Submit Your Residence & Dining Preferences

Applying for housing couldn’t be easier! With just a few quick steps, you’ll be well on your way to starting your journey here at Rensselaer. Rensselaer requires students to live on campus for their first five semesters.

* The First Year Experience Office began sending the information you need to set up your RCS ID in early April to deposited students, including students who were accepted through Early Decision I or II.

Once you submit your enrollment deposit, you should receive this information in an email within 5-7 days.

Housing Application Information - Due by May 20


Getting Started

Set Up Your Rensselaer Email & Password

Attending Rensselaer means that you are part of a community that is on the cutting edge of technology—whether in the classroom or in the surrounding social community.

Access to this technology comes in different forms once you’re a student. One of the major access points is your Rensselaer Computing System (RCS) User ID. Your RCS ID is used for things such as access to your RPI email, access to our online tools to be successful in class, and access to grade information.

Starting in late April, the First Year Experience Office will email deposited students a Personal Identification Number, instructions, and a website that will allow you to receive your RCS ID and create a password for this account. This message will be sent to the email address you have on file with the Admissions office. Please note that as mentioned below, most communication from Rensselaer will soon shift to your Rensselaer email account.

This will also prompt our systems to establish your Rensselaer email account. It is your responsibility to establish, maintain, and consistently check your Rensselaer email. Throughout the spring, many offices on campus will start using this email as the main point of electronic communication.

The First Year Experience Office will begin sending PINs in early April to deposited students, including students who were accepted through Early Decision I or II. Once you submit your enrollment deposit (after April 1), you should receive this information in an email within 5-7 days.


Select Your Residence Hall

Since first-year students share many new experiences and take many of the same courses, students are assigned to first-year residence halls or in clusters of rooms to enhance their living and learning experience in the residential facilities. This is a part of the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS) approach to the student experience at Rensselaer. CLASS connects students to a network of faculty, staff, and other students, ensuring that they are part of a strong community of learners. As students strive to become the leaders of tomorrow, CLASS is the foundation in their development of intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and a global view that will enable them to change the world.

Once you receive your Rensselaer username and set up your password, you will then be able to access our online housing application, when it is available. This application will walk you through various parts of the living experience including telling us a little about yourself, sharing information about your lifestyle and how it might match up with a potential roommate, and selecting your preferences for the residence halls you’d like to live in.

Residence Halls

View a list of the halls and apartments on campus, including descriptions and floor plans, using this interactive tool!

Special Interest Housing

Seven different special interest housing options are available to you as a first-year student at Rensselaer:

  • Leadership House: Leadership House is a shared-interest residential community that allows first-year students the opportunity to explore inclusive leadership practice through fun, hands-on activities and interactive workshops. Students participating in Leadership House become more aware of the complexities of leadership and how they apply to life at Rensselaer and beyond; all while developing close friends as they reside in a supportive community on a common floor within a specific residence hall.
  • Women in STEM: Devoted to assisting students find affinity and to help students thrive as they transition into their first year at Rensselaer.
  • Multicultural House: The Multicultural House is a community that promotes inclusion and equity by enhancing natural curiosity, identity exploration, and cross-cultural dialogue. Students who participate will learn about the intersections of their own identities and how to interact with others who carry identities different from themselves.
  • Wellness House: Wellness House is a community for students to learn about and practice a holistic approach to making their minds and bodies healthier. Students will have the opportunity to learn from Rensselaer community members and community partners about areas related to nutrition, fitness, sexual health, alcohol/other drugs, and mental health.
  • Vasudha: A living and learning program focused on earth, energy, and the environment, which includes lectures by professors in the residence hall for which students may receive course credit.
  • First-Generation House: The First Generation House provides an inclusive living environment for Rensselaer students who identify as a first-generation college students. It is a community that is designed to empower students to thrive academically and socially during their first year at Rensselaer.
  • Pride House: Pride House is a space for LGBTQAI+ students and allies to live together to explore topics surrounding gender and sexuality. This community is open to first year students who are interested in learning about topics such as sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and inclusion.

