What are the rules in the dorms?

Dorm rules are mostly common sense. If you’re under 21, no alcohol, obviously. RPI doesn’t allow parties in dorms, but that’s not really an issue since there’s usually something going on off-campus.

As far as room decor goes, none of the multi-colored 5-arm lamps since New York State considers those a fire hazard, the same goes for any upwards-facing lamp. RPI doesn’t allow anything that resembles Christmas lights, as unfortunate as that is. Curtains and flags are also on the no list because of the state. They should have sent you a list of things you can and can’t have at some point, if not, let me know and I can go scare it up. 

The guest policy is also pretty reasonable, you can have guests over for 2 nights at a time, but of course, make sure your roommate is fine with it as well.

Quiet hours are from 11 PM to 7 AM on school nights and from 12 AM until 9 AM on weekend. Other than that it basically comes down to common sense and common courtesy. If you’re thinking of doing something that you think might be against the rules or might disturb someone else, don’t do it.


I am planning on rooming with an athlete during my season. Is that a question they ask on the roommate questionare and take high priority in or should I be finding an athlete on social media and then requesting them as my roommate when I fill out the survey?

This question is worded a little weird, but if I understand it correctly, you are asking whether or not athletes can room with other athletes that are not in their own sport during their playing season. Your roommate will not change throughout the year typically. You can choose to live with anyone that you choose. Your sport may have stricter policies.

I’m an engineering student and is Hall Hall close to classes? Also is it worth it to bring your own desk chair because the chairs they provide you look extremely uncomfortable. Also is food at RPI good? Which meal plan btw?

All dorms that house freshmen are close to classes.

I personally brought my own desk chair and was incredibly glad I did. I was one of the few people that was able to study in my room because it was comfortable. That being some some people do not want to bring their own chair because they still have to keep the school chair with them in the room (or else you will be charged for it). Also some people will just buy a cushion to put on the school chair to make it more comfortable.

The food at RPI is similar to most colleges, not terrible but not fantastic. You will learn to appreciate home cooked food after your first semester here. What meal plan depends on how much you normally eat and how much flex you want. I personally got 15 meals a week when I was a freshman and never even hit that. That being said, I know people that got higher plans and took advantage of them. It honestly just depends on how much you believe you will eat at college. Remember you can always increase your meal plan, but you can only decrease it the first week.

Can we rent a mini fridge and microwave or buying it on our own is better?

RPI has a vendor that allows you to rent a MicroFridge for the year. When you move in it is already in your room and you can just leave it there when you move out. The cost of this is $220 per year.

You can buy a mini-fridge for anywhere from $100-150 dollars. You can buy a microwave for about  $50.

If you buy a mini-fridge and a microwave separately, you still are under the cost for renting from RPI’s vendor. And you would save money in the long run because when you buy your own stuff you can keep it for more than a year. For that reason, I recommend buying your own mini-fridge and microwave instead of renting it.

I’m an incoming freshman, and was wondering which freshmen hall is the best/most popular? Also wondering what the situation is with incoming athletes and rooming. I know some schools make you dorm with teammates

There are pros and cons to each freshman hall. If you talk to current students you will hear each of them say a different hall. If you want to see pros and cons for some of the halls check out the list on the official RPI Class of 20XX Facebook Group, you should be added to that soon. In regards to athletes and rooming, as far as we know you are not required to room with teammates, though highly recommend and most of the time athletic team members room together.

What’s in the lounges on every floor of the freshman five? Is it worth getting a microwave or do they have one there or in the kitchens?

On the first floor this is a kitchen. In the kitchen you have a fridge, a stove, and a sink. There is a staircase that leads to the second floor lounge. You then have to go to the main staircases to get to the third floor study rooms that are above the 2nd floor lounge (i.e. the first and second floors connect but the third does not). Personally, I recommend if you are going to be warming things up a decent amount of times to get a microwave. I was on the third floor and didn’t want to walk down 2 flights of stairs, warm up my food, and walk back up 2 flights of stairs when I could just warm up my food in my room.

I’m a incoming freshman and I’m interested in Nugent hall. May I get a few picture that shows the room and its structure, the privacy wall in the center of the room, and the bathroom? I would really appreciate it.

