Students choose to complete their Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) on campus for many reasons—a commitment to a student organization, athletic team, or part-time job may take priority over living and working off-campus for a term. Nearly all students who complete IQPs on campus work on them over three consecutive terms as one-third of their course load (A, B, and C or B, C, and D). The scheduling of your project is negotiated with your advisor and project team members. Some advisors may require a Prequalifying Project (PQP) at the beginning or a project extension if the work is incomplete after three terms.
Most of the projects completed on campus originate with a faculty member and are related to that professor’s research interests or areas of teaching expertise. The chance to work closely with a faculty member is one of the most exciting aspects of project work. Interested students can search for IQP Opportunities to find projects sponsored by faculty members.
On-Campus Project Centers
Additional IQP opportunities exist through one of three on-campus IQP centers that bring together groups of IQP teams and advisors interested in these research topics:
- Sustaining WPI On-Campus Project Center: contact Professor Suzanne LePage
- Sustainable Energy Project Center: contact Professor John Orr
- Sustainable Food Systems Project Center: contact Professor Bob Hersh or Elizabeth Stoddard
- STEM Education Project Center: contact Kathy Chen
Students completing projects on campus have the opportunity to complete a project on a topic of their choosing; all that’s needed is a topic and advisor. For the topic, students should focus on an interdisciplinary problem involving society and science/technology. To find an advisor, look to professors that you have had for classes and those listing projects on the IQP Opportunities website. It is likely that you can find someone who shares your interest and can help work with you to turn your idea into an IQP, but this approach requires student initiative.