Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a laboratory of innovation and technology where scientists, artists, engineers, architects, and business students learn and work together to create a collaborative learning environment unlike any other.
Founded nearly two centuries ago,Rensselaer was the first technological research university founded in America, yet it’s one of its most modern in terms of technology and innovation. It’s composed of five schools: Engineering; Science; Architecture; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences;and the Lally School of Management.Each has its own distinct characteristics and traditions, but through cross-discipline courses and programs, they work as one to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education.
Its students come from near and far to learn. Among the current freshman class, 43 states and 19 countries are represented. While here, they’re part of a rigorous learning environment that’s devoted to educational innovation in the laboratory, classroom, and studio.
Learning with CLASS
At Rensselaer, students receive a comprehensive education where they’re exposed to a wide array of topics and people. Central in this is CLASS, or Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students. This initiative involves the entire Rensselaer community working together to engage students in multiple facets of the educational experience at Rensselaer. Through time-based clustering, residential commons, interdisciplinary programs, and a support network of peers, staff, and faculty, students develop the intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and global awareness that will enable them to change the world.
Students at Rensselaer also have the opportunity to lead or assist with projects that have lasting and far-reaching effects. They’re tackling such societal challenges as clean water, safe food, climate change, renewable energy, and disease control. They’re also building bridges, planning cities, and exploring the deepest reaches of outer space. In short: they’re changing the world.
At Rensselaer, students learn by doing. Engineering undergraduates, for instance, work alongside acclaimed faculty on fuel cell research, earthquake engineering, and electricity transmission. Other students perform environmental research at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute or take part in the annual GameFest, where they can showcase the computer games they’ve designed in front of industry professionals, gaining valuable insight into the profession.
Location is another benefit thatRensselaer students enjoy, as the school is a short drive from the tech hubs of Boston and New York City. Rensselaer’s Center for Career and ProfessionalDevelopment can help students strengthen their résumés by arranging internships and co-ops in not only these two cities but also atcorporations, labs, and start-ups around the world. Amazon, Google,IBM, and NASA are just some of the places where Rensselaer students learn on the job.
Turning ideas into action
Rensselaer is at the center of some of the most groundbreaking research taking place today. It’s home to 32 research centers across five schools, with annual research expenditures topping $103 million. Its primary research areas include biotechnology and the life sciences; energy and the environment; computational scienceand engineering; nanotechnology and advanced materials; and media, arts, science, and technology.
Starting their freshman year, students have the opportunity to don lab coats and take part in research. Eachyear, more than 900 students participate in Rensselaer’s Undergraduate Research Program, which allows them to work on projects that could conceivably culminate with presentations at conferences or publication in journals.
When class is over
From Street Dance club and Space Society meetings to Tai Chi class andrugby practice, days at Rensselaer are never dull. The school offers more than 200 student clubs and organizations as well as numerous intramuralsports. Also adding to the school’s vibrant atmosphere is the abundanceof undergraduates who call campus home. More than 60% of students live in Rensselaer’s 22 residence halls.Some of the halls are themed to matchinterests such as Design and Arts Housing, Leadership House, Wellness House, and the Vasuda Livingand Learning Community, which is focused on issues related to the Earth and its natural resources.
When off campus, Rensselaer’s hometown of Troy packs a punch in terms of cultural, entertainment, and dining options. One Friday a month, the town hosts Troy NightOut, a popular night of museum and musical events. Other eventsinclude the Troy Pig-Out, Victorian Stroll, and Chowderfest, when, as you guessed it, chowder tasting takes center stage.
At Rensselaer, the Arch is a unique approach to education that provides flexibility in the semester schedule, allowing students to pursue professionaland personal development opportunities that prepare them to meet the multifaceted challenges of the 21st century. Students remain on campus after their sophomore year, taking junior-level classes while receiving focused attention from professors during a unique summer semester experience. Students then have the opportunity to pursue their passions, follow their dreams, and make a difference all while gaining valuable experience during the fall or spring semester of their junior year through internships, co-ops, research,or other experiences off campus.
Come see for yourself
At Rensselaer, seeing is believing, which is why it’s suggested that prospective students visit the picturesque campus. Information sessions are held year-round, during which admission counselors are available to answer questions. Tours are led bycurrent students, giving the inside scoop on why Rensselaer is one of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking universities.