School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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



Rensselaer's School of Science offers M.S. and Ph.D. programs in 8 academic areas, preparing students for a wide variety of careers in the firmly established areas of mathematics and natural sciences, and in the emerging fields of data, web, network, and computational sciences.

At Rensselaer's School of Science, we discover answers to humanity's most compelling questions, define new fields of study, and invent solutions to global challenges. We are exploring rich veins of discovery in these key areas: origins and fundamentals of life and matter; water, energy, and sustainability; materials at the nanoscale; bio-med science and its applications; data and network sciences; and modeling, analysis, and simulation. -- Dean Laurie Leshin

Applied Mathematics (M.S.)

Areas include differential equations, asymptotic analysis, functional analysis, numerical analysis, mathematical programming, and applied geometry. Mathematical modeling and applications of mathematics in the physical sciences, biological sciences, and engineering are also emphasized.

Applied Science (M.S.)

The Master of Science degree program traditionally has been taken by students studying single subjects, e.g., chemistry, physics, or mathematics. However, the working environment that college graduates face today, and will face in the future, is one in which their jobs increasingly bridge more than 1 area of specialization. The M.S. in Applied Science program, intended for working professionals, is based upon Rensselaer's belief that science graduates of the past few decades and most current graduates need educational preparations for today's interdisciplinary world. Options exist in many areas of science. Examples include bioinformatics, polymer science, and computational science.

Biochemistry/Biophysics (M.S., Ph.D.)

Research areas include cell motility mechanisms, bioenergetics, glycobiology, protein folding, cellular bioengineering, and biofluid mechanics. Structure, function, synthesis, folding, stability, and purification of various proteins and nucleic acids are being studied by molecular modeling, NMR, ESR, fluorescent probes, proteomics, and molecular genetic techniques.

Biology (M.S., Ph.D.)

Areas of research include cell, molecular, and developmental biology, genetics, neurobiology, cancer biology, stem cell biology, structural biology, bioinformatics, molecular and cellular biophysics, computational biology, bioenergetics, biochemistry, tissue engineering, microbiology, freshwater ecology, and environmental sciences. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary training, use of cutting-edge technologies, and close interactions between students and faculty members.

Chemistry (M.S., Ph.D.)

Research areas include analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, biochemistry/biophysics, carbohydrate chemistry, computational chemistry, inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, polymer and materials chemistry, surface science, and spectroscopy. Programs are designed to fit the needs of individual students.

Computer Science (M.S., Ph.D.)

Research is conducted in algorithms, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, computer graphics, computer vision, data mining, database systems, distributed systems, grid computing, machine and computational learning, network security, networking, pervasive computing, robotics, semantic web, simulation, social networks, software engineering, and tetherless/wireless networking. Entering students are expected to have substantial academic backgrounds in computer science and mathematics. Previous research experience preferred.

Geology (M.S., Ph.D.)

Research areas include geochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, structural geology, tectonics, geophysics, seismology, groundwater systems and hydrogeology, chemical hydrology, and river and lake pollution.

Mathematics (M.S., Ph.D.)

Research areas include analysis, methods of applied mathematics, differential equations, dynamical systems, inverse problems, numerical analysis, mathematical programming, operations research, data mining, and applications of mathematics in the physical sciences, biological sciences, and engineering.

Multidisciplinary Science (M.S., Ph.D.)

The School of Science offers graduate programs leading to Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degrees in multidisciplinary science. These degrees allow students who have traditional discipline-oriented backgrounds to function more effectively in academic, industrial, or governmental positions that are multidisciplinary in nature. Prior to admission to the program, each student must contact a faculty member at Rensselaer concerning the proposed multidisciplinary research and must demonstrate that financial support is available. With the help of the faculty member, who will be the principal research adviser, each student must prepare a preliminary research proposal that clearly indicates why this research is suited for the multidisciplinary program instead of a departmental program.

Physics (M.S., Ph.D) Astronomy (M.S.)

Research areas include experimental and theoretical nuclear and particle physics, experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics of surfaces, interfaces, epitaxial films, nanostructures, nanoparticles, and disordered materials, optical and electronic properties of artificial structures, ultra-fast and non-linear optical phenomena, terahertz spectroscopy, imaging and electronics, ultra-high-speed photonic communication, molecular and cellular biophysics, astrophysics of star-forming regions, astrobiology, and educational development in physics.

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 our world -- from energy security and job creation to sustainability and health care.

AMOS, the institute's new supercomputer, is the most powerful university-based supercomputer in New York state and the Northeast, and among the most powerful in the world. In addition to massive computational power, AMOS has high-performance networking capabilities. This combination of speed and networking is unique and enables Rensselaer and its partners to better tackle highly complex, data-rich research challenges ranging from personalized health care, to smart grids, to economic modeling.

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.

The Darrin Fresh Water Institute at Lake George is the home of the Jefferson Project, which is outfitting the lake with advanced smart water technology including water quality sensors that are capable of collecting data in real-time. The new technology is being used to study the lake and improve the region's ability to assess and respond to problems such as water contamination, algal growth, and invasive species.

The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is dedicated to using perception and experience to build bridges between the human senses and create meaning in a physical environment. Research covers a wide range of topics, from innovations in acoustic design, architectural daylight modeling, and overhead tracking systems, to adding a sense of touch to virtual environments and computational models of concert hall ceilings.


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 Science

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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

Dr. Wilfredo Colon

Associate Dean, School of Science

Phone: 518-276-2515

Office of Graduate Admissions

Phone: 518-276-6216

Request More Info

Departments & Programs

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 77
    • Doctoral Degrees 40
    • 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? No
    • 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


31% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 887
    • Accepted 281
    • Acceptance Rate 31
    • Enrolled 113
  • 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 Students369
    • Female Percentage25%
    • Male Percentage75%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students369
    • Part-time Percentage8%
    • Full-time Percentage92%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino5%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian80%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian4%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races3%
    • Unknown4%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty304
    • Full-time Percentage88%
    • Part-time Percentage12%
    • Female Percentage25%
    • Male Percentage75%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchApplied mathematics, astronomy, biochemistry/biophysics, biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, information technology, mathematics, physics
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$29,001,276