School of Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

School of Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
January 1
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
15 Departments and Programs
departments and programs



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the nation's oldest technological research university. Since 1824, Rensselaer faculty members, researchers, graduates, and students have been at the forefront of leading technology advances, ranging from engineering some of the nation's first suspension bridges in the 19th century to helping lead evolution of the Worldwide Web. The School of Engineering is currently ranked 38th in the nation by "U.S. News and World Report" for its graduate programs, and was recently ranked 4th on "Business Insider's" list of the World's Best Engineering Schools. Graduate programs are available in aeronautical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer and systems engineering, decision sciences and engineering systems (Ph.D. only), electrical engineering, engineering physics, environmental engineering, industrial and management engineering (master's only), materials engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering (master's only), nuclear engineering and science (Ph.D. only), systems engineering and technology management (master's only), and transportation engineering.

Aeronautical Engineering

Areas of research include computational and theoretical fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, advanced propulsion, experimental gas dynamics, energy conversion, structural dynamics, and optimal design.

Biomedical Engineering

Areas of advanced study and research include biomolecular science and engineering, biomedical imaging, musculoskeletal engineering, neural engineering, systems biology and biocomputation and vascular engineering. These broad areas include, but are not limited to, work in orthopaedics, implantable sensors, neural engineering, stem cell research, biophysical regulation of cell function, musculoskeletal mechanics, wound healing, and biophotonics.

Chemical Engineering

Research areas include bio- and nanotechnology, computational molecular science, membrane and chromatographic separations, complex fluids, colloids and interfacial phenomena, energy, process dynamics and control, systems engineering, bio- and nanomaterials, synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and macro- and microscale transport phenomena.

Civil Engineering

Research programs focus on areas such as earthquake engineering, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and transportation. The modeling of dynamic behavior is stressed throughout these programs. Professional practice and practical application are integrated with all research activities.

Computer and Systems Engineering

Research areas include computer networks and communications systems, computer hardware design, parallel processing, image sciences (imaging, image processing, computer vision, graphics and computational geometry), geographic information science, pattern recognition, CAD/CAM, control (intelligent, nonlinear, adaptive), robotics and automation.

Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems

Advanced study is offered in areas including network optimization and analysis, computer simulation, mathematical programming, applied statistics, and decision support systems. Application areas include disaster response logistics, advanced manufacturing, and renewable energy.

Electrical Engineering

Research areas include energy sources and systems (power electronics, energy harvesting, renewable energy sources, transmission and distribution, advanced grids, electromagnetics), solid-state materials and devices, modeling and processing, compound semiconductor devices, microelectronics, photonics, microwave devices, solid state lighting, photovoltaics, nanoelectronics, sensors and actuators, terahertz, signal and image processing, speech processing, control (intelligent, nonlinear, adaptive), robotics, and automation.

Engineering Physics

Current areas of research include applied radiation, radiation transport, medical physics, multiphase phenomena, sonoluminescence, and fusion plasma engineering.

Environmental Engineering

Research areas include water quality and treatment emphasizing absorption and membrane processes, fate and transport of contaminants with an emphasis on sorption processes in soils and sediments, sediment decontamination using advanced oxidation processes, environmental chemistry including the chemistry of natural organic matter, and bioremediation of industrial and hazardous waste.

Industrial and Management Engineering

Advanced study opportunities are offered in industrial logistics, applied operations research, applied statistics, technology management, financial engineering, quality systems, engineering economics, project management, e-business and supply chain management, simulations, and information systems.

Materials Engineering

Current research themes focus on discovering, synthesizing, processing and characterizing novel materials for pivotal and emerging technologies, understanding atomistic and molecular level phenomena and relating them to key properties (e.g. mechanical, electronic, magnetic, thermal, optical) through experiment and computational modeling. Examples include nanomaterials, biomaterials, electronic materials, metals, polymers, ceramics and glasses, and composites in bulk and thin film forms. These have applications in nanoelectronics, optical and magnetic devices, high strength and high temperature structures, biochemical sensing, thermal management, and energy generation, conversion and storage. In addition to impacting many key technologies, the school's research programs serve as platforms for multidisciplinary learning and collaborations across many fields of science and engineering.

Mechanical Engineering

Research areas include multiscale modeling, engineering computation, energy, nanotechnology, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, dynamics and vibrations, automation, design and manufacturing, and tribology.

