Science & Engineering Profile

Picture yourself here

Picture yourself here
URI is the largest university in the nation’s smallest state. With 14,700 undergraduates, we offer the experiences and research you’d expect at a much larger university, and yet we’re small enough to be friendly, intimate, and student centered.  

Here you’ll study and work alongside some of the world’s leading innovators, discoverers, and problem solvers. With a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, our students and faculty make the kind of personal connections that inspire creative ideas and research collaboration. In fact, it’s pretty common for students to say one of the biggest surprises for them at URI is just how much faculty members care about their academic achievements and career development.

From the rolling farmlands and surrounding forests to the ocean and coastal watershed, we enjoy natural resources that inspire our students and faculty to do their very best work. Tree lined, quiet, and quintessentially New England, our main campus is located in the beautiful, historic village of Kingston, just 30 miles south of Providence and close enough to New York and Boston for easy collaboration with fellow experts and internships in any discipline. Our picturesque campus is located just minutes away from Rhode Island’s beautiful beaches, and we were recently named the “Most Beautiful Coastal Campus” on the East Coast.

Consider our outstanding College of Engineering
Our College of Engineering is a diverse community of students, faculty,
and staff dedicated to advancing society through learning, research, and innovation. Engineering students at URI can choose from among eight majors: Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Industrial and Systems, Mechanical, and Ocean Engineering. All of these majors are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, Inc., the recognized leader in international engineering program accreditation. Approximately 80% of our Engineering undergraduates have at least one paid engineering internship experience, with many students having more. These experiences includeinternship positions internationally, locally, out of state, and in URI engineering research laboratories.

The University has invested $125 million in a state-of-the-art engineering facility, which will open in 2019. (An architectural rendering of this building is pictured below.) Visit our College of Engineering website for a virtual tour of the building and a live view of the construction in progress!

Many Engineering majors are attracted to URI because of our acclaimed International Engineering Program (IEP), now in its 30th year. This unique dual-degree program allows students to complete two degrees in five years: a BS in their choice of Engineering discipline and a BA in Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish. In the fourth year of the program, students spend a year abroad, where they study for six months at a partner university and then complete a paid internship at a global engineering firm for the remainder of the year. Our students have interned at companies such as BMW, Hasbro, Kraft Foods, and Siemens and often receive employment offers from their host companies. Our IEP prepares graduates for rewarding careers in a diverse array of fields around the world, and the job placement rate is nearly 100% each year. 

First-year Engineering students enjoy the benefits of our Engineering Living/Learning Community. They share classes and live together in a group of residence halls, supporting one another in study groups. The University also offers free tutoring in all subject areas through our Academic Enhancement Center. Students who participate in the International Engineering Program can choose to live in one of two IEP houses, where they enjoy meals prepared by their own chef and are able to practice speaking their second (or third) languages in their residence hall. 

You’ll think big here
Our tradition of innovation sets us apart. The world needs a constant flow of big ideas, and URI is perfectly positioned to help. We think big, and so will you, every day at the University of Rhode Island.

Our students and faculty are working together to build a better hybrid car battery, invent healthier ways to clean up oil spills, discover new cures for debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer, grow food for campus dining halls, turn algae and used cooking oil into biofuel, and engineer global solutions for safer bridges and alternative energy. URI is leading Rhode Island’s efforts in biotechnology research and workforce development. Our Pharmaceutical Engineering track is one of the first of its kind in the nation. We’re a premier center for research in behavioral psychology, one of the world’s foremost marine research institutions, and home to National Centers of Excellence for explosives research and cybersecurity. 

In addition to our prestigious Engineering program, URI offers many other majors in the areas of science and technology. In our College of the Environment and Life Sciences, we offer 14 majors ranging from Animal Science (with a Pre-vet track), Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology, Marine Biology, and Plant Sciences to Cell and Molecular Biology, Environmental Science and Management, and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Our College of Health Sciences includes majors in Kinesiology and Nutrition and Dietetics, among others. In our College of Arts and Sciences, you can choose from more than 40 majors, including Physics and Physical Oceanography, Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry, and, for those whose interests are more technical in nature, Computer Science (with an international dual-degree program modeled after the IEP) and our newest major: Data Science. 

University College for Academic Success is dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition to college with support for every aspect of your first-year experience, preparing you for graduation and beyond. Our Honors Program offers students the opportunity to broaden their intellectual development and strengthen their preparation in their major fields of study. Our Center for Career and Experiential Education offers more than 3,000 internship opportunities inside and outside the state, dozens of volunteer and service opportunities, and career planning that begins your freshman year.

Whatever you choose to study at URI, not only will you leave with a degree, you’ll leave your mark on the world. And that’s big.

You’ll fit in here
We’re proud that our campus community is rich in diverse cultures, lifestyles, beliefs, religions, political affiliations, and philosophies. Our 14,700 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students come from 48 US states and territories and 66 nations, and 23% identify themselves as students of color. Typically more than half of our new student population is from outside Rhode Island.

About 6,200 students live on campus in the University’s 24 campus residence halls, suites, and apartments; numerous sororities, fraternities, and specialty houses; our Women’s Center; and our International Engineering houses. Living and Learning Communities on campus allow students with similar academic interests to live and study together. In May 2015, we opened the nation’s first purpose-designed, freestanding LGBTQ Center, offering a wide range of programs and an inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community members and supporters. Many students rent houses and apartments in nearby beach communities, and a small number commute from home.

We strive to help all members of our community feel welcome and valued and graduate with the ability to communicate and engage productively with people different than themselves.

You’ll have fun here
More than 180 student clubs and organizations reflect recreational and academic pursuits, cultural and ethnic interests, spiritual and political affiliations, lifestyles, community service, professional growth opportunities, and more. Outreach is a big part of the URI culture, and whether they’re doing disaster relief work or environmental cleanup, monitoring water quality, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, or tutoring and mentoring, students and faculty are always sharing their knowledge with people around the state, nation, and world.

On the playing field, our students can engage in sports and recreation at any level they want—from 18 NCAA Division I intercollegiate programs to numerous intramural sports to regionally and nationally ranked club teams that involve more than 400 student-athletes competing at the intercollegiate club level.

Find out more
Interested in learning more about the University of Rhode Island? For details on the admission process, financial aid, and campus tours, visit