Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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Application Requirements

Application Deadlines:

    Spring 2021: August 15, 2020

    Fall 2021: January 1, 2021 

Review the materials below to make sure you have everything you need to apply to your chosen department. Select the button below to begin your application.

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Review your application carefully before submission.

Once your application is submitted, you can no longer make changes or revisions. 



Admissions Requirements

Graduate Application

Complete the online application for full- or part-time graduate degree programs. 

Applicants may apply only to one degree program per term. Multiple applications for one term are not permitted.

Nonrefundable application processing fee of $75*

The application processing fee must be paid electronically after submitting your application. 

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

Personal Statement*

Your Personal Statement should address your academic and research interests, and future career goals as they relate to the graduate program to which you are applying. The statement should include relevant academic/research, professional, and personal experiences that influenced your decision to apply to the graduate program. 

The Electronic Arts Ph.D. program requires an additional and separate Research Proposal describing your research goals and academic plan.

Critical Game Design M.S./Ph.D. programs require an additional writing sample. 


Resume or curriculum vitae*

Your resume should include details about your education, employment, and internship history, as well as 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*

You will be required to enter two recommenders on the online application. Recommendations should be from your academic advisor(s), professors, research mentors, etc., who can provide an assessment of your likelihood of success at the graduate level in your field of study. 

Portfolio, if required by department*

Architecture, Built Ecologies, and Electronic Arts only. 

Critical Game Design M.S./Ph.D. requires examples of prior work (e.g.: portfolio, project samples). 

IT Background Evaluation form (IT only)*
Transcripts and Degrees †

Transcripts and Degrees must be in English (all post-secondary education, including transcript keys). 

Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded to your graduate application. If you prefer to send your transcripts via postal or electronic mail, please note that they will not be returned to you. The minimum requirement for admission consideration is the completion and award of a four year U.S. bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, by the time of planned enrollment. 


The GRE is required for all academic programs except:

  • Master of Architecture (M.Arch)
  • Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. Arch)
  • Electronic Arts

GRE subject tests are optional for Spring and Fall 2021 admissions:

  • Astronomy M.S. 
  • Physics M.S. and Ph.D.

GRE subject tests are encouraged for:

  • Biology M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Mathematics M.S. and Ph.D.

The GMAT is preferred for all applications to the Lally School of Management programs.


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

  • Applicants may submit unofficial GRE scores.  Official scores must be submitted to finalize admission prior to enrollment.
  • Valid scores must be submitted.  GRE or GMAT scores are not valid after five years.

International Students Additional Requirements

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

The TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or PTE is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. The minimum scores for these tests are:

  • TOEFL score of 88 iBT
  • IELTS score of 6.5
  • Duolingo score of 110
  • PTE score of 59

Some departments require a higher language proficiency score than the Institute minimum. Test scores older than two years are no longer available from the testing agency. Rensselaer's TOEFL Code is 2757.

The TOEFL may be waived if the applicant has completed a degree program at a U.S. university within two years of the application deadline of the program to which he/she is applying. Please note that this waiver will be applied after your application had been submitted and reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Office.

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 Graduate Admissions Office prior to applying: Cuba, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria.