Policies and Procedures

Application process:

Eligibility
  • Students must be actively enrolled at WPI at the time of application. 
  • Only sophomores and upperclassmen are eligible to apply for off-campus IQP programs.
  • First-year students can apply only for Humanities and Arts programs, unless they can prove sophomore status (check with the Registrar’s Office).
  • Students on academic warning are eligible to apply and may receive a provisional placement. 
    • Note: the application process for the GPP is competitive and the strength of a student's academic record is an important consideration when reviewing applicants for placement.  
  • Students on academic probation are ineligible to apply to the GPP. 
Conduct Review

As part of the application process for participation on an off-campus program (IQP, MQP, Exchange, or HUA experience including all WPI-sponsored off-campus travel), students sign a release to permit disclosure of their conduct record to the Global Experience Office. For more details on this process, click here: Conduct Record Review.

Leave of Absence (LOA) and Off-Campus Programs

The Global Experience Office is notified of all leaves.

Please note: Students on a leave of absence (LOA) during an application process cannot apply to off-campus programs. A student’s application(s) will be withdrawn upon confirmation of LOA status. Please contact GEO upon return to campus to discuss options for off-campus programs.

Placement:

Placement Decisions
  • All placements are final.
    • Students must commit to or decline the placement by completing the Participant Statement of Agreement form by the stated deadline.
    • There is no waitlist.
    • The Global Experience Office will not switch, move, or change a student's placement to another project center.
  • Students may be admitted to the Global Projects Program by the faculty reviewers but not placed in one of their selected project center preferences. While there is capacity to place the full applicant pool, applicants are only considered for the preferences indicated in their application.
Provisional Placement

Students who receive a provisional placement will undergo a review of their academic record at the next academic review period. Students who are in good standing may continue participation in the Global Projects Program. Students on academic probation will be administratively withdraw from their off-campus project.

Participant Statement of Agreement

Every student who participates in a Global Projects Program must read and sign this Agreement to acknowledge that they understand the expectations and responsibilities of participating in a Program

Post commitment/pre-departure:

Academic Preparation

Preparations for off-campus projects start as early as two terms prior to the term away.

In order to remain eligible for the program, students must: 

  • attend all pre-departure orientations
  • successfully complete online learning modules and assignments in Canvas
  • be in good academic standing or on warning by the start of the preparation or pre-prep term, if applicable. 
    • Students who are on academic probation when entering the preparation or pre-prep term will be administratively withdrawn and the withdrawal fee policy will apply. 
  • successfully complete all preparation courses as required including ID2050, PQP, and/or other supplemental courses. 

Failure to successfully complete pre-departure requirements and courses will result in dismissal from the program. 

IQP Students: Participation in the program will require enrollment in, and successful completion of the preparation course (1/3 unit, ID2050) and pre-qualifying project (1/6 unit, PQP) conducted in the term before you go away. Preparations may start as early as two terms prior to your off-campus experience. Details of any pre-preparatory requirements can be found on the eProjects pages.  Please read the details of these requirements carefully and consider the commitment in relation to your other course commitments for your pre-prep term.

The Global Experience Office will administratively register you for this preparation course (ID2050).  During the second week of the term, a group registration for the PQP will be done during class. 

MQP Students: Details of any pre-preparatory requirements can be found on the eProjects pages.  Please read the details of these requirements carefully and consider the commitment in relation to your other course commitments for your pre-prep and prep term.

You are required to reduce your course load, if necessary, to allow for the addition of the preparatory courses.

IQP Students: The preparation courses (ID2050 and PQP) for an off-campus project are time-consuming and rigorous. Students are prohibited from overloading in the preparation term. 

Health Preparation

It is your responsibility to consider your health requirements in relation to your travel and to understand and evaluate the unique challenges and inherent risks associated with traveling to the country where your program is located. Students are asked to read detailed information on the eProjects program page for my programs, if applicable, the US Department of State website, and the International SOS (ISOS) website

WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus travel can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to evaluate the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you consider your placement.  You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the Global Experience Office, the Student Health Center, the Office of Accessibility Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It is very important that you consider your own health requirements, and that you carefully review the published information concerning housing, transportation, health, safety, and security reviewed on the program page for your program prior to committing to your placement. Before confirming placement, students are required to review the country specific information posted on the US Department of State website for the most up to date notices for travelers. You should review the information in the following sections: Destination Description Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements Safety and Security Local Laws & Special Circumstances.