Nuclear Engineering and Nuclear Engineering and Science

Active research is underway in the areas of nuclear data measurements, parametric X-ray applications, biomedical applications of radiation, reactor thermal hydraulics, neutron and X-ray scattering, fusion system design, and nuclear reactor safety.

Systems Engineering and Technology Management

This is a multidisciplinary program providing engineering students with an opportunity to extend their understanding of emerging technologies within their disciplines while providing fundamental background in technical decision making methods and technology management. The program provides essential background in the financial metrics of business performance, the analytical modeling tools for applying these metrics in organizational and technical decision --making system, and the critical challenges associated with new models of value creation and business growth across different industries.

Transportation Engineering

A highly interdisciplinary program stressing the development and use of novel methodologies, techniques, and tools appropriate to the evolving transportation environment. The integrated study of knowledge in engineering, social science and computer science enables the in-depth exploration of transportation issues and their connections with the society, the economy, and the environment. Major research and study areas include transportation planning, transportation economics, freight transportation, disaster response and humanitarian logistics, integrated land use-transportation planning, traffic engineering, traffic control systems, intelligent transportation systems, and transportation network analysis.

Research Facilities

Rensselaer is home to over 35 research centers and institutes focused on addressing global challenges.

Most recently, Rensselaer has announced a new university-wide initiative to tackle the challenges and opportunities of Big Data. The new Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA) brings together and fortifies the wealth of data science, high performance computing, predictive analytics, data visualization, and cognitive computing research at the Institute.

The Rensselaer IDEA represents an investment by Rensselaer of $60 million, and involves faculty members and students from more than 12 departments across the 5 schools of the university. The new research institute serves as a hub for Rensselaer faculty members, staff members, and students engaged in data-driven discovery and innovation. Through the use of the vast amounts of available data, they are addressing some of the most challenging problems facing the world -- from energy security and job creation to sustainability and health care.

The Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) was developed as a partnership between RPI, IBM, and New York State to create one of the world's most powerful university-based supercomputers. CCNI research focuses on reducing the time and costs associated with designing and manufacturing nanoscale materials, systems, and devices, and the school's vast computing capability is one the reasons that medical schools and health-care organizations seek Rensselaer as a university partner.

The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) is ranked among the most advanced research facilities in the world and serves as Rensselaer's primary research, training, and outreach center in biotechnology. The center is independent of departmental or school affiliation within RPI, thus facilitating multidisciplinary activity based on research strength and collaboration across the span of biotechnology studies. CBIS's research projects build upon existing core strengths in biocatalysis and bioprocessing, advanced materials and nanotechnology, microscale systems, and advanced scientific computation, modeling, and simulation.


Research and teaching assistantships and university, corporate, or national fellowships fund many of Rensselaer's full-time graduate students. Graduate assistantships are awarded by academic departments on the basis of scholastic accomplishments, academic promise, and competence.

Appointments are made on an annual basis. The positions usually require 20 hours of work each week under the guidance of Rensselaer faculty members.

Continuation of Rensselaer financial assistance depends on satisfactory academic standing, research or teaching performance, and aid availability. The current minimum academic year stipend is $18,500.

Location & Contact

School of Engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590
United States

Dr. Tarek Abdoun

Associate Dean, School of Engineering

Phone: 518-276-6544

Office of Graduate Admissions

Phone: 518-276-6216

Request More Info

Departments & Programs

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Engineering And Applied Sciences Doctor of Engineering (D Eng)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Engineering (M Eng)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 106
    • Doctoral Degrees 78
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


24% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 1,617
    • Accepted 394
    • Acceptance Rate 24
    • Enrolled 166
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 1st January 1st Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline August 15th August 15th Yes
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 570 paper based, TOEFL iBT, IELTS required, IELTS paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsJanuary 1
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students522
    • Female Percentage23%
    • Male Percentage77%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students522
    • Part-time Percentage8%
    • Full-time Percentage92%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino5%
    • Black / African American3%
    • White / Caucasian74%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian12%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown4%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty420
    • Full-time Percentage88%
    • Part-time Percentage12%
    • Female Percentage20%
    • Male Percentage80%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchAeronautical, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer and systems, engineering physics, environmental, industrial and management, materials science, mechanical, nuclear, systems engineering and technology management, transportation
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$37,462,714