Jul 16, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025 
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025

Educational Programs and Resources

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For more than 175 years, Rensselaer has offered a unique and innovative technological educational experience. As the Institute’s visionary leaders have long understood, ensuring the excellence of this experience requires learning opportunities that extend beyond traditional classroom or campus boundaries. Rensselaer’s students may choose from a broad range of distinctive advantages designed to fulfill their abundant desire for new challenges.

Especially appealing to Rensselaer’s highly motivated and intellectually talented students are opportunities to engage in leading-edge research. Rensselaer’s relatively small size enables faculty researchers to work closely with students, and they eagerly include both undergraduate and graduate students in their research work. Such opportunities are available to students in virtually every major offered through Rensselaer’s five schools—Engineering, Science, the Lally School of Management, Architecture, and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Additional special opportunities include a variety of domestic and overseas student exchange programs, internships, and real-world work experience through the Cooperative Education Program. Conversely, the Vollmer W. Fries and other lecture series bring leading industrialists, governmental officials, authors, and outside educator-scholars to the Troy campus.

Recognizing the benefits of such beyond-the-classroom educational opportunities, leading industries and graduate and professional schools throughout the nation actively seek Rensselaer graduates.

Undergraduate Programs


Office of Undergraduate Education

Vice Provost and Dean: Keith Moo-Young

The office of undergraduate education oversees some of the cross-cutting programs for undergraduates including:  undergraduate research, study abroad, ROTC, and the Advising and Learning Assistance Center.  In addition, the office of undergraduate education participates in assessment of student learning, and encourages pedagogical innovation.  

Rensselaer has more than 40 undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree.  They are listed in the Degrees Offered section of this catalog. All B.S. programs are normally completed in four academic years. Dual majors are also available and can generally be completed within four academic years. For information on general degree requirements, refer to the Academic Information and Regulations section of this catalog. The individual school sections provide detailed information on the specific curricula that each offers.

Rensselaer as a whole is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

The Schools of Architecture, Engineering, and Lally offer professionally accredited degrees. These are the five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, the four-year Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, and the four-year Bachelor of Science in Business and Management. See the School of Architecture, Engineering, and Lally catalog sections for more detailed information.

Additional special options available to undergraduates are described below.

Advising and Learning Assistance Center

Director: vacant

The Advising and Learning Assistance Center (ALAC), located in 4226 Academy Hall, provides support and training for students to become independent learners. The center trains faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students as advisers, peer mentors, learning assistants, teaching learning assistants, and tutors.  Advising events, academic workshops, tutoring sessions, and office hours are offered to all registered students and are coordinated by the staff.  ALAC coordinates programs for students at academic risk, including collaboration with faculty, staff, and the Office of the First-Year Experience on programs for students at academic risk after their first semester.  This formal program, the First Year Intervention Program, assists those entering students who have been unsuccessful in establishing proper habits needed for academic success.  Students in later years on Academic Probation work with individual staff members to facilitate skills development and to establish a path toward graduation.

Members of the professional staff are available to consult with students individually or in groups where they discuss such topics as academic performance, exam anxieties, stress management, time management, note taking, and general improvement of learning skills. The staff also works with students previously diagnosed with learning disabilities.

Additional responsibilities include PreHealth advising through the Professional Health Committee, advising Undeclared/General Studies students, and coordinating English as a Second Language programs.  Through its PreHealth Committee, students are guided through the development of their application portfolio for medical, dental, and other graduate health professional schools. The committee advises students and provides professional letters of recommendation as well as specific advice.

The center also provides information, makes referrals, interprets, administers, and makes, with the approval of the Academic Standing Committee, exceptions to Institute registration policies and procedures.  ALAC processes all academic issues regarding student academic awards, dismissals, and probation. Additionally, the center facilitates a First Year Seminar for Undeclared General Studies Students and training sessions for all new advisers, and updates experienced advisers on changes to Institute policies and procedures.

The center participates in strong collaborative efforts with other support services on campus — the Office of the First-Year Experience, the Dean of Students Office, the Student Health and Counseling Centers, the Center for Career and Professional Development, and the Office of Graduate Education — to help assure that positive, helpful, and exciting connections are made throughout the student’s experience at Rensselaer.

Undergraduate Research Program

As a globally active research university committed to providing student research opportunities, Rensselaer offers undergraduates the opportunity to participate in research projects through the Undergraduate Research Program (URP). This program offers students real-world, hands-on research experience, in which they work directly with a faculty member on a bona fide research project for which they can earn either pay or course credit. There is a special summer program during which the students can compete for funding that will allow them to spend a full summer working on a research project (SURP). Details on the programs are available at http://info.rpi.edu/undergraduate-research.

