Aerial view of WPI campus

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Honored by Two Highly Esteemed Awards Celebrating Project-Based Learning

Awards ceremonies are to be held May 29 and June 11.
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May 29, 2024

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) stands as a beacon of hands-on, project-based learning, providing transformative educational experiences that extend far beyond the classroom. This immersive approach, which emphasizes real-world problem-solving and innovative research, has garnered WPI two prestigious awards for the 2023–24 academic year: the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) 2023 Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments (AURA) and the NAFSA 2024 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for Campus Internationalization. These accolades highlight WPI's dedication to fostering a culture of academic excellence and global engagement, setting a standard for higher education institutions worldwide.

WPI Receives Recognition for Advancing Inclusive Access to Global Learning Opportunities

In recognition of WPI’s commitment to immersive global experiential learning, NAFSA: Association of International Educators has selected WPI as a winner of the NAFSA 2024 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for Campus Internationalization. 


students studying map

This award celebrates WPI's efforts to maximize student participation in the Global Projects Program by removing financial barriers. WPI’s initiatives include the Global Scholarship. Every full-time undergraduate student at WPI receives a scholarship to support an off-campus project experience, fostering a well-rounded, globally aware education.  

As Mimi Sheller, dean of The Global School at WPI, notes the scholarship “has strengthened our high-impact undergraduate educational experience by ensuring more students can participate in the Global Projects Program.”  

This program saw more than 1,100 students participate in the 2022-23 academic year, emphasizing tangible problem-solving in diverse global communities and preparing graduates to become global leaders.

WPI will be honored as a Spotlight recipient along with Oklahoma State University and Syracuse University during a reception on May 29 at the NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans, La.

WPI Earns Prestigious Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Achievements

WPI has also received the prestigious Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) 2023 Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments (AURA), underscoring the university’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation, inquiry, and academic excellence. 


Great problems seminar class

A leading advocate for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship, CUR acknowledges institutions that demonstrate exceptional support for undergraduate research and creative inquiry experiences. WPI’s holistic approach integrates research and design experiences throughout the entire curriculum, ensuring that students engage in meaningful research from their first year through to graduation. This commitment is reflected in the mandatory Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), Major Qualifying Project (MQP), and humanities and arts (HUA) project requirements

According to CUR, "WPI exemplifies how investing in its faculty and students, showing passion for undergraduate research, and building a career-readiness mindset around undergraduate research provides a model for many other campuses to follow."

2023 AURA awardees also include the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, and the University of Florida. CUR will hold a virtual award celebration honoring this year’s awardees on June 11.