Rensselaer Polytech Institute (RPI)

RPI is a nonsectarian private research university located in Troy. RPI was founded in 1824 by Stephen Van Rensselaer for the “application of science to the common purposes of life” and was adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1995. It is the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world and is known for its great success in transfering technology from the lab to the current marketplace.

Stephen Van Rensselaer established the Rensselaer School in 1824 with a letter to the Rev. Dr. Samuel Blatchford. The school opened on Monday, January 3, 1825 at the Old Bank Place. Incorporation of the school by the State of New York was on March 21, 1826. It attracted graduates of older institutions such as Amherst, Bowdoin, Columbia, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Union, Wesleyan, Williams, and Yale among others.

The Rensselaer School was renamed the Rensselaer Institute in 1832.

In 1999, RPI became one of the first universities to implement a mandatory laptop program. The school was originally located in downtown Troy, but gradually moved to the hilltop that overlooks the city. RPI has five schools in Architecture, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, The Lally School of Management and Technology, and Science. RPI ranks among the top 50 national universities in the United States according to US News & World Report. RPI is home to the United States’ first on-campus business incubator.

The school features a Division I ice hockey team, the Engineers.

One notable aspect of student life at RPI is the first-year experience or FYE program. Freshman begin their stay at RPI with a week called “Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond” or NRB week. The Office of the First-Year Experience provides several programs that extend to not only freshman, but to all students that inclye a family weekend and community service days.