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Applying to Rensselaer

Application Deadlines

* Spring 2016 Application Deadline
* Fall 2016 Application Deadline
* Spring 2016
Non-Matriculated Study Deadline
* Lally MBA/MS Deadlines

Admissions decisions for Summer and Fall are made on a rolling basis with the majority of decisions posted between February and April.

Check Your Application Status

Please navigate to your application of interest with the links below:

For Current Rensselaer Bachelor’s Students Only

Rensselaer seeks diverse and highly qualified candidates for study in all graduate programs.


Your application will be thoroughly reviewed by an admissions committee within your academic department for the likelihood of your success as a graduate student at Rensselaer. We evaluate several factors when making admissions decisions, including your academic qualifications and the fit between your goals and those of the faculty.

While this process takes time, there are a few things you can do to make things run as efficiently as possible. Apply early. Clearly label your admissions materials with your name and date of birth. Check your online status frequently and let us know if you have questions.

Please note that Rensselaer does not postpone/defer admission for graduate study to a later term. Rensselaer maintains prior application documents for two years only. Non-matriculated students wishing to apply for degree status must submit a complete graduate application.

We do not offer conditional admission.

Admissions Checklist

The following materials must be submitted via the online application:

  1. Nonrefundable application processing fee of $75.
  2. Statement of Background and Goals
  3. Resume or curriculum vitae.
  4. Two letters of recommendation.
  5. Writing samples, if required by department.
  6. Portfolio, if required by department.
  7. IT Background Evaluation form (IT only).

The following materials may be uploaded via the online application and used for review purposes only:

  1. Copies of official test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE)
  2. Copies of official transcripts and evidence of degrees earned, in English and in the native language, of all post-secondary education (including transcript keys)
  3. Copy of your passport (international students only)

If admitted, the following materials must be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office:

If an applicant chooses to submit the following OPTIONAL materials, they must be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  1. Official Personal Potential Index reports (optional) – Rensselaer’s code is 2757

Admitted students will be required to provide original documents to finalize admission prior to enrollment. Once payment is authorized and your application is submitted, you can no longer make changes or revisions. Therefore, please review the contents of the application carefully before you submit it.

Department Requirements

All applicants should pay particular attention to requirements that apply to specific Schools and their departments:

Graduate Application

Complete the online application for full- or part-time graduate degree programs delivered on the Troy campus of Rensselaer. Applicants may apply only to one degree program per term. Multiple applications for one term are not permitted.

*Graduate Application Instructions Graduate Application Instructions (PDF)

Nonrefundable $75 Application Processing Fee

Credit card payment is available for electronic submissions. If you do not wish to submit payment by credit card, a money order or check drawn on a U.S. bank, payable to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, may be mailed to the above address. Include the full name, date of birth, and address of the applicant on money order or check. Do not send cash or stamps.

The application fee is waived for Rensselaer alumni, current Rensselaer students (matriculating and non- matriculating), employees, and employee spouses.

Statement of Background and Goals (including current work/academic activities)

All applicants must upload a one- or two-page statement that includes the following information:

  • Your primary educational and research interests.
  • An outline of your research experience and a list of any publications and academic honors.
  • A description of your background in fields particularly relevant to your study objectives – include any relevant industrial/work or research experience.
  • Information outlining your current work/study activities
  • A discussion of specific research topics and methods you might pursue in your thesis research (not required for Master’s programs in the Lally School).
Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Your resume should include details about your education, employment, and internship history and any pertinent research experience. International students in the U.S. on OPT or CPT should include details about their current activities.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Rensselaer requires two letters of recommendation. You will be required to enter two recommenders on the online application. Recommendations should be from your academic advisor(s), other professors, academic deans, etc., who can provide an assessment of your likelihood of success at the graduate level in your field of study. If you are currently working or have been out of school for several years, you may substitute a recommendation from a supervisor or co-worker. Rensselaer will send an electronic recommendation request to each recommender and each recommender will be able to submit his/her recommendation electronically. We have found this to be an efficient and effective method of submission for both the recommender and applicant. Electronically submitted recommendations do not need to be followed up with paper recommendations.

Official Transcripts and Degrees, in English, of All Post-secondary Education, including Transcript Keys

Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies, including course work taken as a non-degree student, must be submitted. Student printed or downloaded copies of transcripts are not acceptable. Note for current Rensselaer students and Rensselaer alumni: We will request your Rensselaer transcripts on your behalf.

