Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Troy, N.Y.; coeducational; founded and opened 1824 as Rensselaer School; chartered 1826. It was called Rensselaer Institute from 1837 to 1861. The first private technical school in the United States, Rensselaer pioneered in the use of the laboratory method in teaching science. It granted the first U.S. engineering degrees in 1835. The university continues to maintain extensive laboratory facilities devoted to the study of science and technology. The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performings Arts Center is there. The Hartford Graduate Center (est. 1955) is in Connecticut.
See histories by P. C. Ricketts (3d ed. 1934) and S. Rezneck (1968).