What is the Arch?

To make our undergraduate educational experience even more robust and transformative, we have freed it from the traditional academic calendar.

Summer Here
During The Arch, students remain on campus for the summer after their sophomore year, taking junior-level classes, and receive focused attention from professors at this pivotal point in their academic progression. 

The World Away
Then, students leave the Troy campus for a semester during the traditional junior year—either fall or spring—to pursue their passions in the form of co-ops, internships, civic engagement, research, or international experiences. Students who pursue these opportunities during their academic career are better prepared for future professional careers and graduate school.

Students in the Class of 2021 and beyond are required to participate in The Arch which begins in the summer of 2019. For athletes, ROTC, and a few other select cases there is an exception process.

Graduate in Four Years
With the exception of students in the five-year bachelor of architecture program, matriculation to degree completion is not intended to take more than eight terms. To accelerate your academic progress, and graduate in fewer than eight semesters, you may take classes elsewhere prior to enrollment at Rensselaer, obtain AP/IB credit from high school, take summer courses in subsequent summers, study abroad during the away semester, or a combination of these options.

Academic Semester Experience

Freshman Required Required Optional
Sophmore Required Required Required
Junior * * Optional
Senior Required Required Graduate

*Option for an "away" semester

Architecture Students

Freshman Required Required Optional
Sophmore Required Required Optional
Junior Required Required Required
Senior * * Optional
5th Year Required Required Graduate

*Option for an "away" semester

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The Arch Calendar

To sign-up for field trips, click here or for pop-up courses, click here. Registration for CCPD workshops can be found here.