Worcester, Mass. – Aug. 25, 2013 – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) today welcomed the Class of 2017 to campus. Composed of more than 1,100 students, this incoming class is the largest ever in the university’s 148-year history. WPI received more than 8,500 applications for admission to this class, representing a 13 percent increase over last year and a 37 percent jump over the last five years.
"WPI continues to see exponential growth in the applicant pool, which I believe is a direct result of our reputation for excellent academics and alumni success. This year’s incoming class includes high achievers from more than 750 high schools from around the world," said Kristin R. Tichenor, senior vice president at WPI. "The Class of 2017 is an incredibly talented group of individuals who are eager to make a positive impact."
The students who were selected from that highly competitive pool of applicants are extraordinarily accomplished: their average SAT composite score (combined verbal and math) is 1316 – the highest ever among incoming classes. The average high school grade point average of these newcomers is 3.8, and 540 entering students had perfect GPAs of 4.0. There are also 99 students who were either valedictorians or salutatorians in their high schools, 19 National Merit Scholars, and six National Hispanic Recognition Scholars.
The Class of 2017 is breaking other campus records as well with the largest numbers of women (371: 33 percent) and domestic students of color (14 percent) in WPI history. These students also represent 40 states and 50 countries.
Regarding academic interests of incoming students, there is significant interest in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biology and robotics engineering.
Freshman Move-in Day is Sunday, Aug. 25, and new students will participate in New Student Orientation programs from Sunday through Wednesday, Aug. 28. Classes begin on Thursday, Aug. 29.
WPI’s fastest-growing programs continue to be biomedical engineering, robotics engineering, interactive media and game design, and environmental engineering, all of which have seen double-digit increases in student majors in recent years.
WPI’s project-based curriculum combines theory and practice. Under the university's multidimensional approach to education, students work in teams to address some the world's most pressing problems. As a result, students can more deeply appreciate how advances in science, technology, and the arts and humanities can benefit society, and it helps create innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and future leaders.
"WPI’s distinctive approach to education and its strong return on investment have earned the university national recognition in numerous rankings and surveys," said Tichenor. "We’re confident that the Class of 2017 will keep that positive momentum going and continue to make WPI shine."
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 30 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.