Rensselaer polytechnic institute  troy  new york   united states
US News Ranking 41
Qsranking 190
Timesranking 251-300

Brief background: 

Founded in 1884, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private research university. It is one of the oldest technological universities in The United States and offers over 100 programs and 1,000 courses. The University has been ranked among the top 50 colleges in the country since the last decade. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University 42nd in 2017 among national Universities while its Graduate Engineering program was ranked 39th. The University offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees through schools of Architecture, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Engineering, Management and Technology, Science and information technology (IT). The University’s School of Engineering contributes over $40 million annually towards research. 


The University is located in Troy, New York. The campus is spread across 275 acres. The campus buildings are the perfect blend of traditional and modern architecture. The campus has state-of-the-art laboratories, research centers, and lecture halls. It also has the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, multiple libraries, cafes, and clubhouses. Students also have access to a fitness center, basketball court, swimming pool, weightlifting court, and other facilities. 

Residing Options:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers on-campus accommodation to its students and has various residence halls for this purpose. Among all residence halls, Barton Hall is the finest one and students need to pay $7000 annually for staying in it. Most graduate students prefer to live off-campus and end up paying between $600 and $1100 every month. The rent depends on the location, size of the room and also the number of roommates a student has. 

Faculty and pedagogy:

Most faculty members of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have completed their Ph.D. and many have multiple degrees too. Most professors are well versed with their subject and expect the students to regularly attend their classes. Though most professors are engaged in their research work or thesis, they are still approachable if the student takes the initiative. 

Financial aid:

Being a private University, getting a scholarship here is quite difficult. Only those who have an exceptional profile can expect to get one of the few ones that are available. Students can apply for Research Assistantship and Teaching Assistantship, provided they are regular with their work and maintain their grades. 

Jobs and placements:

The top recruiters employing students from this university include General Electric Co (GE), Pratt and Whitney, United Technologies Corporation. The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corp. The job profiles which are the most popular amongst the university alumni include Mechanical Engineer, Software Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, Project Engineer, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Process Engineer. Senior Software Engineers rope in the highest median salary, that is, $109K, while Senior Mechanical Engineers earn $89K. 
Students can also get in touch with the university’s Center for Career and Professional Development to enhance their employability prospects. Right from resume writing and honing interview skills to helping one research about potential employers and land great internships, the center leaves no stone unturned in providing students with the best of services aiding them in their career development


Some notable alumni from the University include names such as Father of the microprocessor Marcian Hoff and father of modern T.V Allen B. Dumont. 


This is a moderately average University. Apply here only if you have an average profile. Students with a good profile can apply at better Universities 


The University is located in Troy, New York, with other campuses in Hartford and Gordon. The main campus of the university is located on a 20-minute drive from Albany Country Airport (ALB), where a number of airlines operate. The students can take 20-25 dollar taxi services for commuting between the airport and the campus.  There is also an Amtrak station across the Hudson River. Taxi service from the campus to the station can cost $20. Many taxi services are present in the location including Yellow Cab, Troy Capitaland Taxi, Dufffy’s Taxi Inc. and Black & White Cab System. Moreover, parents of Rensselaer students get a special discount on the car rented from Hertz. At the same time, the campus has CDTA bus routes, except STAR and NX services, which can be availed for free by swiping the university identification card. Free transportation to the airport, bus station and train station is provided during Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks. The campus offers gated parking too. Here, transponder has been programmed for open close parking lots and campus gates. There is also an in campus shuttle service that can be used free of charge on designated routes across campus by using the university identification card. Transportation facilities to students of late-night and evening classes are provided for free to specific areas. The detailed information regarding these facilities can be availed from the university website.

Acceptance Rate for Indians 48%
STEM Masters Awarded to International Students 28
STEM Doctorates Awarded to International Students 28
TA Appointments 168
RA appointments 115
Research funding $47,975,862
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & partner data as of year 2018

Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear

The Mechanical, Aeronautical, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE) department offers B.S programs. A special feature of this department is that it offers a B.S.-Ph.D. program. This allows research-oriented bachelor students to complete their Ph.D. After BS, instead of having to do M.S. first, the department allows the students to pursue a Ph.D. and pays them too. 3.5 GPA is required for admission to this program, and the program is available by invitation only. The B.S. degree must be completed within 8 or less semesters. At the graduate level, MS and MEng are both being offered in all the three majors. M.Eng. has a more practical approach as compared to M.S, which is research-oriented.

