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RPI and Internships

sm1966sm1966 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
My son has been accepted at RPI as an engineer major-interested in biomedical. Saw a post here regarding the difficulty in obtaining internships. The poster mentioned that the school is great in educating their engineers but lack in reaching out to potential placements for students. If I am correct (and if I am not please let me know) RPI requires sophmores to intern during the spring semester and to take classes over the summer in order to graduate in 4 years. Any feedback in this are would be helpful. Thanks.

Replies to: RPI and Internships

  • StudentsR1stStudentsR1st Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    The Arch Program does not require an internship in the sophomore year. It does require that students reside on campus during the Summer between their sophomore and junior years.
  • nani378nani378 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    You also have to take a semester in junior year to focus on some kind of internship, study abroad or project
  • reformedmanreformedman Registered User Posts: 444 Member
    nani378 wrote:
    You also have to take a semester in junior year to focus on some kind of internship, study abroad or project
    Let me offer a correction, no, you don't "have to" do any of that. Nani may have meant, you 'have available to you' the option of internship, study-abroad, or personal projects.

    As @StudentsR1st mentioned, the only thing you 'have to' do is stay on campus during your summer-arch and there are some ways around that if you can provide a valid written reason. All internships are encouraged but not required. CCPD does assist in typical ways but I want to take an opportunity to mention that RPI is like every other college in that they help you set up your resume and bring in a job fair but students should NOT depend on that career fair to think that it somehow guarantees them a job. If you look for example at the MIT, Stanford and Caltech job surveys you will see that just like RPI the percentage of final job placement and co-ops and internships are by majority gotten through outside networking. In other words you stand a greater chance of getting the job by going to company websites and applying directly or going to linkedin and other alumni connections etc. Consider career fairs more as advertising by incoming companies where you can have a few minutes to find out about the company by asking questions. Think of it as a plus that sometimes, if you're elevator speech and resume are great that you might get an offer.
  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    @reformedman, So if you do not require to do co-op, for example you could not find one and decided just contionue with education, can you graduate early?
  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    I have a child that is about to start the summer ARCH program and I greatly dislike the "new" program. I wish I had more information and understanding about it prior to choosing this school. NO, they do not help with placement!! The Arch program is mandatory and they mandate that Jr's live on campus! The semester away is also mandatory! I am aware of another student in bio-engineering with a 3.9 GPA and cannot find a co-op opportunity. Some of this is because of the ARCH program. They make the students decide on their "away semester" before knowing of their opportunities. If you chose fall you are screwed because what company hires a co-op for 3 months and much of that holidays??? My brother attended RIT in Rochester and received so much more support for much less money!
  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    I would like to add that this summer ARCH program adds enormous cost to the families!! They even tack on a "arch activity fee". So if fiances are tight think twice.... the students and staff do not have much good to say about this "new program". Also, I worry about my child, this is a very intense school and will be there for 4 straight semesters with very little break. AND will have to move out of current housing....2 week break....into dorm (yes freshman type dorm no option)... move out in August.... 2 weeks later move back into undetermined on campus housing.... then out again in December hoping to have a co-op position. This is more cost as we do not live close enough to do this ourselves...
  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    @RPIparent77, Thanks for providing this valuable information. So semester away is mandatory? What if a student cannot find co-op? Can he/she go back to school and graduate early? Just curious what happens in case of no work opportunity.
  • StudentsR1stStudentsR1st Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    From what all the information says you cannot just graduate early. The term off maybe an opportunity to volunteer somewhere. Further many Sr classes are only offered in either the spring or fall terms - not both. This is true for smaller majors in the junior year, which is why the term away is restricted.

    Transferring in courses may be tricky

    The Institute requires a degree candidate to earn the last 30 credits in courses completed on this campus or through a program formally recognized by the Institute. Transfer courses are limited to two courses or eight credits counting toward the student’s last 30 credits and require approval of the director of the Advising and Learning Assistance Center.

    Students desiring to take course work at other institutions should obtain approval prior to enrollment at that institution. Transfer credit cannot be guaranteed unless prior approval is obtained, since unapproved courses may not be equivalent to Rensselaer courses. In addition, many institutions require proof of prior approval before allowing a visiting student to register.

