Spring 2022 Semester

Students will begin the spring academic semester with online classes during the week of January 10, 2022.

Assuming the infection rate for Rensselaer County is low, in-person classes will begin Monday, January 24.

Graduate students may gain access starting January 3. The principal investigator of the research group must ensure that their research group follows the distancing guidelines previously established in the Stage 3 Return to Research plans: 

  • Maximum occupancy of two occupants at a given time for an enclosed laboratory and social distancing of at least six-feet separation. 
  • Individual access times should be staggered as necessary, including for new graduate students arriving since Stage 3 plans were submitted, to meet these requirements. 
  • These conditions will remain in force until the university returns to in-person instruction for classes.

Fall 2021 Semester

No. All courses have an in-person requirement, including:

  • Fully in person
  • Hybrid: Alternate between in-person and recorded sessions.
  • Flipped classroom format: Lecture content is delivered digitally, with the main instructional work including recitations, discussions, problem-solving/homework taking place in person.

Spring 2021 Semester

With guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State, the start of the spring semester has been shifted to Jan. 25, 2021. Online instruction will begin on Jan. 25, 2021. In-person instructional activities will begin on Feb. 8, 2021.

Students can opt for remote learning for the spring semester in SIS during registration.

Yes, all content for hybrid courses is posted online. If a hybrid class is a lab and there is a provision for in-person experiments, remote students will only have access to a digital or recorded version of that experience.

Visit the online academic calendar for details.

Each remote request is unique and is being individually reviewed by the Division of Student Life on a rolling basis as they are received. We are continuing to actively address each request in a timely manner.

Fall 2020 Semester

The Rensselaer Libraries will be open starting September 8. Visit the Libraries' website for hours of operation. 

All questions related to materials required for a particular course should be addressed to the faculty member teaching that course with a copy of the inquiry directed to the department head.

Classes will begin via remote instruction on August 31.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all students taking courses at other institutions must attend those courses remotely. 


Return-to-Campus 2020

Students are expected to attend classes on the Troy campus with their cohorts, according to the following schedule:

Fall 2020 – On Campus Spring 2021 – On Campus
Freshmen Freshmen
Juniors Sophomores
Seniors Seniors
Graduate Graduate


Fall 2020 – Remote Spring 2021 – Remote
Sophomores Juniors

Students may request an exemption from this policy, and take courses remotely, by submitting a Remote learning request form, which will be distributed to students via their RPI email. Students taking courses remotely will not be granted access to the campus.

Students taking courses remotely can participate from anywhere in the world, and are not required to reside in the Capital Region, but must maintain full-time status to be eligible for scholarships and financial aid.

All students must provide updated residential contact information, through SIS. This will include a residential address and a functioning, U.S. based cell phone number where the student can be reached. This will ensure that each student receives cohort-based advocacy, resources, and support, whether taking classes on campus or remotely.

Only students expected to be living on campus who are seeking an exception to that requirement need to fill out the remote learning request form.

Remote learning request forms are being reviewed and responded to in the order they came in. If a student has not received a response to their submitted request and it has been more than three days, they should contact

Yes. All lectures will be recorded for students to view at their convenience.

Academic departments are restructuring the courses to align this way. Each department will assess student programs and needs to make the necessary adjustments. Contact your department head for details.

Rensselaer will make every effort to provide courses that are required for students to graduate on time. If you have questions or concerns, contact your academic adviser or advising Hub.

Academic departments are restructuring courses to align cohorts with appropriate fall and spring offerings.

Faculty have made the necessary adjustments to teach performance courses online. Students should consult the department to determine how instruction will be carried out. No groups of 10 or more will be allowed to meet.

All finals for fall 2020 will be online. For details on resolving scheduling conflicts, visit:

We understand that these are unusual times and will be flexible with our current policy while working with each student’s individual circumstances. Students need to request a deferral by completing the deferral request form. Students who defer and take courses elsewhere may have their financial aid package re-evaluated.

Students interested in deferring their admission until the Spring 2021 semester:

  • This year, we will allow students to defer their admission from the Fall 2020 semester to the Spring 2021 semester for a majority of our majors. (We recommend that students studying in the School of Architecture not request a one-semester deferral because of the layout of the course curriculum.)
  • Students who defer to the Spring of 2021 may take courses on a non-matriculated basis at another institution. If you matriculate elsewhere or take 12 or more transferrable credits, you will need to re-apply as a transfer student.
  • This policy is consistent with the current freshman transfer policy that allows freshmen to transfer in a maximum of 32 credit hours; only 20 of which may be AP/IB credits or other equivalent credits.

Students interested in deferring their admission until the Fall 2021 semester:

  • We understand that students may be requesting to defer their admission for a variety of reasons and each student will be reviewed on a case by case basis. 
  • Students who wish to defer their admission to the Fall 2021 semester may take courses on a non-matriculated basis at another institution. If you matriculate elsewhere or take 12 or more transferrable credits, you will need to re-apply as a transfer student.
  • This policy is consistent with the current freshman transfer policy that allows freshmen to transfer in a maximum of 32 credit hours; only 20 of which may be AP/IB credits or other equivalent credits.

To make sure a course from another university will transfer to Rensselaer, you need to complete the Transfer Credit Approval form before you register for the course. Contact the Advising Hub for your major and they will assist you in completing the form electronically and obtaining the required approval signatures. The completed form should be emailed to Robert Garofallou-Hogan at After completing the course, request an official transcript to be sent to Your transfer credit will be processed once the transcript is received and will appear in your Degree Works. All transfer courses transfer with a grade of “TR” and have no effect on your GPA.

Status is based on academic cohort. For example, a student who enrolled in the fall of 2019 would be considered a sophomore for the 2020-21 academic year. Academic credit hours do not determine designation for remote or on-campus learning in 2020-21.

To allow safe entry and exit from academic rooms, we have adjusted course times by 15 minutes. This will reduce the number of students in the hallways to help adhere to social distancing guidelines. The start and end time of courses have been adjusted to accommodate this change.

Books that have been ordered from the campus book store will be delivered to students during the quarantine period.

Spring and Summer 2020 Semester

In accordance with social distancing protocols, there will be no in-person academic advising appointments.

The Advising & Learning Assistance Center (ALAC) is using Webex tutoring sessions. The schedule is posted online. In addition to the information received from faculty members regarding online course guidance, students should please contact their academic adviser, school Hub, or class dean with any additional questions or concerns that may arise.

The academic calendar is not changing. 

Circulation Policy Changes: 

  • Overdue fines are suspended
  • Renewals are extended 
  • There is no recall of materials
  • Holds will remain on the shelf during the closure and will remain on the shelf for one week after the libraries reopen

During this time, transcripts may be sent via email only to the university's Admissions or Registrar offices. If you request your transcript to be emailed, it must be to a .edu email address affiliated with one of those offices. Questions regarding this policy can be emailed to

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