WPI Plans for Fall Opening Latest Information

View the list (updated 8/11/20) of undergraduate and graduate courses being offered this fall, along with their delivery format. Further information regarding the three different categories of course delivery is available below.



TechFlex: Highly Flexible Academic Options

WPI is reimagining when, where, and how we deliver our distinctive education: We’ve adjusted the calendar; we’ll be learning, teaching, and working both in-person, online, and a mix of both; and we’re using technology to provide choices for students and faculty alike.

TechFlex is WPI’s reworking of teaching and learning for the upcoming academic year, grounded in all that is distinctive about the WPI experience and designed to support students in person and remotely. TechFlex will allow for online, in-person, and hybrid teaching and learning, as appropriate.

We’re built for this.

We’re using technology, flexibility, ingenuity, dedication and—of course—problem solving to welcome students to the start of the 2020-21 academic year. This blend of in-person and technology-enabled delivery provides meaningful and effective learning while supporting the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff by limiting the number of people who are in classrooms, labs, and other spaces.

Adaptive, Responsive, Flexible...

Should the university need to shift gears due to public health trends, COVID cases on campus, or other issues, TechFlex enables the university to quickly adapt course delivery and the academic calendar to allow for continuity in coursework.

Revised Academic Calendar

We’ve revised the undergraduate academic calendar—but don’t worry, we’re keeping our distinctive seven-week terms—and the graduate academic calendar. For undergraduates, A-Term runs from Monday, August 31, to Friday, October 16. The mid-term break has been shortened but still gives students a long weekend before B-Term, which starts Wednesday, October 21, and ends Friday, December 11. The graduate semester runs from August 31 to December 11.

We expect many students will want to stay home after the Thanksgiving break (Wednesday, November 25, through Sunday, November 29) and finish their classes and exams remotely. We’re OK with that, and we’ve built the option into our course planning. Students will receive information from faculty. Thus far, C- and D-Term remain on schedule.

Graduate Courses

The majority of graduate courses to be offered fully remotely for the fall semester. View the full listing of fall undergraduate and graduate courses, along with their delivery format here. Some students may come to campus for labs, discussion sections, or research as appropriate. Graduate course registration is ongoing, so you can make any necessary changes to your schedule at any time. WPI has offered graduate courses through distance, remote, and online learning delivery for over 40 years. This has proven to be an effective delivery method for many graduate courses, facilitating successful learning outcomes, while offering flexible schedules for students and faculty.

In-Person, Online, or Hybrid

Our goal is to provide students and faculty with options that best suit their needs. Undergraduate courses are offered in-person, online, or as a hybrid to better accommodate students and faculty and minimize large group gatherings. View the full listing of fall undergraduate and graduate courses, along with their delivery format here. 

There are three different categories of course delivery, including: 

  • Online: The course will be fully online with no face-to-face meetings on campus.  These classes are accessible to all students, on-campus and remote.  Some will have scheduled meeting times (online) and we will work to ensure that students have access across all time zones.  
  • Hybrid:  The course will provided a blended experience--face-to-face meetings and online classes--for students on campus while assuring that remote students have full access to content. The details will vary by course, but one example has online lectures with scheduled small-group meetings with faculty and teaching assistants on campus.  In another example, the faculty will divide their students into cohorts and hold face-to-face meetings with one cohort while the other cohort participates online.  
  • In-Person:  The course has a required on-campus component.  Students who do not plan to come to campus will not be able to complete these courses in the fall terms.  Most courses in this category have a lab component that cannot be completed away from campus. 

Schedules Centered on Safety, Optimized for Flexibility

You’re probably wondering… what does TechFlex mean for your schedule. It will depend on each class. As we’re sure you can imagine, it takes a little time to rebuild the entire fall course schedule. Faculty, staff, Facilities, IT, Academic Advising, and student support services are working together to map out exactly where and when courses will be offered. 

We are trying to keep your already reserved class meeting times unchanged so that you do not need to rebuild your schedule. However, there may be cases where times are changed and rebuilding is necessary. However, there may be cases where times are changed and rebuilding is necessary.  We will let you know of any changes, and will work with you to be sure you have the courses you need.  We appreciate your continued patience throughout this process.  

You will have time to make changes in your schedule before classes begin on August 31. For undergraduate students, we plan to reopen registration on August 17.  Academic Advising is already connecting with every member of the class of 2024 to guide them through this process, while our Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors will be able register for their own courses after August 17.

 #WPITogether

We will work together to stay together. All students, faculty, and employees will be required to complete COVID-related training before returning to campus. As a community, we will commit to several safety protocols, including wearing face coverings (with the exception of those who have medical or other reasons that doing so is unsafe) and maintaining social distancing in classrooms, hallways, stairwells, and other common areas.
 

Technology-enabled Learning

WPI has installed lecture capture technology in all classrooms, along with specialized training for instructors to effectively engage students in both in-person and remote learning.  Courses have been redesigned and reimagined to provide the quality content and engagement that you would expect from a WPI education, regardless of the form of delivery.
 

Student Support

Whether learning on campus, remotely, or a through a combination of options, students will have access to the educational, technical, and well-being support systems needed to be successful.

Classrooms, Labs, and Study Spaces

On campus, classrooms, labs, and study spaces have been reconfigured to support physical distancing. Capacity will be limited to adhere to state guidelines and the university’s own policies. Large classes may be moved to bigger spaces on campus or split into sections, and you may see plexiglass shields around lecterns and faculty desks. Labs, makerspaces, and other spaces, likewise, are reconfigured with dividers, and schedules will be altered to minimize the number of people in the space at any given time.

The WPI Facilities team implemented heightened cleaning protocols for all spaces on campus, focusing particularly on high-touch surfaces (tables, desktops, keyboards and shared equipment, chairs, handrails, doors and doorknobs, elevator buttons, restrooms, etc.)  Hand sanitizer stations have been installed all across campus. Learn more.

We all have a responsibility to each other to maintain a safe environment in the classroom. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, classrooms have been de-densified and reconfigured to allow for six feet between seats and clear barriers have been installed around teaching stations. Cleaning supplies will also be available for individual cleaning of personal spaces and surfaces before and after class.​

Additional adjustments to our reopening plan and operations may be needed based on updated guidance and public health trends. We recommend you check back regularly for the latest updates.