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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Register for Student Orientation and Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond

The Office of the First-Year Experience offers four sessions of Student Orientation (SO) throughout the month of July and two sessions in August. Student Orientation is a mandatory program where new students will have the opportunity to experience life at Rensselaer, become familiar with the campus, and meet faculty, staff, and upper-class students.

Student participants will meet with an academic adviser, spend the night in a residence hall and, most importantly, meet other new students who make up the Class of 2023. Student Orientation begins with two days in the summer and continues with Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond, a program that takes place right before classes begin in late August.

Most of your questions concerning living arrangements, laundry, dining halls, etc. will be answered at Student Orientation. However, if you need immediate assistance, please contact the Office of Student Living & Learning at (518) 276-6284.


Register for Student Orientation

Please complete the Student Orientation 2019 Reservation online no later than May 10, 2019.

The Student Orientation registration option will be visible to you on your SIS account approximately 5-7 days after you submit your enrollment deposit. Logging in will require you to know your Rensselaer Identification Number (RIN). Use your RIN as the USER ID and for your first log-in, use your birthdate (MMDDYY format). Your RIN was provided to you at the time of application and may be found at the top of your online application status portal.

Orientation sessions are assigned on a first come, first served basis, so please sign up early and no later than May 10. Please note that you will only be shown the sessions that are available for you to attend. August sessions are reserved for students who live more than 450 miles from campus, so please plan your summer accordingly. We make every attempt to accommodate your preferences; however, due to space limitations, we reserve the right to assign sessions. If you have questions, please contact the Student Orientation Office at (518) 276-8632, or email

Student Orientation 2019 Dates

Session 1: -Wednesday-Thursday, July 17 & 18
Session 2: Friday-Saturday, July 19 & 20
Session 3: Wednesday-Thursday, July 24 & 25

Session 4: Friday-Saturday, July 26 & 27

Session 5: Tuesday-Wednesday, August 20 & 21 *
Session 6: Friday-Saturday, August 23 & 24**

  • * You may only sign up for Session 5 if you live more than 450 miles from campus AND plan to go on an overnight NRB trip.
  • ** Session 6 is reserved for students who live more than 450 miles away from Rensselaer.
  • Students in the Physician-Scientist (accelerated medical) Program should sign up to attend either Session 4 or Session 6.
Sample SO Schedule

Day One
(Please note: students and families follow similar, but separate, programs)

  • Check-In: Plan to arrive by 9:00 a.m. You will receive your keys for the evening and your orientation packet.
  • Morning Meeting: Meet with a member of the Student Orientation staff and prepare for the day by reviewing the schedule and getting any preliminary questions answered.
  • Welcome and Opening Address
  • Academic Overview
  • Departmental Advising: Meet in groups with a faculty member from your school; get advice on which classes to take and gather some information specific to your major.
  • Community Standards Presentation: Get an introduction to campus life.
  • Student Panel Discussion: Enjoy your chance to have your questions answered by the experts – the students!
  • Team 2023: Explore leadership and teamwork while getting to know your classmates in an interactive setting.
  • Evening Social: Come and take advantage of this opportunity to get to know other members of the Class of 2023!

Day Two

  • Resource Center: Many campus departments will be represented to answer your questions and provide specific information.
  • Closing Remarks: Learn some fun and interesting facts about your class and ask any remaining questions. Program concludes at noon.
Plan Your Arrival & Check-In

Once you submit your Student Orientation Reservation form online, look for more detailed information to be mailed by the Office of the First-Year Experience beginning in early June. The materials you receive will include session & registration information, directions to campus, parent orientation information, and details on Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond. Students should plan to participate in the formal program until noon on the second day.

The charge for Student Orientation is $175. The fee covers student housing, meals, and all programs during Student Orientation, as well as welcome activities in August. This nonrefundable fee will appear on your student account. DO NOT SEND MONEY NOW.

Family Orientation

A special Family Orientation program has been designed specifically to meet the needs of Rensselaer parents. This program runs concurrently with (but separate from) the student session- during these programs, students and families will not have time together. This allows us to specifically address the concerns of parents. Come and see why our unique Family Orientation receives rave reviews.

There is no extra fee for Family Orientation, but families are responsible for their own lodging and meals. A campus meal package that includes lunch and dinner is available for purchase at check-in. More information will be provided in your Student Orientation confirmation mailing.


Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond (NRB)

Complete your NRB registration online no later than June 26, 2019.

NRB is packed with fun, challenging activities, and interactive ways to meet your classmates and become familiar with the campus. It all begins when you move in and get settled on Saturday, August 24, and continues through the first day of classes on Thursday, August 29.

NRB includes wilderness activities (the chance to go kayaking, rowing, or hiking), historical and cultural activities (performing arts groups and local attractions), and community service opportunities. Registration for NRB is mandatory, and will be available on May 1.  For more information, please visit the NRB website.

Additional information regarding the schedule and registration will be mailed as part of your Student Orientation confirmation packet.