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So...tell me about RPI

sk8nglisk8ngli Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
I just got the Rensselaer Medal...it was kinda a shock. Basically, I know nothing about RPI. So, tell me about the school. Anything. Why'd you look there? Why'd you decide to go there? Likes? Dislikes? Is the standard of living really as bad as PR makes it sound? Do the profs really suck? Is there ANY social scene?

Also, does the medal apply for the 7 year combined MD program? Is the 7 year hard to get into? and a lot of work?

I don't know anything about the school, so tell me anything. I'm open to all suggestions.
Post edited by sk8ngli on

Replies to: So...tell me about RPI

  • shahmuqqadarshahmuqqadar Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    I'm gonna be a sophomore this fall at RPI. I'm gonna major in Electrical Engineering and minor most prob in Mechanical Engineering.

    RPI is a great engineering school. It's definitely first class. It's also kind of a small school (it's a private tech school-has to be small school), and also very undergrad oriented (4800 undergrads and 1300 grads). You do spend most of the time studying if ur in engineering or science, which is about what 85% of the school is. So studying is part of the life here at RPI, so you'll fit in and won't get distracted. I basically came here because of its prestige and size and the fact that it's a tech school. Also, the students here are very smart, but modest about it. So ppl help each other out, not compete.

    Standard of living-it's not too bad, but could be better. Dorms aren't that big, neither are most airconditioned (the one i live in is). Just pick Barton, or Quad if you go. Barton is the best freshman dorm. I live in the Quad. Quad is the best and anybody can stay there, not just freshmen. Quad is also in the middle of campus, so i have that working for me too. Food is decent. Kinda real crummy on weekends (like hardly any lunch). So quality of life is a little on the poor side, but it's def livable.

    Now for the location. Troy is a 200 yr old town/city right along the dirty Hudson River that just never changed. The buildings are messed up and rundown as all hell. It used to be rich, but that changed 180 deg. It's a low income ghetto where you hear crime going on very common, like students are mugged quite often, and the local pizza place was held up last yr. Nearby Albany, the capital of NY state about 4 miles south, is the same, except for about 3 high rise buildings. Albany has less than 100000 ppl living in it. No clue how it's the capital. Other than that, it's all woods, falls, and mountains, in the area. It's also very cold and snowy, and the winters are long. I'm from Boston. Snow is about the same. Troy does get 5-25 deg colder in the winter. Also the winters are longer than Boston. But I guess the nature and long cold winters are true of anywhere in upstate NY.

    Social scene-it's a tech school. Ppl are into studying and videogames. But there are lots of frats. But I'm not gonna lie, compared to most schools, RPI is socially dead. When I visited a friend at Union College, it felt like a social overload to me lol.

    The 7 yr program. It's 4 yrs at RPI, 3 yrs at Albany Medical College. You don't have to take the MCATs. That's an advantage. It's fairly hard to get into, but chances are ur all set on account of the medal. It is a lot of work from wat i hear tho, but so isn't anything else at RPI (besides management and EMAC and other related stuff). Oh yea, like 2/3 of the med program is Indian lol.
  • seg9585seg9585 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with a few of shah's points about social life..
    I lived in Cary Hall and had an awesome year (also going to be a sophomore next year). Barton and Quad, although air conditioned, are the LEAST social freshmen dorms on campus. Although it may be nice to live closer to campus (but farther from Commons), or have a slightly bigger room, I was glad that I got to live in the much more social environment of Cary. I am also in a frat, which add the the social scene alot. There are frat parties just about every weekend (if you are into that), and lan parties every weekend also (if you are into THAT instead haha)... I go to both, to appease both my social and nerd sides lol...
    The food was good in the first few months. Then you fill out a meal plan satisfaction survey. Then the results come back great for the school. Then the food gets progressively worse as the year goes on. By the end of the year, when there was little to eat, I was glad that I saved up so many Bonus Bucks to eat in the Union!

    Troy is pretty sketchy, but I never really have a need to go into the city anyway. Albany isnt far away, and Pepsi Arena has some good concerts and events once in awhile.
    It DOES get pretty cold, I remember a string of days where it didnt get above negative numbers. It was bearable though. Great for skiing! (I went to Vermont a good number of times for skiing)

    The RPI medal gives you merit for 4 years you go to RPI...other than that, I'm not so sure about the MD program.

    shah -- do I know you? Whats your real name?
  • shahmuqqadarshahmuqqadar Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    Sean Sarkar is the name. What's your name?
  • seg9585seg9585 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    Eric Gever here... Find me on thefacebook..
  • shahmuqqadarshahmuqqadar Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    If you're a freshman engineer that didn't AP out of too many things, you def would have seen me. I'm like the only Indian kid w/ kinda long hair on the campus. Around 5'10", slim built.
  • seg9585seg9585 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    heh well not sure if I have... I was a freshman engineer but last semester took Strengths, DiffEq, Fund. of Flight, CAD, and CompSci...(had 20 ap credits)
    Where u livin next year? maybe i'll see ya around
  • sk8nglisk8ngli Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    haha I'm so glad you two found each other.