If you look at the tab “Room Photos” and then “Davison and Nugent Hall” you will find almost all of the pictures you are looking for. Sadly, we do not have pictures of the bathroom but the setup is sink in the room, door to the bathroom (lockable), toilet, shower, door to suite room (lockable), sink in room.

Are there any exceptions to the requirement that freshman live on campus, such as a student living at home with her parents and commuting to school? If yes, what is the parking situation like? Thanks.

As part of the CLASS initiative, all freshmen must live on campus at RPI. I believe circumstances need to be pretty extreme for students to bypass this. I would recommending emailing ResLife to get their official opinion on your particular situation.

Parking on campus requires a parking permit and freshmen are technically are not allowed to have a permit. Once again, if you need a car for a particular reason, check with RPI transportation/parking.

For the NRB week are the events we registered for active throughout the entire week or just a day? What else takes place during NRB week?

The various NRB events you signed up for run either a day, or to a day and a half. NRB in itself is a week long celebration and will be filled with events to get you acquainted with RPI. This includes social events to meet people in your dorm, major, school, etc. and things like the welcome BBQ, and convocation.

I’m an incoming freshman at RPI and I just got a bunch of information about linen packages that can be bought through the school. My question is, is it worth it to go with that company, or should I get sheets, etc separately?

I believe the linen packages are from a third party that partnered with RPI. I do not really see a real benefit of getting sheets from them if you have found better or cheaper ones elsewhere. I do recommend shopping around during the summer and saving those 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. That saved me a whole bunch of money when I was shopping for linens.

Do we get chose for bunk bed or normal twin size bed, or it’s just randomly selected when student arrives? Also, it states on RPI website that student get dorm key during student orientation? (or am I wrong?) Is that mean that the student and/or his/her parent stay in the student’s dorm for the night during the 2 day student orientation? or do we need stay in some hotels? Thanks!

For the freshmen five dorms (Cary, Crockett, Hall, Nason, and Bray), the beds will not be lofted. You can have them lofted if you choose, and can find the form to fill out on the ResLife website. As for Barton, all rooms are triples. One bed will be lofted, while the other two beds will be setup in a bunk bed style.

As for orientation, you will get a key to stay in a dorm for the night. You will most likely also have a roommate, so your parents will need to make arrangements to stay in a hotel.

How likely are freshmen to get our 1st choice residence hall (the residence hall we put on the preference form)?

It is impossible for me to answer this. It depends on how high the demand is for your choice and when you submit your form. You’ll know in a few months… don’t sweat it.

Direct from ResLife: “Students will be assigned by the order in which they deposited with Rensselaer. If your roommate/s has an earlier deposit date than you, we will group you together and assign you based on the earliest deposits date of the group”

If you had to choose your freshman dorm today, which would you pick?

Interesting & excellent question! I, personally, really enjoyed living in the Quad as a freshman. I liked the historic nature, the proximity to classes and Sage Dining Hall, and the presence of some upperclassmen. I would choose to live in the Quad (again), as a freshman. My second choice would probably be Blitman because I know that a lot of people that I am friends with today lived there, though, in truth my friends were in residence halls all over.

What’s this lottery policy about getting your dorms at RPI? I read on the Enrollment Guide site that RPI assigns the residence halls. So, does the lottery apply to freshmen? How does dorm lottery work?

The lottery process is for returning students (rising sophomores, juniors, seniors). Incoming freshmen do not have to worry about this. You should have received a housing preference form as an incoming freshman – this is a first forms received, first preference process.

RPI does not assign the halls. Students are entered in the lottery (you have to sign up for the lottery as an upperclass student). ResLife randomly assigns lottery numbers. Students choose their room based off of the numbers. This is a really simple breakdown of a more complicated process, but you do not need to worry about this for another year.

Im looking for a 2-person room, as an incoming freshman. Id like to live near the freshman population, in a very social environment (preferably an open-door policy with the dorms) where people typically don’t stay indoors all day. What would be your recommendation?

You just described something that is available in all of the freshman halls (though none have an open door policy). Sounds like you’ll be happy as much in one place as another.

