities like publishing or design components.
Generally, the MQP takes place over the course of the year and is designed specifically to complement the student’s interests and educational plan. MQPs culminate in a project report and poster on Project Presentation Day.
Recent diverse and challenging projects in WPI’s Mechanical Engineering Department include a rehabilitative adult tricycle to help those impacted by a stroke; a systems engineering design for point-of-care testing that can make rapid diagnosis remotely; and engineering and education for affordable, sustainable, rainwater harvesting in Paraguay. Find out more detailed information about past MQPs.
In WPI’s project-enriched curriculum, students also complete an Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) through the Global Projects Program during their junior year. With a different focus than an MQP, the IQP challenges students to understand how science and technology intersect with society, and how all areas change as a result.
Students work on interdisciplinary teams to understand how social issues and human needs change technology and how rapidly changing technology can impact human society. IQP opportunities are available in local locations and at one of our dozens of international Project Centers.