Transfer Admission

Rensselaer considers any student with 12 or more transferable college credits completed after high school as a transfer student. Transfer students may apply to all of our programs, with the exception of the accelerated medical program. Transfer students should apply via the Common App or the Coalition on SCOIR. Transfer applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Transfer students are required to live on campus for the first two semesters.

Transfer student inquiries may be sent to

Apply Now - Transfer Common App

Apply Now - Coalition on SCOIR


Academic Requirements

Every year, more than 200 transfer students join our community as Rensselaer welcomes transfer students from accredited two- and four-year colleges in the United States and around the world. Admission to Rensselaer is competitive and based on academic performance.

To be considered, transfer applicants should have completed 12 or more transferable college credits, and must be in good academic standing at the institution(s) they are attending or have attended. Transfer students can be accepted into all but our accelerated programs (however, some programs may have designated start terms).

Students who graduate with an A.S. degree from a two-year college or a community college, or students currently attending a four-year college or university affiliated with Rensselaer, may transfer to Rensselaer with full junior status if accepted for admission.

Required Courses

You must complete at least a pre-calculus level mathematics course before you enroll at Rensselaer. In addition, most majors require students to have a completed physics course prior to enrollment. You are also strongly encouraged to pursue courses related to your intended area of study.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

In general, Rensselaer looks for transfer students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. However, it’s also important that you be taking courses appropriate to your intended major. The 3.0 GPA should be seen as a guide and not a hard cutoff, as students with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered for admission.

Portfolio (if required)

Creative portfolios are required to be submitted for transfer applicants into the Architecture (ARCH), Electronic Arts (EART), Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and Music (MUSC) programs.

Portfolio Requirements & Guidelines

Online Portfolio Submission


Transfer Credits

Transfer students can expect to receive full credit for courses of comparable depth. Rensselaer will only transfer credit for courses in which you received a grade of "C-" or better. To ensure the most complete evaluation, please have official transcripts sent from all previously attended colleges, and send us course descriptions from all your courses.

If you would like to transfer AP, IB, or A level credit from your high school, make sure your official test results are sent directly to the Registrar's Office.

Course descriptions can be found in your current college’s course catalog and may be copied and pasted into a Word document. Please email all course descriptions to our office at

Transfer Student Course Guide

After Acceptance

Your course descriptions and syllabi will be forwarded to our faculty for their review. Once completed, your credit evaluation will be sent to you. We’ll make every effort to ensure this process proceeds as quickly as possible. You’ll have access to your credit evaluation before an enrollment deposit is required.

Graduation Requirement

In order to earn a Rensselaer undergraduate degree, a student must be registered full-time for a minimum of four semesters and must complete at least 64 credits at Rensselaer, all of which will be applied to the baccalaureate degree.

School of Architecture

The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) requires that all transfer credits associated with required courses that make up an NAAB-accredited degree program be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please submit original transcripts, course/catalog descriptions including credit hours, and contact hours per week. New transfer students must submit all materials to Admissions. Continuing students need to discuss with their academic adviser and have all the paperwork required, and will be advised how to proceed.

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Fall* Apply by June 1
Spring Apply by November 1
Summer** Apply by March 1

*Applicants for Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) or Music must apply for a fall term start.

**Architecture applicants, depending on credit requirements, will start in the summer or fall semester. Incoming architecture transfer students may not start in the spring semester.

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Application Checklist

For students who will have completed four or more semesters of college work:

  • Transfer Common Application or Transfer Coalition Application
  • Application Fee
  • Official College Transcript(s)
  • Letter of Recommendation (instructor or academic counselor)
  • Portfolio (ARCH, EART, GSAS, MUSC only)

For students who will have completed fewer than four semesters of college work:

  • Transfer Common Application or Transfer Coalition Application
  • Application Fee
  • Official College Transcript(s)
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • Letter of Recommendation (instructor or academic counselor)
  • Portfolio (ARCH, EART, GSAS, MUSC only)
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Phi Theta Kappa’s 2021 Transfer Honor Roll

We are proud to have been named as one of 122 colleges to Phi Theta Kappa's 2021 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes excellence in the development of transfer pathways. This distinguished honor is awarded to the top 25% of colleges who earned the highest Transfer Friendliness Ratings.

