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* These statistics utilize the most recently released data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)
Sources for school statistics and data include U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Data may vary depending on school and academic year.
Source data obtained from U.S. Department of Education's Office of Post-secondary Education (OPE)
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Worcester Polytechnic Institute's most famous alumnus also taught at the school: Robert Goddard, who built the world's first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926. Another famous scientist, aeronautical engineer Richard Whitcomb, is a WPI graduate who worked for NASA, specializing in transonic airflow. Famous entertainers also are among WPI alumni, including J. Geils, founder of the blues rock band, the J. Geils Band, and actress and South Park writer Nancy Pimental, who graduated from WPI with a degree in chemical engineering.
The WPI campus is best known for the two towers on Tech Hill, which were constructed in the 1860s and symbolize the original vision of the campus – reconciling theory versus practice. The philosophy behind those symbols is in full use at Gateway Park, a 12-acre area of the WPI campus that fuels start-up businesses and research. Gateway Park includes special-purpose buildings with open space for future expansion. Located in Worcester, Mass., WPI is within an hour of travel of downtown Boston and Hartford.
Those looking to further their high-tech education while working will find a dozen online graduate programs through Worcester Polytechnic Institute. WPI, which has offered off-campus educational opportunities for three decades, provides a mix of asynchronous and synchronous online graduate programs in individual areas of study, such as cyber security, systems engineering, and robotics engineering, among others. And online students receive complete access to any of WPI's facilities and services, just like an on-campus student.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute's athletic teams compete in NCAA Division III, offering more than a dozen sports. The Engineers' men's basketball team had one of its best seasons in 2012-13, winning 22 consecutive games and reaching the NCAA D-3 Tournament. WPI has fielded a football team every season since 1887, making it one of college football's oldest teams. Football, track, field hockey, and soccer teams all use the on-campus Alumni Stadium.
WPI has long been known as one of the top universities in the United States for providing useful internships for students through what it calls the WPI Plan. Princeton Review has named WPI as a top 10 school in both providing study abroad programs and for career placement. All incoming students get introduced to the school's underlying philosophy through a Great Problems Seminar course, which introduces college-level research techniques and involves working on a project, as part of WPI's focus on problem-based learning.