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Applying to Rensselaer

Application Due Dates

* Fall 2014 Non Matriculated Study Application Deadline
* Spring Term 2015 Application Deadline
* Lally MBA/MS Deadlines

Admissions decisions for Summer and Fall are made on a rolling basis with the majority of decisions posted between February and April.

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Rensselaer seeks diverse and highly qualified candidates for study in all graduate programs.

Your application will be thoroughly reviewed by an admissions committee within your academic department for the likelihood of your success as a graduate student at Rensselaer. We evaluate several factors when making admissions decisions, including your academic qualifications and the fit between your goals and those of the faculty.

While this process takes time, there are a few things you can do to make things run as efficiently as possible. Apply early. Clearly label your admissions materials with your name and date of birth. Check your online status frequently and let us know if you have questions.

Please note that Rensselaer does not postpone/defer admission for graduate study to a later term. Rensselaer maintains prior application documents for two years only. Non-matriculated students wishing to apply for degree status must submit a complete graduate application.

We do not offer conditional admission.

Admissions Checklist

The following materials must be submitted via the online application:

The following materials may be uploaded via the online application and used for review purposes only:

The following materials must be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office:

Once payment is authorized and your application is submitted, your application is on its way to Rensselaer and you can no longer make changes or revisions to your application. Therefore, please review the contents of your application carefully before submitting your application.

All applicants must submit the following materials, as indicated, for their application to be complete and forwarded for departmental review.

Please do not send any application materials to individual departments.

International Students Additional Requirements

Non-Degree Seeking (Non-Matriculated) Students

Co-Terminal Students (current Rensselaer undergraduate students)

Reapplication Requirements


The applicant’s name and date of birth should be printed clearly on all paper documents.
Department Requirements

All applicants should pay particular attention to requirements that apply to specific Schools and their departments:

Graduate Application Instructions
* Graduate Application Instructions (PDF)
Graduate Application

Complete the online application for full- or part-time graduate degree programs delivered on the Troy campus of Rensselaer. Applicants may apply only to one degree program per term. Multiple applications for one term are not permitted.

Your name as it appears on your official documents (i.e., passport) and date of birth should be printed clearly on all documents.

Mail all supporting credentials to:

Graduate Admissions
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street Troy, NY 12180-3590

Nonrefundable $75 Application Processing Fee

Credit card payment is available for electronic submissions. If you do not wish to submit payment by credit card, a money order or check drawn on a U.S. bank, payable to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, may be mailed to the above address. Include the full name, date of birth, and address of the applicant on money order or check. Do not send cash or stamps.

The application fee is waived for Rensselaer alumni, current Rensselaer students (matriculating and non- matriculating), employees, and employee spouses.

Statement of Background and Goals (including current work/academic activities)

All applicants must upload a one- or two-page statement that includes the following information:

  • Your primary educational and research interests.
  • An outline of your research experience and a list of any publications and academic honors.
  • A description of your background in fields particularly relevant to your study objectives – include any relevant industrial/work or research experience.
  • Information outlining your current work/study activities
  • A discussion of specific research topics and methods you might pursue in your thesis research (not required for Master’s programs in the Lally School).

Master’s Applicants to the Lally School of Management ONLY:

Essay #1—required for BSAN, FERA, MS MGMT, MBA, SPCM, and TCE programs.

  • The Lally School will train you for leadership and strategic decision-making roles. In these roles you will encounter situations that will require ethical choices. Describe an ethical dilemma that you have experienced in your career and how you resolved it. What did you learn from this experience?

Essay #2—required for MBA and TCE programs ONLY.

  • Given our emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship in both technological entrepreneurship and finance, students who succeed at Lally tend to be creative individuals who are fascinated with new products and new business ideas and are especially good at identifying opportunities. Please send us an example of your creative thinking. This could be, but should in no way be limited to, one of the following:
    • An idea for a new business.
    • An advertising campaign.
    • A drawing of a new product idea.
    • A physical prototype of a new product or concept (use your creativity to amaze us with your idea!).

A creative application of a new technology or new business idea to a pressing world program; for example, an environmental problem or a problem relating to quality of life in a third world country. (Note that the answer to the last question can also be used as your entry into the ESP scholarship competition).

The only restrictions are that it cannot be larger than 2 cubic feet (1 ft x 1 ft x 2 ft), no heavier than 50 pounds, and if you upload (or send) a written document, no longer than 1,500 words. If you submit something other than a written work, you must also submit a description of not more than 500 words explaining your submission.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Your resume should include details about your education, employment, and internship history and any pertinent research experience. International students in the U.S. on OPT or CPT should include details about their current activities.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Rensselaer requires two letters of recommendation. You will be required to enter two recommenders on the online application. Recommendations should be from your academic advisor(s), other professors, academic deans, etc., who can provide an assessment of your likelihood of success at the graduate level in your field of study. Rensselaer will send an electronic recommendation request to each recommender and each recommender will be able to submit his/her recommendation electronically. We have found this to be an efficient and effective method of submission for both the recommender and applicant. Electronically submitted recommendations do not need to be followed up with paper recommendations.

Official Transcripts and Degrees, in English, of All Post-secondary Education

Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies, including course work taken as a non-degree student, must be submitted. Student printed or downloaded copies of transcripts are not acceptable. Note for current Rensselaer students and Rensselaer alumni: We will request your Rensselaer transcripts on your behalf.

