Built on a hillside, RPI's campus overlooks the city of Troy and the Hudson River and is being a blend of traditional and modern architecture. The institute operates an on‑campus business incubator and the 510 ha Rensselaer Technology Park. Numerous American colleges or departments of applied sciences were modeled after Rensselaer.
The students of RPI have created and participate in a variety of student-run clubs and organizations funded by the Student Union. The Union is unusual in that it is entirely student-run and its operations are paid for by activity fees. About 170 of these organizations are funded by the Student Union while another thirty which are mostly political and religious organizations are self-supporting. In 2006 the Princeton Review ranked RPI second for "more to do on campus."
Greek organizations are popular with 29 social fraternities and five sororities. There are two co‑ed social and service fraternities. As such, about a third of men are in fraternities and about a fifth of women are in sororities.
RPI has around twenty intramural sports organizations many of which are broken down into different divisions based on level of play. Greek organizations compete in them as well as independent athletes. There are also thirty-nine club sports.
Rensselaer offers a variety of housing options to appeal to all students, from first-year students living with roommates in a residence hall to families living in a private three-bedroom apartment.
First-year and continuing undergraduate students have a variety of on-campus residence hall options to choose from. In addition to providing clean comfortable and well-maintained residence halls and apartments, Residence Life strives to build a community that values the potential of each individual and encourages students to broaden their perspectives, enhance personal growth, and prepare for life beyond Rensselaer.
Housing Options for Transfer or Exchange Students include:
93% of students are employed, freelancing or continuing their education 3 months after graduation in 2016. Among the companies that employ Rensselaer students are Alcoa, American Education Center, Inc., Auterra, Citibank, CollegeFactual, GE Power & Water, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Johnson & Johnson, Manvision Consulting, Multivision, NXP Semiconductors, NYSTEC, and others.
RPI's 111 ha campus sits upon a hill overlooking Troy, New York and the Hudson River. The surrounding area is mostly residential neighborhoods with the city of Troy lying at the base of the hill. The campus is bisected by the 15th Street with most of the athletic and housing facilities to the east and the academic buildings to the west. A footbridge spans the street linking the two parts. Much of the campus features a series of Colonial Revival style structures built in the first three decades of the 20th century.