Starting at Rensselaer as an Undeclared Engineer Rensselaer Class of 2025

Starting as an Undeclared Engineer can provide you with a solid foundation as a college student. How?

Amongst your first interactions with Rensselaer and the School of Engineering, you will be provided with unique support and specific resources that inform you about all engineering disciplines so that you can feel confident with your academic and career path.

The goal is to help you make an informed decision about your future...

  1. The Support
  2. The Guides
  3. The Programs

Part 1:

The Support...

As an Undeclared Engineer, you immediately gain access to all the resources available to the first-year engineering students. While there is a ton of information, is is easy to navigate through all the resources with the support of your Academic Advising Team in the SoE Hub.

You do not need to figure this out on your own!

And, we don't want you too!

In fact...

Each advisor in the SoE Hub aims to ensure your personal confidence in the choice that you make about your major and how it will lead you into your future career. Regardless if your ultimate decision leads to you declaring a major in engineering, or if you discover another path that is better suited to your interests and goals, we will support you each step of the way.

How do we begin?

Step one is connecting with your Undeclared Engineering Academic Advisor, Kristin Bergene.

With a background in Career Counseling, Kristin will work with you (as an individual) to lay out all of your interests. Based on your initial conversation, she will start by connecting you to all your options, such as providing list of relevant majors or directing you to a personal assessment, Focus 2 *, that can be done with the Career Center.

Kristin is trained in the curriculum of all engineering majors, and works closely with all members of the School of Engineering Advising Hub, Core Engineering, Advising Hubs across campus, and the Career Center to ensure you have access to the best information.

Feel free to connect with Kristin at any point!

From the moment you apply to Rensselaer (and, even before), you can schedule an appointment with Kristin. Through one-on-one chats, it is possible to choose your major the summer before you begin your first semester of college. However...

It is important to know that there is no rush!

You do not need to declare your major until the first week of your sophomore year. So there is plenty of time to research, experience, network and make that informed decision about your major.

Even better! All engineering majors at Rensselaer generally require the same courses in their first year of college (with a few exceptions). By meeting with Kristin regularly, she can ensure that you are aware of all your options for courses based on the majors that you are interested in.

When you're ready to begin, she will be there waiting.


Email Kristin to set up a video chat!

Once you connect with Kristin, she will tell you more about the School of Engineering's First-Year Advising Hub (the SoE Hub).

It's important to know that Kristin and the rest of the SoE Hub advising team are here to support you! You can connect with any advisor in The Hub to learn about each major and the curriculum requirements for those majors.

Halloween 2019! What will we be in 2021...?

Feel free to reach out to any SoE Hub Advisor now! We are all ready to welcome you to our community.

Part 2:

The Guides...

When a 'major-specific' resource exists, there will always be one created for the unique path of the Undeclared Engineer.

This begins right away with...

The ENGR Curriculum Guide: Every major has a list of courses that are required in order to graduate. This list of courses can be found on the Major-Template for that specific major, or in Rensselaer's College Catalog.

The ENGR Curriculum Guide mimics the semester-by-semester style of the Major Template, and breaks down course options that can be taken during your first year. All the courses listed on this guide may be applied to any engineering degree. This means that you will be on track with required courses once you make your final decision!

Created for the Class of 2025!

This resource is updated annually with curriculum changes.

You will find yours in...

Your Registration Guide: The Summer before you start your first semester of college, your SoE Hub Advisor Kristin will reach out to help you plan a schedule that make sense for your goals and your interests, all while keeping you on track with all engineering degrees. We have a recommended list of courses, but depending on your personal goals Kristin can suggest alternative options that make more sense for you!

Want to see an example?

Advising Handbooks: While there are tons of resources that you will explore once you connect with Kristin, it is always worth noting the best place to start - the Advising Handbooks.

Updated annually by Core Engineering, these handbooks will provide insight to each major. They cover the research happening at Rensselaer in their department, academic specifics, alumni statistics, faculty and staff information, and more!

To summarize so far...

As an Undeclared Engineer, you will have access to an Academic Advisor, and an Academic Advising team, that will help you navigate your personal transition to college and with choosing your major.

You will have access to online and print resources that you can review independently (or with support) to help you stay on track and make informed decisions. The perfect tools to review with friends and family as you make your decision.

And finally,

Part 3:

The Programming...

As an Undeclared Engineer, you will be invited to attend programming created specifically for you based on years of experience and the important insight from Undeclared Engineering students who came before you!

And yes, when the events are in-person, we feed you the best take-out Troy has to offer! Pizza, Indian, Moroccan, subs, tacos...

Better World for Engineering (ENGR-1700): A fall-only, 1-credit seminar that focuses on one engineering major every week. During this Monday afternoon seminar, a faculty representative will present on the major, speaking about the academic curriculum available to students at Rensselaer, and their department's research. They will also reflect on where alumni find employment after graduation, mention any unique opportunities specific to their department, and even highlight the industry connected to the major.

All Undeclared Students will take ENGR 1700 course during their first semester of college.

Screenshot of ENGR 1700's course description from the College Catalog.

Industry Hour: A weekly, major-specific program hosted by the SoE Hub during the fall semester. Each Monday, following ENGR 1700, we invite 2 alumni, and 1 current student (or a recent graduate) to speak about their engineering major and its industry.

Alumni will speak about their day-to-day experiences on the job, summarize their career paths, and how Rensselaer supported their goals.

The current student, or recent grad, will discuss their professional work experience (internship, co-op, research, etc.), and their engagement on campus - such as clubs and organizations.

All Industry Hour speakers are happy to connect in order to continue the conversation and support Undeclared Engineers in choosing their major.

(Though be warned, they might be biased! Haha..)

The ENGR Decision: Toward the end of the Spring semester, Kristin and the Career Center (CCPD) collaborate on a program to support those who are still uncertain about their major. It will include information about the academic path of each major and how that impacts the timing of making a good decision.

It will also cover hiring statistics of RPI alumni including full-time employers, job titles, salary statistics, co-op/internship employers, who is actively recruiting RPI students, and more!

The guides, the resources, and the programming!

All created for you, and the unique decision that you have to make as you begin as an Undeclared Engineer. There is no 'normal' on this journey, only what makes the most sense for you. This is something that is deeply understood by all advisors in the SoE Hub. We are all ready and excited to welcome you to Rensselaer, and to help you begin this chapter of your life!

Remember, if you need us, all you have to do is reach out.

Kristin Bergene: bergek@rpi.edu

School of Engineering First-Year Advising Hub

3306 Ansell Lounge, Jonsson Engineering Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Created By
Kristin Bergene