I wish I had a different answer to your question, but that it the answer.

I am a coming freshman. I get a friend who is willing to live me. We are going to request each other as the roommate. However, on the form, we have the same ranking for first and second preferable room, but different ranking for the rest. Do we need to have totally the same ranking of preferences in order to live together for our first and second choices?(If, we get our third preference, we will go with it.) What is the probability to get in your first and second choices? Thank you so much.

Sure, it would make their lives easier if you had the same ranking of preferences, but they will prioritize your roommate preference over that. The probability of getting your first and second choices depends a lot on what those choices are – I do not have a statistic for you.

Good luck at RPI.

I was given conditional acceptance to RPI because I haven’t taken a high school level physics course, will I still be able to apply for a room the same time as everybody else? How is freshman housing decided. I really want a dorm in Barton.

I’m hesitant to give you a 100% answer because I’ve never heard of “conditional acceptance,” but congratulations!

If you have the housing form, you should send it in ASAP to get your preference. If I’m not mistaken, fully accepted students probably already have their housing preference forms, or will be getting them soon. Freshman housing is a first-come, first-served basis. You should call the Office of Residence Life to double check. Their number is 518-276-6284.

I’m an incoming freshman and won’t be able to visit before school starts in the fall and having trouble figuring out which hall to pick. Could you describe in a sentence or so the basic feeling or personality (if any) each of the five freshman dorms have. Also I’m a very social person and want a hall with a lot of friendly people. Thanks!

I was in the same position as an incoming freshman – in fact, that is the reason that I created this page.

Unfortunately, I can’t answer your question specifically. It just changes too much from year to year. Each hall creates a personality as the residents get to know each other – wherever you live, you will have no problem making friends. I know this answer may frustrate you, but there is no way for me to know what personality the Class of 2017 will bring to the different halls.

There is themed housing, that you may know about. This includes Wellness Housing (Bray), Vasudha Housing (Nason), Leadership Housing (Hall), Design and the Arts Housing (Cary). This just means that part of the hall (typically 1/6-1/3) is interested in having some focused programs about these topics.

Since Freshmen are the only ones guaranteed housing, I have two questions: (1) What is the off-campus housing situation like & (2) what are the chances that a student can stay on campus for all years?

Thanks for the questions! I’m not sure of the contract for students, but I believe that sophomores are also guaranteed housing, as they have to live on-campus (as of the incoming Class of 2013).

(1) There is a considerable amount of off-campus housing in the area. Many (maybe ~50% of the class) students opt to move off campus beginning their junior year. This housing is available through local landlords and is rented by students (graduate and undergraduate) as well as local members of the community who work in the area. Check out ResLife’s Off Campus page for more resources. Pay close attention to the link for “Jump Off Campus”

(2) If you wish, it is VERY possible to live on campus all four years. You may not get the housing that you prefer (which depends on how the lotteries unfold), but you can very easily live on campus all four years. Often times, you’ll get something in your top choices. Also, you can participate in CR2 after junior year, which means you sign to live in the same room for your senior year.

I was just wondering if juniors and seniors could live in quad and what junior and senior on campus housing options were.

Housing shifts slightly from year to year, depending on class sizes and other decisions. This year (2012-2013), only freshmen and sophomores are living in the Quad.

Juniors and seniors have options to live in RAHPs (Rensselaer Apartment Housing Projects), Stacwyck (Apartments on Sunset Terrace), Blitman, Colonie, Polytechnic, North Hall, E-Complex, and Bryckwyck.

I’m going to be attending RPI this coming fall, and I was wondering if there was a way to get the RPI linen ordering guys to ship the stuff I ordered to the dorm I’m staying in, rather than to my house (I live in California and the extra packing would be a pain). Thanks for your help!

Unfortunately, I don’t know who you mean by the “RPI linen ordering guys.” I kind of remember an offer when I was a freshman to buy linens, but I don’t remember details. That being said, this is a question better directed to them (the “linen ordering guys”).

