What is the Arch?

The Arch was developed to be intentionally transformative by providing the following:

  • An acceleration of immersion in both the academic and professional worlds;
  • Structured academic advising, career counseling, and leadership development;
  • Unique academic and co-curricular summer experiences;
  • Re-clustering of the junior-year cohort across disciplines;
  • More focused and meaningful engagement with the faculty; and
  • An opportunity for students to engage in self-discovery, leading to increased intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and a global perspective.

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.

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, enroll in your Arch summer term one semester early (Early Arch), take summer courses in subsequent summers, study abroad during the away semester, or a combination of these options.

Academic Semester Experience

YEAR FALL SPRING SUMMER
Freshman On Campus* On Campus* You Choose
Sophomore On Campus* On Campus* Arch Semester *
Junior Semester Away** Semester Away** You Choose
Senior You Choose  On Campus  

*On Campus Housing requirement
**Juniors must participate in a fall or spring semester away experience following The Arch summer semester.
Note: You Choose option refers to student capability to determine how they will spend that particular semester. This is a general academic overview and may vary based on academic curriculum. 

Architecture Students

YEAR FALL SPRING SUMMER
Freshman On Campus* On Campus* You Choose
Sophomore On Campus* On Campus* You Choose
Junior On Campus On Campus Arch Semester*
Senior Semester Away** Semester Away** You Choose
Fifth Year On Campus On Campus Graduate

*Housing requirement
**Fourth year Architecture students must participate in a fall or spring semester away experience following The Arch summer semester
Note: This is a general academic overview and may vary based on academic curriculum

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Arch Productivity Workshops

Februay 5 – April 29 
(Every Wednesday)

*March 11, 2020 - Spring Break, No Session 
Off Campus Commons | 3:00pm - 5:00pm 

Led by the Office for Students Transitions, the Arch Planning Workshops will focus on semester away planning and productivity. Students will utilize this time to:

  • Planning & productivity sheets, tracking your progress in planning for your semester away.
  • Spend time working on your Arch Course Modules.
  • Speak with CCPD about semester away opportunities.
  • Work with peers on achieving similar productivity goals. 
  • Detailed understanding of the steps to register your plans. 
  • Questions and answer session with Arch Resource Personnel
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Arch Family Weekend Webinars

At the beginning of each Fall Term, The Arch at Rensselaer hosts the Annual Family Weekend Presentation for the parents of Arch designated students. This information is helpful for students as they plan their summer term and semester away experience. Parents/Guardians are also welcome to email thearch@rpi.edu or provide feedback on The Arch website about the Family Weekend Presentation, communications, and resources. 

Class of 2021

Class of 2022

Class of 2023

Class of 2024

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Arch Discovery Day

Arch Discovery Day is an annual event that is attended by all Rensselaer sophomores as the onset to the school year, preparation for The Arch summer term, and the semester away experience. During this time, students have the opportunity to engage with key areas such as their Academic Departments, the Career and Professional Development Center, and Undergraduate Education to begin exploration and planning. Arch Discovery Opening Session begins Monday, August 23rd at 4pm. Please see the Arch Academic section for a list of academic session for Arch Discovery information listed below. 

Download The Arch Calendar Brochure - Important Dates 

Arch Discovery Day 2021 - Opening Session Livestream 

Accordion

Arch Academic Sessions 2021

All students are required to attend their Arch Academic session between Aug 23, 2021 and September 3, 2021. Please refer to the chart below with the corresponding link for each session. If you have an questions related to the Academic Sessions schedule, please email oue@rpi.edu

Academic Sessions Schedule
School Department Session
Architecture Architecture 3rd Week of October (Contact department for specifics)
Engineering Biomedical Engineering  Tuesday, August 31st at 4:00pm

Recorded Session

Engineering Chemical & Biological Engineering  Wednesday, September 1st at 2:00pm

Recorded Session

Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering August 25th from 12:00 – 1:30
Recorded Session
Engineering Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering August 31st from 4:00--5:00 PM
Recorded Session
Engineering Industrial and Systems Engineering September 1st  at 4;00pm

Recorded Session

Engineering Materials Science and Engineering Wednesday, Sept. 1st, 5:00-7:00pm

https://rensselaer.webex.com/meet/ozisik

Engineering Mechanical, Aerospace, Nuclear Engineering Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 4:00 pm

Recorded Session

HASS All Departments Tuesday, 8/31 @ 4:00pm

Recorded Session

Lally School of Management All Departments Wednesday, 9/1 from 10:00 -11:00am
Recorded Session
Science Biological Sciences August 31 at 4:00 PM

Recorded Session

Science Chemistry and Chemical Biology August 31 at 4:00 PM

Recorded Session

Science Computer Science August 31 at 4:00 PM

Recorded Session

Science Earth and Environmental Sciences August 31st at 4:00pm

Recorded Session

Science Information Technology and Web Science August 31 at 4:00 PM

Recorded Session

Science Mathematical Sciences August 31 at 4:00 PM

Recorded Session

Science Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy August 31 at 4:00 PM

Recorded Session