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Financial Aid

Rensselaer offers transfer students a wide range of aid options and a staff of financial aid professionals who will work to devise the best solutions. To be considered for all available financial aid opportunities, accepted transfer students are expected to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. Financial aid inquiries may be sent to

  • CSS College Code: 2757   
  • FAFSA College Code: 002803

Transfer Scholarships

All U.S. undergraduate students (U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents) seeking admission are automatically considered for Rensselaer merit-based awards. 

Rensselaer works in conjunction with two and four year colleges to reward students who show exceptional performance in certain areas. In an effort to distribute funds equitably, it is Rensselaer’s policy not to combine multiple merit scholarships in any one financial aid award. Rensselaer will award the highest merit award for which the student is qualified (benefits may not exceed tuition). Students who receive the Rensselaer Mathematics and Science Award (the Rensselaer Medal) in high school or who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for these scholarships. Special merit scholarships will be incorporated into need-based packages if financial need is demonstrated by the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications.

Unless otherwise noted, all the scholarships below provide a minimum of $18,000 per academic year and are renewable. Generally, the maximum number of semesters a student may receive the award is dependent on the individual’s credits that transfer. For example, a student who would be transferring as a junior would receive four semesters of eligibility, six if participating in our co-terminal program.

Affiliated Two-Year and Community Colleges

The Award for Excellence
This scholarship is for the top student transferring into a non-engineering program from our two-year affiliated colleges and universities.

The Joseph H. Smith Jr. ’45 Award
This award was created for the most outstanding student in the engineering science program at our affiliated community colleges. Generally, the award is presented to the qualifying student with the highest cumulative average.

Four-Year Affiliated Colleges and Universities

The Award for Excellence
Awarded to the top student transferring to our engineering program from each of our four-year affiliated colleges and universities.

Two- and Four-Year Affiliated Colleges and Universities

The Garnet D. Baltimore Rensselaer Award and Scholarship for Minority Students
This annual scholarship is awarded to the qualifying African American, Hispanic, or Native American student with the highest combined average in mathematics and science at each of our two- and four-year affiliated colleges.

Phi Theta Kappa Society Scholarship
Phi Theta Kappa recognizes intellectual achievement in American two-year colleges. All Phi Theta Kappa Society transfer students who are accepted and subsequently enroll at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will receive the $5,000 annual scholarship.


International Transfer Students

Rensselaer accepts international transfer students into all of our programs, with the exception of our accelerated program in medicine.

In addition to the application requirements of all transfer applicants, you should also submit the following:

Academic Transcripts

Please submit official copies of all college and university transcripts with English translations.

International Student Financial Statement (ISFS)

Evidence of financial support to cover educational and living expenses is required for students who will study on a non-immigrant (F-1 or J-1) visa.

Financial assistance is not available for undergraduate international students. All non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents must be prepared to assume the full cost of attendance for the duration of their studies.

You must submit the International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) along with all other application materials. Your application will not be considered complete without the International Student Financial Statement.

We must also see documentation reflecting at least one year's worth of liquid funding (approximately $80,000 USD). The ISFS and all supporting financial documents should be uploaded to your application status portal once you submit your application.


2:2 Transfer Programs

If you graduate with an A.S. degree from a two-year or community college affiliated with Rensselaer, you may transfer at the end of two years with full junior status if accepted for admission to Rensselaer.

