Housing, Dining, and Moving In

Return-to-Campus 2020

Students will be required to complete an online training program and agree to rules and conditions* related to the Rensselaer community health and safety standards (on campus, while off campus, while in residence, and during other activities). In this training, students will be required to attest to their ability to maintain compliance with these standards.

In order to attend courses on campus or access campus facilities, students must:

  1. Maintain Rensselaer health and safety standards;
  2. Comply with Rensselaer return-to-campus protocols; and
  3. Adhere to the policies in the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

The health of Rensselaer community members depends on everyone’s adherence to these health and safety protocols.

*Students will be required to complete the online Compliance Education and Training and sign and return the Community Health Requirements and Agreement/Release for Students Attending the Rensselaer Campus and Activities. These materials will be distributed to students via their RPI email. Students will be asked to complete these steps by August 7.

At the completion of the required online training, students will be asked to provide updated residential contact information, through SIS, and clearly indicate whether they will be taking classes on campus or remotely. 

The Institute plan to return to campus-based operations is based on New York state guidance, and our assessment of what we can and must do to enhance the safety of all members of the Rensselaer community. We will still be in a pandemic come fall, and our ability to maintain an open campus, should it open, is predicated on the actions, behaviors, and alignment with health and safety practices and social distancing.

It is our expectation that all members of our community, including those who live off campus, will adopt a strict adherence to the health and safety protocols while on and off campus, including the following elements:

  • Residential density such that no more than two students share an individual living space, which means no more than two students share a bathroom.  
  • Social distancing should be practiced at all times. Observe social distancing when outside of individual living or workspaces. Maintain a minimum six-foot distance between each individual and the next closest person at all times, and in all settings.  
  • Cloth and/or disposable masks will be provided by the Institute and are to be worn by all individuals in public spaces. Cloth masks are to be hand-washed at the end of each day. Additionally, students and faculty will be provided with disposable masks that must be worn when they are in any and all instructional spaces.    
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of personal and common spaces will be a continuous process. Each individual should implement protocols similar to those implemented on campus, which require the cleaning and disinfecting of workspaces and living spaces, including wiping down chairs and high-use surfaces, such as desks, counters, door handles, remotes, computers, and personal communication devices.
  • This is a standard we are setting for de-densifying any residential housing and applies to students who will be physically on campus, as opposed to taking courses remotely. The standard allows us to help maintain safety and health on the campus and in living environments around campus amid a pandemic that is, unfortunately, broadening across the country.

If students cannot comply with the health, safety, and housing standards, and are in cohorts scheduled to be on campus, they must submit a request to attend courses remotely. Students taking courses remotely will not be granted access to the campus. Students may request to take courses remotely, by submitting the Remote Learning request form, which will be distributed to students via their RPI email.

Q. What resources are available for juniors, seniors, graduate students, and Greek members who need assistance in identifying an off-campus apartment?

A. For a comprehensive list of services, visit: https://sll.rpi.edu/living-off-campus.

Q. When will I be informed of my move-in date, time, and housing assignment?

A. Move-in will occur between August 22 and August 30. We will communicate the exact move-in date, time, and housing assignment to all students moving into the Rensselaer Residential Commons in early August. Prior to move-in, we will provide an update on our testing protocols and a move-in schedule to help ensure that we are maintaining social distancing protocols to keep our community safe.


Q. How many people will I be able to have help me move in?

A. The current plan is to allow one additional person to help move a student into their residence hall. Move-in times will be staggered over several days and every building, floor, and room will be closely managed. Specific details will be provided in early August.


Q. Are juniors and seniors able to live on campus?

A. We are currently working to ensure that all incoming first-year students receive housing. Once we have completed the first-year housing assignments, a limited number of spaces may be available for juniors and seniors who wish to live on campus. However, we encourage juniors and seniors who are attending classes on campus to explore alternate off-campus housing options

Students who would like to request on-campus housing on the basis of a vulnerability or concern (academic, health condition, disability), must submit a request form. Those with a disability must submit supporting documentation to Disability Services for Students.

Q. I’m an incoming first-year student who lives local, near the Institute. Will I be able to live at home?

A. You will need to apply through the Student Living and Learning waiver process.


Q. I am a first-year student who would prefer to remain off campus for the fall 2020 semester. How do I inform Rensselaer that I will not be attending in person?

A.  All first-year students will be assigned campus housing for the fall 2020 semester. If you need an exemption for living on campus during the fall 2020 term, you must request a Housing Waiver. If you hope to take classes remotely, you must submit a Remote Learning Request form. If you have any questions related to housing, email reslife@rpi.edu. For questions related to remote learning, email success@rpi.edu.


Q.  What are the move-in dates for first-year students?

A. Specific plans for move in are still being finalized. In order to facilitate a safe, socially distanced move-in process, students will be given a specific date and time to arrive. We will communicate plans to students as soon as they are confirmed.

No.  There is no reduction in the cost of housing or meal plans for the fall semester.  Rensselaer is focused on the maintenance of campus facilities and the enhancement of systems that provide for social distancing in an effort to provide the safest student experience possible while on campus.  Significant steps have been taken and measures added in the housing and dining programs including additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols, new ordering and reservation technology, and the elimination of self-service stations in order to promote the health and safety of our community at the highest levels.

Spring and Summer 2020 

  • Staff will respond to requests for maintenance. Submit your maintenance request

  • In case of an emergency: 

    • Contact Public Safety at (518) 276-6611 and request to speak to the Dean-on-Duty or Counselor-on-Call.

    • For all other emergencies, contact:

      • Medical or Fire Emergency: 911

      • 24-Hour Nurse: (866) 315-8756

      • Sexual Assault (24-hour): (518) 271-3257

      • Suicide Prevention: 1 (800) 273-8255

All students permitted to stay on campus will need to continue to abide by all Institute policies, including but not limited to, the Rensselaer Handbook for Student Rights and ResponsibilitiesStudent Living and Learning Policy, and Rensselaer Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

Students must also comply with all Institute directives regarding social distancing and COVID-19 prevention. The Institute will remain vigilant in responding to violations of Institute policies and student misconduct. 

Students with any concerns may contact the Dean of Students Office at DOSO@rpi.edu or (518) 276-6266.

  • Food will be delivered to the residence halls, Monday-Friday, three times per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Saturday-Sunday, two times per day (brunch and dinner). Dining details will be sent directly to students approved to remain on campus.

For assistance with off-campus lease agreements, contact the Off-Campus Commons at (518) 276-6284 or email reslife@rpi.edu.

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