Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, New York, United States

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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:

  • list items Nuclear Science and Technology
  • list items Applied Mechanics/Mechanics of Materials
  • list items Manufacturing/Design
  • list items Energy Systems/Multiphase Phenomena and Heat Transfer
  • list items Aeronautics and Space Technology
  • list items Environmental Health Physics
  • list items Radiation Dosimetry
  • List of Labs:

  • list items Flow Physics and Control Research Center
  • list items Center for Modeling, Simulation and Imaging in Medicine
  • list items Center for Engineering-Based Patient Modeling
  • list items Scientific Computation Research Center
  • Sprinkles


    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 :

  • list items Biologics
  • list items Bioimaging
  • list items Biomanufacturing
  • list items Biomolecular Science and Engineering
  • list items Biophysics & Structural Biology
  • list items Microbiomics
  • list items Neuroscience
  • list items Stem Cell bioengineering
  • The four major groups of study are :

  • list items Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering
  • list items Biocomputation and Bioinformatics
  • list items Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • list items 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:

  • list items Computational bioengineering
  • list items Thermodynamics & transport phenomena
  • list items Bioelectric
  • list items Kinetics & reactor design
  • list items Process dynamics and control
  • list items Polymer & semiconductor processing
  • list items Biomechanics/biomaterials
  • list items Cellular and tissue bioengineering
  • list items Biochemical and biomedical engineering
  • list items Bone Implant Interface
  • list items Imaging
  • Sprinkles


    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:

  • list items Thermodynamics & transport phenomena
  • list items Polymer & semiconductor processing
  • list items Biochemical and biomedical engineering
  • list items Kinetics & reactor design
  • list items Process dynamics and control
  • Sprinkles

    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:

  • list items Earthquake and Geotechnical Engineering
  • list items Bioremediation & Environmental Systems
  • list items Structural Engineering
  • list items Water, Air and Waste Treatment
  • list items Transportation Engineering
  • list items Computational Mechanics
  • List of Labs:

  • list items Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Infrastructure, Transportation and the Environment
  • Sprinkles

    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 :

  • list items National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • list items Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
  • list items 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:

  • list items Computer Networks
  • list items Communications, Information and Signal Processing
  • list items Microelectronics and photonics technology
  • list items Electric power and power electronics
  • list items Computer vision, image processing, geometry, and digital media
  • list items Computer hardware, architecture, VLSI and mixed-signal design
  • List of Labs:

  • list items NSF ERC Smart Lighting Center
  • list items NSF ERC Current
  • list items Automation Technologies
  • Sprinkles

    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 :

  • list items M.S. Material Science
  • list items M.Eng. Material Science
  • list items 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:

  • list items Materials for Microelectronic Systems
  • list items High-Performance Composite Materials
  • list items Ceramics and glasses
  • list items Polymers and surfaces
  • list items Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
  • list items 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 :

  • list items Physics
  • list items Applied Physics
  • list items 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 :

  • list items B.S. program in Biology
  • list items Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology
  • list items Biochemistry
  • list items 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

    What is RPI famous for?

    The Institute is particularly well-known for its accomplishments in transferring technology from the lab to the market in a way that improves human life. The oldest technological research university in the country was established in 1824 and is named Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
    Is RPI liberal or conservative?

    RPI has a highly stereotypically liberal culture with no evidence of opposition. Aside from a few infrequent "here is a safe space of perspectives" bubbles, the university does little to nothing to encourage students to listen to alternative viewpoints.
    Is RPI a hard school?

    RPI is a demanding institution. As a top high school student, you now have to compete with other top high school students. However, it is feasible to succeed if you put in a lot of effort.
    What kind of students go to RPI?

    Greek L.I.F.E., the school's fraternity and sorority scene, which emphasises Leadership, Innovation, Fortitude, and Evolution, has about a quarter of the student body active. More than 80% participate in varsity, club, or intramural sports.