Participating Institutions
  • Alfred State College, NY (ENGR)
  • Anne Arundel Community College, MD (ENGR, SCI)
  • Berkshire Community College, MA (BMGT, ENGR)
  • Broome Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • California Community College System, all 107 campuses (BMGT, ENGR, SCI)
  • Cayuga County Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Corning Community College, NY (BMGT, ENGR, HASS, SCI)
  • County College of Morris, NJ (ENGR, SCI)
  • Dutchess Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Erie Community College, NY (BMGT, ENGR)
  • Fulton-Montgomery Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Greenfield Community College, MA (ENGR)
  • Holyoke Community College, MA (BMGT)
  • Hudson Valley Community College, NY (BMGT, ENGR, HASS, ITWS, SCI)
  • Jamestown Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Jefferson Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Miami-Dade Community College, FL (ENGR)
  • Mohawk Valley Community College, NY (BMGT, ENGR, HASS, SCI)
  • Monroe Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Montgomery Community College, MD (ENGR, SCI)
  • Morrisville State College, NY (ENGR)
  • Nassau Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Niagara Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • North Shore Community College, MA (ENGR)
  • Norwalk Community College, CT (ENGR)
  • Onondaga Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Orange County Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Rockland Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Schenectady County Community College, NY (SCI)
  • St. Louis Community College, MO (ENGR)
  • Springfield Tech Community College, MA (ENGR)
  • Suffolk County Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • SUNY Adirondack, NY (ENGR)
  • SUNY Canton, NY (ENGR)
  • SUNY Delhi, NY (ENGR)
  • Tompkins-Cortland Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Ulster Community College, NY (ENGR)
  • Westchester Community College, NY (ENGR)

3:2 Engineering Program

Designed for students at select liberal arts colleges who decide to enter the field of engineering, and who, after completing three years (through the junior year) at their liberal arts college, transfer to Rensselaer’s School of Engineering. Most students accepted for this program have achieved at least a B average, with grades of A or B in their calculus, calculus-based physics, and chemistry courses.

Participating Institutions
  • Amherst College, MA
  • Atlanta University Center:
    • Clark Atlanta University, GA
    • Morehouse College, GA
    • Morris Brown College, GA
    • Spelman College, GA
  • Bates College, ME
  • Beloit College, WI
  • Benedict College, SC
  • Claremont Schools:
    • Claremont-McKenna College, CA
    • Pitzer College, CA
    • Scripps College, CA
  • Colgate University, NY
  • The College of St. Rose, NY
  • College of William & Mary, VA
  • Colorado College, CO
  • Denison University, OH
  • Dickinson College, PA
  • Earlham College, IN
  • Fairfield University, CT
  • Franklin & Marshall College, PA
  • Gettysburg College, PA
  • Grinnell College, IA
  • Hamilton College, NY
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY
  • Hope College, MI
  • Ithaca College, NY
  • Kenyon College, OH
  • Knox College, IL
  • Lawrence University, WI
  • Lincoln University, PA
  • Middlebury College, VT
  • Ohio Wesleyan University, OH
  • Pace University, all campuses
  • Reed College, OR
  • Ripon College, WI
  • Roberts Wesleyan College, NY
  • Russell Sage College, NY
  • Sacred Heart, CT
  • St. John Fisher College, NY
  • St. Lawrence University, NY
  • Siena College, NY
  • Skidmore College, NY
  • State University of New York at Fredonia, NY
  • State University of New York at Oneonta, NY
  • The University at Albany, NY
  • University of the South, TN
  • Washington & Lee University, VA
How to Apply

Interested students apply for the program during the fall or spring of their junior year by submitting a transfer application and following the transfer application instructions.

Timeline for Graduation

Two years of carefully planned study at Rensselaer complete the requirements for the bachelor’s program of the liberal arts college and the B.S. degree with a major in engineering at Rensselaer, with students receiving degrees from both Rensselaer and the liberal arts college. 

Although it is the intention of this program and every effort will be made on the part of both institutions to follow the 3-2 format, certain situations, including selection of courses and engineering major, may necessitate the requirement of the student to spend either an additional semester(s) of study beyond two years at Rensselaer and/or overload the number of credits normally taken by an engineering student at Rensselaer for one or more semesters to meet the engineering degree requirements at Rensselaer.

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The Arch

The Arch is a unique approach to education that provides flexibility in the semester schedule, allowing students to pursue professional and personal development opportunities that prepare them to meet the multifaceted challenges of the 21st century.

Incoming transfer students with sophomore or freshman standing will be required to participate in The Arch. Incoming transfer students with junior standing will not be required to participate in The Arch.

  • Summer Here
    • Rising juniors attend a full academic summer semester, The Arch, between their sophomore and junior year.
  • The World Away
    • The Arch away semester is an opportunity for students to pursue their passion, follow their dreams, and make a difference all while gaining valuable experience during the fall or spring semester of their junior year.

More information about The Arch.