Students traveling internationally should also review the country information provided by International SOS (ISOS), our travel assistance provider. You can read more about this resource here: https://www.wpi.edu/student-experience/resources/off-campus-projects/health-safety-security/medical-security-assistance

Accessibility Preparations

WPI is committed to providing access to the Global Projects Program (GPP) and other off-campus travel for all WPI students. The Global Experience Office (GEO) works closely with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to support students with documented accommodations participating in the GPP. We encourage students to disclose relevant information and any requested accommodations as early as possible before traveling to provide adequate time for planning and preparation.

If you have not previously arranged an accommodation through OAS but think you may need accommodations in class or while traveling, we encourage you to begin the intake process as detailed on the OAS website. If you need any assistance through the process, OAS is available to assist via phone (508-831-4908) or email (accessibilityservices@wpi.edu).  

Academic Accommodations: Students who may need academic accommodations as part of the GPP or other off-campus travel are strongly encouraged to discuss supports they may need to be successful with the instructor(s) at the start of the academic course. Due to the unique nature of project- and group-based work, typical academic accommodations as listed on an accommodation letter may not directly apply to your off-campus experience. However, discussing your learning style, potential accommodation needs, and any questions and/or concerns with your instructor(s) at the start of the course can be an important step to ensuring a positive experience. To begin the disclosure process and facilitate a conversation with your instructor(s), submit your OAS approved accommodation letter through the OAS student portal. If you need assistance, please contact OAS.

Accommodated Housing and/or Onsite Arrangements: Students with a documented need who may require onsite arrangements, including, but not limited to housing or transportation accommodations, are strongly encouraged to contact GEO immediately following placement and no later than the start of two terms prior to travel (i.e., A-Term for C-Term projects) to discuss supports available onsite. After this date, we will do our best to meet individual accommodation needs but cannot guarantee availability of requested accommodations. You can contact GEO via phone (508-831-5547) or email (global@wpi.edu) to set up an appointment. Please note that there is a difference between documented housing accommodations and housing preferences.

Passport and Visa

 

It is your responsibility to obtain a valid passport if your are traveling to an international location. It is also your responsibility to determine whether you will require a visa and to obtain a visa prior to traveling.

All students going to an international project center must have a valid passport. Your passport must be signed, valid for at least six months post travel, and contain at least six blank pages. If you do not yet have a passport, or your passport doesn't meet these requirements, please begin the process of ordering a passport as soon as possible. A visa is an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country. It is your responsibility to determine whether you will require a visa and to obtain your visa prior to traveling. Students who require a visa to enter a country are encouraged to begin this process prior to the preparatory term; it can take up to 2 months to have a visa processed and a delay will mean a late arrival that can impact the success of your project and overall experience. You may check to see if you need a visa at the website for the nearest Consulate of the country to which you are going or at the following website: http://www.travisa.com/D1H7N0G0A6. We will support the visa application process for some programs where U.S. citizens are required to have a visa. Students who are non-U.S. citizens participating in a program where U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa will want to contact us for help facilitating the visa process.  Please contact global@wpi.edu with any visa questions.

Pre-Preparatory Requirements

Preparations may start as early as two terms prior to your off-campus experience. Please read the details of these requirements carefully and consider the commitment in relation to your other course commitments for your pre-prep term. These details are also posted on the site specific program pages on eprojects.wpi.edu.

Travel Dates

Project dates will be published on the Project Center's eProjects site two terms prior to travel. Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the project. No student is allowed to leave a site before the official departure date. WPI will provide project housing from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the project, they will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.  

Co-op and Program Preparation

The standard off-campus IQP prep-term includes ID2050 (1/3 unit) and PQP (1/6 unit) and takes place in the term immediately prior to the off-campus term. This prep term cannot be pursued concurrently with Co-op. ID2050 and PQP require about 15-20 of hours of work outside of course meetings, meeting with your team regularly, and meeting weekly with advisors during regular business hours. Additionally, students must attend all pre-departure orientations, complete online learning modules, and submit all paperwork by the deadlines indicated. Due to the nature of these courses, and the rigorous demands of the work, students must be on campus in the prep term.

Preparations for off-campus projects may start as early as two terms prior to the term away, during the term before the prep term (called the pre-prep term). Students seeking a Co-op experience concurrent with an off-campus project may petition to take up to 1/6 unit of preparation work, including pre-prep term requirements, while on Co-op. Approval will require sign off from the project center director, project advisor(s), and the GEO.

Communication

It is your responsibility to read and respond, when necessary, to all communication related to your program from staff, directors/advisors, or trip leaders.