Areas of Expertise: Nuclear Science and Technology; Applied Mechanics/Mechanics of Materials; Manufacturing/Design; Energy Systems/Multiphase Phenomena and Heat Transfer; Aeronautics and Space Technology; Environmental Health Physics and Radiation Dosimetry
List of Labs: Flow Physics and Control Research Center; Center for Modeling, Simulation and Imaging in Medicine; Center for Engineering-Based Patient Modeling; Scientific Computation Research Center


The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS)  boasts of external funding of $130 Million.  The department offers only Doctoral level studies in Biotechnology, however, a B.S. in biomedical engineering is offered. The department offers research opportunities in Biologics, Bioimaging, Biomanufacturing, Biomolecular Science and Engineering, Biophysics & Structural Biology, Microbiomics, Neuroscience, and Stem Cell bioengineering, etc. The four major groups of study are Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering, Biocomputation and Bioinformatics, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and Integrated Systems Biology. Students enter this department either through the NIGM training Program (BSE) or NIA Training Program (ADCTR).  The department has over 150 Ph.D. students and at least 25 Visiting Research Scientists. It has well-equipped research and support labs, along with other core facilities required for successful research. To date, the department has published over 2000 Peer-Reviewed articles.

Areas of Expertise: Computational bioengineering; Thermodynamics & transport phenomena; Bioelectric; Kinetics & reactor design; Process dynamics and control; Polymer & semiconductor processing; Biomechanics/biomaterials; Cellular and tissue bioengineering; Biochemical and biomedical engineering; Bone Implant Interface; Imaging


The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering under the university’s College of Engineering offers both undergraduate and graduate courses. The undergraduate programme in Chemical Engineering offers a B.S. degree for research-oriented students. The Chemical Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission. A 5-year ME program called the BS/ME program is available to prospective students who can maintain their GPA at 3.0 or more. At the graduate level, both the Master of Engineering and Master of Science Programs are offered. The M.Eng program is more practical in approach. Moreover, a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering is also offered by the department. 72 credits of graduate level study are needed to complete the PhD. In both the MS and PhD programmes, students are required to take the courses named CHME 6570, CHME 6610, CHME 6510 and a 6000-level Chemical Engineering Elective course.

Areas of Expertise: Thermodynamics & transport phenomena; Polymer & semiconductor processing; Biochemical and biomedical engineering; Kinetics & reactor design; Process dynamics and control

Civil and Environmental

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering. At the graduate level, both Masters of Engineering and Master of Science Degrees are offered. The M.Eng. 30-credit program is offered in civil, environmental and transportation engineering. For M.S., there is a 30-credit research-based program available in Civil, Environmental and Transport majors. Ph.D. degree requires 72 credits after Bachelors. At the undergraduate level, a bachelor program is available in Civil Engineering and Environmental engineering. Transport Engineering is not offered at the B.S. level. The focus of the department is on allowing students to have successful careers in the above-mentioned fields. Another interesting fact about the department is that it issued the first civil engineering degree in the United States.

Computer Science

Boasting of a faculty consisting of recognized names in the field with numerous accolades for ACM, IEEE, AAAI, and AAAS, the department offers both undergraduate and graduate-level courses. At the undergraduate level, B.S. in Computer Science is offered to students, which can be pursued as a double major. At the same time, a CS minor is also offered to students, and to obtain the degree,  they need to complete a CSCI 2300 course along with other additional courses. The curriculum for B.S. computer science is quite flexible with 28-32 free electives in the degree requirements.  An accelerated BS+MS program in Computer Science is offered by the department in which the student can start with their master’s level studies during their undergraduate years.  The department also provides research facilities to students at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level,  M.S. program in Computer Sciences is offered which is academic and research-oriented in nature. Ph.D. in Computer Science is also being offered to facilitate deep research in the field.

Areas of Expertise: Earthquake and Geotechnical Engineering; Bioremediation & Environmental Systems; Structural Engineering; Water, Air, and Waste Treatment; Transportation Engineering; Computational Mechanics
List of Labs: Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation; Infrastructure, Transportation and the Environment

Electrical, Computer, Systems Engineering

The Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate-level programs in Electrical Engineering and Computer & Systems Engineering. Federal funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and Department of Energy (DOE) fund the research conducted by the ECSE Department. For undergraduate students, there are both research and teaching opportunities available. The MS program can be taken in ELEC or CSYS with and without thesis, with different requirements for each. MEng is also offered to students, a more practical graduate-level program. Students have to appear in and pass the Doctoral Qualifying Exam for enrollment in the Ph.D. program. Another test is required to track the progress on the thesis topic called the Doctoral Candidacy Exam (DCE). Doctoral Defense is the final step before the Ph.D. degree is attained.

