Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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Rensselaer pursues this goal: To achieve greater prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world-class technological research university with global reach and global impact.


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Research Leadership

Research Leadership description.

Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies


Overview description.

New Domains

New Domains description.

Electronic Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer

Educational Innovation

Educational Innovation description.

Innovative Classroom Technology at Rensselaer

Enabling Activities

Enabling Activities description.

Student & Campus Experience

Student Experience description.

East Campus Athletic Village at Rensselaer


The Rensselaer Plan, initiated by President Shirley Ann Jackson, has been the blueprint for transformation at Rensselaer, with the goal of achieving greater prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world-class technological research university with global reach and global impact. Offering a world-class educational experience to students includes building a robust research enterprise, while creating an environment that nurtures, supports, and enables students to excel in all aspects of their lives.



Since approval of The Rensselaer Plan in May 2000, under the leadership of Dr. Jackson, Rensselaer has:

  • Secured a $360 million unrestricted gift to the university (2001), launched the $1 billion Renaissance at Rensselaer campaign (2004). Expanded the goal of the campaign to $1.4 billion and extended the time frame to June 30, 2009 when the initial goal was met earlier than anticipated with the announcement of an in-kind contribution commercially valued at approximately $514 million from the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (September 2006). The campaign exceeded the goal of $1.4 billion on October 1, 2008, surpassing  all previous fund-raising.
  • Increased sponsored research to $100 million (FY2013)
  • Initiated and/or completed more than $735 million in new construction and renovation of facilities for research, teaching, and student life.
  • Hired more than 300 new faculty members since Fall 1999.
  • Reduced student/faculty ratio from 18:1 in Fall 1999 to 15:1 in Fall 2012.
  • Improved quality metrics of entering students. Average combined SAT scores of the Class of 2017 is 1374, up 93 points since Fall 1999; metrics for entering graduate students also have improved.
  • More than tripled applications to the freshman class; from 5,264 in 1999 to 16,150 in 2013.
  • Addressed and improved every key enabling process, through careful planning and disciplined financial management.
  • Continued to hold a ranking as one of the top 50 national universities (U.S.News) (41st in 2013).


Rensselaer 2024: In 2012, The Rensselaer Plan was revisited and revised to take the Institute to its 200th anniversary in 2024, moving Rensselaer from being transformed to being transformative. The Rensselaer Plan 2024 enables the Institute to be transformative in the lives of our students, in our innovative teaching, and in the global impact of our research. It creates a complete student experience, leads the way in innovation and in education, and extends our impact on humanity through forward-looking research initiatives. It brings revitalized meaning and substance to the fundamental Rensselaer question—“Why not change the world?”


Plan 2024

We conceived and implemented The Rensselaer Plan, to bring new meaning, and new substance, to the question we ask ourselves as the first technological university in the nation: “Why not change the world?”