RPI was founded by Stephen Van Rensselaer for the "application of science to the common purposes of life", and is the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world.
RPI's mission has slowly evolved over the years while retaining a focus on the scientific and technological roots upon which it was established. For the past century, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has grown into a university with 5 schools: The School of Architecture, The School of Engineering, The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Lally School of Management & Technology and The School of Science.
The University has around a dozen special interdisciplinary programs, such as Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences, Design, Innovation, and Society, Minds & Machines, and Product Design and Innovation. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a technology-oriented university; all buildings and residence hall rooms have hard-wired high speed internet access, most of the campus buildings have wireless, and all incoming freshmen have been required to have a laptop computer since 1999.
University programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers more than 145 programs at the bachelorís, masterís, and doctoral levels. All students are encouraged to work in interdisciplinary programs that allow them to combine scholarly work from several departments or schools. RPI provides rigorous, engaging, interactive learning environments and campus-wide opportunities for leadership, creativity and collaboration.
Rensselaer has maintained its reputation for providing an undergraduate education of undisputed intellectual rigor based on educational innovation in the laboratory, classroom, and studio. Driven by talented, dedicated, and forward-thinking faculty, the university has dramatically expanded the research enterprise by leveraging our existing strengths and focusing on five signature research areas: biotechnology; computation and information technology; experimental media and the arts; nanotechnology and energy and the environment.Distance Learning
Rensselaer's distance education program is a valuable resource to corporations and their employees because of its reputation, respected faculty, leading-edge research, and dedication to quality. With a help of a wide variety of technologies, Rensselaer brings graduate courses, certificates, degree programs, and non-credit seminars and workshops to working professionals who pursue graduate education while remaining fully employed at their work places.
Distance education at RPI is highly respected in the field of distance learning and continuing education. It is known for an emphasis on quality,excellent production value and customer service.