    Thanks for the info. I'd really like to hear from real students, not just hearsay about "prestige." Although, I go to a super liberal arts oriented hs so most people haven't heard of RPI.

    My biggest complaint, I think, is that I've wanted to be in a city pretty much before I understood college in general. So, is cow country NY gonna make me go crazy? I'm a girl btw, and Chinese. I'd probably look into a sorority if the social scene is that non-exsistant. I really wanted to go to a big school because I go to a tiny hs. What's lan by the way?

    I don't mind studying, but I want to have fun. Glad to hear that people aren't cocky about intelligence. It's kinda hard to, when the other people around you are smart too.

    I'm probably not gonna AP out of much, and RPI will probably laugh at me when they see my AP Chem score, so this might not be an issue. But I'm kinda excited there's a ski team over there. Do you know anyone on it?

    Oh and sounds like you interact with Union a lot, how's that work?
  • seg9585seg9585 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    I wouldn't call it cow-country...its definitely a suburban campus in the middle of an urban setting. Of course, you won't be walking through NYC-like streets the whole time you're here..
    There are 3 sororities on campus... just 3.. (compared to 28 fraternities). There should be more, but rpi put big restrictions on greek life here recently.
    "Lan" stands for "Local Area Network" -- refers to a computer gaming party. If you come here, get used to abbreviations.
    Don't worry about AP credit if you didn't get much, finishing in 4 years (or 7 if you're MD) shouldn't be a problem..
    Although, have you taken AP Calc? If you did (and got 4 or over), I highly recommend going straight to Calc 2. Everyone who got a good AP Calc score and decided to stay with Calc 1 regretted it (even though RPI may tell you to stay back for Calc 1)
    I know someone who used to be on the ski team. Does that count? haha
    The Union is basically where clubs and meetings are organized (or funded), but they also have 2 places to eat, a games room, and shows once in awhile in the McNeil Room
  • shahmuqqadarshahmuqqadar Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    It is def NOT urban. To me, urban means big buildings. Troy is slums and suburuban. Almost all the buildings are like 200 yrs old and unchanged since then. The general area is cow country kinda, if you go about 10 min down 787 or I-90. But there are some malls in the area also, like Crossgates and Wolf Road, Colonie. Other than that, it's either a ghetto or the woods.

    AP scores are not too much of an issue. For the med program, I suggest that you use all AP credit. It lightens the load. Especially Calculus. Med program doesn't have to take Diff Eq, so I kno med program ppl here who haven't taken a math course cuz they got a 4 or 5 on the BC exam. For Chemistry or Biology, I suggest that you don't take the AP credit, cuz you guys do take some hard stuff along those lines. But other than that, use whatever you can.

    Haha, abbreviations, so true....

    Social scene isn't THAT dead. It is very lame compared to most colleges, but the frats do throw some shindigs on weekends (I don't go to them cuz I don't drink at all).

    A side note on the third post on this thread, you said "closer to campus (but further from Commons)". We have Sage dining hall right near us where we always eat except weekends when they are closed. Sage is FAR better than Commons. Any dining hall is far better than commons.
  • sk8nglisk8ngli Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    I've been to Albany and Schenectady, so I know it's not literally cow country. Although there are a bunch of cows along the drive up. I just call everything cow country, cuz even though I don't technically live near cows, I can tell you where to find some pretty close, and llamas too. I actually stayed at Union over the summer once (CTY anyone?). It's cute, but you gotta love the police, ambulance, and firetruck sirens going 24/7.

    Trust me, I can deal with abbreviations...both my parents are engineers...cursed from the start lol

    I'll see what happens for the AP scores. I know for a fact I plan on retaking Chem and Bio, just because I won't really have learned any of it. Lit isn't really a big deal.

    A social scene doesn't need to involve drinking. Just social interaction. People meeting with or without alcohol. A chance to get away from studying and the tiny dorms.

    seg, used to be on the ski team, as in graduated? or started hating the cold?
  • seg9585seg9585 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    You definitely DONT have to drink to go to frat parties. You're right, its just social interaction thats important (I know I got plenty of it last year...going to a state school probably would have been overload for me)
    RPI is very closeby to the hospital, which is good if you're hurt but bad if you hate siren noise. It exists...
    There are also tons of fire stations -- I was told Troy was something around #2 most dense system of fire stations in the country. I guess they need it, alot of old buildings..

    He graduated this spring, but had to quit the team because of knee problems
This discussion has been closed.