Incoming Exchange Students

Rensselaer offers exchange opportunities to students from universities throughout the world. If you attend a partner university, you may apply for a semester or year of coursework at Rensselaer as an exchange student. Please check with the international office at your home university to determine your eligibility.

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Eligibility

Rensselaer offers exchange opportunities to students from universities throughout the world. If you attend a partner university, you may apply for a semester or year of coursework at Rensselaer as an exchange student. Please check with the international office at your home university to determine your eligibility. Exchange students must be nominated by their home institution before submitting an application. Final decisions on admission will be made upon review of application materials by Rensselaer.  Please click below for a list of current exchange partners.

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Application Process & Deadlines

Once you have been nominated by your home institution you will need to submit the following application materials to the exchange coordinator(s) at your home institution. Your coordinator should e-mail your application to either the Office of International Programs as one PDF file per student by the application deadlines (your home institution may have its own internal deadline):

Required Application Materials
  1. Application for Exchange Admission
  2. Copy of official university transcript and English translation.
  3. Copy of the identity page of your passport.
  4. Proof of financial support. At this time the required amount is estimated to be US$9,500 per semester to cover living expenses during the period of the exchange. This amount includes room, board, basic living expenses, and the fees listed below. It does not include international travel or extensive travel within the US, nor does it cover the laptop computer that each student is required to have (please review the minimum laptop specifications that are required at Rensselaer).

    Acceptable financial proof would be either:

    • A letter from your bank verifying that this amount is available in your account; or
    • A letter from the bank of your parent or other sponsor verifying that this money is available, accompanied by a letter from your parent/sponsor which states that the funds are for your support while on the exchange program.
    • All amounts must be indicated in U.S. Dollars.
  5. English Language Proficiency Verification Form and supporting documentation. Students coming from the following schools will need to provide a TOEFL report as proof of language proficiency: CUHK, HKUST, KAIST, and POSTECH. Rensselaer expects a score of at least 230 CBT, 88 iBT, or 570 PBT. 
Application Deadlines
  • Fall Semester or Full Academic Year:  February 15th
  • Spring Semester: October 1st

    No hard copies are required.

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Preparation & Arrival

Available Fields of Study

Course descriptions can be found in the Rensselaer catalogue. Not all courses listed in the on-line catalogue are offered each semester. The actual semester class schedule can be accessed by visiting the Rensselaer Student Information System website, and clicking on the “Class Hours Schedule” link.  Students should refer to the same semester of the previous year to get an idea of what will be offered when they plan to study at Rensselaer.

A normal full-time course load is between 14-18 credit hours per semester. A minimum of 12 credit hours is required to maintain full-time status. Although students may enroll in a maximum of 21 credits, they are discouraged from taking more than 17.

Academic Calendar

Incoming exchange students are expected to attend the orientation that will take place prior to the start of the semester and remain in residence at Rensselaer through the end of the academic semester, through all regularly scheduled final exams.

>> Academic Calendar

Registration

Course registration for exchange students will take place on-line prior to your arrival. Detailed instructions and log-in information will be e-mailed to you shortly after you have been accepted. You will also have the opportunity to make changes to your course selection during the first two weeks of the semester, although it is recommended that students take care of their registration prior to arrival. 

Accommodations & Meals

If you would like to apply for on-campus housing you may do so online through the Office of Residence Life’s application portal, StarRez. You can find information about the different housing options, furnishings, meal and housing rates, etc. On-campus housing is not guaranteed. Please note that room rates do not include meals. Meal rates can be found in the box in the lower right corner of the rate sheet. All room and meal rates are indicated for the full academic year. Semester students should expect to pay half of the published full-year rate.

Please note that the housing contract is a binding legal document that you will be expected to honor. You may not break your contract in order to move into non-university housing. When you sign up for campus housing you are expected to remain there for the duration of your stay at Rensselaer.

If you wish to investigate off-campus housing, please follow the links to Off Campus Housing found at the Office of Residence Life website.

Health & Insurance Information

All incoming students are required to complete and submit a Medical History Form directly to the Student Health Center.  This form can be accessed via the Student Health Center Portal.  Accepted students will still need to send paper verification of immunization signed by your family physician.

All incoming exchange students will be required to enroll in the Rensselaer Student Health Plan, known as the RPI/CDPHP plan. Exchange students planning to study at RPI should not purchase or renew a Travel Insurance Plan. Exceptions will be considered only for students who have comparable health insurance from a U.S.- based insurance company.

Living Expenses

The living cost will vary according to lifestyle and travel. The figures below are meant as a budgetary guide and may vary for individual students. 

Estimated Cost of Living (2017-2018) Per Semester Per Academic Year
Room & Board $7315* $14630*
Health Insurance (2017-2018 rate) $642 $1284
Health Center Fee $309
Student Activity Fee $343.50
Books, Course Materials and Stationeries (estimated) $1400 $2800
Other Personal Expenses  (laundry, sundries and others) $600* $1200*

*Varies according to lifestyle