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Graduate Admissions



Graduate Admissions and Tests

How to Apply:

Applicants are expected to have academic backgrounds and records that clearly indicate their potential to excel in a rigorous graduate program in IT. GRE scores are required. GMAT scores can be accepted in place of the GRE. While not required, all applicants are strongly encouraged to take the PPI (Personal Potential Index).  The results of this test will be taken into consideration when making our admissions decisions.  The website for information on the PPI is: www.ets.org/ppi. Admissions applications and detailed instructions are available from Graduate Admissions.

Applicants should use the following codes to ensure that tests are properly processed. The university code for Rensselaer is 2757. For the GRE department code, use 0404 for Information Sciences. For the TOEFL department code, please use: 78 Computer/Information Sciences.

If you are substituting the GMAT for the GRE, please use the code for MS Management Q69-LM-56. GMAT does not appear to have an option for sending directly to an interdisciplinary IT program.  With this code, your score report will go to the main Admissions Office where it will be redirected to the MS in IT.

The deadline published by the main Admissions Office is Janaury 1st. This deadline does not strictly apply to the MS in IT. Applications are accepted until the class is filled which usually occurs in late February or early March. However, for applicants requesting financial aid, it remains important to have all credentials and the application arrive by the middle of January to ensure the best competitive position.

Because of the course sequencing, most applicants will begin in the Fall term. Students with significant work experience can sometimes start in the January term. Financial aid is rarely available in the Spring. The suggested deadline for Spring can be found on the main Graduate Admissions website.

IT applicants also need to complete the IT Background Evaluation Form (Word file, 94k). This form is incorparated into the online appliacation.

Rensselaer Undergraduates: Co-Terminal MS Program Admission:

Rensselaer students with Junior year standing are eligible to apply for admission to the Master's degree. Both the BS and MS degrees would be completed simultaneously, usually at the end of the fifth year of study. Some students, using AP credit, transfer credit, or extra courses per term are able to finish in four and a half years. Funding for the additional study is offered by the Financial Aid office as one or two additional terms of undergraduate aid.

To apply for Co-terminal admission, students must complete the Co-terminal application form available on the Admissions Office web site. RPI undergraduates do not need to submit GRE scores to apply for the Co-terminal degree program. All students from other colleges must submit GRE scores.

Students with Senior standing can apply for regular MS admission using the Admissions Office on-line application process and request consideration for Teaching Assistantships. The GRE, two faculty references, the Statement of Background and Goals and a resume are required.

Program Prerequisites:

A three course prerequisite sequence in Computer Science that is equivalent to the Rensselaer courses listed below is required prior to enrolling for the Master’s in IT. We welcome applications from students with a wide variety of backgrounds. Students without the full computer science sequence may be able to complete the required courses via on-line course work or at colleges near their homes as preparation to undertake the IT master’s.

Rensselaer Prerequisite Sequence:

  • CSCI-1100 Computer Science I: Fundamentals of Computer Science
    An introduction to computer programming algorithm design and analysis. Additional topics include basic computer organization; internal representation of scalar and array data; use of top-down design and subprograms to tackle complex problems; abstract data types. Enrichment material as time allows. Interdisciplinary case studies, numerical and nonnumerical applications. Students who have passed CSCI 1200 cannot register for this course.
  • CSCI-1200 Data Structures
    Programming concepts: functions, parameter passing, pointers, arrays, strings, structs, classes, templates. Mathematical tools: sets, functions, and relations, order notation, complexity of algorithms, proof by induction. Data structures and their representations: data abstraction and internal representation, sequences, trees, binary search trees, associative structures. Algorithms: searching and sorting, generic algorithms, iterative and recursive algorithms. Methods of testing correctness and measuring performance.
  • CSCI-2300 Introduction to Algorithms
    Data structures and algorithms, and the mathematical techniques necessary to design and analyze them. Basic data structures: lists, associative structures, trees. Mathematical techniques for designing algorithms and analyzing worst-case and expected-case algorithm efficiency. Advanced data structures: balanced trees, tries, heaps, priority queues, graphs. Searching, sorting. Algorithm design techniques: dynamic programming, greedy algorithms, divide-and-conquer, backtracking. Example graph, string, geometric, and numeric algorithms.
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