Through academic programs and project work, WPI students advance all aspects of sustainability in a way that will have true meaningful, positive impact on communities beyond our campus.
Academic Degree Programs with a Focus on Sustainability
WPI is home to a range of degrees, minors, and other academic programs that tackle issues of sustainability, climate change, and more. Some of the more sustainability-focused programs are included here.
- Architectural Engineering (BS)
- Architectural Engineering (Minor)
- Civil Engineering (BS)
- Environmental Engineering (BS)
- Environmental & Sustainability Studies (BA)
- Environmental & Sustainability Studies (Minor)
- International Development, Environment, and Sustainability (IDEaS)
- Sustainability Engineering (Minor)
Courses on Sustainability
WPI offers many courses across all four schools (Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Business, and Global) that focus on a range of sustainability issues, from the reduction of poverty to gender equality to affordable and clean energy. See a listing of WPI’s sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses.
WPI Projects on Sustainability
Projects are at the heart of a WPI education. With project work, students must consider the big picture, think like entrepreneurs, and collaborate as they work together in teams as they seek sustainable solutions alongside partners in communities around the globe.
Examples of sustainability-related projects include:
- Carbon Literacy in Worcestershire Libraries
- Electrostatic Microplastic Removal for Freshwater Environments
- SNAPP – WPI SNAP Services Assistive Application
- A Bicycle Share Plan for Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Waste to Energy: Optimization of Biofuel Production from Hospital Food Waste
- Glass Recycling in Caño Martín Peña
- Investigating Sustainability Efforts of a Zero-Waste Grocery Delivery Service
Annual Sustainability Project Competition
In addition to WPI's formal project-based learning curriculum, the university also hosts an Annual Sustainability Project Competition that showcases any student projects related to research in one or more aspects of sustainability— including the environment, social justice, and the economy. Students can also choose to associate their project with one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The competition was held virtually in 2023 and produced a variety of innovative first-year, undergraduate, and graduate student projects—from using media to influence agricultural perceptions on climate change to envisioning paths to improve the Massachusetts Climate Resilience Policy.
Learn more about the most recent competition, as well as previous projects from 2022 and student work from 2021.