National Universities USA – 2016 – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – Rank 42/100
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590
Phone: (518) 276-6000
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private institution that was founded in 1824. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,618, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 296 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s ranking in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 41. Its tuition and fees are $49,341 (2015-16).
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was founded on the principles of bringing science to everyday life, and that ethos is still prevalent today. About a quarter of students are involved in Greek L.I.F.E., as the fraternity and sorority scene is known at the school, which stresses Leadership, Innovation, Fortitude and Evolution. More students – about three fourths – play sports at the varsity, club or intramural level. True to the school’s mission, the varsity athletes are known as the Engineers, and compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Liberty League. There are also more than 175 student organizations. Freshmen must live on campus, usually in dormitories that only house first-year students. RPI’s campus, in Troy, N.Y., is nestled in an ideal location for nature lovers. The school overlooks the Hudson River, where waterfront activities abound, and is close to Grafton Lakes State Park, Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains. For an urban experience, Albany is 9 miles away.
In accordance with its specialty, RPI has a highly ranked engineering program. The school also uses its scientific specialties to offer unique accelerated programs such as the B.S./M.D. Physician-Scientist Program, completed in seven years, and the B.S./J.D. in Science, Technology and Society Law, which takes six years to finish. The university hosts technical events like the annual GameFest, a showcase of computer games designed by students. These kinds of technical skills have led Rensselaer graduates to successful careers as entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists and more. Notable RPI alumni include George W. G. Ferris, creator of the Ferris Wheel, Howard P. Isermann, inventor of sunscreen and Myles Brand, former president of the NCAA.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the nation’s oldest technological research university. Since its founding in 1824, Rensselaer has maintained its reputation for providing a transformative education of undisputed intellectual rigor based on innovation in the laboratory, classroom, and studio. The Institute’s motto is:”Why not change the world?” Rensselaer offers more than 145 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels from five schools: Engineering; Science; Architecture; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and the Lally School of Management; as well as an interdisciplinary degree in Information Technology and Web Science. Students are encouraged to work in interdisciplinary programs that allow them to combine scholarly work from several departments. The Institute provides engaging, interactive learning environments and campus-wide opportunities for leadership, collaboration, and creativity. Driven by talented and forward-thinking faculty, Rensselaer has expanded its research enterprise by focusing on five signature research areas: biotechnology and the life sciences; energy, the environment, and smart systems; computational science and engineering; nanotechnology and advanced materials; and media, arts, science, and technology. The Institute is well-known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development. Rensselaer is anchored by two vibrant roots. One root, written into the school’s founding documents, is “…the application of science to the common purposes of life.” Rensselaer graduates constructed the canals, roads, bridges, skyscrapers, and basic infrastructure of America, which helped to form the basis for 20th century society. The second root, also built into the school’s origin, is the employment of novel educational strategies. In the earliest days, after initial instruction, students taught what they knew to each other — since teaching reinforces learning. Likewise, students performed scientific experiments instead of watching faculty conduct them, as had been the common practice. Rensselaer is led by the Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson and guided by The Rensselaer Plan, under which the Institute has made major investments in people, programs, platforms, and partnerships that have transformed Rensselaer into a top-tier technological research university with global reach and global impact. The Rensselaer Plan was recently refreshed to provide the roadmap to the Institute’s 200th anniversary in 2024. The updated plan addresses three critical areas: student life, innovative pedagogy, and research to solve global challenges. In the area of Student Life, CLASS (Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students) provides support and co-curricular opportunities for students throughout their undergraduate years. Through CLASS, students are connected to a network of faculty, staff and other students who lend support and guidance and help to build a strong community of learners as they strive to become the leaders of tomorrow. In the area of research, Rensselaer was the first university in the world to receive a Watson cognitive computing system from IBM. Watson, known for defeating the all-time champions of the game show Jeopardy!, along with AMOS, one of the world’s most powerful university-based supercomputers, are based in the Rensselaer Center for Computational Innovations. Rensselaer is also home to several other unique facilities: The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, which houses over 400 researchers; the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, which provides a platform for exploration and learning at the nexus of research, technology, and the performing arts; and the East Campus Athletic Village, which offers athletic and recreation facilities to enhance the Rensselaer scholar-athlete experience.