WPI is internationally renowned as a distinguished engineering school, but we know the world needs professionals who understand the social impacts of technology while remaining literate in both approaches. Our strong social science department prepares students to be social scientists who understand the wide-ranging influence technology has on an incredibly diverse and always changing human world that is full of social challenges.

Renowned faculty in the Social Science & Policy Studies (SSPS) Department offer students chances to make connections between society and technology through research and project work. Many students double major in a technical field and a social science field, finding each complementary to the other.

Our faculty encourages students to pursue the direction that appeals to them most. In our research-intensive environment, we teach students how to design and implement public policies, the reasons why economic policies are not a one-size-fits-all solution, or how and why human beings interact with technology in varied ways.

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Professor Saeed teaching

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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Keeping Ahead of Cybersecurity

As cybersecurity threats increase, social scientists need to stay one step ahead. At WPI, our technical and social fluency merge for a world-class education with faculty who are internationally respected for their cybersecurity expertise. Students learn the technical savvy to protect against threats and study the human behavior that makes cybersecurity such a complex issue.

BS/MS Option

The Social Science & Policy Studies Department offers outstanding students the opportunity to earn a BS/MS degree in an accelerated time. The undergraduate degree is in any major and then is combined with a System Dynamics MS or SDIM MS degree program. Interested students are encouraged to apply during junior year.

Social Justice STEMS from You

From climate change research to closing the socio-economic divide between populations and communities, an increasing number of WPI's students, faculty, and staff are coming together tin their passion to create a more just world through innovative, life-changing STEM solutions. 

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programs to look for: internships/co-ops

U.S. News & World Report (2016)
$69,219

average starting salary, bachelor's degree

WPI Class of 2018
#1

Faculty that best combine research and teaching

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (2016)
#6

Best Career Placement

Princeton Review (2019)

Media Coverage

Vice cited work by Professor Emily Douglas, head of the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies, for this article. The publication cited a 2016 analysis co-authored by Douglas, that found while women are more likely to be injured (or killed) in domestic violence disputes, men and women inflict violence on their intimate partners at roughly the same rate.

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The Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI receiving $3 million from the National Science Foundation to study human-robot interaction in the workplace. Eight WPI researchers are involved: Cagdas Onal (principal investigator), Yunus Telliel, Jeanine Skorinko, Winston Soboyejo, Jing Xiao, Pratap Rao, Soussan Djamasbi and Jane Li
 

Worcester Business Journal