Worchester Polytechnic Institute’s mission is to create and convey the latest science and engineering knowledge in a way that is most useful to students and society. The school aims to lead students to develop an understanding of fundamental concepts, to lay a foundation for lifelong pursuit of knowledge, to gain a mature understanding of themselves, and to form an appreciation of the interrelationships among basic knowledge, technological advance, and human need.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1865 as the Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science by John Boynton and Ichabod Washburn in Worchester, Massachusetts. The institute is primarily undergraduate focused, though there are some graduate programs. The school is geared towards students who are interested in pursuing careers in engineering, biotechnology, and other cutting edge scientific fields.
The institute is important as a research facility both in the local community and in the world at large. The WPI Bioengineering Institute is a significant contributor to Worcester's growing biotechnology industry and other research in metallurgy, untethered health care, fuel cells, applied mathematics and fire protection. These projects are currently helping to put the school on the map as a significant research centers. Students will also find WPI unique in the way classes are scheduled. Instead of a normal semester, classes are divided up into seven-week terms, allowing students to accelerate the pace of their studies
The distance learning program at Worcester is primarily geared towards corporate and professional education. Students can earn professional certifications or use the online classroom to work towards a Master's degree. Currently, Masters programs are offered in Business Administration, Information Technology, Technology Marketing, Operations Design, Environmental Engineering, Fire Protection Engineering, and System Dynamics.