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The Major Qualifying Project (MQP) is based on a fundamental philosophy – once you graduate, what will you be able to DO?

At WPI, the MQP, a team-based, professional-level design or research experience, makes the answer a very positive one.  The culmination of WPI's project-based undergraduate education, a successful MQP demonstrates such learning outcomes as how to communicate effectively; understand the scientific, social, and ethical dimensions of the problem; and demonstrate knowledge appropriate to your specific major. And every year the results show students finding meaningful work.

There are many possible solutions to a problem and many paths to take to get there. The MQP helps you put the theory of what you’ve learned into practice to tackle real-life scenarios and issues, often sponsored by corporations or other external organizations. You will see that the skills acquired over your undergraduate years will be your foundation on which to build your life's work. Employers are looking for mastery. The MQP, an integral part of the WPI plan, positions students to stand out in the applicant pool.

Project Presentation Day

Project Presentation Day

Each spring, on Project Presentation Day, student teams, representing all of WPI's academic departments, present the results of their Major Qualifying Projects to their faculty advisors and external sponsors. The public is also invited to take part in this annual exhibition of the remarkable outcomes of our students' project work. 

WPI students working on a project in Australia. alt
WPI students working on a project in Australia.

Global Projects Program. Go into the World.

Everyone wants to make their last year of college one for the ages, and what better way to do that than by going into the real world? Starting with the Class of 2022, every student will receive a $5,000 scholarship. From designing a robotic arm to sort and move scrap metal for recycling in China to analyzing the effect of wind turbines on radar in Massachusetts, the world is at your fingertips.

sea turtle prosthetic flipper

MQPs In the News

The Boston Globe reports on Lola, the amputee sea turtle who received a first-of-its-kind prosthetic flipper designed by three WPI engineering students as part of their MQP. The new flipper they created will allow Lola and other injured turtles to be rehabilitated and live a more normal life--and is another step toward next-generation animal prosthetics. 

The first day at ACP involved a bit of a learning curve, but it didn’t take us long to settle in and start working. In fact, on the second day I was out collecting water samples and running water quality tests.
Assessing Water Quality at Landings and Onboard Canal Tugboats
I often made site visits and met with a team from ACP as well as the contractor hired to design the spillway. I also revised AutoCAD drawings from the contractor—in fact ACP is now using my revisions in their final design for the spillway.
Designing New Spillway to Release Excess Water from Lake Guton
I determined that GRP towers require less equipment and construction time, and are less likely to be damaged than steel towers. When ACP next updates the ranges, I think they will consider GRP towers.
Alternatives to Steel Towers Used for Navigational Cues
I provided ACP with a framework to be implemented as part of a bid package for a larger study. I also created a shoreline management plan that could help ACP minimize the effects from the upcoming increases in traffic due to the expansion.
Study on Occupation and Use of Land Around Canal
These projects were technically challenging and required teamwork, independent research, critical thinking, and innovative solutions. The students learned skills that will enhance their professional careers and make them better global citizens.
Professor Tahar El-Korchi
Director, WPI Panama Canal Project Center
Working on a project at the Panama Canal is a dream come true for a civil engineering major. It was so interesting to see how ACP works and get a first-hand view of all the remarkable processes behind the canal.
Designing new spillway to release excess water from Lake Guton
Through this experience, I decided to continue my education and hope to become a PhD student at WPI. As I have seen, there are so many opportunities here and I look forward to taking part in even more innovative experiences.
Assessing water quality at landings and onboard canal tugboats
We got to experience the canal in a way that tourists would not have the chance to. For example, I walked across the Gatun Locks and the new set of locks on the Pacific side.
Designing new spillway to release excess water from Lake Guton

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Center focuses on helping students’ innovative ideas turn into reality through funding and mentoring of Major Qualifying Projects. The Center also serves as a project collaboration space to support student MQP work.

The Impact of the Humanities and Arts on WPI Students – Nick’s story

A Culmination of 4 Years of Theory AND Practice

WPI and MITRE: Working Together, Making an Impact

A Stepping-stone to a Rewarding Career

Media Coverage

Boston Globe columnist Thomas Farragher wrote a column about WPI robotics engineering professor Marko Popovic and undergraduates Mia Buccowich ’22, Andy Strauss ’23 and Brian Fay ’22 helping to develop a partial hand prosthetic for University of Houston student Payton Heiberger. “Working with them in the lab and coordinating with students of my own age has been amazing,” Heiberger said of her experience working with the WPI team.

In its College Town section, The Telegram & Gazette noted the roles of  WPI robotics engineering professor Marko Popovic and undergraduates Mia Buccowich ’22, Andy Strauss ’23 and Brian Fay ’22 in helping to develop a partial hand prosthetic for University of Houston student Payton Heiberger.