    Students entering as first-time freshmen can transfer a maximum of 32 credits (including Advanced Placement credit or other equivalent credit).

    I believe RPI charges full time tuition for students taking 12 or more credits per term. This would mean that even if one were to find courses that would transfer at the Jr/Sr level - they may have to be full time students for both Sr year terms.
  • randomdude532randomdude532 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    The semester away from campus is required. Many kids in the RPI subreddit have been complaining because there are few opportunities available for the semester away and no industry connections afforded through RPI. This is NOT what you will find at any other established co-op programs like Northeastern, RIT or even U Cincinnati which will set you up with a co-op opportunity through their career center. Don't let the RPI staff convince that they will help you when visiting, they won't even return students phone calls or emails haha.

    I was a BME (biomedical) student at RPI for 5 years (bachelors and masters) and attended every career fair there. Visited the CCPD many times getting highly rated from the staff there in terms of resume, had excellent GPA (~3.5), was a college athlete, extra curriculars etc etc. Did not receive a single opportunity through an RPI resource or career fair along with many of my BME peers. They just don't have the industry connections to support their number of students.

    Best of luck to your son @sm1966
  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    edited April 4
    Agree! I am a very disappointed parent at this point. I am literally not sure if or where my child will sleep Fall 2019. RPI is doubling their incoming Freshman classes and filling the on campus housing with them. Leaving JR. & SR. with no guaranteed housing. Take a trip through Troy....not a place to leave your 20 year old kid and pay $55k tuition!! Its a very unsafe and unsettling community. On top of that bringing so many more is reducing the schools prestigious rankings by making it much easier to get into. Ms. Jackson has it figured out, who cares where they sleep, who cares if its safe, they have to stay to get their degree because at this point they have too many credits to transfer out.

    If this is your first child and college shopping experience - research and read!! We were so over whelmed with costs, moving and the excitement of it all we did not realize the impact this summer ARCH nonsense would have. RPI is very good at “selling themselves”. Sadly its not what we signed up for.

    All this and no clue if a job will be at the end of this long tunnel even though the GPA is 3.9. Also, with 4 straight semesters who knows how long that will last!
  • 123France123France Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    @RPIparent77 , you say that "RPI is doubling their incoming Freshman classes". My son graduated in 2017. His incoming class was roughly 1500 students. Are you saying that RPI is now admitting +/- 3,000 students as freshmen?

    As far as job offers at the end of the tunnel, my son had multiple job offers with a GPA that was far south of 3.9. The RPI name is what landed him his current job.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    @123France I think it is a gradual increase in Freshman class size. I have no doubt there are kids who receive multiple job offers. What is your son's major?
  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    When I say double - I say in the past 2 years its has increased greatly and no doubt will double by the time we are out. I use the term double as its what finaid stated. I am hoping the name is what helps the job situation however with these changes and other negatives surrounding the school I fear that it wont hold the value soon.
  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    Let me not be all negative. There are many great qualities at RPI, however mandating with zero options this Arch program I feel will prove to be a massive mistake in years to come.
  • 123France123France Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    @annamom , he majored in Information Technology and Web Science. His experience at RPI was positive overall. He had a rough sophomore year (data structures and foundations of computer science are brutal courses). I have a second son who is a junior at an LAC and is majoring in CS. His CS courses are not nearly as deep as the CS courses that son #1 experienced at RPI. RPI is no cake walk. You work for your grades.

    My son graduated RPI before ARCH was implemented, so we have no experience with it. I did ask my son if he's heard any noise from current students (he was in a fraternity and still has friends who are current students at RPI) regarding ARCH, and his words were "it's a failure and a pain in the butt". @RPIparent77 , I do not doubt your frustrations over the ARCH program. It sounds like RPI needs to iron out the large kinks fast re ARCH. I do hope things will turn around for your child and that he/she will have a positive experience at RPI.

    @randomdude532 , sorry to hear about your difficulty with job placement. I asked my son if his friends had difficulty landing jobs and he said nearly all of them had jobs prior to graduation (engineering and CS majors). The friend who had difficulty landing a job majored in BME. Perhaps you're right about not having the industry connections for BME, but that is definitely not the case for CS and other engineering majors, according to my son. I hope things work out for you.
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