The Global School

An IQP team for Monte Verde planning out a design on paper in a garden
An IQP team from Iceland doing work on a beach


The Global School Mission

The Global School is founded on WPI’s half-century of leadership in global project-based learning. The Global School embodies WPI’s commitment to empower our faculty, students, communities, and collaborators to address urgent local and global challenges. Our distinctive interdisciplinary programs immerse students in real-world projects that foster purpose-driven global learning and collaboration. 

This generation of science and engineering students, social innovators, and business leaders must understand the complex interactions of technology and society in a rapidly changing world. This calls for education in inclusive globally minded approaches informed not only by cutting-edge technologies, but also by the social sciences, humanities, arts, and business. The Global School empowers this kind of integrative education and inspires collaboration for a better world.

The faculty in our Department of Integrative and Global Studies are experts in project-based learning and social sciences. We teach the first year Great Problems Seminar and advise team research projects at more than fifty global project centers through our award-winning Global Projects Program. We also offer interdisciplinary graduate programs that center the critical knowledge, collaborative mindset, and interactive methodological tools needed for meaningful community partnerships.

Global School faculty also have substantial research grants to work on major global challenges, from climate adaptation to public interest technology. You can join us in our Global School Forum where we engage with cutting-edge global research that addresses the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals including topics such as health, energy, environment, food, water, and climate change.

Our Degree Programs


MS in Science and Technology for Innovation in Global Development

The global MS in science and technology for innovation gives students the opportunity to explore and apply knowledge in design thinking, global technology and development, and technological and scientific innovation to create real change with and within communities. Working collaboratively, student teams, faculty, and community partners identify and work to implement sustainable solutions that promote resilience and change that makes a positive difference for people.


MS in Community Climate Adaptation

With a collaborative and research-based focus, the Community Climate Adaptation MS degree program helps students gain the knowledge and field experience to address one of the great problems of our time. This is a joint-degree program offered through the Department of Integrative & Global Studies (DIGS) and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) where students work closely with each other, faculty, and community partners to address climate change and its impacts.  

Great Problems Seminar Celebrates 15 Years

WPI's Great Problems Seminar (GPS) immerses first-year students in university-level research for complex global challenges. This signature program recently marked 15 years of preparing students for developing ethical global solutions, and it also has a new director.

The Student and Alumni Perspective

Project Work Offers an Immersive, Interdisciplinary Experience

Meet Our Staff

Q&A with Colin Watters, Director of Global Risk Management

Answers to questions about ways to keep travelers safe 

Do you need more information?

For international research opportunities or institutional collaborations with The Global School contact Dean Mimi Sheller.

For Global Projects Program partnership or project sponsor opportunities, contact Associate Dean Kent Rissmiller.

For graduate studies information in The Global School, contact Professor Sarah Strauss.

For graduate admissions information, contact Graduate Admissions.

For general information, contact Dawn Farmer.