  1. If you are currently attending a university, a final transcript must be submitted upon completion of your course work. If you have completed your degree, the award of degree must be noted on the transcript. Transcript keys must accompany all transcripts to be considered acceptable.
  2. If your school does not release official transcripts directly to students, you must request that the school send the official copy directly to Graduate Admissions.
  3. If transcripts of previous or current study do not include the award of degree, include a certified copy of the diploma or other official evidence that the degree has been awarded.

All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English. Transcripts in the original language must accompany all translated documents. Uncertified translations, or translations by students, will not be accepted.

Do not submit secondary school (high school) exam results or transcripts.

Minimum Requirement for Admission Consideration

The minimum requirement for admission consideration to Rensselaer’s graduate programs is the completion of and the award of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or the U.S. equivalent. If an applicant is uncertain of the U.S. bachelor’s degree equivalency of his/her degree, he/she may wish to obtain an academic credential evaluation from a U.S. based credential evaluation agency (eg., WES).

Official Test Scores (GRE general, GRE subject, or GMAT as required by the department)

Rensselaer Code 2757 (GRE/TOEFL/PPI)  GMAT Code Q69-LM-28

  • Official test scores are required and may be uploaded to your application.
  • Web scores are not acceptable.
  • GRE or GMAT reports should reflect test scores dated within five years. Older scores are not available from the testing agency.
  • The average credentials for admitted students include GRE scores of 157 (verbal), 163 (quantitative), 4.0 (analytical).

You will have the opportunity to upload your test score(s) after you submit your online application. Scores taken from the ETS or GMAC website or issued on the day of the test are not acceptable. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit scores directly from the testing agency.

Portfolio (Architecture, Built Ecologies, and Electronic Arts only)
Personal Potential Index (Optional)

The Personal Potential Index (PPI) is a web-based tool from ETS® that allows evaluators to provide applicant-specific information on six key attributes essential for graduate study: knowledge and creativity; resilience; communication skills; planning and organization; teamwork; and ethics and integrity.

Applicants choosing to submit optional PPI scores should know that Rensselaer requires PPI scores from at least five evaluators across at least three departments or organizations.

Rensselaer PPI Code 2757

See for more information.

International Students Additional Requirements

Applicants possessing a valid Green Card will be considered as a domestic student for purposes of admission and financial aid.

Embargoed and Sanctioned Countries

As a national research institution, Rensselaer’s activities are subject to restrictions by several U.S. agencies, including the Department of State, Department of Commerce, and Department of the Treasury. This makes it increasingly difficult for the Institute to accept students from countries that are on the ITAR, EAR, and OFAC watch lists. If you are a citizen of, or were born in, one of the following fully embargoed and sanctioned countries, please contact the Admissions Office at Rensselaer prior to applying: Cuba, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria.

Official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Scores (if applicable)

The TOEFL, IELTS or PTE is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. A minimum TOEFL score of 88 iBT/230 CBT/570 PBT is required for admission consideration for graduate study at Rensselaer. In lieu of the TOEFL, a student may submit IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson’s Test of English) scores. Only the academic format is acceptable and a minimum score of 6.5 (IELTS) or 60 (PTE) is required for admission consideration. Some departments require a higher TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score for admissions consideration. Test scores older than two years are no longer available from the testing agency. Rensselaer's TOEFL Code 2757.

You will have the opportunity to upload test score(s) after you submit your online application. Scores taken from the testing agency’s website or issued on the day of the test are not acceptable. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit scores direction from the testing agency.

The TOEFL may be waived for applicants currently in the United States on Optional Practice Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT), or who are currently studying in the U.S. and have been students in the U.S. for at least two academic years. Please note that this wavier will be applied after your application had been submitted and reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Office.

Visa or Passport

We will issue your I-20 once you have:

  • been awarded admission to a full-time graduate degree program at Rensselaer;
  • submitted a Graduate Student Enrollment Confirmation Form along with any credentials/documents checked on the Condition of Enrollment and Request for I-20/DD2019 form accompanying your admission notification;
  • demonstrated that you meet all requirements for issuance of immigration documents, including providing proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of your tuition and living expenses for the duration of your graduate program.

After receiving the immigration document (I-20/DS-2019), each student must apply through a United States Embassy or Consulate for the appropriate visa to enter the United States.

Any student entering the United States using documents issued by Rensselaer must register for the semester for which admission is granted.

Verification of arrival and enrollment is electronically tracked through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Any failure to arrive at Rensselaer and enroll as a full-time student will be reported to the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Immigration Services (BCIS, formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS).

If you have any questions during the application process, please feel free to contact us Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern time (excluding holidays).

Graduate Admissions
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street Troy, NY 12180-3590
Phone (518) 276-6216
Fax (518) 276-4072

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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