Frequently Asked Questions

Is this an academic program? 
No. This program is a fun way to connect with other sophomores who share your same social and co-curricular interests. While a faculty or staff member will be a leader in your Topic Community, weekly Topic Community Common Meetings are fun activities related to your Topic Area.   

What are some of the things we’ll do as a part of SophEx? 
Through the SophEx program, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in some large-scale social programming; examples include attending a WooSox or Railers game, taking a trip to the Worcester Art Museum or Ecotarium, or joining in on a tie-dye event on the Quad. SophEx will also hold events centered around critical parts of your sophomore year—preparing and applying for your IQP, developing your future academic plans, and exploring internships and other career opportunities. As a member of a Topic Community, you’ll participate in fun weekly activities related to your topic, as well.

What is the time commitment? 
Like many things, what you put into SophEx is what you’ll get out of it. SophEx will provide a number of programs and opportunities over the course of the year, and times will vary from week to week. While Topic Communities may meet weekly, there will be large-scale programs that happen at different points in the year, meaning that times could range from one hour to several hours per week depending on your interests. Students participating in Topic Communities should expect at least one hour per week of fun activities related to their topic. 

Do I have to participate in a Topic Community, or can I just come to Welcome Week? 
SophEx is a choose-your-own-adventure program. We encourage you to get involved in one of our nine Topic Communities, but you’re also welcome to attend any of our large-scale social programs throughout the year in addition to or instead of participating in the Topic Communities. Either way, don’t forget to register by August 2 at 8:00 am EDT! 

The topic I’m interested in isn’t listed as a Topic Community. What should I do?
Topic Communities are intentionally broad, encompassing several different areas of focus. Under each Topic Community description, you’ll see some examples of areas that might be of interest to you! Having trouble finding a good fit? Reach out to us at  

Is there something for families? 
The SophEx program is intended to provide social and connection opportunities for our Class of 2024 students. For families who are looking to participate in activities during Sophomore Move-in Day, there will be campus tours and other ways to engage with the WPI resources. For programming specifically designed for families, we encourage you to join us for Family Weekend, which will be held October 1-3 (more details on registration and events to follow). 

Can I participate in more than one Topic Community? 
We encourage you to participate in one Topic Community, as they’ll be meeting regularly over the course of the fall semester. This will allow you to engage with your peers that have some of the same interests as you and build deeper connections with other students. There will be many other events to attend that might touch upon some of the other topic areas as well.

If I attend some sessions and I am no longer interested in my chosen Topic Community, can I switch to another one? 
You will not be able to switch to another Topic Community once the semester has started. However, if you find you are not interested in the Topic Community you joined, you’re not required to continue attending its weekly meetings, and can participate in the other programs being offered throughout the year instead.