Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY

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Why not change the world?

Why not change the world?
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 the 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 school 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.

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 far-reaching and lasting 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.

Real-world experiences
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 that Rensselaer 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 Professional Development can help students strengthen their résumés by arranging internships and co-ops in not only these two cities but also at corporations, 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 its five schools, with annual research expenditures topping $105 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. More than 70% of 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 Jazz Ensemble and Ecologic meetings to kickboxing classes and rugby practices, days at Rensselaer are never dull. The school offers more than 200 student clubs and organizations as well as numerous intramural sports. Adding to the school’s vibrant atmosphere is the abundance of undergraduates who call campus home. More than 60% of students live in Rensselaer’s 22 residence halls. Some of the halls are themed to match interests such as Multicultural Community, Leadership House, Wellness House, and the Vasuda Living and Learning Community, which is focused on issues related to the Earth and its natural resources.

When off campus, Rensselaer’s hometown of Troy, New York, packs a punch in terms of cultural, entertainment, and dining options. One Friday a month, the town hosts Troy Night Out, a popular night of museum and musical events. Other events include the Troy Pig-Out, Victorian Stroll, and Chowderfest, when—you guessed it—chowder tasting takes center stage.

The Arch
At Rensselaer, the Arch is a unique approach to education that provides flexibility in the semester schedule, allowing students to pursue professional and 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 by current students, giving the inside scoop on why Rensselaer is one of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking universities.

RPI Majors

• Aeronautical Engineering
• Applied Physics
• Architecture*
• Biochemistry and Biophysics
• Biological Neuroscience
• Biology*
• Biomedical Engineering*
• BS/JD–Albany Law School
• BS/MD–Albany Medical College
• Building Science
• Business Analytics
• Business and Management
• Chemical Engineering
• Chemistry*
• Civil Engineering*
• Cognitive Science
• Communication, Media, and Design
• Computational Biology
• Computer and Systems Engineering*
• Computer Science*
• Design, Innovation, and Society
• Economics*
• Electrical Engineering*
• Electronic Arts*
• Environmental Engineering*
• Environmental Science*
• Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences
• Geology*
• Hydrogeology*
• Industrial and Management Engineering*
• Information Technology and Web Science*
• Interdisciplinary Science
• Materials Engineering*
• Mathematics*
• Mechanical Engineering
• Music
• Nuclear Engineering*
• Philosophy*
• Physics*
• Psychology*
• Science, Technology, and Society*
• Sustainability Studies*

* Also offered as a minor


Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute is located in Troy, New York, with a 275-acre campus overlooking the Hudson River and a branch campus in Hartford, Connecticut. 


Type of School: Private, coeducational four-year university in a suburban setting

Size of Campus: 275 acres

Number of Students: For fall 2018, undergraduate enrollment was 6,628; 68% male, 32% female. The student-faculty ratio is 13:1.

Number of Faculty: 462 full-time; memberships include National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellows, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Sciences.

Colleges, programs, and degrees: See “RPI Majors” side bar.

Geographic Diversity:
• Northeastern United States: 63%
• Southern United States: 11%
• Western United States: 9%
• Midwestern United States: 4%
• International: 13% (Argentina, Burma, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan)

International Student Services: Rensselaer’s Office of International Services for Students and Scholars (ISSS) offers a variety of services to enhance the experience of international students as they navigate through academic life in the United States, including visa, travel, and postgraduate employment assistance.

International Student Budget:
Tuition $54,000
Fees $1,378
Room and Board $15,580
Books and Supplies $2,858

Financial Aid: See for specific information.

Test Score Requirements:
• SAT or ACT
• Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all non-native English speakers. (Rensselaer expects a minimum score of at least 88 iBT or 570 PBT.)

Application Deadlines and Fees:
• Early Decision l: November 1
• Early Decision ll: December 15
• Regular Decision: January 15
• The non-refundable application processing fee is $70.

An Inside Look