You can receive your Ph.D. seven years after starting college.

Earn a head start that provides a great time advantage.

Your next stop after graduation could be a fellowship at the Institute for Genomics Research, or the Fermi Laboratories, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)... all at the age of 25.

Rising sophmores with majors in the School of Science who have been at Rensselaer for at least one year with a 3.5 or higher Grade Point Average will be invited to apply in the summer before their second year using the Application Procedure below:


Application Procedure

Application Procedure for the School of Science Accelerated B.S./Ph.D. Program by invitation only.

  1. Fill out the three-page application provided below.
  2. Provide a one to two page resume/curriculum vita. 
  3. Obtain an unofficial Rensselaer transcript from Rensselaer SIS. Your transcript must show at least one school year at Rensselaer.
  4. Send these three items to with the subject line “B.S./Ph.D. Application”.
  5. Obtain two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members familiar with your scientific interests and experience.  To accomplish this, fill out the upper portion of the recommendation below, email it to your recommenders and ask them to email both recommendation letters and completed forms to Bonnie Carson (

Please submit all materials by Monday, November 14, 2022.

Program Information

Earn Two Degrees in Seven Years

The average undergraduate education takes four years and the average graduate time to the Ph.D. degree is five to six years. How can someone do it all in seven years?

  • Using AP credits and/or credits from academic research, students accelerate their B.S. by one or more semesters.
  • Students accelerate their Ph.D. by finding their research topic area during their sophomore year, allowing them to get to work sooner.
  • Students in this program satisfy all the requirements for the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in their department.

Perform Academic Research

Successful applicants spend the spring semester of their sophomore year doing rotational research projects in two research laboratories at Rensselaer.

Students may choose a research group from any department within the School of Science based upon common research interests with the faculty research mentors. Once the right laboratory is found, students continue research during the summers (for a stipend) and during each semester (for academic credit).

The laboratory and research project chosen as an undergraduate are the laboratory and research project that provide students with their Ph.D.

Transitioning from Undergraduate to Graduate Status

Accelerated students transition into graduate status at the beginning of, or during, their fourth year of study, depending upon credits. The conditions for transition include maintaining a GPA of 3.5 and satisfactory progress in research.

Once students enter the graduate phase, they receive a Research Assistantship with a stipend and graduate tuition.

The Application Process

Select students will be invited to apply for the seven-year B.S./Ph.D. program after their freshman year.