You will be added to group email for your program after commitment. Important communication will be sent to this email list, and students are expected to read and respond, when necessary, to all emails. Students are also expected to meet all deadlines for paperwork submission, and complete all pre-departure orientations, including online modules and in-person sessions, as required.

Leave of Absence (LOA) and Off-Campus Programs

The GEO is notified of all leaves. Should you choose to pursue a leave of absence after committing to a Global Projects Program (IQP/MQP/HUA), you will be automatically removed from the placement unless you notify GEO by completing and submitting this form.

Our office will confirm readmit status for all students enrolled on an off-campus program by the published deadline for Fall semester and Spring semester leaves. Students must be readmitted by the prep-term for their program, or one term prior to the term away*. This schedule is as follows:

D, E, and A-term off-campus programs: Must submit readmission paperwork by Spring Semester deadline (Nov 15)

B and C-term off-campus programs: Must submit readmission paperwork by Fall Semester deadline (July 20)

Required documentation and details of the readmission process can be found here: https://www.wpi.edu/offices/registrar/policies-procedures/returning-to-wpi.

If a student has not submitted their readmission paperwork by the published deadline, they will be withdrawn from their off-campus program and subject to withdrawal fees according to GEO policy.

* Some programs have preparation requirements that begin as many as 2 terms prior to departure. Students should consult with the GEO if pre-prep term requirements will be affected by a leave of absence (LOA).   

Please note: Students on a leave of absence (LOA) during an application process cannot apply to off-campus programs. A student’s application(s) will be withdrawn upon confirmation of LOA status. Please contact GEO upon return to campus to discuss options for off-campus programs.

Withdrawal

For details on our withdrawal policy, please visit Withdrawal Policy.

Project term/on site:

Behavior Expectations
  • Students will comply with all WPI policies governing student behavior, including the WPI Student Code of Conduct, the Alcohol and Drug Policy, and the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Students will comply with all Program policies, including those in the Site Specific Handbook, and as communicated by the GEO and Program staff.
  • For international programs, including Puerto Rico, students will not drive motorized vehicles during the Program as required by Transportation.
  • WPI may dismiss a student from the Program and from WPI for any conduct or behavior that causes a concern for the safety or welfare of the student or others or interferes with the learning objectives of the Program.
  • Students may be dismissed from the Program if they fail to meet behavior expectations.
Housing
  • There can be no overnight guests in any accommodations acquired and provided by WPI for use by the Project Center students.
  • Charges for any damages to housing, WPI property on site, the property of our host institutions, or project sponsors will be charged to your WPI account. When responsibility for damages to housing cannot be assigned to an individual student, all students in the housing unit will be charged an equal share of the cost. An official hold will be placed on all records until all payment responsibilities are satisfied. 
Communication
  • Students are required to have a working phone. Though you may primarily use free communication apps over Wi-Fi for onsite communications, you must also always be able to make and receive local and international phone calls without a Wi-Fi connection, including during personal weekend travel.
  • Students should reference their site-specific Handbook for project center-specific guidelines regarding onsite communication with sponsors. 
  • Students must keep their cell phone charged at all times. It is important to save the phone numbers of your advisors, sponsor, roommates, and local emergency numbers in your phone.
Onsite Travel
  • You must always keep the resident faculty advisors informed of your whereabouts. If you plan to travel for fieldwork or for fun during the term, you must give your advisor a written itinerary via the method they request. 
  • The GEO will notify your emergency contacts if you fail to return from a weekend excursion at the predetermined time. If you are delayed you MUST contact your resident faculty advisor to inform them that you are safe.
  • You and your family should also understand that while WPI encourages you to travel during your free time, the university can take no responsibility for your safety during independent travel. You must inform your advisor of all travel plans and when you should be expected back on site.
  • You may not take vacation days off from your project work, even if you have the permission of your project mentor/sponsor. If you have an urgent family or academic or job-related need to travel away from the project site on a project work day, consult with the faculty member in residence before making any travel plans.
Transportation

WPI students are prohibited from driving vehicles while participating at our overseas project centers, including Puerto Rico. This includes no driving of rented or personal vehicles during project or recreational time for the duration of the program.

Overload with Project

The project term is worth 9 credit hours (1 unit) of undergraduate coursework, or a full-time load. Because of the expectations on workload, students will not be approved to overload during the project term for IQP. MQP students may only overload during the project term with the electronic permission of their project advisor(s). Students are not permitted to pursue a co-op during the term they are completing an off-campus project.