Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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FAQs for Prospective Students

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many aspects of daily life and we know you have made significant adjustments during these challenging times. We want to reassure you that we understand these challenges and are here to support you through the college process.

To help provide information during this uncertain time, we have provided the answers to frequently asked questions for prospective students below. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us at or


FAQs for Prospective Students

How can I get to know RPI without visiting campus?

While we are excited for you to visit our campus, we want to make sure you can do so safely. Campus is currently closed to visitors, but once it is deemed safe by the CDC, New York State and the Rensselaer Leadership we will notify students of this policy update. 

In the meantime, check out our Virtual Tour of campus. Also, join our Admissions Team and student ambassadors for a virtual Information Session and a chance to have your questions answered. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay connected with the Office of Admission. We have regional counselors that represent all areas of the country and world. Find the contact information for your regional counselor here and reach out to us. If you’d like to submit questions to our student ambassadors, feel free to email their dedicated email address at We look forward to connecting with you!

How can I contact the Office of Admission while campus is closed?

While our physical building is closed, we are fully open for business as usual and here to help with any questions you may have! Please email us at or find your regional counselor here.

Will Rensselaer require SAT or ACT scores for Fall 2021 applicants?

Due to the recent suspension of SAT and ACT testing, any student who applies to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an undergraduate in the fall of 2021 or the spring of 2022 will be able to choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores. This is a temporary suspension of our standardized testing requirement, and it will be re-evaluated for the fall 2022 application cycle. Test-Optional FAQs

Students interested in applying to the Physician-Scientist Program (B.S./M.D.) should carefully review Albany Medical College's policy regarding applying test-optional for the Fall 2021 cycle:

If you have taken the SAT or ACT, you must have your official scores sent at the time of application. If, this year, due to COVID-19 and issues with testing availability, you have not been able to take either exam, your application may still be forwarded to AMC for consideration. Albany Medical College will still review the application, and a decision will be based on the review of your supplemental application and additional submitted materials.

My course grades changed to pass/fail for Spring 2020. How will this affect the review of my transcript?

We understand and support the move to pass/fail grading options that many schools and colleges have adopted as a valid COVID-19 accommodation. As such, we will be accepting pass/fail results in the normal review of transcripts during this time.

I was not able to take my IB/AP exams last spring. How will this impact my application review?

If you were unable to take your Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam(s) this year, this will not affect your admission decision. AP/IB examinations are not required for admission (but may be used for credit).

All of my school-sponsored extracurricular activities have been cancelled. How can I show the Admissions Committee that I am well-rounded?

We completely understand that most extracurricular activities cannot be completed in the same manner as they were a couple months ago. We will take this into account when reviewing your application activities section and/or your resume. Be sure to include what you did before COVID-19 and what you hope to continue to do after. Let us know what you have been doing during social distancing as well!

How do I express demonstrated interest in Rensselaer if I cannot visit campus?

There are plenty of ways to express demonstrated interest without leaving your house! You can check out our Virtual Tour of campus or join our Admissions Team and student ambassadors for a virtual Information Session to have a chance to have your questions answered. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay connected with the Office of Admission.

What if there are delays in completing application requirements due to COVID-19?

We understand that it is possible some students may not be able to complete all application requirements on time due to matters related to COVID-19. Please reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with your concerns and we can provide you with further information on how to proceed.