Life at WSU

  • Worcester Living

    Worcester—often referred to as The Big Woo—is indeed big, both in area and in stature. The second largest city in Massachusetts and one of the most vibrant cities in the Northeast, Worcester is home to a burgeoning enterprise hub, an award-winning brewery, a robust health-care and biotech scene, and an expanding airport that accommodates all this activity. 

    A Most Livable City
    Not surprising, given that Worcester ranks 9th on Forbes magazine's list of “America’s Most Livable Cities.” That confirmed what our students have been saying for years: Worcester is a great place to go to college. The New York Times assigned a reporter to describe what the Worcester buzz is all about:

    • Boulevards are steadily filling up with civic amenities
    • Busy public transit hub
    • Comfortable and affordable housing
    • New restaurants and watering holes
    • Computer stores and coffee shops
    • Performance arts theater
    • Biotech research facilities
    • Incubators and office space for start-up companies
    • Renovated parks
    • Ice rink larger than the one in Rockefeller Center
    • The top of urban demographic and economic performances in New England
    The Heart of the Big Woo

    Worcester is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston and 38 miles (61 km) east of Springfield. The city is known as the “Heart of the Commonwealth” because of its location in the center of Massachusetts. In fact, a heart is the official symbol of the city. But what makes The Big Woo distinct? Here are just a few of the characteristics that combine to give this city its out-sized personality:

  • Arts, Attractions, and Entertainment
    • The Worcester Art Museum, the second largest museum in New England, showcases 5,000 years of creativity from such masters as El Greco, Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Gauguin.
    • The EcoTarium, Worcester’s science and nature center, hosts more than a 100,000 visitors annually.
    • Worcester has 53 parks, including Elm Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, and the largest urban nature sanctuary in New England.
    • The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, located in downtown, hosts musicals, dance performances, comedy, children’s shows, and a wide range of live music performers—from original acts to nationally recognized cover bands.
    • The DCU Center, also located in downtown, is your destination for national and international musical acts, popular events like World Wrestling Entertainment matches and Cirque du Soleil performances, and a variety of trade shows and conferences. We hold our undergraduate commencement there.
    • Catch a game of baseball in town. The local Futures Collegiate Baseball League team, the Bravehearts, thrills spectators all summer at the Hanover Insurance Park.
    • If you’d rather play—not watch—you can head down one of the 22 ski trails at nearby Wachusett Mountain or head up one of the climbing walls at Central Rock Gym.

    The Big Woo is making a name for itself in the gastronomy department with a growing list of gourmet haunts that are attracting foodies from all over the state.

    • The Worcester Regional Transit Authority runs a “college route” connecting three members of the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts: WSU, Assumption College, and College of the Holy Cross. The Line 10 route provides public bus access to campuses not previously served by the WRTA, and it will offer 2 additional transportation opportunities per hour at WSU. Visit the Shuttle Services page for details.
    • WSU partnership with Zipcar brings self-service, on-demand car sharing to our students. Register with Zipcar to take advantage of this transportation option.
    • WSU offers a Bike-Share Program that includes bike racks outside the Student Center, our Sagamore Campus (Worcester Center for Crafts), and Nu Café on Chandler Street. After viewing an online safety video, students, faculty and staff can check the bikes out at the Student Center information desk for a 24-hour period. Helmets and locks also are available to borrow.
    Local Hotels
    Beechwood Hotel
    363 Plantation Street
    Worcester, MA 01605

    Courtyard Marriott
    72 Grove Street
    Worcester, MA 01605

    Hilton Garden Inn

    35 Major Taylor Boulevard
    Worcester, MA 01608

    Holiday Inn Express

    110 Summer Street
    Worcester, MA 01608

    Residence Inn Worcester
    503 Plantation Street
    Worcester, MA 01605
    Worcester's Famous People
    • Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Abby Kelley Foster lived here.
    • Writers Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Benchley were born here.
    • Cole Porter went to school here.
    • Radical activist Abbie Hoffman developed his hippie chic aura here.
    • Worcester native Harvey Ball is said to have invented the “smiley face.”
    • Comedian and actor Denis Leary grew up here—and pays us a visit from time to time.
    • And more