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As a working professional interested in graduate school, you might be wondering if you have the prerequisite knowledge it will take to earn the certificate or degree you have in mind. Luckily, WPI understands and offers online “ramp-up” courses to make sure you’re ready.

Whether you need a calculus refresher or a course in the fundamentals of engineering, you’ll receive a strong foundation on which to build your advanced education at WPI.

Prep Course Logistics

  • These courses are offered 100% online.
  • Prep courses are for students accepted into one of WPI’s online graduate programs. If you haven’t completed your application, you can apply here. Once you’re accepted, work with your faculty advisor to determine your prep-course needs. If you have not yet been accepted, please contact your Student Success Team member.
  • Prep courses are tailored specifically to WPI’s online program requirements. As such, these courses do not count as academic credits, and they are non-transferrable to other universities.

Prep Course Withdrawal Policy

  • Notice of withdrawal must be received in writing via email by your Student Success Team Member. No other withdrawal notices will be considered valid.
  • Refunds can only be given before a course begins, to students who have not yet accessed any course materials.

Current Prep Course Offerings

WPI offers a variety of courses to meet the needs of our working professional graduate students.

Foundational Prerequisites – Online Courses

These hybrid graduate/undergraduate courses are specially designed to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate school. They satisfy prerequisite requirements for WPI’s Master of Science degree programs in Environmental Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering.

Registration information:
  • Prep courses are for students accepted into one of WPI’s online graduate programs. If you haven’t completed your application, you can apply here. Once you’re accepted, work with your faculty advisor to determine your prep-course needs. If you have not yet been accepted, please contact your Student Success Team member.
  • To enroll in a prep course, please contact your Student Success Team Member or your Enrollment Specialist.
  • These courses follow WPI’s semester format: fall, spring, and summer.
  • Courses are delivered 100% online, including materials, homework, papers, and exams.
  • Tuition for each class is $1000. Full payment is required before the course begins.
  • Foundational prerequisites offer no credit.
  • Successful completion of these courses does not guarantee admission into a WPI graduate program.


  • Calculus I & II

    This course provides a review of differentiation: its concepts and applications. It assumes that the participant has taken courses in elementary differential and integral calculus at some point in the past, and is seeking to rebuild their understanding and skills. Topics include: the definition of derivative (algebra and geometry), differentiation skills for polynomials, logs, exponentials and trig functions, the Chain Rule and differential approximations. From integral calculus, Riemann Sums, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, integration techniques including but not limited to U substitutions and Parts. Applications include exponential growth and decay, cooling, and regression. Students should be willing to review algebra, trig and analytic geometry as needed. Upcoming session: TBD

  • Multivariable Calculus

    This course is intended for the student who has taken a course in multivariable calculus and wishes to review the material comprehensively. It provides a foundation, for example, for MA 501 Advanced Engineering Math. Emphasis is on concepts, applications and skills. It assumes the student has a background in elementary calculus, ordinary differential equations, polar coordinates and analytic geometry. Topics include: vectors, partial derivatives, directional derivatives and gradients, line integrals, potential functions, multiple integration, surface integrals, the Divergence Theorem and Stokes Theorem. Upcoming session: TBD

  • Ordinary Differential Equations

    This course develops techniques for solving ordinary differential equations. Topics covered include: introduction to modeling using first-order differential equations, solution methods for linear higher-order equations, qualitative behavior of nonlinear first-order equations, oscillatory phenomena including spring-mass system and RLC-circuits and Laplace transform. Additional topics may be chosen from power series method, methods for solving systems of equations and numerical methods for solving ordinary differential equations. Recommended Background: Calculus III & IV. Upcoming sessions: TBD


  • Fluid Mechanics

    A study of the fundamental laws of statics, kinematics and dynamics applied to fluid mechanics. The course will include fluid properties, conservation of mass, momentum and energy as applied to real and ideal fluids. Laminar and turbulent flows, fluid resistance and basic boundary layer theory will also be considered. Recommended background: basic physics, basic differential equations, and vectors. Upcoming session: TBD

  • Heat Transfer

    This course presents the fundamentals of heat transfer in three modes of conduction, convection and radiation. Topics include steady-state and transient heat conduction, forced external and internal convection, natural convection, heat exchanger analysis, radiation properties, and radiative exchange between surfaces. Recommended background: knowledge of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and ordinary differential equations, or equivalents. Upcoming sessions: TBD

  • Introduction to Thermodynamics

    This course emphasizes system and control volume modeling using conservation of mass and the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. Topics include an introduction to heat, work, energy, and power, properties of simple substances, and cycle analysis for power production and refrigeration. Recommended background: basic physics, elementary differential and integral calculus, or equivalents. Upcoming session: TBD

Module-Based Foundations – Online Courses

These courses are tailored to each student’s specific knowledge gaps. A preliminary test determines the appropriate starting-point module for you. From there, you’ll work at your own pace through the remaining modules with a WPI instructor monitoring your progress and providing assistance and feedback.

Once accepted into an online graduate program, speak with your faculty advisor to determine your prep-course needs. If you have not yet been accepted, please contact your Student Success Team member.

Current Offerings

  • Mathematical Foundation of Power Systems

    Re-establish your math skills for a strong base in WPI's Power Systems Engineering or Power Systems Management graduate programs.

    Course Modules for this Non-Credit Program

    Module 1: Basic Linear Algebra
    Module 2: Solving System of Linear Equations
    Module 3: Matrix Multiplication
    Module 4: Determinants
    Module 5: Matrix Inverse
    Module 6: Finding Eigenvalues; Diagonalization
    Module 7: Basic Differential Equations
    Module 8: Basics of Transforms

    Registration information:
    • Upcoming sessions:
      • October 22, 2020 - December 17, 2020
      • March 4, 2021 - May 13, 2021
    • Cost: $500
    • Register today


  • Calculus Refresher Modules

    Freshen your calculus skills as preparation for WPI graduate programs that require a foundation in this important branch of mathematics.

    Course Modules for this Non-Credit Program

    Module 1: Derivatives
    Module 2: Differentiation Techniques
    Module 3: The Chain Rule
    Module 4: Implicit Differentiation
    Module 5: Differentials
    Module 6: Integrals
    Module 7: Integration by Parts
    Module 8: Partial Fractions
    Module 9: Trigonometric Integrals
    Module 10: Exponential Growth & Decay

    Registration information
    • Upcoming sessions
      • October 22, 2020 - December 17, 2020
    • Cost: $400
    • Register today
  • Statistics

    This course is designed as a "refresher" course to help you learn/remember the basics of statistics, so that you can continue further studies in data science, computer science, or whatever your major may be. The course is self-contained and designed to be finished at your own pace. No grades will be assigned, but please try to complete the homework problems and pass the quizzes to demonstrate mastery of the material. The course does cover a lot of topics, and if you already have a strong background in certain areas, feel free to skip those topics. Now available on-demand  |  Course #: CPE 558  |  Cost: $200  |  Register Today

  • Python

    The python refresher course is setup as a 6 week self-paced refresher with minimal instructor involvement. Each module will have four to five-15 minute videos followed by an activity or quiz. This refresher is self-paced and some students may finish in less than the 6 weeks allotted. Now available on-demand  |  Cost: $200. Register today