Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Online Degree Programs at WPI

Get the advantages of a WPI education and increase your career potential, all without setting foot on campus!

Established in 1979, the Advanced Distance Learning Network (ADLN) helps you earn your graduate certificate or degree. Through the Advanced Distance Learning Network, WPI delivers the same courses, content, and material that you would receive on campus. Faculty work with an instructional design team to determine the best technologies to use in the delivery of their courses via distance. This approach to distance learning ensures that courses are kept current and the latest technologies are used. At WPI, you know you are getting a quality education whether you attend classes on campus or from a distance.

Few distance programs match their on-campus counterparts like WPI:

We're proud to offer you the complete educational experience from start to finish, including:

  • The same admissions standards
  • The same high quality, full-time faculty
  • The same classes
  • The same degree or certificate

WPI's Distance Program in a Nutshell

  • Classes start in September, January and May.
  • Semester is 14 weeks long; summer semester is 7-10 weeks.
  • All courses have an Internet component.
  • Class participation is online.
  • Assignments are due weekly.
  • Papers, projects and/or exams are required.
  • Class teams often work on joint assignments virtually.

Delivery Methods

WPI has adopted a campus-wide learning management system that provides faculty and students with a consistent framework for their distance courses. In addition, an in-house instructional design team helps faculty take full advantage of a mix of media to deliver courses to students around the world. Most ADLN courses combine a number of delivery methods.

Asynchronous Delivery — Many of WPI's distance students are busy professionals who live or travel globally. Single direction communication techniques are used extensively so that students do not have to routinely access course material at specific times. Students can view materials at their convenience, as long as weekly assignments and other projects are completed as required.

Synchronous Delivery — This type of delivery is not the primary format for any of WPI's distance courses, but is used as a secondary tool to enhance the material in a course. The faculty will occasionally utilize two-way communication techniques, such as chat or online whiteboards.

Learning Management System — All classes use a learning management system, referred to as "myWPI," that provides an easy-to-use interface for Web-based course content and a suite of collaboration tools that help to foster interaction among faculty and students.

ADLN Formats

Online — All distance courses are online and use a variety of technologies for delivery of course content. WPI's learning management system, myWPI, is used to manage class communications, make announcements and deliver the course content over the Internet.

Video — Some courses utilize video as the primary method for delivering course content to students. In particular, most courses in the Engineering programs video classes as they are taught real-time in a TV studio at WPI's Worcester campus. The video content is then available in an archived stream over the Internet. For a fee, media can be shipped to students if they do not have sufficient bandwidth to view the video streams.

Videoconferencing — In some instances, particularly within certain corporate relationships, WPI delivers distance courses via fully interactive videoconference sessions. Using our state-of-the-art videoconferencing system, we can communicate with other sites that have videoconferencing equipment (room-based or desktop) that is H.320 or H.323 compatible.

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