As the nation’s oldest technological university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York has a rightfully deserved reputation in the science and engineering world, having led tens of thousands of bright minds to look at “innovation and the future.” “Research opportunities” and facilities are everywhere, and students are encouraged to work in interdisciplinary programs that allow them to combine scholarly work from several departments or schools. When their four years are complete, students are encouraged to take what they learn and use it for the greater good. “Why not change the world?” asks a student.
The professors at RPI are “passionate about teaching,” “very accessible, and really there for the students.” Though there are certainly some “dull” professors (“I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly!” says one student), most find that the faculty is praiseworthy and “serve as great mentors for students.” “My professors in my direct major are extremely hands-on and discussion-based,” says a student. Thanks to the “focus on problem-solving,” professors are always looking to get students involved in projects, and one of “the greatest strengths of [the] school is the resources that they offer.” On top of that, the “welcoming overall community” fosters success, as “students are not extremely competitive and everyone tends to help each other out.”
The school is “rigorous,” but the students “do find time to enjoy the downtime when we get it.” RPI “is a place where nerds can get both an excellent education and an enjoyable four years,” according to one student. The student union is entirely student-run, giving students “a lot of freedom to control our educational experience.” Many of the student clubs both “suit your interests and work toward your professional career after college.” All in all, “community and knowledge drive this school to push students to excel in school and after graduation.”
Academics are definitely an important priority here, but “extracurricular activities are balanced alongside the classes, labs, homework, and studying.” There are hundreds of clubs on campus (such as Engineers for a Sustainable World and the Model Railroad Society, which does model railroading of upstate New York and Vermont all circa the earlyto mid-1950s), and “most people are involved in several.” There are always campus events that students can attend, which range from “athletic events and cultural programs to student ensemble concerts and open mic shows.” Downtown Troy has some “quaint cafes and places to explore,” Albany has shopping malls, parks, and movie theaters, and a ski trip to Lake Placid is easily accomplished. “There is so much to do around here—you’ll never be bored if you take the time to explore.” Men’s hockey games are a large part of student life here, and “Greek life accounts for about one-fourth of the undergraduate student body and is a great leadership experience and a large contributor to the social scene.”
The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.
Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety
The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security