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.
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
|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.
|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|
**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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
All students are required to attend their Arch Academic session between Aug 22, 2021 and August 26, 2022. Information to be announced.
|School||Department||Sessions from 2021|
|Engineering||Biomedical Engineering||Tuesday, August 31st at 4:00pm|
|Engineering||Chemical & Biological Engineering||Wednesday, September 1st at 2:00pm|
|Engineering||Civil and Environmental Engineering||
August 25th from 12:00 – 1:30
|Engineering||Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering||
August 31st from 4:00--5:00 PM
|Engineering||Industrial and Systems Engineering||September 1st at 4;00pm|
|Engineering||Materials Science and Engineering||Wednesday, Sept. 1st, 5:00-7:00pm|
|Engineering||Mechanical, Aerospace, Nuclear Engineering||Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 4:00 pm|
|HASS||All Departments||Tuesday, 8/31 @ 4:00pm|
|Lally School of Management||All Departments||
Wednesday, 9/1 from 10:00 -11:00am
|Science||Biological Sciences||August 31 at 4:00 PM|
|Science||Chemistry and Chemical Biology||August 31 at 4:00 PM|
|Science||Computer Science||August 31 at 4:00 PM|
|Science||Earth and Environmental Sciences||August 31st at 4:00pm|
|Science||Information Technology and Web Science||August 31 at 4:00 PM|
|Science||Mathematical Sciences||August 31 at 4:00 PM|
|Science||Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy||August 31 at 4:00 PM|