First Year Experience

Engaging Students from the Start

Keeping students engaged and motivated in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields is the cornerstone of a WPI education. That engagement starts in the First Year with the WPI Insight Program and Great Problems Seminar. Through the Insight Program, you’ll have a team of professionals focused on your success—a faculty advisor, a community advisor, and resident hall advisor, each working together to answer your questions and provide the guidance and support you need to make the most of your first year at WPI. The Great Problems Seminar is an opportunity to jump start your WPI project experience. You’ll work in teams focused on themes of global importance. Whether you want to heal, power, educate, or feed the world, you will find a project that inspires you to learn more.

First Year Students Focus on Solving the World's Great Problems

Through the Great Problems Seminars, small teams of first year students and faculty step outside their disciplines to solve problems in the areas of food, energy, health, and engineering for sustainability. It's an invigorating immersion into university-level research and the project-based curriculum at WPI.

Get More Insight Day--Monday, October 28, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

A day of information and activity, specifically to help First Year students prepare for the rest of the academic year with more academic advising and support. Students will:

  • Reconnect with their Insight group

  • Meet faculty in their anticipated major

  • Determine C and D term courses

  • Plan out their Humanities and Arts requirement

  • Explore majors, careers and internships

  • Recap what went well in A-term

  • Learn about important deadlines

  • Set goals and create a plan for B term

The agenda for the day will be available soon. Have questions? Ask your Insight team or contact academic advising at 508-831-5381 or e-mail

Insight Team 43 Wins Academic Tips Competition

This fall as part of New Student Orientation, faculty led sessions called ‘You’ll be Glad to Know’ and gave students advice on being academically successful.  The students then worked as Insight teams to consolidate the advice into a list of tips; these lists were submitted to the Office of the First Year for judging.  The criteria for selection were production of comprehensive and useful lists.  The competition was stiff, and we have a winner and three honorable mentions.  The winning team will enjoy a pizza party; the honorable mention teams will have ice cream.

Congratulations to Team 43!  They produced the most comprehensive list with lots of concrete advice.  

Honorable Mentions:

    Insight Team 28:  A great top 10 list!

    Insight Team 6:  Tips from each faculty led session! 

    Insight Team 23:  A set of great attitudes!

First Year Experience Videos

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WPI Approach Receives National Attention

This past fall, New York Times reporter Christopher Drew wrote about how WPI keeps students interested from the moment they come to campus.

Your first year is a great opportunity to try new things - join an organization that intrigues you, take a class that sounds fascinating. Try a Great Problems Seminar - a terrific introduction to the WPI project experience. Take charge of your First Year Experience!

—Kris Wobbe
Associate Dean, First Year Experience