Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Ranked 42nd Among National Universities

Undergraduate Engineering Program Ranked 30th by U.S. News & World Report

September 12, 2017


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ranks among the best universities in the United States, according to the annual list of college rankings released this week by U.S. News & World Report. The publication’s list ranks Rensselaer 42nd among 311 national research universities. With its overall composite score rising each year, Rensselaer has been ranked as one of the top 50 national universities by U.S. News for the past 18 years.

In addition to the university ranking, Rensselaer’s undergraduate engineering program was ranked 30th in the nation by U.S. News, and the mechanical engineering program was ranked 19th.  In the “Great School at a Great Price” category, Rensselaer ranked 31st, continuing a steady rise in that category over the last five years.

Factors contributing to Rensselaer’s top ranking include a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-one; 97 percent of faculty who are full-time; strong academic reputation; and high school counselor’s rank.

Underscoring Rensselaer’s long-held reputation as one of the nation’s top universities, the Institute received a record number of applications for the current Class of 2021, including the most ever from females, underrepresented minorities, and international students. The class represents one of the strongest academically, and most diverse ethnically and geographically, in the history of Rensselaer.

“For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has provided a radically active form of teaching and learning to students who have gone on to push the frontiers of technology and truly change the world,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “Our continued high standing in the U.S. News rankings reflects our dedication to providing an unparalleled educational experience to an accomplished and increasingly diverse student body.”

Since joining Rensselaer as president in 1999, Jackson has led a transformation of the university’s pedagogical and research approach under the construct of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer. The New Polytechnic emphasizes and supports collaboration across disciplines, sectors, and regions to address the great global challenges of our day, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer.

Jackson also introduced CLASS (Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students), a comprehensive approach to the student experience, comprising key aspects of a residential college model. Through ongoing support, guidance, and co-curricular activities, CLASS creates gateways to transformative experiences that will help students develop intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and global awareness.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 85 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to

Written By SCER Staff
Press Contact Richie Hunter
Back to top