Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY)

Common Application 

Early Decision: Nov. 1, 2016
Early Decision II: Dec. 15, 2016    
Regular Decision: Jan. 15, 2017

Essay Questions:

Common Application Essays:

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)

l   Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please          share your story.

l   The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn             from the experience?

l   Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

l   Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal                         importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

l   Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.


Supplemental Essay Questions (to be updated): 

Choose from the degree-specific guidelines below and include your completed essay with your Application Form. Your essay/personal statement should be approximately 250-500 words.

l   Accelerated Programs (Law/Medical)

     State your reasons for aspiring to a career in law or medicine.


l   Architecture

      State your reasons for choosing architecture as your profession.

l   Electronic Arts

      Discuss your interests in the field of electronic arts and state how this is reflected in your portfolio.


l   Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences

      State your reasons for choosing the field of games and simulation arts and sciences, making reference to your portfolio if one has been submitted.


All Other Programs

      If you are not applying to a program listed above, please submit an essay/personal statement on a topic listed on the application itself or submit an essay/personal statement on a         topic of your choice.


Documents Required: 

  • $70 Application Fee or Waiver
  • Official score reports from the SAT or ACT
  • Official score reports for 2 SAT Subject Tests for Accelerated Programs applicants only 
  • Official score reports for TOEFL or IELTs
  • 1 Teacher's Evaluations
  • Secondary School Report
  • Mid-Year Report
  • Evidence of financial support

Other Information: 

Address: Rensselaer Admissions
                   Undergraduate Programs
                   Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
                   110 8th Street
                   Troy, NY 12180-3590

Phone: 518-276-6000
Fax: 518-276-4072
Application Info: 

SAT/TOEFL Code: 2757
ACT Code: 2866