The Teacher Preparation Program is a great opportunity for WPI students of any STEM major to not only complete your planned undergraduate degree, but also become certified to teach at the middle or high school level in math and the sciences with just a bit of extra work. After graduating from WPI, you will have obtained your Massachusetts Initial Teaching License, which usually transfers easily to other states and is functional for five years once you activate it.

You can go into teaching right away if you choose, or you can gain experience in industry first – the choice is entirely up to you. The skills you’ll learn as a part of the program transfer well into managerial situations, in understanding how to convey information to a team of employees with different learning styles, as well as how to effectively communicate and present complex ideas.

Teacher Preparation Program Application Now Available

The Teacher Preparation Program application is now available. Applications are due December 22nd to Katie Elmes, program director. Email Katie with questions at Download the application and recommendation form now. 

The program gave me the opportunity to student teach. It gave me a look at everything that goes into teaching, from lesson plans, to creating tests, to student discipline. My experience, without a doubt, solidified my desire to become a teacher.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Teacher Prep Program at WPI is unlike teacher prep programs anywhere else. It allows students to pursue a technical degree, while at the same time, allowing them to receive their teacher certification at the end of the program.
Electrical and Computer Engineering

About the Program

Armed with leading-edge educator skills and a mastery of your chosen discipline, you’ll be prepared to become a new kind of teacher—a teacher who engages and challenges students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects and meets the future challenges of American education.

By joining the Teacher Preparation program at WPI, you will gain:

  • A strong background in your STEM discipline
  • A good sense of the applicability of your subject to contemporary areas of engineering, technology, or society
  • Entry into a community of future educators ready to shape young minds and help direct tomorrow’s technologies
  • The preparation and skills you need to teach at the middle or high school level
  • A Massachusetts-authorized Initial License in one of the following:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Middle School Science*
    • Middle or High School Mathematics
    • Middle and High School Technology/Engineering*
  • Skills that will go beyond the classroom

*pending Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approval


Just a bit of extra work outside your major is required to complete the Teacher Preparation Program. Students will have met all of the WPI graduation requirements for their major. The requirements to become a licensed teacher are typically met through the general requirements of social science courses, free electives, and the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP).

Course Requirements for completing the program:

  1. Use your two social science course requirement by taking Psychology  of Education (PSY 2401) and School Psychology (PSY 2410). Developmental Psychology may be used to fulfill a requirement but must get permission from the program director.
  2. Take ID 3100 Teaching Methods D term of sophomore year.
  3. Student teach during your junior year (can be done A/B or C/D) which can count for the IQP requirement (otherwise done as an Independent Project)
  4. Take one other additional course: ID 320X SEI.
  5. Participate in a series of four workshops during senior year. 
  6. You should try to take all educational coursework prior to or during your student teaching. 

How Do I Apply?

The application process starts any time before the middle of sophomore year (prior to starting ID 3100). Applications are available by emailing the director, Katie Elmes at The application process includes a completed application, applicant statement, applicant self-evaluation, completed evaluation form by a recommender, and an interview (scheduled during certain times of the year).

Teaching Practicum: Counting as Your Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) or Independent Project

The IQP is a core part of the WPI experience. During the junior year, small teams of students work under the guidance of faculty members from all disciplines to conduct research, using social science methods, directed at a specific problem or need.

In the case of students enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program, you also have the option to complete your IQP as a Teaching Practicum, done in conjunction with a public high school or middle school, and a licensed teacher who also functions as a mentor. Throughout the experience, students meet biweekly with their cohort and a member of the Teacher Prep team to debrief the experience, gain additional insight into teaching, and work together on learning to become an excellent educator.

The purpose of the Teaching Practicum is much more than gaining experience and accumulating time in classroom leadership activities. The document resulting from this experience, which will satisfy the IQP requirements, not only records your experience, but gives you a portfolio of work to show future employers.


Contact Us

For more information about the Teacher Preparation Program, please contact us at either or by reaching out to us directly.

Katie Elmes
Director, Teacher Preparation Program
Associate Director, STEM Education Center