Our project now has a college credit option for high-school students!

WPI is offering college credit to high-school students who complete one or both courses in the Program by Design (PBD) sequence. This dual-credit program offers high-school teachers an alternative to the AP curriculum. It also offers students options for college credit in light of the cancelled Advanced (AB) exam in Computer Science.

Student Eligibility

Credits will be available to students who take PBD courses from a certified high-school teacher and perform well on a WPI-designed assessment. These assessments will be graded by the certified teachers, with review by PBD faculty. Students can receive either one credit (first course alone, in Racket) or two (two-course sequence: Racket followed by Java). High-school offerings of the PBD courses must cover at least the portions of the PBD curriculum covered in the corresponding WPI courses.

Teacher Certification

Teacher certification requires taking a PBD training workshop and achieving satisfactory performance on a WPI-administered assessment (to ensure the teacher has adequate command of the approach and the material). Certification assessments will be offered on a per-request basis.

Training workshops are offered during the summer and last a week; see our events page for details. The workshop at locations other than Boston introduces the material for both courses at a rapid pace. In Boston, we offer both this track and a gentler-paced track on the material of the first course alone.

High-school teachers who have previously taken a full week-long workshop are not required to repeat the workshop. They may find it useful to do so, however, as we have added a lot to the curriculum in recent years (including significant support for programming animations: see our evolving materials).


The only fees are for students who wish to claim college credit (backed by an official WPI transcript). For the 2009-2010 school year, fees will be $200 per course. There is no fee for teachers or schools to offer the course. The teacher certification workshops are also currently free (though teachers do need to cover their own transportation and housing costs to get to a workshop site).


Contact Kathi Fisler (kfisler@cs.wpi.edu), Associate Professor of Computer Science at WPI.

About WPI

WPI, one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities, is in the top quarter of the US News rankings of national universities. WPI Computer Science professor Kathi Fisler has been one of the leaders of the project for over a decade.