110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA
Courtesy of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) was founded in 1824 by Stephen Van Rensselaer, a wealthy landowner and politician, with the aim of teaching individuals the application of science to everyday life. Initially established to train engineers for the Erie Canal project, the Rensselaer School, as it was first known, was the first school of science and civil engineering to have a continuous existence in any English-speaking country. The school opened its doors on January 5, 1825, at the Old Bank Place in Troy, New York. In 1833, the school's name was changed to the Rensselaer Institute, and in the 1850s, its purpose was broadened to become a polytechnic institution. The name was finally changed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1861.
A significant event in RPI's early history was the Great Fire of 1862, which destroyed over 500 buildings in Troy and gutted 75 acres in the city's center. The fire also destroyed the "Infant School" building that housed the Institute at the time. Columbia University proposed that Rensselaer leave Troy and merge with its New York City campus, but the proposal was ultimately rejected. Instead, the campus moved from the crowded downtown area to the hillside, providing room for expansion.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a strong history of promoting diversity and inclusion. In 1881, Garnett Douglass Baltimore became the first African-American student at RPI to earn a degree. The Institute admitted its first female students in 1953 and appointed its first female faculty member in 1971.
During World War II, RPI played a significant role in the war effort by conducting research on radar and other military technologies and training thousands of engineers and scientists. After the war, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute continued to expand its research programs and facilities, becoming a leading institution in fields such as nuclear engineering, materials science, and computer science.
In recent years, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has continued to innovate and expand its programs and facilities. The Institute has established new research centers in fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and renewable energy. RPI has also expanded its undergraduate and graduate programs, offering degrees in fields such as game design, data science, and cybersecurity.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute provides a diverse selection of faculties and departments for students to explore. The School of Science encompasses departments such as Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Information Technology and Web Science, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy. In the School of Engineering, students can find departments like Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering.
The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute features departments such as Arts, Cognitive Science, Communication and Media, Economics, and Science and Technology Studies. Additionally, the institute houses the Darrin Fresh Water Institute, which concentrates on freshwater research, and the Multiscale Science and Engineering Center, which promotes interdisciplinary research.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute also offers various interdisciplinary programs, including Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences, Information Technology, and Management and Technology. The Science department provides a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Science and the Inverse Problems at RPI (IPRPI) department. The Language, Literature, and Communication department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, Communication with a concentration in Graphic Design, and Information Technology and Communication (IT/Comm).
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is situated in the Northeastern United States, specifically in the city of Troy, New York. The campus spans 265 acres and is positioned on a hillside, providing picturesque views of the Hudson River and the cityscape. The Institute's address is 110 8th Street, Troy, with a ZIP Code of 12180-3590. For those traveling by air, the nearest airport is Albany International.
The campus itself boasts a blend of traditional and modern architecture, featuring an on-campus business incubator and the expansive Rensselaer Technology Park, which covers 1,250 acres.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a prestigious technological research university with a history spanning nearly two centuries. Rensselaer educates the leaders of tomorrow for technologically based careers. They celebrate discovery and the responsible application of technology to create knowledge and global prosperity.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute holds accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, a prestigious organization that ensures the quality of engineering programs. Within the School of Engineering, each program is accredited by ABET, including the Electrical Engineering and Computer & Systems Engineering degree programs. This accreditation is a testament to the institute's commitment to preparing students for successful careers in various sectors such as industry, government, academia, and consulting.
Graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are expected to seek professional positions and/or pursue graduate studies in their chosen fields. They are also encouraged to contribute to the body of knowledge in their respective disciplines and engage in continuous professional and personal development. This may involve participating in professional societies, enrolling in continuing education courses, and engaging in community service activities.
Name of the institutionRensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Level of institutionFour or more years
Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)Private
Setting typeCity: Small
Institution size category5,000 - 9,999
Main student bodyCoeducational
Institutional CategoryDegree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above
Architecture and Related Services$52,282
Biological and Biomedical Sciences$46,292
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services$56,988
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services$81,123
Mathematics and Statistics$67,066
Visual and Performing Arts$46,471