Areas of Expertise: Computer Networks; Communications, Information and Signal Processing; Microelectronics and photonics technology; Electric power and power electronics; Computer vision, image processing, geometry, and digital media; Computer hardware, architecture, VLSI and mixed-signal design
List of Labs: NSF ERC Smart Lighting Center; NSF ERC Current; Automation Technologies

Industrial and Systems Engineering

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering offers BS program which gives the students a comprehensive understanding of the broad range of fields it covers. Moreover, an Arch program (formerly known as Summer Arch)  is offered to juniors so that they remain on campus in summer and accelerate their studies by taking various courses. Both the MS and MEng programs are being offered at the graduate level in Industrial and Management Engineering. The MS program is more academic in approach, while the MEng program is more practical in approach.  Also, a doctoral degree is offered in Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems, which is a research-intensive program, requiring applicants to have a GPA of 3.5 or better. A special research Award, called the ISE Graduate Student Research Award, is offered to the student who is the primary author of an accepted research publication.  Another special Master of Engineering program called the Systems Engineering and Technology Management (STEM) is also offered for those who have an undergraduate engineering degree.

Material Science

Undergraduate and Graduate programs are offered by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The undergraduate program offers both a complete major program as well as a material science minor. The graduate programs offered in this department include M.S. Material Science, M.Eng. Material Science and Ph.D. programs. The Ph.D. program has a total of 72 credit hours where there is a minimum of 29 coursework credits involved. The M.S. and the M.Eng. Program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours. The undergraduate Materials Science and Engineering program is focused on broadening the skills and knowledge of the students in all the various concepts that are encountered in this field. Over the past 4 sessions, the number of students graduating from the department has fluctuated from 24 to the highest 33 and fell back to 29 in session 2017-2018.

Areas of Expertise: Materials for Microelectronic Systems; High-Performance Composite Materials; Ceramics and glasses; Polymers and surfaces; Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology; Materials Processing, Metals, and Alloys
List of Labs: Nanotechnology Research Center

Pure Sciences

There are many sub-departments in the School of Science that offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in multiple fields. The Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy department offers B.S. program in Physics and Applied Physics, while a B.S. + M.S. program is also offered in Physics. Another program offered is a Ph.D. Accelerated, where one can complete the Ph.D. degree in 7 years starting from the day one begins with the undergraduate degree. At the graduate level, there are M.S. and Ph.D. programs offered in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy. Research can be conducted in Optical Physics, Particle Physics, and Condensed Matter Physics etc. The Chemistry and Chemical Biology sub-department offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. B.S Chemistry is offered under the department’s undergraduate programme. Moreover, a 5-year B.S. plus M.S. program and a 7-year B.S. plus Ph.D. program are also being offered in Chemistry. At the graduate level, the department offers Ph.D. in Chemistry and M.S. in Chemistry. Similarly, the biology sub-department offers B.S. program in Biology, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry and Biophysics. Moreover, an accelerated BS + MD programme which is a Physician-Scientist Program is also offered by the department. This programme allows the person to train both as a physician and a scientist at once. Moreover, B.S. plus M.S. accelerated program and a B.S. plus Ph.D. accelerated program for 5 and 7 years respectively are also offered. Apart from that, at the graduate level, Ph.D. in Biology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics is being offered. The same routes are also available at the Master’s Level, with M.S. in Biology Program and M.S. in Biochemistry and Biophysics Program. The Mathematical Sciences sub-department offers programmes in Mathematics. This includes a 4-year B.S. program in Mathematics, a 5-year B.S. plus M.S. program in Mathematics and a 7 year B.S. plus Ph.D. Program in Mathematics. Apart from the accelerated programs, graduate-level courses being offered include Ph.D. in Mathematics, M.S. in Mathematics and M.S. in Applied Mathematics.

List of Labs: Gaerttner Linear Accelerator Center

Annual fees for Indians $50,000
Annual off-campus living $6,000
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & university's website as of year 2018

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Discussion on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1884, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private research university. It is one of the oldest technological universities in The United States and offers over 100 programs and 1,000 cour... ... Read more

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