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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Science
Interdisciplinary Degree Majors

Rensselaer is interdisciplinary.

Meaning that the lines dividing departments and curricula are blurred and intersecting. Faculty, students, and even the programs themselves integrate and cooperate. In today’s world, computer science graduates need to know about business. Engineers need the ability to communicate effectively. Architects must master new tools of information technology. At Rensselaer, students can focus on a preferred major while exploring other interests and acquiring complementary knowledge and skills.

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* Applied Science *
Applied Science
The Master of Science degree traditionally has been in a single subject matter, 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 one area of specialization. The M.S. in Applied Science program is based upon Rensselaer’s belief that science graduates of the past few decades and most current graduates are not educated adequately for today’s interdisciplinary world. Options exist in many areas of science.
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* Biochemistry and Biophysics *
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Biochemical and biophysical research is advancing the frontiers of research in the basic life sciences and making possible advances in more applied fields such as medicine and agriculture. Rensselaer’s B.S. in Biochemistry and Biophysics provides exceptional preparation for graduate school and/or employment in various sectors of the rapidly developing biotechnology industry. An M.S. degree is also available in this interdisciplinary field and is ideal preparation for jobs in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and other related industry sectors.
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* Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology *
Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology
Biotechnology and information technology are emerging new fields that are changing the world. Anticipating the demand for graduates with a range of skills covering mathematics, chemistry, and physics, Rensselaer developed a B.S. degree program that provides solid background in all of these disciplines. At the program’s core are courses in the theory and practice of bioinformatics that deal with topics such as database design and search algorithms, sequence alignment, sequence analysis, and molecular modeling. This core includes a molecular biology sequence and training in drug discovery.
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* Environmental Science *
Environmental Science
The challenge of keeping the Earth safely inhabitable while still providing for an ever increasing population and its expanding needs ensures an ongoing demand for environmental scientists. Meeting this challenge requires broader perspective than any single discipline affords. In fact, expertise is necessary beyond just the sciences. Rensselaer’s B.S. in Environmental Science addresses these challenges with a multifaceted program.
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* Information Technology *
Information Technology and Web Science
Rensselaer’s unique cross-disciplinary degrees in Information Technology and Web Science allow our students to explore the World Wide Web and other IT technologies from the algorithmic, engineering and social perspective. Students in the program learn about the physical science underlying the Web and the social science of its impact, as well as the skills involved in running large-scale information systems, developing Web applications, or dealing with the social and policy implications of IT and Web deployments.
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* Interdisciplinary Science *
Interdisciplinary Science
Always encouraging of students’ interests outside the traditional disciplines and career paths, Rensselaer offers this B.S. program that allows for the combination of sciences in innovative ways. In addition it provides the opportunity to combine science with more humanistic studies such as management, law, education, communication, public service, economics, policymaking, or community affairs.
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* Interschool Minor in Energy *
Interschool Minor in Energy
Rensselaer offers this interschool minor as an opportunity for students in any undergraduate major to learn about a wide variety of issues involved in understanding energy. It includes fundamental courses in architecture, engineering, management, science, and the humanities and social sciences.
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* Multidisciplinary Science *
Multidisciplinary Science
Increasingly, college graduates with traditional discipline-oriented backgrounds are discovering that their jobs are bridging more than one area of specialization. Rensselaer’s M.S. and Ph.D programs in multidisciplinary science are designed to help such individuals function more effectively in such multidisciplinary environments. Through these programs, students interact with faculty representing a variety of disciplines and participate in interdisciplinary research programs that bridge not only science disciplines but also science and engineering.

Curt M. Breneman

Dean of Science (Acting)
(518) 276-6305
For speaking/appointment requests, please contact Bonnie Carson carsob@rpi.edu
(518) 276-6305
David L. Spooner
Associate Dean of Science for Academic Affairs
(518) 276-6305
Wilfredo Colón
Associate Dean of Science for Graduate Education
(518) 276-6305

and Programs

Biological Sciences

and Chemical Biology

Computer Science

Earth and
Environmental Sciences

Information Technology
and Web Science

Mathematical Sciences

Physics, Applied Physics,
and Astronomy


Research Centers

Center for Biochemical Solar Energy Research

Center for Terahertz Research

Data Science Research Center

Inverse Problems Center

Darrin Fresh Water Institute

New York Center for Astrobiology

Rensselaer Exploratory Center for Cheminformatics Research

* School of Science PDFs

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Last page update: 2/3/14, 4:30 PM