If you are interested in any of these programs, please indicate in our online housing application. However, please complete the entire form in the event you are not selected to participate in theme housing.

General Residence Hall Information
  • Roommate Matching: We use the online matching survey to pair you with your roommate(s). The survey asks a series of questions about lifestyle and priorities, such as neatness, visitors in the room, and preferred study environment. Please fill out the roommate matching survey with your room and dining plan selection. Once you have been assigned a building, you will be matched with your roommate(s).
  • Privacy: All residence halls are coed and have either suite bathrooms (shared between two same-gender rooms) or designated male and female bathrooms.
  • Wireless Technology: All residence areas are wired for Ethernet and Internet access for each student resident. All of the residence halls offer wireless connections in all rooms and in public spaces.
  • Security: Rensselaer uses a card access system. You will be issued a picture ID card that is encoded to provide access to your residence hall and to serve as a meal card for the dining halls. If the card is lost or stolen, it will be invalidated and a new card issued.
  • Smoking: All residential facilities are smoke-free.
  • Parking: Parking on campus is limited. Freshmen are not permitted to have cars on campus.
  • Support: Student staff, including resident assistants and learning assistants, are trained to assist with personal and academic concerns. They are available to help residents get to know each other, form positive relationships, and develop a sense of community in each hall.
  • Basics: Mailboxes are located in the Commons Mailroom and Burdett Avenue Residence Hall (BARH). There are laundry facilities included in each building at no cost. Bedroom furnishings include an extra-long twin bed, a desk and chair, dresser, and closet or wardrobe. Exercise equipment is available in campus recreation facilities, such as Sharp Hall and in the Mueller Fitness Center.
Gender-Inclusive Housing

Gender-inclusive housing is available. Information regarding gender-inclusive housing is available here or by contacting the Office of Student Living & Learning. Gender-neutral/single occupancy restrooms may be found across campus.

LGBTQ Campus Resources


Learn More About Your Dining Plan

All resident first-year students must subscribe to an unlimited dining plan. If you have a question about the meal plans offered for upperclassmen, please call our main office on campus at (518) 276-2018 or email us at

For more information on Dining Services at Rensselaer, visit their website.

Dining Plan

Unlimited-- Unlimited meals per week to be used in Resident Dining Halls, plus $150 Flex Dollars per year. Non-transferable. Available to all students, Required for residential first year students. $7,270/year

  • Flex Dollars-- Flex Dollars, which add flexibility to your dining plan options and are incorporated into each plan, are yours to spend like cash at Rensselaer Dining locations in the Rensselaer Union, retail cafes around campus, Moe's, and campus vending machines.  Flex Dollars are allotted by semester and carry over from Fall into Spring semester, but end on the last day of the academic calendar and are thereafter forfeited. Flex Dollars are also forfeited upon cancellation of the meal plan.
  • Rensselaer Advantage Dollars (RAD)-- Rensselaer Advantage Dollars is a campus declining balance account that you may purchase at any time. It carries over from year to year and ends only at the time you leave Rensselaer. It allows you the ability for use not only in Hospitality Services locations but also in areas such as the Rensselaer Union, retail cafes around campus, Moe's, concessions, resident dining halls and the campus Pepsi vending machines. For more information visit the website at
Campus Dining Locations

Rensselaer offers 11 dining and retail locations across campus to accommodate our students' busy schedules. We are committed to offering you a wide variety of options with flexible hours at every meal. At each of our four main dining halls, we offer an extensive salad bar, pizza with daily special, multiple beverages, and a “sweet” selection of desserts! Each dining room offers two or three entrees at each meal as well as large deli and grill programs. The dining rooms also offer an ever-increasing variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

Food Allergies & Special Dietary Needs

Rensselaer dining takes great pride in providing delicious, nutritious, and satisfying meals that fit your needs. We work carefully to address food allergies, celiac disease, and other medical diets. We want to meet one-one one with anyone who has individual dining needs to ensure that your dining experience is safe, delicious, and social. We strongly encourage setting up a meeting with our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Kimberly Mayer. For more detailed information about dining on campus with food allergies, please visit our Nutrition Page.