Notice Regarding Intellectual Property All members of the Rensselaer community, including, but not limited to, graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, administration, visiting scholars and scientists, and guests, are bound by the Rensselaer intellectual property policy. Go to: http://rpitechnology.com/files/ip_policy.pdf. For additional information about intellectual property at Rensselaer, refer to http://www.eship.rpi.edu/intellectual_property.php.

Study-Abroad and Exchange Opportunities

Study abroad has become an integral part of a well-rounded undergraduate experience. Learning in a global context promotes cross-cultural competence, independence, and enhanced communication skills while allowing students to develop a broader perspective on their academic field of study. Rensselaer provides academic opportunities abroad for undergraduates in all disciplines. These include semester, full-year, and short-term exchange programs and other academic experiences at partner institutions worldwide. Students whose academic interests are not met by existing exchanges may apply for non-affiliated study abroad, subject to Office of International Programs (OIP) approval.

Second-semester sophomore standing and a minimum 3.0 GPA are required for most education abroad  programs.  Foreign language proficiency is generally not required.  Credits are transferable to the Rensselaer degree subject to course approval and Institute guidelines. All undergraduate students are encouraged to take advantage of an international experience during their time at Rensselaer.

Participation in an academic program abroad can be used to fulfill the ARCH away semester requirement, subject to approval.

Most undergraduate education abroad programs are managed by the Office of International Programs. The School of Architecture (SoA) runs its own faculty-led semester programs abroad, and eligible students should contact the SoA directly to inquire about these opportunities.

For more information, please contact the Office of International Programs http://info.rpi.edu/international-programs

PreHealth Programs

Rensselaer prepares students for application to health professions schools in medicine, dentistry, optometry, and other health professions. Students who are seeking entry into these programs are provided with academic and advising support throughout all four years of their time at Rensselaer. With careful planning, students in any major at Rensselaer can successfully complete the pre-requisites to enter health professions programs.

The School of Science Hub (Empire Hall 1107) serves students who are interested in pursuing advanced study in health professions graduate programs, regardless of their major on campus. Pre-Health Advising includes course planning, extracurricular planning, and the Pre-Health Advisory Committee which provides structured support and a committee letter of recommendation to students who are applying to health professions programs. For further information, contact the Pre-Health Advisor, available at 518-276-3723 or by email at prehealth@rpi.edu.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs are available on an elective basis for students desiring commissions as officers in the armed forces. ROTC programs are undertaken concurrently with baccalaureate degree studies.

The Arch @Rensselaer

Students spend the summer after their sophomore year on campus taking their first semester junior classes, and then spend either the fall or spring of the junior year on an “away experience.”  This can be a Co-Op, internship, research (here or abroad), community service, study abroad and more.  

This is required for all students except for certain categories such as varsity athletes for whom the away experience would be during their semester of competition, ROTC cadets, students who participate in an approved education abroad experience, or students who are chosen for special career experiences that require the sophomore summer for participation. 

More information about The Arch @Rensselaer can be found at http://provost.rpi.edu/summer-arch.   

Graduate Programs


Office of Graduate Education

Vice Provost and Dean: Dorit Nevo

The Office of Graduate Education provides strategic leadership, guidance, and support to Rensselaer’s graduate students. The office works with schools, departments, and current students on academic and overall graduate experience matters, with the goal of creating an inclusive environment that nurtures academic success, and prepares students to become knowledge leaders in their fields. 

The office closely monitors the effectiveness of graduate education policies and program quality. Online information and forms can be located at the Office of Graduate Education homepage at https://info.rpi.edu/graduate-education.

All doctoral programs and many master’s programs involve students in research activities that generally are supported by government, industry, or foundations. Faculty members serve as senior investigators for a wide range of challenging research projects and are assisted by postdoctoral investigators and graduate students. Research opportunities for graduate students are also an important part of many Rensselaer research centers. Additional information about these, and other centers, can be found at https://research.rpi.edu/research-centers.

In addition to graduate students registered full-time, working professionals may seek degrees on a part-time basis at the Troy campus and through Rensselaer at Work.

Notice Regarding Intellectual Property All members of the Rensselaer community, including, but not limited to, graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, administration, visiting scholars and scientists, and guests, are bound by the Rensselaer intellectual property policy. Go to: https://ipo.rpi.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/IP%20Policy.pdf

Rensselaer at Work


Dean of Academic and Administrative Affairs, Rensselaer at Work: Aric Krause

For nearly 70 years, Rensselaer has helped employers build talent by offering programs that can be completed by working professionals without leaving the work environment.  Through its Rensselaer at Work programs, Rensselaer offers graduate certificates and degrees specifically designed to build talent and abilities in areas that reflect the excellence of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute while also aligning directly with critical ability needs identified by employers – anytime, anywhere.  Programs are designed specifically for current and future leaders in both the private and public sectors. Program content incorporates cutting-edge knowledge being discovered in the Troy campus’s research activities as well as the state of the profession. Rensselaer at Work plays an important role in delivering the excellence of the Institute to working professionals around the country as outlined in The Rensselaer Plan 2024.


