Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) reports that it has received more than 7,500 applications for the undergraduate Class of 2016—a new record for the university that reflects a 7 percent increase over last year's record-setting total. Applications have grown by 33 percent during the last five years alone. In addition, the university continues to receive record numbers of applications from women and underrepresented minorities.
At the graduate level, WPI has already received more than 3,800 applications for fall 2012 admission, representing a 27 percent increase over last year and a 180 percent increase over the past five years. In addition, WPI's graduate programs have received a record 24 Fulbright applications from students representing Fiji, Madagascar, Russia, Mongolia, Columbia, Ecuador, Argentina, among other countries.
"WPI's enrollment growth is a direct result of our forward-thinking faculty. They continue to develop the cutting-edge academic programs that students want and employers need," said Kristin R. Tichenor, senior vice president for enrollment and institutional strategy. "Our newest programs are also our fastest-growing programs. Biomedical Engineering, Robotics Engineering, Interactive Media & Game Development, and Environmental Engineering have all seen double-digit increases in student majors, and the interests of our applicants this year underscore the appeal of these exciting new programs. WPI has long been recognized for offering students a strong return on investment. Making sure we offer innovative academic programs is part of that value proposition, and WPI is committed to giving students a competitive edge as they launch their careers."
In 2005, for example, WPI had 161 biomedical engineering majors. Since then, WPI has invested more than $100 million in life sciences education, research, and facilities—most notably via the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park (LSBC) and the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center—and the number of biomedical engineering majors has nearly doubled. Now, nearly 400 students are enrolled in this program.