See what students say:


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."

Student Body

Everyone here is pretty much without a doubt "a little bit nerdy, but friendly and helpful." This tinge of nerdiness in everyone "brings the students together and makes it a fun environment with little to no discrimination." "The typical student at my school is studious, but also social in their own way," explains a student. There is a whole spectrum of social students, which ranges "from socializing with a select few to the person that is a social butterfly," but no matter which path you choose, "people don't judge at RPI."

Campus Life

Everyone agrees that RPI is just the right size: "The kind of size where you don't know everybody but you see ten people you know as you walk across campus (and it only takes ten minutes to walk across campus)." People at RPI "don't care how weird or different you are, they let you be." "You can be anyone you want— the kid sword-fighting with his friends in quad or an avid musician who has a 4.0," says a student. Most students do have a "nerdy" side to them, and they inherently love math/science—"even the humanities at RPI are laced with the sweet smell of science," and "physics equation graffiti" can be found on some walls.

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."


Acceptance Rate

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
610 - 710
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
670 - 770

Concordant SAT Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
700 - 780

ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
28 - 32

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted


Early Decision — November 1

Early Decision II — December 15

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Class Rank
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores

Selectivity Rating

Get a personalized plan for a competitive application from an admissions expert.

Learn More

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
  • Business/Commerce, General

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Communication and Media Studies, Other

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Information Technology

  • Engineering

  • Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, General
  • Computer Engineering, General
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Engineering Science
  • Engineering, General
  • Engineering, Other
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Operations Research
  • Transportation and Highway Engineering

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies

  • Legal Professions and Studies

  • Pre-Law Studies

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Cognitive Science
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
  • Natural Sciences
  • Science, Technology and Society
  • Sustainability Studies

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy

  • Physical Sciences

  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Hydrology and Water Resources Science
  • Physical Sciences, Other
  • Physics, General
  • Physics, Other

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Economics, General
  • Economics, Other
  • Social Sciences, General
  • Social Sciences, Other

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Visual and Performing Arts, Other



Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Robert Hull, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head, Materials Science & Engineering

Jonathan S. Dordick, Ph.D.
Howard P. Isermann Prof. of Chem. Engr., Chemical & Biological Engineering

George Makhatadze, Ph.D.
Constellation Chair, Biocomputation and Bioinformatics

Selmer Bringsjord, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head, Cognitive Science

Ivar Giaever, Ph.D.
Institute Professor/Nobel Laureate, Physics

Prominent Alumni

George W. G. Ferris
Inventor of the Ferris Wheel

Claire Fraser-Liggett
President of the Institute for Genomic Research

Marcian Hoff
Father of the microprocessor

George M. Low
NASA Administrator, headed Apollo Program

Raymond Tomlinson
The inventor of email in 1971.

Curtis R. Priem
Founded NVIDIA, designed 1st PC graphics processor

Adam Oates
15th leading scorer in NHL history

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

Students Say

RPI is all about ensuring every student gets legitimate experience in his or her field of study as soon as possible, and looks to "equip each student with the skills needed to be a valuable member of any research team or company." The focus on problem-solving and "opportunities to be involved in hands-on research" are just two of the ways the school accomplishes this, and "the research buildings are amazing." The RPI name has a great reputation with science and tech employers, and many take part in co-ops throughout the academic year. The Center for Career & Professional Development maintains JobLink, an online job recruiting and posting system, offers career programming tailored to your class year, and hosts a Spring Career Fair. Fifty percent of the RPI graduates who visited reported feeling that their jobs had a high level of meaningful impact on the world, and brought in an average starting salary of $62,300.


Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Mar 15

Required Forms

Forms CSSProfile

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Other
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
Federal Perkins Loans
State Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented



32% female
68% male
66% are out of state
100% are full time
0% are part time


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Small Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Frat Sorority
Theme Housing

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations

30% join a fraternity
16% join a sorority


Athletic Division
Division III

9% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Engineers)
13 Sports

Cross Country
Ice Hockey
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Engineers)
12 Sports

Cross Country
Field Hockey
Ice Hockey
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor

Student Services

Day Care
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered on-campus


Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

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:

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:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

RPI has a special arrangement with Lenovo for high end ThinkPads. See for details

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Carol-Ann Casey
Campus Visit & Ambassador Coordinator

Office of Admissions
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Rensselaer Union
Mueller Fitness Center
Experimental Media & Performing Arts Ctr
Houston Field House (hockey arena)
Quiet and parklike, yet full of all the conveniences of a self-contained city, Rensselaer's 275-acre campus is a blend of modern style and classic charm. The Institute is in a period of tremendous growth, building new facilities that greatly enhance the lives of our students and faculty.

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Adirondack Mountains for hiking, skiing, camping
Lake George for water sports
Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Troy Music Hall
Albany-Troy Metro Area
Berkshires (MA)

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Mon-Fri,Info session at 9 AM;tour 10AM
M-F 8:30-5:00pm;Saturday 10AM March-Nov only

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Mon-Fri 10AM-2PM
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

9am & 1pm

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available


Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Albany International Airport is 10 minutes from campus. Rail service is available from the new Albany-Rensselaer train station to New York City and other major metropolitan areas. Convenient ground transportation services include taxis, bus lines, and rental cars.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From north, east, south, or west, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is easy to reach. We are centrally located near the major highways in New York State. From the North: Take I-87, the Adirondack Northway, south to Exit 7 east. Get on Route 7 headed eastbound. Follow directions to campus (below). From the South: Take I-87, the New York State Thruway, north to exit 23. At exit 23, get on I-787 north to Route 7 East, Exit 9E. Disregard the sign for Rensselaer and Russell Sage College at the previous exit. Exit 9E, Route 7 east, provides an easier approach to campus. Follow directions to campus (below). From the East: Take I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike, Berkshire Spur of the New York Thruway), to exit B1. Continue west (13.5 miles) to I-787 north to Route 7 east, exit 9E. Disregard the sign for Rensselaer and Russell Sage College at the previous exit. Exit 9E, Route 7 east, provides an easier approach to campus. Follow directions to campus (below). From the West: Take I-90, the New York State Thruway, to exit 24. From exit 24, take I-87 north, exit 1N, to exit 7 east. Follow directions to campus (below). Directions to Campus: Cross the Collar City Bridge and follow signs for Route 7, Hoosick Street. At the 4th traffic light, turn right onto 15th Street. You will know you're at Rensselaer when you see the large RENSSELAER sign in granite at the intersection of 15th Street and Sage Avenue. Make a left at the third traffic light onto Sage Avenue. The Admissions Building will be directly in front of you. Bear to the left of the building onto Eaton Road. The parking lot will be on your right, directly behind the Admissions Building.

Local Accommodations
The following hotels are located within a short drive from campus: Franklin Plaza Inn and Suites (1 Fourth Street, Troy, NY, 518-274-8800) The Albany Marriot (189 Wolf Road; 518-458-8444), Best Western-Albany Airport (200 Wolf Road; 518-458-1016), Clarion Suites (611 Troy-Schenectady Road; 518-785-5891), Days Inn (16 Wolf Road; 518-459-3600), The Desmond (660 Albany-Shaker Road; 518-869-8100), Hampton Inn-Latham (981 New London Road; 518-785-0000), Hampton Inn-Wolf Road (10 Ulenski Drive; 518-438-2822), Holiday Inn Express (946 New London Road; 518-783-6161), The Inn at the Century (997 New London Road; 518-785-0931), Microtel-Colonie (7 Rensselaer Avenue; 800-782-9121).

Articles & Advice