Troy, NY
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


155 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Charlie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing about RPI - easily the friends I've made over my years here. One thing I'd change - the weather because a lot of w...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing about RPI - easily the friends I've made over my years here. One thing I'd change - the weather because a lot of winter sucks. The size of RPI is just right. When I tell people I go to RPI they normally say I am super smart! I spend most of my time on campus (when not in class) at the gym. It's not a college town environment, but Troy does have a lot to offer and is a ton of fun. I haven't had much contact with RPI's administration. There's school pride when it comes to men's hockey - but that's about it. I will always remember my experiences with field hockey. I would have to say as an Arts student, by biggest complaint is West Hall. It's an extremely old building and it's falling down the hill. It's so noisy and it's distracting. I wish there was a newer building for Arts students - and EMPAC is not it to clarify.

Describe the students at your school.

RPI is pretty diverse, although it's a private, expensive school meaning majority of students are mid-to upper class and white. If you aren't into science in the least bit you will not fit in. RPI does attract a specific kind of person and it isn't for everyone. RPI is a relatively conservative campus and in my opinion not very politically active. Most RPI students are from New England. Also lots of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. T

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

That's not really the story whatsoever. RPI is very diverse - yes there are the dorky types but overall everyone is relatively normal.

What are the academics like at your school?

Yes, professors do know your name, especially if you make the effort. My favorite class has to be Introduction to Management. It was so useful and Professor Wright was amazing. Least favorite had to be Communication Theory - just because the class setup was utterly dull. Students are competitive because it's a competitive environment. I'm an EMAC - electronic media arts and communcations. It's very rare to be able to get my BS instead of my BA - which is one of the reasons I was drawn to RPI.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

RPI is all about frat life at night. And if you are 21 downtown troy has a lot of great bars at night. Most people party on weekends only, but if you want to go out every day of the week there's always something going on.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Since RPI is a typical engineering school and 70% male, there are the sterotypes similar to that of Revenge of the Nerds. Typical dorky science boys with no game.

Adrian
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is a great size, I think, not too big but not too small (hey Clarkson). It's also great to have on a resume that y...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is a great size, I think, not too big but not too small (hey Clarkson). It's also great to have on a resume that you went or go here, but you definitely work for it. The administration gets old fast, but I'm pretty sure it's the same with all schools. Hockey's really big here, and almost everyone goes to the hockey games (unless you're playing WoW or something). One of the worst things though is that, for being an architecture and engineering school, everything's built AWFUL around here.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body is pretty diverse, but the male female ratio is definitely noticeable. It's only maybe 30% girls here, at best. The guys don't like it much, but the girls don't have a problem with it. And, a word to the girls, just because there's like 70% guys doesn't mean they're better than at other schools. Actually, they're worse.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Well, some of them are. Not everyone are nerds, although most are at heart a bit. A solid part of the population prefers to stay in their rooms and play World of Warcraft and stuff, but there's also a lot of people that like going out and having their fun. A lot of people work really hard here, but there are also a lot that don't. But, yeah, RPI is tough. Real tough.

What are the academics like at your school?

I'm a nuclear engineering student, and the program is really small. In some classes the professors try to learn names, but other classes don't have that luxury. A lot of professors are here more for research, and so sometimes they aren't exactly geared towards helping the students out. But, on the other hand, I got research as a freshman which wouldn't happen anywhere else. A lot of kids are really competitive and get worked up over grades... but basically, you're bound to fail something here. It's gonna happen, and the curve makes it so you'll have a 3.0 anyways.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Depending on which freshman dorm you're in, people can be either very outgoing or completely antisocial. Barton is the most antisocial dorm ever, but some of the other ones are fun. You'll meet people in classes, at Commons and Sage dining halls, and during those awful hall activities you do throughout the year. I met some of my best friends through classes and going out. Greek life is pretty popular; there's somewhere in the neighborhood of like 30 fraternities and like 5 sororities. However, I'm not involved in Greek life but I'm still very social. If you're not a drinker, you can go watch movies on campus (and yes, they are pretty new releases), or catch a show in the Union or something. There's also a games room and stuff too. Plus, Crossgates is right nearby so you can go watch a movie or grab dinner out or go shopping.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Everyone's nerds, noone likes to go out and have a good time, all are overachievers, the school is ridiculously tough, the list goes on and on.