I do know that big box stores like Bed, Bath, & Beyond will allow you to shop in any store or online and have all of your chosen products prepared for pick-up at a store near your school (RPI). If you go this way with some of your stuff, you don’t pay for the shipping, you just need to go out to the store nearest RPI (in nearby Colonie, 15 minutes drive) and pick it up.

I just pulled up from the waiting list so everything seems a bit late. Will I be assigned to a residence with a bad location since there may not have enough room left? Can I fax my residence preference form to them instead of mailing my form? Thank you!

You will not be assigned a residence hall with a “bad location” as we don’t have residence halls with “bad locations.” In all seriousness, though, you should submit your preference form ASAP by the methods available according to the form. You may not get your first choice, but you won’t be worse off as an incoming student for that. We allocate plenty of space for the incoming students. I’m not very familiar with the process, as it’s been a while since I’ve done it, but if it says you can fax the form in – go for it!

I am an ROTC scholarship recipient, and all ROTC scholarship students receive a housing scholarship from RPI. Is there a dorm where most ROTC students stay? I assuming that since RPI is giving me this scholarship, I won’t exactly have first dibs on the best dorms.

Freshman students who participate in ROTC live in all of the freshman residence halls. There is no concentration in any one building.

Preference on room/hall selection is unrelated to how much aid you receive. Students who submit their deposit and housing forms first will have the first choices.


I was wondering if they have elevators in Crockett Hall? Also, do the doubles there have ACs? Last question, I know the teachers for my classes, but don’t know what books I need. Does each teacher have a different book, even for the same subject and are they needed in the first week? Thank you for the help.

No, Crockett Hall does not have elevators. You probably found this out today, but hopefully some of the fraternity brothers and other volunteers were able to help you get your things inside and upstairs.

You probably also learned that Crockett does not have air conditioning.

To find out the books that you need for your classes, go to bookstore.rpi.edu and click “BOOK INFO” at the top or go straight to: https://login.rpi.edu/cas/login?service=http://bookstore.rpi.edu/cas/index.php. If you search for your courses here, you will get book information specific to your professor and section. Before you buy through the campus bookstore, though, check out the APO book exchange on the third floor of the Student Union, and look at websites like half.com and amazon.com.

Can you tell me which floors are for freshmen in Quad and how to tell which are doubles or triples? Also, can students bring their own coffee maker in their room? Thanks.

Quad is very hard to describe exactly where freshmen are and which rooms are triples/doubles. Generally speaking, freshmen will not be housed on the third floor. Most of the rooms on the third floor are singles for upperclassmen. There are a few exceptions for corner buildings like Roebling. It’s also a toss-up on which rooms are triples/doubles. You can kind of look at square footage, but sometimes that doesn’t mean much either. Sorry this isn’t very helpful. I don’t want to mislead you.

You can bring almost any small appliance that you want, the kicker is that it needs to have an automatic shut-off for fire prevention.

1) Do teachers assign and go around checking homework? 2) Do most professors know a student by name? And just a few questions about campus: since I Wont be knowing where any of the buildings are on the first day of school, will the professor kill me if I’m late? How long does it take to get to the farthest building on campus?

College can be very different from high school; you are much more independent and being nervous is normal. They aren’t idiotic questions.

In college, students are still students, but your ‘teachers’ become professors. Professors do assign homework, but they aren’t going to walk around the classroom to check it. They will assign a due date and you will submit it at the beginning of class (in most cases). They’ll return it a week or so later – usually an older student called a teaching assistant (TA, for short) will do the grading.

Most professors know student by name, yes. Do most professors know all of their students by name? No way! It’s good to know your professors and have them know you, though. Go to office hours, sit in the front of the classroom, and ask engaging questions. If you want them to know your name, it’s easy to make it happen.

At your orientation, you will learn a great amount about campus. Given that you will know your schedule and courses as of student orientation (course registration is part of this), you will have time in the week that you move in to walk around campus and learn where your classes are each day. But no, the professor is not going to kill you if you’re late! They will be very understanding.

At the worst, you have 10 minutes between classes. Many students have a few hours. It’s easy to get between the DCC and West Hall (buildings at the extreme corners of where classes are held) in ten minutes.

Don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of time to settle in and do well here.