Program in Information Technology and Web Science School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Program in Information Technology and Web Science 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
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


Information Technology and Web Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Information Technology is defined at Rensselaer as the combined use of the power of computing with the study of social issues and managerial know-how to strategically solve current real-world problems and to creatively research future IT solutions.

Rensselaer has long encouraged interdisciplinary study and was one of the first universities in the nation to offer advanced master's degrees and doctoral study in the highly creative, interdisciplinary field of "Information Technology and Web Science" (ITWS). Students in the ITWS Department can take courses in all 7 schools at Rensselaer: "Engineering," "Science," "Architecture," "Humanities," "Arts," "Social Sciences," and the Lally School of Management.

Rensselaer has been at the forefront of the shaping of the discipline of web science, led largely by the efforts of Tetherless World Senior Constellation Professors James Hendler and Deborah McGuiness, and Tetherless World Constellation Chair, Peter Fox. Under their leadership, the program seeks new ways to understand and harness the inner workings of one of the most powerful research, social, and commerce technologies of the modern era.

In 2013 IBM provided a version of an IBM Watson system to Rensselaer, making the university the first institution of higher education to receive such a system. The Watson system represents an impressive leap forward in analytics and system design, and its capabilities, along with the university's latest research center, the Institute of Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA), will enable new leading-edge research, and afford faculty members and students an opportunity to find new uses for Watson and new ways to deepen the systems' cognitive capabilities.

In addition to Watson, AMOS, Rensselaer'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.

Master of Science in Information Technology

While incorporating Rensselaer's internationally recognized strengths in science and engineering, the M.S. curriculum is also infused with the study of communication, design, computer science, entrepreneurship and business. The breadth of the degree program's core courses and the ability to build a concentration in one of 11 areas are the 2 factors most often cited as the top reasons students choose Rensselaer's Master's in Information Technology degree program.

Current concentrations include: "Data Science and Analytics," "Information Dominance," "Web Science," "Networking," "Management Information Systems," "Software Design," "Financial Engineering," "Database and Intelligent Systems," "Information Security," "Information Systems Engineering," and "Human-Computer Interaction."

Students complete a suite of core and capstone courses, and also select 3 to 5 additional courses to complete their concentrations. Both a professional and research track are offered for the M.S. in IT degree program.

The M.S. in IT degree program can be completed in 2 terms with intensive study. A 3-term option with a paid internship is also available. Many students elect the latter option to enable them to complete 3 to 6 month paid internships between the second and third term. Part-time study is also available.

Job Placement

Rensselaer's M.S. in IT degree program graduates are well prepared for today's top careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment in information technology related fields to grow faster than average, and job prospects should be excellent through 2020. The current job placement record for Rensselaer's M.S. in IT degree program graduates is nearly 100%, with many graduates receiving multiple job offers. The overall average starting salary for a graduate of Rensselaer's M.S. in Information Technology degree program is $84,000 and graduates are offered jobs at top companies including Cisco, Boeing, Deloitte, Polaris, Google, and Bank of America.

Master's Admission

A wide variety of entering backgrounds can be accommodated. Students with psychology, architecture, and physics degrees have successfully completed the IT degree program. Hiring companies appreciate the diversity of student backgrounds.

Admission to the program is competitive. Applicants are expected to have academic backgrounds and records that clearly indicate their potential to excel in a rigorous graduate program in IT. GRE or GMAT scores are required. While not required, all applicants are encouraged to participate in the PPI (Personal Potential Index) with 5 references. Top students will compete for teaching assistantships, which fully fund 2 terms of study and/or research assistantships on a semester basis as the demand for ITWS student skills on campus increases. The majority of students will self-fund the degree as an investment in their future careers.

The IT program maintains a flexible deadline and the class is generally filled in late February or early March each year. Students requesting financial aid should plan to apply and have all required admissions materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions by the middle of January to ensure the best competitive position.

The student body size and student-to-faculty member ratio is kept to a level where personal attention by faculty and staff members is the norm and camaraderie among students is evident and encouraged. The IT Graduate Student Leadership team provides academic and social activities of benefit to the student group. The location of Rensselaer in upstate Troy, NY, combines the benefits of being within walking distance of an historic downtown district with the excitement of being within an accessible distance of New York City, Boston, and Montreal.

Ph.D. Programs with an IT Concentration

For students interested in doctoral study, an IT Track is available in the Multidisciplinary Science Ph.D. degree program. The IT Track is designed to allow a student to work with faculty members from multiple Rensselaer departments and schools. It is designed to prepare students for a career in interdisciplinary IT research. The IT Track requires a technical core coupled with a concentration that provides the context for the student's research. This concentration may incorporate one or more disciplines in addition to its core IT components.

Ph.D. Admission

Students interested in applying to this IT Track apply to the Multidisciplinary Science PhD program and include a letter stating that the IT Track is desired. In addition to the standard application materials required by Rensselaer, the student must submit:

- A 1000-word essay describing the proposed research and why the IT Track is appropriate.

- A letter from the expected research advisor stating the advisor's willingness to work with the student in the IT track and to support the student financially during the program of study.

- A Plan of Study that demonstrates the multidisciplinary nature of the program of study.

Location & Contact

Program in Information Technology and Web Science

School of Science
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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

Dr. Peter Fox

Graduate Program Director

Phone: 518-276-4862

Office of Graduate Admissions

Phone: 518-276-6216

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Information Science Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 29
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • 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? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


37% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 156
    • Accepted 58
    • Acceptance Rate 37
    • Enrolled 30
  • 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, IT Background Evaluation Form
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • 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 Students50
    • Female Percentage36%
    • Male Percentage64%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students50
    • Part-time Percentage8%
    • Full-time Percentage92%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino9%
    • Black / African American9%
    • White / Caucasian64%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian9%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown9%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty64
    • Full-time Percentage81%
    • Part-time Percentage19%
    • Female Percentage25%
    • Male Percentage75%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchDatabase and intelligent systems, data science and analytics, financial engineering, human computer interaction, information dominance, information security, information systems engineering, management information systems, networking, software design and engineering, Web science
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported