Summer HERE. The World AWAY.
Get all of your questions answered about The Arch.
The Arch Guide provides a timeline of important action items to guide you through the process. Frequently asked questions, contacts and additional information on various departments, divisions and offices are also included.
Still have questions? E-mail us at The Arch
Arch students will be registered for a zero credit required course. These will consist of required workshops in the fall and/or a two day event the 3rd weekend of January. This course will ensure students explore their passions, build their resumes, develop interview skills, establish references, and more. It will also prepare students for the following:
- Spring Career Fair
- On-Campus Industry Visits
- Applying for fellowships, civic engagement opportunities, government positions, study abroad, and entrepreneurial or research opportunities.
FAFSA must be filed to receive aid for summer 2018 Arch enrollment. FAFSA can be filed as early as October 2017.
Rensselaer World Away Experience Preparatory Day and Job Search Bootcamp
Location: TBD | 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
January 20 - February 2
Housing must be selected by February 2. If current housing assignment is also designated Arch housing, you can remain in the same room.
Last day to “Opt-In” to The Arch (students can always "Opt-Out." Students who "Opt-In" this late, must have attended the required workshops held by the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD).
CCPD Annual Spring Career Fair
The Armory | 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
File Plan of Study - See your academic or school's advising HUB
Greene Building | School of Architecture
JEC, 3rd floor, Ansell Lounge | School of Engineering
Sage 4307 | School of Humanities Arts and Social Science
Pittsburgh Building 3200 | The Lally School
Science Center 1C12 | School of Science
All students must have filed a plan of study for their remaining classes.
Summer registration opens.
Financial Aid packages available for Arch students who completed applications by December 31st.
Tuition bills sent for the summer semester.
Tuition Due (above and beyond what financial aid will cover)
Summer registration closes.
Residence Halls and Apartment Check in for Summer Term I and II and the Arch.
Summer I and II begins (including The Arch courses).
Memorial Day - No classes (staff holiday).
Classes follow a Monday schedule.
Last day to file degree application with Registrar's Office for August 2018 Graduation.
Final exams and last day of classes for Summer II.
Financial Aid will post to Bursar Account.
No classes. Semester break.
Summer III begins (including The Arch courses).
Health insurance for the spring semester continues through August 1st. Arch students do not need to do anything for health insurance for their summer semester (waiver or enrollment is already in place).
Final exams and last day of classes for summer I and summer III. Dining halls close after dinner.
Summer Residence Halls and Apartments close at noon.
All Academic Policies and the Student Handbook apply during The Arch summer semester.
Leave of Absence - Arch students can request a leave of absence. To be considered, students must complete a Leave of Absence (LOA) request form from the Student Success office and schedule a meeting with their class dean to discuss the process.
- If a student takes a LOA prior to the 2nd week of the summer term, the student will be inactive and eligible to reapply for the subsequent semester by the published deadlines.
- If a student takes a LOA after the 2nd week, the student will not be eligible to enroll in the subsequent term.
- If a student takes a LOA before their summer semester on campus, they can apply for an exception from Undergraduate Education from the Arch Summer Semester.
For more information, visit Student Success.
During The Arch semester away, students can either be on an approved experience (considered a full-time student and no tuition is charged) or can be on a non-approved experience. Visit the Financial Aid page for implications of a non-approved experience.
To obtain approval for an away experience and register for a co-op, internship, civic engagement or research opportunity, students must visit the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). Study abroad and other international opportunities must be approved by the Office of International Programs.
Course Scheduling Resources
- Your Adviser
- Advising HUBS
Note: Be sure to take The Arch summer courses in the summer and other courses during the fall and spring.
Academic Areas of Study
- School of Architecture – Greene Building
- School of Engineering – Johnson Engineering Center, 3rd Floor, Ansell Lounge
- School of Humanities Arts and Social Science – Sage Building 4307
- The Lally School – Pittsburgh Building, 3200
- School of Science – Science Center, 1C12
Click for Academic Templates and Curriculum Planning.
Once you accept an away semester opportunity (Congratulations!), it is important that you get the experience approved by the following:
- Degree Clearance Officer
- Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD)
- International Student Services Office (if appropriate)
Once approved, you will be registered for a 1-credit (no tuition) co-op, internship, or civic engagement course. Please attend a briefing session at the CCPD to start the approval process, or schedule an appointment with a CCPD counselor. For details, visit CCPD.
If you decide to take a semester off from work and school, be sure you understand the financial aid implications (visit Financial Aid) and if you are an international student, the implications for your I20 (visit International Students).
Preparing for your semester away is a critical part of the Arch experience. Students in the class of 2021 who opt in to the Arch will be automatically registered for a zero credit administrative course, "Rensselaer World Away Experience Preparatory Day and Job Search Bootcamp." This course will encourage students to introspect about what they really want to do during the semester away, help them develop a resume, use job link, write a cover letter, and more. Students will practice interview skills, learn about dressing professionally, writing thank you notes, and many other skills important for finding an opportunity.
The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) is your key to finding an away semester that encourages you to pursue your passion, including:
- A Co-Op
- An Internship
- A Fellowship or Internship in Government or at the Government Research Laboratories
- A Civic Engagement Experience
- A Volunteer Experience (Locally or Abroad)
- Resume Building
- Access to JobLink, our database of job opportunities
- Fall and Spring Career Fairs
- Career Information and Exploration
- Interview Skills and Mock-Interviews
- Network with Employers
Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) Semester Away Checklist
- Get approval from CCPD on your semester away experience and receive instructions on the registration process.
- Get approval from your degree clearance officer.
- Forward a copy of official offer letter and resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attend a required Arch Away Semester briefing. Visit Joblink for dates.
- Register your away semester experience with the CCPD (required to maintain full-time attendance).
International students participating in the Arch must carefully consider the immigration implications of their semester choices. Please discuss your options with International Servies for Students and Scholars in coordination with the offices involved in approving your experience.
For more information, visit the Center for Career and Professional Development.
Frequently Asked Questions
What resources will students have in obtaining an away semester professional experience?
Students seeking an away semester professional experience (i.e., co-op or internship) will have full access to the resources of the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). During the summer, the CCPD will continue to operate full-scale as it does during the academic year (i.e., offer appointments, walk-in hours, programs/workshops, etc).
Will the CCPD place students in their desired opportunity?
While the CCPD is diligently engaging with employers and sharing information about The Arch in an effort to generate interest, the staff will not be placing/slotting students into specific opportunities. Ultimately, it will be the responsibility of the student to conduct a successful co-op/internship search.
When should a student begin looking for his/her away semester professional experience?
Students should participate in The Arch set of required workshops and attend the Spring Career Fair.
For students participating in the fall semester away, they should plan to attend the NSBE/SHPE Fall Career Fair and the CCPD Spring Career Fair to begin exploring options. At the beginning of the fall semester, students should have prepared a professional resume. There will be a series of programs targeting sophomores through the Sophomore Career Experience (SCE) in both the fall and the spring semesters. Students will gain basic job search skills and will be ready to apply them as they explore their many options. A student’s search is typically in full swing the semester prior to the student’s desired away semester.
For students participating in the spring semester away, they should also attend the SCE programming and attend employer information sessions and career fairs at the beginning of their sophomore year. While many students leaving for the spring semester may have secured plans by the end of their sophomore year, most students will make those decisions during the summer and the following fall semester. Keep in mind many employers only visit campus once during the academic year, so don't miss an opportunity to connect with them early on at career fairs, career days, employer information sessions and other employer events. For details, visit, JobLink. New events are added often so keep looking and checking back!
Are students required to complete a co-op?
Students are not required to participate in a co-op to satisfy their Arch semester away.
Are traditional co-op's still permitted for other students not participating in The Arch?
Yes, the CCPD’s longstanding and popular co-op program for students will continue to be available to students who are not part of The Arch.
What is the difference between an internship and a co-op?
A co-op is typically a 6-8 month work experience which includes a semester and a summer. Students who want to participate in a co-op through The Arch would elect to be away during their junior year spring semester and summer. An internship is typically a 3 month experience. Students who would like a shorter experience would elect to have their professional experience semester away in the fall of the junior year. Some employers may also hire a student for the fall semester and invite them back to work the following summer. In those instances, the experience would be considered a co-op.
How do students seek and obtain research, service, entrepreneurship, and self-directed experiences?
For more information, visit the Center for Career and Professional Development.
During The Arch, students will participate in a full course of study over the summer, enrolling in at least 12-credits.
If taking a leave of absence and not participating in The Arch for a full 12-credits, international students must depart the United States and obtain a new initial status I-20 before returning.
Fall Semester Away Experience Options
International students have the option to participate in either a United States based co-op experience or internship and will be registered for a co-op course (1-credit) or an internship course (1-credit) after their experience has been approved.
Co-Op Experience - If applying for a co-op experience, international students must first obtain approval through the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). The approval process requires the co-op experience to be directly related to your major field of study. CCPD will coordinate with the International Services for Students and Scholars (ISSS) to ensure approval for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
Internship Experience - If applying for an Internship, international students must first coordinate with the CCPD and degree clearance officer to obtain credit approval for the internship. The approval process requires that the internship is directly related to your major field of study. Credits must be given for any internship experience outside of a co-op. After completing the CPT form for credit, students must bring the form to ISSS for review and approval.
- International students not participating in an approved experience must depart the United States and obtain a new initial status I-20 before returning.
- International students departing from the United States during the fall semester, unless enrolled full-time (approved study abroad), will be required to obtain a new I-20 before returning for the spring semester.
**Both scenarios should be discussed with an International Advisor in ISSS to ensure understanding of the ramifications of being issued a new I-20.
Spring Semester Away Experience Options
International students can pursue any option they choose for their semester away including:
- Community Service
(Participation outside of the United States is accepted)
After obtaining approval, students must register for the appropriate Rensselaer course (Co-op, internship for credit, community service for credit, or study abroad). In all cases, the academic plan must be fully articulated/agreed upon with their Faculty Advisor/Degree Clearance Officer
**If outside of the United States for more than 5 months international students must obtain a new initial status I-20.
The Arch offers students the opportunity to pursue the following international activities:
Non-affiliated Study Abroad
Non-affiliated exchanges allow students to identify an international study program that meets their academic needs and personal interests, and to transfer up to 16 credits towards their Rensselaer degree, subject to Rensselaer’s transfer credit guidelines and course approval. Students pay the program costs to the provider.
- Credit: Yes with program/course approval
- Financial Aid: No Rensselaer Aid; Federal Aid is possible for regular semester programs
Affiliated Research and Internship Opportunities
Affiliated research and internship opportunities are available at several partner institutions. These non-credit research experiences will allow students to gain valuable research experience in a wide variety of scientific fields. Students must apply through the Office of International Programs.
- Credit: No
- Financial Aid: No
Non-Affiliated Research and Volunteer Opportunities
Students may pursue research or volunteer opportunities at non-affiliated institutions worldwide. The Office of International Programs will post opportunities that may be of interest to students who are looking for SASA international opportunities.
- Credit: Possible
- Financial Aid: No
The Office of International Programs (OIP) will support students in their search for a suitable opportunity abroad in the fall. Briefings during the summer are required. For details, visit The Office of International Programs. For Study Abroad information sessions, visit The Arch Timeline.
The Arch semester is like any other semester you attend full-time. Federal, NY State, and Rensselaer financial aid are available as long as you meet eligibility requirements such as being enrolled as a full-time student throughout the semester. Unless your demonstrated financial need is reduced based on your FAFSA filing outcomes, you can expect to receive the same total gift aid from Rensselaer for two semesters of full-time enrollment during your Arch year as you would receive based on a traditional fall/spring semester full-time enrollment pattern. Merit based awards are never impacted as long as you remain full-time for the entire semester.
Because the Summer Semester is shorter in length than either fall or spring Semesters, the room and board portion of the financial aid Cost of Attendance will be less. For some students, this may reduce eligibility for need-based work or loans. Our priority is to renew gift awards before awarding need-based work or loans.
Visit The Arch Timeline for important Financial Aid dates.
In most cases, students will participate in experiential learning experiences that do not include taking Federal Aid eligible classes. Using Federal Aid during the away semester is discouraged because it can decrease the amount available to you during the two semesters you are on campus. You cannot use Federal Work Study during your away semester. For more information, visit The Office of Financial Aid.
When should I apply for financial aid (i.e. file my FAFSA)?
The 2018-19 FAFSA will be filed to receive aid for summer 2018 Arch enrollment. You may file the FAFSA for summer 2018 starting October 2017. You are advised to file for Summer 2018 by December 31, 2017. The 2018-19 FASFA will use 2016 tax year income data.
New York State TAP Grant Recipients: You must request funding for the Summer term specifically when renewing your TAP application for your Arch year of enrolment. If your enrollment pattern changes, update your application.
After you file your FAFSA, you may be required to submit other documents to complete your financial aid application. Please check your SIS account after filing the FAFSA to see if other items are needed. Your financial aid application materials must be complete and you must let us know which semester you plan to be away before we can create your aid award for your Arch year of enrollment.
I’m not interested in any federal or state financial aid. Do I still need to complete the FAFSA?
If you only have Rensselaer merit awards (i.e. Rensselaer Leadership Award, Rensselaer Medal Award, Rensselaer Recognition Award) you do not need to complete the FAFSA. If you have Rensselaer need-based grants (i.e. Rensselaer Grant, Rensselaer Access Grant, President’s Assistance Grant) and wish to be considered for renewal of these awards you must complete the FAFSA.
Will I be able to use Federal Work Study during the summer semester?
We anticipate that Federal Work Study will be offered as long as you meet eligibility requirements and there are positions available during the summer. You MUST have a financial aid package with an accepted offer of Federal Work Study for the summer semester and submit the required Work Study application in order to be placed in a position. Work Study positions from the prior award year do not automatically carry forward to the summer enrollment period.
Will my student loans go into repayment while I am away from campus due to Arch participation?
If you are participating in approved Arch work or learning experience, you will remain eligible for in-school deferment on your loans. If you choose not to participate in an approved Arch work or learning experience and do not enroll in at least a half time basis (six credit hours) for over six consecutive months, you will increase your risk of entering Federal loan repayment. Due to rules impacting students who may have entered repayment on their Federal student loans prior to Arch participation, students are encouraged to contact their loan servicer directly with questions about loans which have previously gone into repayment or to discuss deferment or forbearance eligibility on non-Federal loans while away from campus.
For payments and payment options, visit the Bursar's Office.
Refunds of credit balances will be issued by the Bursar’s Office once financial aid has paid to the student’s account. If there is a payment plan on the student’s account, a refund will not be issued until the last payment of the payment plan has been made.
Refunds due to withdrawals will be based on the official withdrawal date. Tuition refunds are made according to the following schedule:
- Less than 1 week: 100% refund
- Less than 2 weeks: 90% refund
- Less than 3 weeks: 80% refund
- Less than 4 weeks: 70% refund
- Less than 6 weeks: 60% refund
- Less than 7 weeks: 50% refund
- Less than 9 weeks: 40% refund
- More than 9 weeks: No refund
For important dates from the Bursar's Office, visit The Arch Timeline.
No tuition is due during the away semester. For more information, visit the Bursar's Office.
Arch students must live on campus for the summer semester. If your current housing assignment is also designated as Arch housing, you can stay in the same room for the summer. Otherwise, you will be reassigned.
For more information on the room selection process, visit Student Living and Learning.
Students electing to participate in The Arch 2018 summer program will live in the remodeled section of the Quad, specifically, Buck, Caldwell, Church I, Hunt I, Hunt III, Macdonald, and White stacks II-IV, as well as the first and second floors of Roebling, Hunt II and White I.
Students who register for The Arch after Housing Selection for Summer Arch has been completed in January, can still register to live on campus. Please email Michael Sitterley or call (518) 276-6284 for The Arch housing assistance.
Living On Campus During the Fall Semester
- The regular room selection process occurs in January/February.
- If you are away for the fall semester, but on campus for the spring, you will apply for housing early November.
- Juniors are not required to live on campus.
Living Off Campus
- If you plan on living off campus, and need to find someone to sublease your apartment. Visit JumpOffCampus to list your space for rent.
- Once you have signed a lease, you are legally bound for the duration of that contract. Being away for a semester does not provide an “out” clause or exception to the lease.
- If you decide to live off campus, you will be responsible for paying 12-months (unless otherwise noted in the terms of the contract) of rent payments and utilities (as applicable). Troy area landlords typically lease apartments for 12-months beginning June 1st through May 31st. Shorter leases may be available at a higher rate per month.
For more information, visit Student Living and Learning.
For more information about off-campus living, contact Off Campus Commons.
How to Apply for a Resident Assistant Position
- Apply through the application process; There will be a rolling selection process for Fall, Spring and Summer.
- Interviews will be held via Skype or Phone.
- Students cannot apply for position during their semester away.
- Positions advertised in October and February of each academic year. For more information, visit Student Living and Learning.
Can I be a RA when if I am an Arch student?
You sure can! You apply the same way as a non-Arch student would. Information found on our website.
Do I get paid to be a RA?
Yes! You get a housing scholarship (free room) which is applied to your bill, and you get a stipend.
I live on campus and am participating in The Arch program. If I get the RA position do I have to move my belongings home to then move them to Arch housing a couple weeks after?
No, we will not make you move twice! You receive an extension to leave your belongings in your room and you are then able to move into your housing assignment early for RA training before The Arch program starts.
If I am living in my Greek chapter house for my sophomore year, am I required to live on campus for The Arch program?
Yes. All students are required to live in RPI residence halls that have been designated for use during The Arch.
Will I be able to choose my roommate(s) for The Arch program?
The office of Student Living and Learning will try to accommodate all roommate requests.
If I have decided to stay on campus for the fall semester (my away semester will be spring) can I stay in the same room?
Possibly. It depends on the room location in reference to the clustering model. Also, the limited space on campus for rising juniors may facilitate your having to move off campus after the conclusion of The Arch program.
I have a disability and require special accommodations. How would I go about obtaining a special room request?
You would fill out a housing accommodations form that can be accessed through the Disability Services website. You should also contact the Director of Disability Services, Jaqualyn Iardella.
Do I need to have a meal plan if I am living on campus for The Arch program?
Yes. All students participating in The Arch program are required to purchase a dining meal plan.
Can I stay in the same room that I lived in for The Arch for the fall semester of my junior year? Or, during the spring semester if I am away for the fall?
We cannot guarantee that you will be able to obtain the same room. We will assign you based on room availability and upper class clustering housing.
Will I be responsible for paying for a room for the entire academic year, or just for the semester that I reside on campus?
You will only have to pay for your non-away semester. Please be sure to notify the office of Student Living and Learning when you are aware of the semester you are going to be away.
Available Resources During the Summer Semester:
- Advising HUBS
- Advising Learning and Assistance Center
- Tutoring (For information on one-on-one tutoring, visit ALAC)
- Class Deans
Note: Students who are Continued on Probation or Placed on Probation will receive instructions from ALAC on requirements and support programs.
Available Resources During the Semester Away:
- Faculty Advisors and ALAC
- Faculty (available for SAM clearance and academic advising via email/phone/skype/in person as you register for classes)
- Academic Department
- Undergraduate Class Dean
Student Health Resources Available:
- All other health center services available during the fall and spring semesters
- Health insurance for the spring semester continues through August 1st.
- Arch students do not need additional health insurance for their summer semester (the waiver or enrollment is already in place).
- The summer health center fee is part of the summer semester charges.
- If a student needs health insurance coverage in the summer and they waived it in the spring, they can enroll by reversing their spring semester waiver.
Students need to enroll in or waive out of the health insurance plan, effective August 1st for their away semester. This is the same process as regularly enrolled students.
For more information, visit Student Health Services.
