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June 28, 2023

Holy Cross, WPI team up to offer combined master’s degrees

Photo | Courtesy of The College of the Holy Cross and Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Grace Wang of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and President Vincent Rougeau of The College of the Holy Cross

The College of the Holy Cross and Worcester Polytechnic Institute have agreed to a partnership to allow Holy Cross students to complete their bachelor’s degrees at the renowned Worcester undergraduate liberal arts college and earn a master of science or master of engineering degree at WPI. 

WPI President Grace Wang and Holy Cross President Vincent Rougeau signed the memorandum of agreement enacting the partnership on Tuesday.

“For many years, WPI and Holy Cross have worked cooperatively on common goals and to engage in topics of mutual interest – and to drive positive changes in the best interest of higher education in Central Massachusetts. Now we are expanding our partnership, reflecting the innovative spirit of our respective institutions to foster an even closer network of collaboration,” President Wang said in a Wednesday press release from the schools. “This partnership will provide pathways for Holy Cross students to pursue graduate studies in a distinctive STEM institution while enriching WPI with exceptional graduate candidates.”

Holy Cross doesn’t have graduate programs of its own, so this partnership enables its students to obtain a graduate degree as part of their education.

The WPI degree programs initially participating in this partnership are mechanical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. More offerings in computer science, math, physics, neuroscience, business, and sustainability are expected to be available in the near future.

Holy Cross juniors majoring in mathematics and computer science or physics will be eligible to start the path toward completing the 4+1 program, where students earn their undergraduate degrees and master’s degrees in a combined effort. Faculty and administrators from both Holy Cross and WPI will work together to build out the program offerings over the next several months, according to the press release.

“This partnership helps us expand our curriculum by connecting our model of outstanding liberal arts education with graduate training at one of the nation’s great technological universities. At the same time, we are able to work together to deepen our shared commitment to Worcester as a great place to live and learn,” Rougeau said in the press release.

Founded in 1865, WPI has the largest full-time enrollment of Central Massachusetts colleges, including graduate and undergraduate students as of fall 2022 with 5,971 students, according to the WBJ Research Department. It has the second-largest endowment at $590 million.

Founded in 1843, Holy Cross has the largest endowment among Central Massachusetts schools at $993 million. It has the fifth largest by enrollment with 3,210 students. 

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