Rensselaer at Work’s mission is to educate business and technical leaders with the knowledge, analytical skills, creativity, and inspiration to think strategically, lead change, and create breakthrough solutions that meet the environmental, technical and business challenges of the global environment now and in the future. With dramatic increases in the rate of change, working professionals expect and demand an academic environment that fits the evolving needs of their fast-paced world, and Rensselaer responds to this need in its Rensselaer at Work programs.

Division of the Chief Information Officer


Vice President for Information Services Technology and Chief Information Officer: John E. Kolb

The Division of the Chief Information Officer (DotCIO) provides information resources, strategies, services, and technology and collaborates with Rensselaer’s diverse campus constituents to find solutions for changing educational, research, communication, and business needs. DotCIO responds to the rapid evolution of distributed computing and the need for combining computing and communications services and supports Rensselaer’s nationally recognized interactive learning initiatives.  DotCIO operates the high-performance computational facility in the Rensselaer Technology Park as well as the IBM Quantum System One Computer in the Voorhees Computing Center.

Campus computing facilities offer students a variety of software including programming language compilers, desktop publishing packages, spreadsheets, and computer-aided design packages, as well as electronic mail and conferencing.

Of the Division of the Chief Information Officer’s sevendepartments, students interact most closely with Client Information Services (CIS)and Library Information Services (LIS). Therefore, these two departments are described below.

Academic and Research Computing

Director, Client Information Services: Jackie Stampalia

Web site: http://dotcio.rpi.edu/about/organization/academic-and-research-computing



Client Information Services provides  computing services and assistance in support of Rensselaer’s learning and research activities.

Help Desk

The Help Desk is the first line of support for information technology questions.  They can assist with your RCS ID which provides access to the campus network, including Wi-Fi, printing, email, and software applications, including the student Learning Management System (LMS).  Support requests can be submitted at https://itssc.rpi.edu.


The Mobile Computing Program (MCP) partners with top manufacturers to provide a laptop that fully supports students’ computing needs and helps enable and ensure their academic success.  Program participants receive an enterprise-grade laptop pre-configured for Rensselaer, as well as top-of-the-line warranties and comprehensive on-campus support services.  In addition, MCP’s partnership with suppliers also allows the Program to offer each laptop package at an extremely competitive price.  More information about the Mobile Computing Program can be found at Mobile Computing Program | Information Technology and Services (rpi.edu).

Computer Repair

Rensselaer Computer Repair (RCR) provides warranty repair for laptops and provides a loaner laptop for free for students enrolled in the Mobile Computing Program.

Research Computing

Rensselaer’s two supercomputers, AiMOS and AiMOSx and the IBM Quantum System One are available to students for academic and club activities.


Networked public printers are available across the Rensselaer campus.  Plotting services are also available.

Software Applications

Licensed software is available to the campus community.  More information can be found at Available Licensed Software – DotCIO - IT Services and Support Center (rpi.edu).

Rensselaer Libraries

Director: Andrew C. White

The Rensselaer Libraries, comprised of the Folsom Library and the Architecture Library (located in the Greene Building), provide the university community, including the online Rensselaer at Work program, with information resources and services in support of teaching and research missions. Researchers can access over 1,000,000 print book titles, electronic and print journals, electronic books and databases, and view several extensive image databases..

When researchers need material not held by the Libraries, they can initiate online interlibrary loan requests  to borrow books and journal articles , receiving rapid delivery from various library  consortia . They may also borrow books in person from more than 50 regional libraries.

Reference and Instructional Services’ librarians are available to assist students and researchers personally and also provide specialized classes and workshops on such topics as “Introduction to Conducting Research,” “Information Literacy,” and “Reference and Citation Management.”

The Rensselaer Libraries’ information gateway at https://library.rpi.edu, provides access to a variety of services including an online catalog, access to electronic resources, online chat service with reference librarians, online tutorials, guides to services, and the latest library news. The Libraries’ Archives Web pages provide a digitized history of the Institute.

Notwithstanding the emphasis on digital resources, the Rensselaer Libraries continue to be an important “place” on campus for intellectual and social nourishment.

Patrons may socialize in Library Café, peruse the latest best-selling fiction and non-fiction books in the Class of ‘96 Reading Room, browse, or just relax in the Architecture Library’s bright and airy reading room. Small group meeting rooms can be reserved for collaborative work and group study. Seminar and conference rooms are available to Student Union recognized groups.. Folsom’s fourth floor provides breathtaking views of New York’s Capital District and the Hudson Valley.