First- Year Registration for Undeclared General Studies Students
Welcome to Rensselaer! We look forward to helping you navigate your first year undeclared advising experience and beyond!
The Advising and Learning Assistance Center staff are the advisors for all Undeclared General Studies’ students. We are here to help you go through the process of deciding on a major at Rensselaer. It may at times seem overwhelming; however, together we will explore different majors and interest until you select your chosen major. ALAC understands that it can be very stressful to come into college as an undeclared major. We are here to support and guide you through the orientation process and throughout the first semester. We have had many students who are talented and interested in several majors and didn’t know which one to choose.
The first step will be to set up an individual meeting during Consultation Weeks (July 10th- 24th). This meeting will be about 30-45 minute one-on-one session. This will be about your interests, needs, hopes for the first semester, potential majors and courses to take. Listed below are our Academic Counselors, you can make an appointment with between July 10th-24th. We can have a video (Webex) session, a phone call or communicate through ALAC WebEx Team site whatever is easiest for you.
ALAC advisors through their online scheduler:
David Milford (last name A-J) Make an appointment here
Sharon McGrath (last name K-R) Book Appointment
Jeannie Steigler (Last name S-V) Make an Appointment Here
Nam Caihua (W-Z)
Alisha Wein (All Undeclared Athletes) https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/AlishaAthleticAdvisorMeetings@rpi.edu/bookings/
You can also call our office 518-276-6269 and our ALAC Administrator will be able to schedule a meeting with one of the advising counselors.
A few helpful tips as we start this process:
- First, we want to get to know who you are. What are your goals, expectations, and wishes? After an in-depth discussion, we will then help build your schedule.
- Registering for 16 credits (4 -4 credit courses and 0- credit Seminar)
1. Choosing on a math class – Engineering and Science majors take a different Calculus class than HASS, Architecture or Management majors.
2. Selecting a science class- Any of the 1000 level science classes (Bio, Computer Science, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental, and Physics) will be fine. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate IB /transfer credits might change your course selection.
3. Picking several Humanities, Arts, and Social Science class (HASS) and or an Interdisciplinary Humanities, Arts, and Social Science Class (IHSS).
4. Planning on enrolling in ADMN 1962- First Year Seminar. This is a one hour weekly seminar required of all undeclared students.
5. Finding an elective that you would find interesting.
There are some online resources that can help you review some of the majors that we offer:
Our catalogue under programs will show you all of the listed majors for undergraduate students;
This gives a detail list of every major broken up by each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer Arch).
Another resource to check is
The HASS Core, Pathways and Inquiry class, click on to this link: https://hass.rpi.edu/advising/hass-core
How to register online- watch this tutorial on how to register on SIS https://mediasite.mms.rpi.edu/Mediasite5/Play/b4d330c5e72549f1b648e3d930c06d631d
Students should also review the AP/IB information on the Admission’s website: https://admissions.rpi.edu/undergraduate/high-school-preparation#AdvancedPlacement
Registration will begin on July 25th - August 1st.
Registration for fall courses will be available to only first year students. The Registrar will send first year students an email, indicating the date and time course registration will begin for each student. Typically, all students will be able to register on July 25th and continue through August 1. If you have any questions, please contact one of our academic counselors, email Alac@rpi.edu or call our office 518-276-6269.
Important statistics we wanted to share
- Nationally, over 50 % of students change their major within their 4 years.
- Students who pursue their passion and interest sustain their motivation and degree progress.
- At Rensselaer, It’s ok to stay undecided for several semesters. Rensselaer’s curriculum allows students to be undeclared up to 3 semesters without delaying their rate of progress.