Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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Welcome to Accepted Students

February, 2022

Accepted Students welcome

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Congratulations to all of our accepted students! And welcome to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

You may be familiar with our informal motto here, “Why not change the world?”

That may seem like a daunting prospect, but we pose this question to our students because so many of them do go on to change the world. Our alumni and alumnae have invented the digital camera, mapped the first complete genetic code of a free-living organism, and devised the first email system that allowed people using different computers to communicate — which put the @ [at] sign in our email addresses and Twitter handles.

More recent graduates are addressing grand challenges that include climate change and the threat of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. They include Dr. R.J. Scaringe of the Class of 2005, who founded the electric vehicle company Rivian, and Ms. Colleen Costello of the Class of 2012, who co-founded the company VyV, which sells LED lights that continually disinfect surfaces in indoor environments, but that are safe for humans.

Here at Rensselaer, we develop explorers, discovers, inventors, designers, artists, and leaders. And we know that you, too, have the potential to change the world.  

If you join us, we will educate you for deep knowledge in your chosen field — but also for a broad understanding across fields, including with our first-in-the-nation data dexterity requirement and with our Art-X @ Rensselaer initiative, which will spur your creativity by helping you to discover the common concepts shared by art, architecture, science, technology, and nature.

You will learn from an amazing community of faculty who have received national and international honors and awards — professors who will inspire you and draw you into their research.

At Rensselaer, we have pioneered many innovations in teaching over our nearly 200-year history, and we continue to pioneer them, including the gamification of classes; immersive teaching environments; and interactions with AI-powered agents to accelerate your learning.

You will develop intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and a global view at Rensselaer. With The Arch, you will have the unique experience of spending the summer after your sophomore year taking junior-level classes and receiving the focused attention of your professors and our Student Life staff, as the only full class on campus. Then, you will have an intellectual adventure of your own choosing during one semester, or more, of the traditional junior year. You may spend this time engaged in research, community service, entrepreneurship, an international experience, a creative project, or an internship or co-op assignment — but it is sure to give you a new perspective on and context for your studies.

We truly believe in hands-on, minds-on learning here, and that learning extends beyond the classroom into Rensselaer Athletics and the more than 200 clubs and club sports supported by the Rensselaer Student Union. Whatever your passions, you will find a community of the like-minded at Rensselaer. At the same time, you constantly will be engaged with people whose different experiences, talents, and lives will broaden your own horizons.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of the most exciting places on Earth to live, learn, and play. We hope that you will join us this fall, and help us to change the world.