WPI student:faculty ratio ... quality of education

My son was accepted into WPI, and we love everything about the school (albeit have not been able to visit). But there is one thing that concerns us, and that’s the student:teacher ratio, which is 13:1. We find this statistic to be significantly higher than some of the other comparable schools, and would like the group’s view.

Is this ratio something we should heavily consider? What is your collective experience regarding WPI’s professor:student coverage and support from faculty?

Thanks so much

1 Like

My son is a senior and my daughter is a Freshman. Some classes will be more crowded than others. For example the introductory ones. However these introductory classes also include conferences which are much smaller so students can go over what they’ve learned at the large lectures (example the first calculus classes, physics, chemistry). As students get more specialized the class sizes become much smaller.

According to US News World & Reports 62.5 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students.

I’ve appreciated that the professors are teaching the classes and not grad students, although grad students do lead conferences. My son has been in classes as small as two people when a class was cancelled but the professor agreed to teach the two of them as independent study.

A 4000 level math class he took (he’s an ECE major) was also very small and his professor who is about to retire was very available to students. He offered students the opportunity to retake their lowest test, my son emailed him and said he thinks he has an A in the class but there was the one test he thinks he could do better. His professor said, yes you have the A but come in and retake it, it won’t hurt your grade. I thought that was really supportive. He understood my son wanted to prove something to himself and the professor didn’t mind the extra work in grading it.

This year with covid has been unusual to say the least. Most classes are remote with some conferences in person. They just started in person labs and small groups last week. My daughter had her first in person Chemistry lab that she loved because she really likes her two other lab partners. I really hope things go back to a more normal experience next year.

I’ve been very happy with my son’s education and access to professors and support systems. He’s staying next year for his MS. My daughter has had a positive experience in this very unusual time.

1 Like

Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully.

1 Like