Start a Project

Starting off on the right foot with your Humanities & Arts requirement (HUA), Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), or Major Qualifying Project (MQP) is often critically important to a successful and rewarding project experience. Use these tips to contribute to a strong start.

  • Register early. The Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) and Major Qualifying Project (MQP) are worth one unit of credit—the equivalent of 3 courses. The project is a central part of every student's course schedule, not an addition to it. Students who work on an IQP or MQP spread over 3 terms register for two courses plus the project activity instead of the usual 3-course full load per term. Be sure to pick your courses carefully relative to your project commitment. A false or late start, or starting over, will only serve to compound the impact on your schedule and could delay your graduation date. Learn more on how to register for an IQP or MQP project.
  • Humanities & Arts Requirement. When a Humanities & Arts requirement is completed, the student submits a Completion of Degree Requirement (CDR) form to the faculty advisor in order to have the final grade transmitted to the Projects & Registrar's Office. On this form, you will include an abstract description of your project (up to 80 words). That abstract is transcribed onto your transcript along with the project title and grade. The abstract remains a part of your transcript for all time, meaning that graduate school admissions committees, potential employers, and others will read it. Therefore, you should put much thought into selecting your project, and make every effort to complete your project in an excellent manner. Reference the Humanities and Arts resources for all the necessary forms including the registration form.
  • IQP and MQP. When an IQP or MQP is completed, the student will then submit their project online. After advisor approval, students print an electronic Completion of Degree Requirement (eCDR) form to give to the faculty advisor in order to have the final grade transmitted to the Projects & Registrar's Office.

Selecting a project and getting off to a good start in project work

  • Examine your project options carefully and completely by attending the Global Project Opportunities Fair at the beginning of A-term and review available Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) and Major Qualifying Project (MQP) opportunities online.
  • Choose your project partners with care. Be confident that your team will share the work proportionately and that they share your same enthusiasm for project’s topic.
  • Choose your faculty advisor with the same care. With a faculty advisor who proposes a project topic, weigh the compatibility you and your team will have with him/her as well. Be comfortable with this relationship right from the start.
  • As a first step, with input from your advisor, develop a scope statement, action plan, and budget (if applicable). This may be in the form of a project proposal (PDF).
  • Discuss the expectations of your advisor (and a sponsor's liaison if there is one) as to the expected end result of the project (e.g., what is expected to be delivered upon completion of the project). Set up a schedule to discuss such matters in the form of meetings and progress reports.

More information on Getting Started

  • How To Propose Your Own Project: Students are encouraged to propose their own ideas for an IQP or MQP.
  • Canvas Project Site Request Form: You can use the features of Canvas to manage your project, communicate with your group members, and maintain documents pertaining to the project.
  • WPI Global Projects Program Portal: If you are considering going off-campus to do a project, review a complete list of off-campus project centers.
  • Budget Request Form (PDF): Fill out this form to request a budget (if necessary) for your project.
  • IQP Cover Page Sample (PDF): Use this sample page to make sure the first page of your IQP has all the necessary information.

Information on Human Subjects Research

Students undertaking projects that involve human subjects (i.e. conducting individual interviews or surveys for forming opinions related to the subject of a project) should learn more about the Institutional Review Board as a guide for conducting such research, and recognizing some of the related issues.