Rob
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Just right. the surrounding town is not too nice and is snows alot. Im am not a fan of cold and snow but there are plenty of ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Just right. the surrounding town is not too nice and is snows alot. Im am not a fan of cold and snow but there are plenty of people that ski and enjoy it.

Describe the students at your school.

I am from NYC so I can honestly say that RPI is pretty diverse. There are clubs and organizations for everyonne to participate in and the best patr is that they do not exclude.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

A large population is pretty geeky but RPI is so diverse so to say that all are is wrong. None of us can spell though.

What are the academics like at your school?

In the first couple years the classes are big so professors will most likely not know your name. When you get into your major classes most of the professors are really good and put forth a great effort in getting to know their students.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

This is the one area I would imporve on at RPI. Most of the social life is greek. Not to much to do if you are not greek.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That they are all nerdy and live on their laptops. That they can not spell or write essays.

Annabelle
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about RPI is that it is a great school if you want to do engineering. If you don't want to do science or engin...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about RPI is that it is a great school if you want to do engineering. If you don't want to do science or engineering, go elsewhere because the Career Center will be of no help to you. Because I am not an engineering or science major, when I was looking for a summer internship several interviewers said they have never heard of RPI and questioned my school choice. RPI is located in Troy, NY, a downtrodden area with dismal weather. However, Albany and Saratoga Springs are nearby, and downtown Troy is improving with new restaurants and cafes located in beautiful historical buildings. President Shirley Ann Jackson is on a mission to increase RPI's prestige but there is considerable discord between the faculty and administration. The administration disbanded the faculty senate earlier this year and is notorious for its authoritarian stance. Jackson has also preferred to spend millions on a new athletic facility and performing arts center while classrooms and upperclassman dorms are in need of repair. There isn't a great sense of community past freshman year since upperclassmen are allowed to move off campus and many do to save thousands of dollars in rent.

Describe the students at your school.

There's a lot of diversity on campus, I know people from Argentina, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and China. There are a lot of cultural and ethnic groups on campus. The Black Student Alliance is especially popular. Most students wear nasty sweatshirts and jeans or cargo pants to class, although there is considerable variation across majors. You are more likely to find sweaters and button up shirts in the Management department or even some of the Humanities and Social Sciences majors such as Economics and Science, Technology & Society. Most students are from NY, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, although there are also many internationals and people from all around the country. The vast majority of students know little about politics, although there are active Republican and Democrat organizations.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Only go here if you get a big scholarship.

What are the academics like at your school?

RPI isn't a very intellectual environment. You won't find many students discussing current events, philosophy, or literature here although you will find plenty talking about the servers they set up in their dorm rooms or World of Warcraft. The culture is definitely geared more towards getting a job than learning for the sake of it. Classes in the Humanities and Social Sciences department are fairly small so most of the professors know your name. The Economics department is unfortunately narrowly focused on both Ecological Economics and the Economics of Technical Change. Foreign language classes have been scaled back in recent years despite a push to have more students study abroad.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

White and nerdy males with a few white a nerdy females mixed in

Laura
What is your overall opinion of this school?

RPI is kind of a bubble. The student body is comprised mostly of middle- to upper-class individuals, and the surrounding area...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

RPI is kind of a bubble. The student body is comprised mostly of middle- to upper-class individuals, and the surrounding area isn't exactly the most affluent. However, Troy tends to be what you make it. Despite its somewhat unforgiving appearance, there are actually quite a few interesting shops and areas to explore. But, most students spend most of their time on campus, working, socializing, or wasting time (pick accordingly by due dates of projects). Despite the amount of complaining we can do, most of us are rather proud to be here and happy to spend our time in the company of those who share the same passions (or can commiserate over certain classes and whatnot).

