Wentworth Institute of Technology (visited 9/13/17)
WIT, unfortunately, often gets overlooked when students are looking for the type of education it offers. This is a hidden gem that offers intensive hands-on education and excellent job preparation. This, combined with its location (the Fenway area of Boston) and its membership in the Colleges of the Fenway consortium, provides a plethora of opportunities not available at many other places.
Enrollment hovers around 4,000 students, but as a member of the Consortium, there are approximately 12,000 college students in the immediate area. Not surprisingly, the student body at WIT is skewed overwhelming male (a little over 80%) – but Simmons, a women’s college, is literally across the street. A student there said, “We tend to balance each other out!”
WIT is best known for their Engineering programs, but that is not all they do:
- Surprisingly, they DO have a College of Arts and Sciences which houses its Applied Math, Sciences, Management, and Humanities/Social Sciences departments.
- The College of Engineering and Technology houses all the Engineering as well as Computer Science.
- Engineering majors take an Intro to Engineering class to help figure out (or to confirm) which area to focus on.
They offer a BSE in Interdisciplinary Engineering.
- In addition to fairly typical engineering degrees, students can also choose Electromechanical, Biological, or Biomedical.
- There’s new construction to expand space for the for the Biomedical department.
- The College of Computer Science and Networking is housed in this college.
- IBM donated several servers, and the students in Computer Networking have to hack into the network for class.
- The College of Architecture, Design, and Construction Management offers 4 degrees in Industrial Design, Interior Design, Architecture and Construction Management.
- Construction Management has been ranked #2 nationally by College Factual and #5 nationally by the National Center for Education Statistics
Wentworth is one of a handful of universities nationally that offer Co-op placements for their students (keeping company with places like Northeastern, Drexel, and Cincinnati). Co-ops last at least 12 weeks with students working at least 32 hours per week. These can be completed anywhere, but the earliest a student can register for a co-op is the summer sophomore year, a little later than some other schools. Students didn’t seem to mind this, but it does limit the opportunities to explore areas and quickly “reset” the track they’re on if they discover that their major might not be exactly what they want. Students are advised to complete 2 co-ops at different locations, and they tend to get really creative and work at great places. For example, one student majoring in Applied Math did her co-op in Data Analytics at a biomed company.
WIT’s graduates have a 98% grad placement rate, and the Brookings Institution has ranked them in the top 7 for occupational earnings power with a perfect score of 100, putting them in good company with schools like Harvey Mudd, NJIT, and CalTech! This is far from the only high ranking they’ve earned for job placement and earnings.
A large majority of students come from Massachusetts, so there are a decent number of commuters. Students not living at home must live on campus for the first two years, and housing is guaranteed for all 4. Just over 75% of first year students live in the dorms with about half of all students living on campus. There are a lot of suites and some single rooms available. The student health center is shared with MassArt and MCPHS and is located on the 2nd floor of one of the new MassArt dorms next door to WIT. Parking is not readily available because of the urban environment, but public transportation, including T stops, are immediately off campus, and there is a lot within walking distance. Because of the location in Boston, there are plenty of things for students to do at a reduced (or no) cost, including free tickets to the MFA and Isabella Stewart Gardner museum.