Skip to main content

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Master's Degrees and Ph.D. Applicants

Review the materials below to make sure you have everything you need to apply to your chosen department. Select the button below when you are ready to start your application online.

Apply Now

Review your application carefully before submission.

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. However, you can and should submit your application even if you are awaiting materials such as letters of recommendation, GRE, and/or transcripts.

Accordion

Admissions Requirements

* Must be submitted via the online application
† If admitted, these materials must be sent to Rensselaer directly from your previous institution, either electronically or via physical mail.

Department Requirements*

All applicants should pay particular attention to any 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 Rensselaer's Troy campus. 

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

Nonrefundable application processing fee of $75*

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:

Office of Graduate Admissions
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590

Include the applicant's full name, date of birth, and address on the 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.

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. If you wish to revise your statement after you submit your application, you will be able to upload a revised statement from your application status web page.

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*

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, who will then 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.

Portfolio, if required by department*

Architecture, Built Ecologies, and Electronic Arts only

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

Official Transcripts and Degrees, in English (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.
  • 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 in order to be considered acceptable.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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 and 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, such as WES.

Official Test Scores †

GRE general, GRE subject, or GMAT as required by the department

Check which test scores are required by your department

Note: If you have three or more years of full-time work experience, and are applying to our Advanced Professional Studies program or Lally master's degree you may substitute the Rensselaer Success Indicator for the GRE or GMAT. Please contact Natalie Sutera for more information.

Rensselaer Code 2757 (GRE/TOEFL)  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.

Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Scores †

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 admission consideration. Test scores older than two years are no longer available from the testing agency. Rensselaer's TOEFL Code is 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 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 (effective Spring 2018). Please note that this waiver will be applied after your application had been submitted and reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Office.

Accordion

International Students Additional Requirements

Applicants possessing a valid Green Card will be considered as a domestic student for purposes of admission and financial aid. All other applicants to Advanced Professional Studies must be on H1B visas and/or on visas.

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.

Copy of your visa or passport

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).