1. If you are currently attending a university, a final transcript must be submitted upon completion of your course work. If you have completed your degree, the award of degree must be noted on the transcript.

2. If your school does not release official transcripts directly to students, you must request that the school send the official copy directly to Graduate Admissions.

3. If transcripts of previous or current study do not include the award of degree, include a certified copy of the diploma or other official evidence that the degree has been awarded.

All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English. Transcripts in the original language must accompany all translated documents. Uncertified translations, or translations by students, will not be accepted.

Do not submit secondary school (high school) exam results or transcripts.

Minimum Requirement for Admission Consideration

The minimum requirement for admission consideration to Rensselaer’s graduate programs is the completion of and the award of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or the U.S. equivalent. If an applicant is uncertain of the U.S. bachelor’s degree equivalency of his/her degree, he/she may wish to obtain an academic credential evaluation from a U.S. based credential evaluation agency (eg., WES).

Official Test Scores (GRE general, GRE subject, or GMAT as required by the department)

Rensselaer Code 2757 (GRE/TOEFL/PPI)  GMAT Code Q69-LM-28

  • Official test scores are required and must be requested from the testing organization. The department code is not needed.
  • Copies of examinee’s scores from ETS may be sent to Graduate Admissions, but will be used only until official scores are received. Web scores are not acceptable.
  • GRE or GMAT reports should reflect test scores dated within five years. Older scores are not available from ETS.
  • Please be aware that it may take up to four weeks for official test scores to be received by Graduate Admissions.
  • The average credentials for admitted students include GRE scores of 159 (verbal), 163 (quantitative), 4.1(analytical).
Portfolio (Architecture, Built Ecologies, and Electronic Arts only)
Personal Potential Index (Optional)

The Personal Potential Index (PPI) is a web-based tool from ETS® that allows evaluators to provide applicant-specific information on six key attributes essential for graduate study: knowledge and creativity; resilience; communication skills; planning and organization; teamwork; and ethics and integrity.

Applicants choosing to submit optional PPI scores should know that Rensselaer requires PPI scores from at least five evaluators across at least three departments or organizations.

Rensselaer PPI Code 2757

See for more information.

International Students Additional Requirements

Applicants possessing a valid Green Card will be considered as a domestic student for purposes of admission and financial aid.

Embargoed and Sanctioned Countries

As a national research institution, Rensselaer’s activities are subject to restrictions by several U.S. agencies, including the Department of State, Department of Commerce, and Department of the Treasury. This makes it increasingly difficult for the Institute to accept students from countries that are on the ITAR, EAR, and OFAC watch lists. If you are a citizen of, or were born in, one of the following fully embargoed and sanctioned countries, please contact the Admissions Office at Rensselaer prior to applying: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria.

Official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Scores (if applicable)

The TOEFL, IELTS or PTE is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English.

Rensselaer Code 2757

A minimum TOEFL score of 88 iBT/230 CBT/570 PBT is required for admission consideration for graduate study at Rensselaer. In lieu of the TOEFL, a student may submit IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson’s Test of English) scores. Only the academic format is acceptable and a minimum score of 6.5 (IELTS) or 60 (PTE) is required for admission consideration. Some departments require a higher TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score for admissions consideration. Test scores older than two years are no longer available and will not be considered and test scores must be issued directly from the test administrator (eg. ETS) to be considered official.

The TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement will be waived for applicants currently enrolled in full-time studies in the U.S. who will have completed two academic years of course work in the U.S. immediately prior to enrolling at Rensselaer (e.g., Spring 2014 graduation at Cornell University and anticipated enrollment at Rensselaer for Fall 2014). Students who are on OPT or CPT should send a statement of current activities with the application for consideration. OPT and CPT placement does not guarantee a waiver.

Visa or Passport

We will issue your I-20 once you have:

  • been awarded admission to a full-time graduate degree program at Rensselaer;
  • submitted a Graduate Student Enrollment Confirmation Form along with any credentials/documents checked on the Condition of Enrollment and Request for I-20/DD2019 form accompanying your admission notification;
  • demonstrated that you meet all requirements for issuance of immigration documents, including providing proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of your tuition and living expenses for the duration of your graduate program.

After receiving the immigration document (I-20/DS-2019), each student must apply through a United States Embassy or Consulate for the appropriate visa to enter the United States.

Any student entering the United States using documents issued by Rensselaer must register for the semester for which admission is granted.

Verification of arrival and enrollment is electronically tracked through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Any failure to arrive at Rensselaer and enroll as a full-time student will be reported to the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Immigration Services (BCIS, formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS).

Reapplication for Graduate Admission: Requirements

Rensselaer does not postpone/defer admission for graduate study to a later term. Rensselaer maintains prior application documents for two years only. Non-matriculated students wishing to apply for degree status must submit a complete graduate application. Applicants who are applying within two years of the prior application must submit the following:

  • Graduate application form.
  • Nonrefundable $75 application processing fee.
  • Updated Statement of Background and Goals (including current work/academic activities) and essays (if applicable).
  • Updated Resume.
  • One additional letter of recommendation. If applicant is currently enrolled in a course of study, the recommendation should be from an academic advisor.
  • Official transcripts for all course work taken since submission of the prior application
  • Official score reports of all tests (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, PPI, etc.) taken since submission of prior application.

If you have any questions during the application process, please feel free to contact us Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern time (excluding holidays).

Graduate Admissions
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street Troy, NY 12180-3590
Phone (518) 276-6216
Fax (518) 276-4072

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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