Troy, NY
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3 College Freshman

Diversity: There is plenty of diversity on campus as far as race. Gender is a different story.

1 College Sophomore

Diversity: The gender ratio is god awful. There are many international students, but the vast majority of them are from China and speak next to no English and thus do not interact with the population at large in any meaningful way. If you're an American, you're stuck with a bunch of white guys. Bottom line.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: The campus is no very diverse but there are no issues of intolerance.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Everyone so far seems very accepting of people with different backgrounds other than their own!

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Just need to know where to look


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 463rd
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 557th
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 930th
    Most Liberal Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Cara Riverso
Holmes, NY
Chemical Engineering
View all previous student authors

Most students consider campus to be quite diverse. With students from all over the country, not to mention the world, there's a little bit of everything. Virtually every ethnic group on campus has multiple organizations that its members can get involved in and spread awareness of different cultures. There is also a great range of social and economic backgrounds among the students at RPI.

Because it is primarily an engineering school, however, most of the students at RPI have similar interests and hobbies. This can make it seem like the campus isn't as diverse-although there may be a broad range of people, the number of cliques is somewhat narrower. You see a lot of people hanging out with groups of similar backgrounds, and while the groups don't clash, there isn't a tremendous amount of intermingling between them.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Foreign countries
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 35%
20-21: 35%
22-24: 16%
25+: 11%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 2%
Asian American: 15%
Hispanic: 3%
International: 21%
Native American: 0%
White: 59%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
There is a relatively small population of homosexual students on campus, but the community is accepting of them. The Rensselaer Pride Alliance (RPA) is one of the clubs on campus.
Political Activity
There is some political activity but much of the student body is apathetic of things outside of RPI and Troy. For those interested, there are political groups on campus: The Progressive Students Alliance (formerly the College Democrats), the College Republicans, and the College Libertarians.
Economic Status
There are students from all different economic backgrounds, although there are quite a few that come from very well-off families. Some people would argue that there is too much “old money” at RPI, and that the school should be more selective amongst the legacies, instead of allowing in anyone who has had a grandfather graduate that donates large sums of money. However, once here, family money doesn’t matter as much, and there is little reflection in day-to-day life of a person’s economic well being.
Most Common Religions
The major religions on campus are Christianity (primarily Catholic and Protestant), Judaism, and Islam. The school has a Chaplain’s Office to serve the needs of the campus religious community. It supports such groups as BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), Koinonia (a Protestant community service organization), Korean Christian Fellowship, Muslim Student Association, Newman Fellowship, Rensselaer Christian Association, and the RPI-Sage Hillel.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Virtually every minority present at RPI has a club associated with it. From the Chinese Student Association to the Iranian Student Association, from the Muslim Women’s Association to the National Society of Black Engineers, there is something for everyone, regardless of ethnicity and heritage. See the Clubs and Organizations section for more.
Did You Know?
RPI has more than 180 clubs, and there is a group for almost every background on campus.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 34 responses

  • 3% Libertarian
  • 26% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 3% Conservative
  • 41% Moderate
  • 21% Liberal
  • 6% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 33 responses

  • 3% Libertarian
  • 3% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 36% Moderate
  • 42% Not sure
  • 12% Liberal
  • 3% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 33 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 33 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 34 responses

  • 3% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 0% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 29% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 68% Very accepting.


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