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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private research university located in Troy, New York. The school also has campuses in Hartford and Groton, Connecticut. Established in 1824, it’s the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world. For years, it has served as the model for other similar colleges and departments. With more than 100,000 living alumni, the institute strives to change lives, advance society, and enhance the world.

Overview of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ranked 49th among United States research universities, RPI is home to one of the most powerful university-based supercomputers in the world. It strives to find and develop much-needed problem solvers who can address urgent issues today and emerging issues tomorrow. Faculty and students come together to celebrate discovery and the responsible application of technology to create knowledge and global prosperity.

As of the 2018-2019 academic year, there were 6,628 resident undergraduate students and 1,334 resident graduate students enrolled at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The average SAT score was 1409.

RPI is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Several academic programs offered by the school are accredited separately by the following agencies: American Chemical Society (ACS), Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 13:1
Graduation Rate 86%
Year Founded 1824

Student Enrollment

Total Students7,895


Undergraduate Student

Male 4,507
Female 2,121

Graduate Student

Male 862
Female 405

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Male 13,864
Female 6,538


Male 5,684
Female 3,073

Acceptance Rate43%

Male 41%
Female 47%

Enrollment 1,755

Male 368
Female 333
Application Fee $70
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The estimated expenses for full-time, beginning undergraduate students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were $73,816 for a recent academic year. This total includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and personal expenses. It does not, however, include the cost of buying a laptop for coursework, which is required by the university. The school does offer them for sale at an approximate cost of $1,350. As a private institution, in-state and out-of-state students are responsible for the same tuition and fees.

Graduate students were expected to pay a slightly higher amount, with anticipated expenses totaling approximately $74,306.

Many RPI students receive some form of aid. Financial assistance may be provided in the form of merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, federal student aid programs, or non-federal education loans.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $39,308
Average Total Aid $30,824
Students Receiving Financial Aid 82%
Room & Board $15,580

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $55,378
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $55,378
  • Books and Supplies - $1,250
  • Room & Board - $15,580
  • Other - $1,608


The core values that define the academic experience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are groundbreaking technological advancement, far-reaching intellectual exploration, and a commitment to serving humanity. Numerous majors and minors are offered through the university’s five schools: School of Architecture; Lally School of Management; School of Science; Information Technology and Web Science; School of Engineering; and School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. There are also several graduate degrees offered, as well as accelerated programs and professional programs.

The university employs 500 full-time equivalent faculty members, all of whom are experts in their fields. Some are National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellows, while others are members of the National Academy of Engineering or the National Academy of Sciences. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, students can work directly with RPI’s distinguished faculty members to conduct research, solve problems, teach, and interact.

The institution also had a 92% retention rate for full-time, freshmen students pursing bachelor’s degrees in the 2018-2019 academic year. The national average is 68%, which means the majority of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students are happy with their academic experience.

The overall six-year graduation rate was 86% in 2012. This means the majority of students graduate within six years of starting their degree.

Student Population Total

Student Population 7,895

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 697 Total Graduates / 51%
Mechanical Engineering 191 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 115 Graduates
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 85 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 83 Graduates
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering 77 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 212 Total Graduates / 16%
Computer Science 197 Graduates
Information Technology 15 Graduates
All Business Majors 76 Total Graduates / 6%
Business Administration and Management, General 76 Graduates
Engineering Technology and Engineering-Related Fields 72 Total Graduates / 5%
Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology 72 Graduates
All Physical Science Majors 65 Total Graduates / 5%
Physics, General 25 Graduates
Chemistry, General 23 Graduates
Physics, Other 14 Graduates
Geology/Earth Science, General 3 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 17%

Outcome & Salary

Most undergraduate students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute continue past their freshman year and go on to complete degrees within a four- to six-year period.

According to data provided by the RPI’s Center for Career and Professional Development, 80% of graduating students seeking employment secured jobs within six months of graduation in 2018. Less than 10% of those who participated in the survey were still seeking employment. That same year, the average salary was $70,782 for undergraduate students and $78,900 for graduate students.

Some of the top reported employers included:

  • Amazon
  • Bloomberg
  • Deloitte
  • Epic
  • Ernst & Young
  • General Dynamics
  • Microsoft
  • Raytheon
Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $71,300
College Grads Average Salary $88,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $134,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $880,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,221,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $157,232
10 Year Projected ROI $722,768
20 Year Projected ROI $2,063,768
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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