First-Year Advising and Registration

First steps for WORLD-CHANGERS. 

Your first advising consultation and registration at Rensselaer. 


Welcome First-Year Students! Your journey starts here! As a first year student, you have many options and opportunities to explore and discover your passion. The Advising and Learning Assistance Center can help you navigate through our advising and registration process. There are many faculty, advising HUBS and professional staff advisers ready to assist you through this process. A network of advisers will assist you in crafting a first semester schedule which prepares you for success at Rensselaer.  

-The Advising & Learning Assistance Center


1. June 10 - June 21: Consult with your academic advising Hub/adviser.

A typical schedule has 16- 17 credits with a mixture of major courses; science and math; and Humanities, Arts and Social Science classes. This gives students a broader perspective and distributes their credits to Rensselaer's required credits towards your degree. 

All students will register online in before coming to student orientation in July or August. To prepare for registration students should review this page and your school’s HUB pages for specific information related to the student’s major, and ask questions related to registration. At student orientation, you will meet with an academic adviser to review your course selection.

Some general advising tips:

Check to make sure that the major you designated on your application is correct.  If there is a mistake in any letters or notifications, please Contact the Office of the First Year Experience. If you decided to change majors, please notify admissions

Go to your HUB or School webpage for specific information about your major and the classes you should enroll in for your first year. Listed below are the links to School HUBS and webpages: Undeclared General Studies; Architecture & Building Science, Engineering, Humanities, Arts, and Social Science, Lally School of Business and Management, and Science.

Plan to enroll in 16-17 credits for the fall semester. That would be 4-four credit classes and optional 1- one credit class (for engineering and Science majors). Follow your major’s plan of study for the first year for the course listing, its level and sequencing of classes. There is some flexibility in many first year classes so don’t worry if you are taking a class listed in the spring.

Create multiple schedules ahead of registration. This gives you options and alternatives if some course sections are closed. You can use YACS to help with scheduling.

Explore your electives and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. HASS Inquiry classes can be taken either in the fall or spring of the first year. Learn more about the topics offered for the fall.

Review all of your AP, IB and transfer credits you plan to use.  Check if using/bringing in credits will change your first year registration.


  School Advising Pages







2. June 24 - July 9: Register online before attending your student orientation.

Build more than one schedule so you have options if the need arises (this is very important).  Remember 16 credits (four, four credit courses) is the recommended number for many majors. Registration takes place online beginning June 24.  You will receive an email to your Rensselaer email account with information on how to register on our student information system [SIS] as well as a time when you can begin registering on June 24. Changes can be made through July 9 and once again when you arrive on campus during orientation. You should register for classes based on the recommendation from your department and your major requirements. You will be able to register for a full course load of classes that will count towards graduation.  Please note, these may not always be your first-choice classes, but will be classes that are needed for your degree.  Remember, prior to your time ticket opening go into SIS and review the financial responsibility agreement and RPI Alert system and be sure to submit all of your medical forms so nothing will prevent you from registering for classes. In addition you will need to have registered for orientation in order to receive a time ticket to register for classes.  

After July 9, registration will be closed. If there are any changes that need to occur, you can contact your school’s HUB or academic adviser for guidance.  If there are concerns or problems with enrollment or the number of credits, your school representative will contact you. 


3. At orientation you will meet with an academic adviser and campus resources to discuss your program of study and first course registration.

To get ready for Math 1010: Calculus I,  it is advised that you take a look at “Ready… Set… Calculus.” The Math Department has prepared an online version and a sample quiz that you may want to take and review. It is strongly encouraged that you review this information. 

Advising in your First Year

You will be assigned an academic adviser who is part of your school or department. Your academic adviser will be available throughout the semester to meet and discuss your plans. Additionally, ALAC coordinates four advising events throughout the first year to provide students with timely information about the institute deadlines, processes and registration guidelines to help students make well informed decisions regarding their major, personal and professional opportunities. The Audit report, Degree Works which is on student information system (SIS) helps students track their progress in their major program.  Both students and advisers have access to the audit.

Our center also overseas general advising for upper-class students by alerting them when students are required to meet with their advisers for their annual meeting. Students and their assigned adviser(s) meet (SAM) to go over a student’s educational plan that consists of a plan of study and personal and professional goals.