Sponsor a Student Project

wide view of projects being presented on sandwich boards with many people in a big room
Stimulate Innovation I Amplify Impact I Engage Future Talent

WPI’s distinctive project-based approach to STEM education transforms bright students into thoughtful, action-oriented problem solvers who hit the ground running in the workplace.

Sponsor a project to engage the fresh perspective and technical skills of a dedicated student team, guided by top-notch faculty, on pressing business challenges—while providing a real-world educational experience for WPI students. You’ll have access to WPI alumni and students who understand the fundamentals of their chosen fields, work effectively in teams, think creatively, and have the skills and confidence to dive right in.


Why sponsor a student project at WPI?

  • A student/faculty team is committed to working on your organization’s specific problem 
  • Teams employ cutting edge research, techniques, and theories 
  • Projects maintain close sponsor-faculty collaboration 
  • Return on investments often exceed initial costs  
  • Sponsoring projects provides a valuable opportunity to screen for future talent  

Important Information about Projects at WPI

Who are WPI Project Sponsors

WPI is positioned at the convergence of design thinking and innovation, and as we enjoy the 50th anniversary of our distinct theory and practice academic model, we celebrate the many corporate partners who have invested in our intelligent, action oriented, problem solving students. 


Join the ranks of these excellent sponsors! A small sample of our recent sponsors is below:



BAE Systems

Bank of America 

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital 

Boston Scientific 

CCDC – Soldier Center  

Dell EMC 



Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries 

National Grid 

Otis Elevator


The Hanover Insurance Group 

The MITRE Corporation 

UMass Medical 

General Guidelines for Project Sponsorship

The projects program at WPI is the university’s signature approach to undergraduate education, combining theoretical study with practical problem solving. This philosophy has grown into graduate level projects, in Data Sciences, as well. WPI project teams bring knowledge, skill, and problem solving abilities to develop tangible solutions to your organization’s most pressing challenges.  


  • A project cannot be “mission critical” or on the “critical path” to the business. The best types of projects forecast new ideas, and/or enhance current activities. 
  • There are many options for sponsored projects across the curriculum of WPI, including:  
    • Major Qualifying Projects (MQP’s) 
    • Graduate Qualifying Projects (GQP’s) 
    • Independent Study Projects (ISP’s) 
    • Course Sponsorship  
  • Our most common sponsored project is the Major Qualifying Project (MQP). MQP teams consist of 2-4 undergraduate seniors and a faculty advisor, although in some cases—depending upon the scope of the project and the disciplines of the student team—there may be additional advisors. Each student completes the equivalent of 3 full time courses in order to meet the standards of this rigorous graduation requirement.  
WPI Projects and Undergraduate Research Projects Showcase

Known as The WPI Plan, the university’s distinct project-based approach to STEM education, is instrumental in preparing and inspiring students to face the world's most pressing societal challenges.  


Through a project-based education, students discover the value of learning by doing. They take the hypothetical and make it real, applying skills and concepts from the classroom to real problems, leading to real-world experience and impact. Each journey is distinctive, but regardless of the paths students follow, these hands-on learning experiences help them build confidence as well as leadership, collaborative, and critical thinking skills.  


Projects are thoroughly documented in written reports and accompanied by comprehensive student team presentations. 


A Project Based Education page  


For more information on how your organization can benefit from an intelligent, skilled team of students focused on your organization's challenges, contact the Corporate Partnerships Office at corporate@wpi.edu


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is required for a sponsored project to launch?

WPI's more than 500 full-and part-time faculty members are dedicated to using their talents, expertise, and intellectual curiosity to solve the most complex global challenges. Our faculty researchers collaborate with each other, with other world-class institutions, and with industrial associations and corporate partners to transform new discoveries into real-world applications. Gain direct access to their expertise or work side-by-side to overcome a critical business roadblock or to move your innovations forward.

Does the sponsored project program have fees?

Yes, the sponsoring organization provides a negotiated fee for each sponsored project to support the WPI Projects Program and the program objectives. There may also be materials and travel-related expenses depending on the project structure and needs. Sponsoring organizations interested in a discussion about projects and fees may contact a member of WPI's Office of Corporate Partnerships.

I potentially have sensitive information to include as part of the project. How does WPI manage this?

The WPI office of Corporate Partnerships is familiar with these concerns. We work with organizations to understand these sensitivities prior to the projects moving forward. When the project details are agreed to, WPI's Contract Administrator works with each sponsoring organization to prepare the necessary agreements and forms to ensure provisions that address confidentiality, intellectual property, and the publication/presentation of the project work.

Who can I contact about getting involved with sponsored projects?

If you are interested in a discussion regarding sponsored projects, please contact the Office of Corporate Partnerships at ocp@wpi.edu / 508-831-5635.

Project sponsor organizations reflect on WPI students

“WPI students are very, very special. They really do take a different approach to their studies. This I think reflects the entire philosophy of WPI where in fact there's really a focus on solving real world problems and making a difference in society. They're certainly very bright. But unlike many other academic institutions, they're trained to take that fundamental science and convert it into a more applied research project.” 

Charlene Mello, Chief Scientist, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSRDEC) 

“The reason WPI students differ from other engineering schools is because not only are they technically competent, but they also come out with people skills and leadership skills. They come out understanding how to work with a team, how to communicate, how to execute a technical writing, and how to be effective employees in a work force.” 

Mary Schubert ’05 ‘10 

"NVIDIA has been sponsoring WPI student MQP projects for 20 years. These projects have created software that is now found in NVIDIA products such as self-driving cars, AI-based cloud compute, and gaming systems. Some of these students are now engineers and leaders at NVIDIA helping to drive the future of the company."

—Allen Martin, Principal Engineer, NVIDIA