Describe the students at your school.

As I said earlier, we're a bit of a bubble, and most of the students here come from families that fall into the middle- to upper-classes. But that doesn't mean a whole lot in the end, because we each student has their own distinct personality and experiences to bring to the table. The great thing about RPI is that we all have something to bond over, be it classwork or anything else. Yes, there are cliques, but I've found very few people who are unwilling to interact with others. Sharing stories with the other students is fascinating because many of us come from different parts of the USA and other countries as well, and there are a huge number of viewpoints and opinions on any given topic (as you would expect with 7,000 students).

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

RPI can be a "take it or leave it" kind of place for many people, especially those who applied to other top engineering or science schools, but for me, RPI was the only place I wanted to be. Not only is the Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication program one of only a few in the nation (and RPI's is very distinct), but I also have a very "at home" feeling here. Most people don't get it, so I just keep mum on it and go about enjoying my time here!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Quite the opposite, in fact. First of all, RPI isn't exclusively engineering anymore. The students are a diverse population, and we cover a wide range of majors, from many types of engineering to management to mathematics to electronic arts. We also participate in a huge selection of activities, including but not limited to Greek life, sports organizations, and humanities clubs. Students at RPI must have an interest in science in math, as those are core requirements for all students, but we're not necessarily all geeks. I'll admit to it, proudly in fact, but you might be surprised to know that I actually get a lot of strange looks and comments when I mention my love for Stargate, or that my fiance and I play Lego Star Wars like madmen. After all this discussion it should be clear that the majority of us do have social lives, and we do have a rich selection of events to attend and sports or clubs to join. It's actually a bit like a bell curve--the extremities being those who aren't geeks at all, and those who do hole up with their laptops each night to go on guild raids. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at RPI cover a wide range of subjects, to accommodate the growing number of majors offered here. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is expanding most rapidly, with the same number of humanities and social science courses required for graduation as science and math, as well as the introduction of a brand-new major for the 2007-2008 academic year. All students are required to take a certain number of courses not applicable to their major, and some are quite hard or time-consuming, but it is well worth it, as RPI's students enjoy a hefty 70% employment rate upon graduation with a B.S. (not including military enlistment or graduate school) with an average starting salary of about $56,000. (Unfortunately, EMACs have the lowest average salary, but still a cool $36,000.) For their part, the professors mostly do a good job of teaching their subjects, and a lot of the teaching issues arise from the TAs that are too hard to understand or can't quite explain the theory/solution/project/what have you properly.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are supposedly over 150 extracurricular activities on campus, but most of us have never heard of a good number of them. However, even the smallest clubs have a few devotees, and if you look hard enough, you're sure to find something that interests you. If you really can't find a club you like, then there's probably some kind of event going on on hosted by one of the clubs, or one of the fraternities or sororities, that would be fun. Greek life has been one of biggest recent controversies on campus, with Shirley Ann Jackson wanting to ban Greek life from campus after a series of incidents involving drugs and alcohol. However, after many alumni voiced their opinion to retract their financial support for the school, as well as an outcry from then-current Greek students, the decision didn't go through and Greek life carried on. One of the interesting things about RPI is the male to female ratio, which is still about 3:1, though the current freshman class has 31% women, beating out my class' former record of 29%. There's a slew of jokes about how easy the girls have it, but truthfully, it's just like any other school, and just because there are more men than women doesn't mean we'll want those particular men more! It's also interesting because that seems to exclude those who date people from other schools, as many I know do (having carried over a relationship from high school, transferring, or just meeting someone from elsewhere at an event). I'm involved in two extracurriculars, RenXchange and racquetball. RenXchange is probably one of the most interesting opportunities on campus, because not only do you get to interact with a lot of students, but you also get to talk to alumni about their experiences at RPI (and believe me, some of them LOVE talking about their times here!).

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

We're all engineers. We're geeks. We have no social lives/All we do is play RPGs on our computers and do homework.

Details

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  • 6,265
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $50,797
  • Acceptance rate
  • 44%

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