All athletic facilities are open during the summer.
|Monday – Thursday||11a.m. – 2 p.m.||7 a.m. – 7 p.m.||9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
|Friday||11a.m. – 2 p.m.||7 a.m. – 5 p.m.||9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The Mueller Center
Outdoor recreation programs in the summer are offered through the Rensselaer Outdoor Pursuits and Experiential Education Program (ROPE).
ROPE programs focus on:
- Physical and mental wellness
Arch 2017 programs included Whitewater Rafting, Adirondack Extreme, Ziplining, Hiking and more!
Typically, students will not have access to athletic facilities during the away semester. If students are in the area and choose to pay the activity fee, they will have access.
Student Club Checklist
In order for a club to remain active during the summer semester, follow the checklist below:
- Contact Union Student Activities at the beginng of the spring semester.
- Register club officers in the Club Management System (CMS) officer list.
- Appoint a summer treasurer on campus who has completed the spring financial workshop.
- Get approval on the summer budget by the Union board.
- Schedule activities and meetings through the Event Management System (EMS).
The Union Executive Board will consider McNeil room reservations for evening weekday events. Mothers and Playhouse will not be available for student clubs at select times due to other commitments during the summer.
Students on their away semester cannot be active officers. A rotation process for officers and elections for students who are away is in development.
For more information, visit the Rensselaer Union.
If you are an officer in a Greek chapter or on a governing council, you have the opportunity to remain in your position during the summer term and work on any programs or events that require advanced planning in conjunction with other students and staff on campus.
Greek Life Leadership
For leadership positions, individual members are nominated and elected in their organization based on a schedule developed by each group.
Potential positions can include:
- Chapter President
- Vice President
- Recruitment Chair
Greek organizations have been encouraged to adjust their elections and policies to accommodate The Arch semester away. Some chapters have begun that process and allow for flexible leadership opportunities (i.e., positions could be for a semester instead of for a year).
Panhellenic Recruitment Councelors
Interested in being a panhellenic recruitment counselor? The primary recruitment period for Panhellenic Council is the fall semester. If you are a current Panhellenic member and are interested or selected to serve as a recruitment counselor, you must be registered as an enrolled student and present on campus for the fall semester of that academic year.
Leadership in Panhellenic or Interfraternity Council
Individual members are nominated and elected in November to leadership positions in each council and serve in their roles from December of one academic year to November of the following year. Students are expected to be present and on campus for their full-term of office. If you choose to go on co-op, internship or study abroad during your term as an officer, you will need to resign your position for another student to serve in that capacity for the remainder of the term.
Contact your organization for more information on leadership positions while participating in The Arch or email the Associate Dean for Greek Life Commons.
The summer is full of unique opportunities to visit Troy and the surrounding areas, make new friends, and develop new skills. They include:
Academic Field Trips (Summer 2017 Highlights):
Academic Field Trips (Planned for Summer 2018)
- Darrin Fresh Water Institute
- a Wind Farm
- NYS Department of Health
- General Electric
- Games for Change Festival
- Parson School of Design
- SPAC Pre-Show Talk and Performance
Pop Up Courses (3-6 hour seminars taught by faculty and staff; Summer 2017 Highlights)
- From CAD to 3D Printing
- Inventors Nightmare
- Intro to Microfluidic Technology
- Space in the Movies
Pop Up Courses (3-6 hour seminars taught by faculty and staff; Planned for Summer 2018)
- Interactive Data Visualization at the CRAIVE Lab
Additional Special Events (2017 Highlights; Planned for 2018)
- Research Seminars Led by Faculty
- Discussions with the Chief Financial Officer of Rensselaer
- Lunches with Faculty and Staff
Cultural Trips (2017 Highlights; Planned for 2018)
- EMPAC Music Festival
- NYC Philharmonic
- Facutly talks and lectures
- Philadelphia Orchestra
Adventure Trips (Outdoor Leadership Experiences - Summer 2017 Highlights; Planned for 2018)
- Team Challenge Course
- Adirondack Adveventure
- Whitewater Rafting
- Six Flags with Engineering Tour
During the Semester Away, students will have access to their Class Dean who will continue to communicate through electronic newsletters.