Student Resources

Financial Assistance and External Support

See also: Financial Aid / Scholarship and Awards  on the Rensselaer Admissions website.

Financial assistance to graduate students within the department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering falls into two principal categories: fellowships and assistantships. Assistantships are either graduate research assistantships or graduate teaching assistantships. Stipend payments for assistantships are usually processed twice a month, while fellowship payments follow a payment schedule determined by the individual fellowship. Graduate advisors and the MANE department make every effort to provide aid for the PhD students and almost all of them receive full financial support.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute requires that fellowship holders and graduate assistants must register for at least 12 credits per semester to maintain full-time status, with a maximum of 15 credits. The only exception is for teaching assistants, who may register for a minimum of 9 credits per semester to maintain full-time status.

Teaching Assistants (TA) and Research Assistants (RA):

Assistantships are contracts for students to do research or assist faculty in the classroom in exchange for salary and tuition benefits.

Teaching Assistant: A matriculated and registered graduate student who assists a faculty member to teach his or her course. Duties may vary and include: preparing for class sections and/or labs, grading exams or papers, and holding regular office hours. Teaching assistants are not expected to individually assign final grades. Continuation of a teaching assistantship depends on the quality of the work performed and academic performance.

Research Assistant: A matriculated and registered graduate student who participates in research under the supervision of a faculty member. For the most part, research assistants are selected by individual faculty with sufficient research funding. Continuation of a research assistantship depends on the productivity and quality of the research performed, availability of research funds, and academic performance.

Duration of Financial Assistance:

Students who receive financial assistance are normally continuously supported, either on a 9-month basis or on a 12-month basis as long as they demonstrate satisfactory progress in a degree program. Financial assistance for PhD students includes a stipend (for TAs and RAs) and covers tuition costs. Continuation of financial aid is contingent upon the availability of funds and satisfactory academic / research performance.

Please note that support via teaching assistantships is limited to a total of four semesters of support as per the Graduate Tuition and Student Support policy. Additional support will be provided in the form of graduate research assistantships or fellowships. 

To remain eligible for current and future federal financial loan programs, students must be in good academic standing (SAP). For additional information on SAP, students should refer to the Graduate Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations.

Fellowships and External Funding Opportunities:

An alternative way for graduate students to receive financial assistance is through fellowships and scholarships. The MANE department offers information sessions, workshops, and individual assistance to help students apply to fellowships and create competitive applications to maximize the chances of success. External funding opportunities include fellowships, scholarships, international programs, and internships. Additional funding options are available for international, underrepresented minorities, and female applicants.

Most fellowship deadlines fall between September and December of each year. Students receive an email every month announcing upcoming opportunities and submission deadlines.

If students are interested in applying to fellowships, they are strongly encouraged to visit the Office of Graduate Student Services to receive information on the various opportunities available and for assistance with the application process.

Graduate Student Housing

College Suites at City Station is a new housing community built exclusively for Rensselaer graduate students and graduate-level affiliates.

Developed to make locating and entering housing at Rensselaer a hassle-free process, it is within walking distance of the campus, enjoys Rensselaer services such as the Rensselaer Red Hawk Shuttle, and is, at the same time, an off-campus private community in itself.

Rensselaer provides family housing through a partnership with College Suites at City Station South.

City Station South offers an atmosphere where residents with families can sit back and live, learn, and relax. College Suites provides the convenience and quality of life you need to focus on balancing your academic and home life. Located just slightly off the southern edge of the RPI campus in Troy, these beautiful, affordable apartments provide all the comforts of home right next to the Rensselaer campus.