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A Message from Dean Mimi Sheller

Welcome to The Global School, WPI’s newest school!

The Global School builds on WPI’s distinctive tradition of integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education with humanities, arts, social sciences, and business perspectives. Our signature Global Projects Program, exciting first-year Great Problems Seminar, interdisciplinary global graduate programs, and far-reaching global research initiatives knit together WPI’s Schools of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Business into a holistic, multidisciplinary approach. Centered around the new Department of Integrative and Global Studies, our faculty are some of the leading practitioners of global project-based learning. 

We put this ethos into practice every day with student teams working collaboratively on the major social, technological, ecological, and economic challenges around the world and here at home. By working together on transformative projects, WPI faculty, students, and community partners can co-create new solutions to complex local and global challenges. We believe that building more ethical, intercultural, and human-centered approaches to STEM will help the world more successfully address pressing global challenges.

Student projects might address global sustainability, global health, climate change, circular economies, reducing waste, or protecting clean water, energy, food, and natural ecosystems. Our students learn to apply quantitative and qualitative research methods (e.g., ethnography, interviews, surveys), use new technologies for data collection and analysis, and gain skills in digital communication tools like data visualization and multimedia video production.

Welcome to The Global School at WPI, where you can find local belonging, global connections, and purposeful education!

Mimi Sheller, Ph.D.
Dean, The Global School


several people standing around a camera and equipment, outside

Dean Sheller Visits Acadia-Bar Harbor Project Center

Dean Mimi Sheller visited the Acadia National Park, Maine IQP Project Center where she joined Lynne Feraco, assistant vice president, gift planning, and the cohort for a luncheon, project presentations, and a dinner at Joan Bolduc Szkutak, a WPI trustee and co-chair of the WPI Women’s Impact Network, and her husband, Dave’s house. The dinner was attended by the cohort WPI alumni, members of Acadia’s National Park Service, and members of Friends of Acadia.

Our Mission

The Global School builds on and amplifies WPI’s rich history of innovative undergraduate educational programs taught using project-based learning based in our network of 50+ project centers around the world and here in the United States. We prepare WPI students to contribute to co-designing solutions to complex global challenges through interdisciplinary teaching, learning, research, and action for a sustainable, just, and resilient world.

Our Vision

Our interdisciplinary, project-based approach revolutionizes STEM education and transforms lives by advancing inclusive excellence, cross-cultural learning, and ethical partnerships. Responsible global citizens must be critical thinkers who possess intercultural competence and sensibility. They must know how to create informed partnerships in specific cultural, political, and economic contexts and how to communicate with diverse audiences across cultures and languages and understand global diversity and local challenges.

Our students and graduates are adaptive to change and understand their responsibility for resource stewardship, ethical and socially responsible actions, and community partnerships to co-design more just technologies and resilient systems for future generations.

Undergraduate degree programs with global and international relevance

The Global School at WPI collaborates across the university and around the world to focus the resources and experiences of one of the nation’s top technological academic and research universities. Collaborative global project work at WPI results in a positive and powerful impact on the world’s great problems.

Media Coverage

Why are some areas in a city so much hotter than others during a heat wave? WPI Associate Professor Steve McCauley, Department of Integrative & Global Studies (DIGS), discusses “heat islands” with the Telegram & Gazette.  According to WPI's Global Lab, neighborhoods in Worcester can be as much as 17 degrees warmer than the air in neighboring towns, particularly in the afternoon and after sunset. The article is part of an extensive USA TODAY Network reporting project on climate change.

Associate Professor Elisabeth Stoddard of the Department of Integrative & Global Studies within The Global School spoke with NBC10 as part of their Climate 2022 coverage about the Farm Stay Project Center in Paxton, Massachusetts. Through the partnership with Turn Back Time, WPI students are helping some of the youngest learners get excited about environmental education through the university’s project-based education.


of students are eligible for a Global Scholarship to complete life-changing project work


global project centers on six continents


years of undergraduate project experiences through the Global Projects Program


students completed an off-campus project (2018–19)