We understand that going away for IQP can be a confusing process. By answering some of your most frequently asked questions, we hope to make the process simpler.

What is ID 2050?

ID 2050 is a 1/3 unit course which all students participating in an IQP project center are required to take. Students take this class with their project center peers during the term preceding their project. In the case of the WPC, this course is currently taken in A term and typically meets in the evenings twice a week. The purpose of ID 2050 is to prepare students for their project, so that, when they arrive at their project center, they are ready to tackle the project. The course teaches students research methodologies, teamwork, and writing skills. The students complete a project proposal which is submitted to their advisors and project liaison. This proposal showcases the research that the students have completed during ID 2050 as well as their planned methodology for when they arrive at the project center.

What is PQP?

PQP is a 1/6 unit pre-qualifying project course all students participating in an IQP project center are required to take. Specifically, for the WPC this course is taken in conjunction with the ID 2050 course in A Term. The PQP course is an opportunity for project teams to meet with their advisors and receive feedback and guidance throughout the prep-term. Typically teams meet with their advisors once a week. For these meetings students prepare agendas, facilitate the meetings, and take meeting minutes.

When can I go to the WPC?

The Washington, D.C. Project Center currently operates during B term. The preparatory classes, ID 2050 and PQP, are taken in A term.

What is the working schedule for the IQP?

The working schedule depends on the sponsor and project, but is typically full-time (40 hours per week). Weekends are typically free for students to explore the city or just to relax. The final weekend is reserved as a working weekend for students because they are finalizing their project. The last few weeks are also typically longer work weeks, where students spend more time as they focus on finishing their project.

How do I get to Washington?

It is highly advised that students either fly or take the train into Washington. It is not recommended that they drive to the project center. There is limited parking available in the city and paying for parking is expensive. Bringing a car into the city is more of a burden than an advantage. Current IGSD policy also prohibits students from having a car on site.

Where will I be living in Washington?

For the past 5 years (2017) Washington teams have stayed at the Residence Inn, DuPont Circle: 2120 P Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037. Project advisors will also stay at the Residence Inn. The rooms are all either triples or doubles and students are not allowed to room with project team members.

How do I get around Washington?

Most students will take the metro or bus to their organizations’ location. Because of the central location of the hotel many popular locations are within walking distance. Ride sharing services, such as Uber, Lyft, or any other similar services may be utilized.

Where should I travel on the weekends?

Washington offers a lot of free attractions. For more information on what to do on the weekends, please refer to our “Things To Do” page.

What should I bring to Washington?

Students are encouraged to bring a variety of clothing as the term falls in between fall and winter. Some examples of items students bring include: jackets, umbrellas, hats, gloves, walking shoes, backpack, etc. Most toiletries are available in the hotel or can be bought at the nearby CVS.

What is the dress code?

Students should bring “business professional” clothes for at least the first few days of work and final presentation. Most students will find that their sponsoring organizations typically have a “business casual” dress code.

Where can I do my laundry?

Laundry facilities are available on the 4th and 8th floors of the hotel. These are coin operated and detergent, softener and other laundry products must be bought separately.

What is the weather like in Washington?

The weather in Washington tends to be slightly warmer than the weather in Worcester or Boston. It does not snow as much in Washington and will rarely snow before the new year.

Do I need a security clearance before working with an organization?

The Washington program works with both government and non-government sponsors. Government sponsors will require some form of security clearance. The level of security clearance will vary from sponsor to sponsor, but you must meet these security clearances to be able to work for the sponsor.

What kinds of projects do students typically work on?

The Washington Project Center typically partners with government agencies, such as the United States Coast Guard and United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, on projects that influence policy within the agency. Please take a look at our “Projects” page to see some of the most current projects offered at the WPC.