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students working with faculty at a dig site
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students working on a beach in Melbourne Australia to help eliminate plastic polution

WPI in, for, and with the World

Faced with urgent great challenges, communities around the globe seek solutions and astute and caring partners to help them build a safer, sustainable, and more habitable world. The Global School responds to that need—as only WPI can.

The Global School prepares true global problem solvers through undergraduate and graduate programs founded on the university’s half-century of leadership in project-based learningan educational approach infused across the entire curriculum. Its students and faculty go out into the world to address social, technological, ecological, and economic challenges through interdisciplinary, purpose-driven research. And, expanding on the local contacts WPI has cultivated through almost five decades of on-site project work at a network of over 50 sites around the globe, the school fosters strong and effective global partnerships.

Engaging the entire university in engaging with the world, the Global School at WPI focuses the resources and experience of one of the nation’s top technological universities to have a positive impact on the world’s problems.

Available Degrees

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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Solving the World’s Great Problems at WPI

Focused on the World's Great Problems

From the smallest village to the largest city, people around the world face a common set of needs: potable water, reliable food supplies, clean energy, a healthy and stable environment. These and other great problems in the world are at the core of the mission that drives The Global School—and WPI overall. It is central to academic programs, its student and faculty research, and the university's partnerships with communities and organizations around the globe. As a critical part of WPI's preparation of STEM professionals with a keen global perspective and the opportunity to collaborate with those who best understand the needs at the local level, The Global School will have a lasting impact.

WPI Climate change graphic
From the WPI Journal

Climate Change and the "A Word"

Scientists and engineers at WPI are helping the world adapt to the inevitable changes that a warming climate is bringing to the planet.

Media Coverage

International Firefighter included WPI in the article, “Measuring What We Value: to Unlock a Budget for Emergency Services, We Need to be Able to Point to Success Around the World.” “All sides agreed that measuring public support and satisfaction was simultaneously one of the most important metrics to decision makers and rarely studied – a subject that GESA (Global Emergency Services Action) is beginning to tackle, working with Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Global Center for Public Safety. We need to build the tools to help practitioners track the success metrics that are important to them and the communities they serve – but we can’t do it alone,” the article stated.

The Worcester Business Journal reported on Mimi Sheller, PhD, head of the department of sociology at Drexel University and a distinguished and internationally recognized scholar and educational leader, joining WPI in July as the inaugural dean of The Global School.

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Ghana student project

The Global School Virtual Event Series

This year-long, monthly event series will focus on regional and great problem themes within the context of ongoing collaborations with partners from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Oceania, Asia, Europe, and Glocal (Global/local). The series will also include plenary talks by leading luminaries. All event content will be recorded and available for viewing.

Greater Purpose. Fewer Boundaries. Affiliated Initiatives.

Institute of Science and Technology for Development

Building on WPI's long tradition of addressing the major social, technological, ecological, and economic challenges facing people around the world, the Institute of Science and Technology for Development uses new approaches to cross-cultural engineering design to respond to global issues in collaboration with local communities.

PhD Global Research Experience Award

Providing PhD candidates the opportunity to engage with an international collaborator in a research project related to their graduate work, the program helps students develop a global network and contacts and learn about culture-specific drivers of technology and innovation. Through the program, students have traveled to research laboratories in the UK, Switzerland, Japan, and several other countries.

Social Justice

From climate change research to closing the socio-economic divide between populations and communities, many of WPI's students, faculty, and staff are taking an action-oriented approach to social justice issues, striving toward equitable opportunities and equal economic, educational, political, and social rights for all.


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Social Justice

Critical Conversation Series

Launched in 2018, this series explores tough questions being asked in the world. Touching on topics as diverse as genetically engineered babies and the impact of 5G technology, the program provides a forum for experts from across the WPI community as well as the university’s strategic partners to respond to complex issues.


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Critical Conversations Series