Academic Considerations for Acceptance in Design, Innovation, and Society



Becoming a DSIS Major


This page is for current RPI students looking to add or change majors to DSIS. 
For prospective RPI students interested in applying to DSIS, please visit RPI Admissions!



On this webpage, you will discover more about Design, Innovation, and Society (DSIS), and how to join the program (either through a dual major or switching your major to DSIS). This is an incredibly competitive program for those already enrolled at RPI. Please understand that there are a limited number of openings available each semester. Not being admitted may not be a reflection of your talent. We will always encourage you to pursue your passions regardless of the results.


Please read this webpage in full!



Application Deadlines and Details:

Whether you plan to dual or to change your major to DSIS, you must apply to the program.

  • Incoming RPI Students (during the summer before your first term).
  • Current First Year Students, and Rising Sophomores (have not started term 3 courses). 


Common DSIS Duals: DSIS is largely compatible with all majors at RPI, including; Business and Management, Industrial and Management Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering (ask your advisor about adding DSIS to your degree!)


Due to the courseload requirements of DSIS, students applying to add to the program often need to plan to stay for at least an extra semester.

For prospective RPI students interested in applying to DSIS, please visit Admissions!


  • Fall 2023 Semester Deadline: December 15th
  • Spring 2024 Semester Deadline: May 15th 

Please note: you will need to resubmit a transcript with your final semester grades at the end of the semester. This required step will likely occur on or past the deadline on the 15th (this is expected). 

  • Within two weeks of the above-mentioned deadline.
  • This is not a rolling application process. All submissions will be reviewed at the same time.
  • This is an incredibly competitive program. We ask that you register for next semester’s courses as if you will not be accepted to DSIS. If you are accepted, our advisors will be available to support schedule changes (including overrides).


The Application: Required Materials

Applications missing any of the following will automatically be dismissed. Please use all of the information and advice on this webpage to best develop and organize these requirements.

In 1 to 2 written pages, explain how this major will help you meet your professional goals! Describe your interest in the major, why you would like to enter the program, and what your goals are. List any relevant experience, including courses you've taken, programs you have participated in, and projects you have completed.

Also, be certain to note whether you’re looking to change your major or add DSIS as a dual.

This is a semester-by-semester plan that shows how long it will take for you to complete all graduation requirements. In your plan, you must draw attention to...

  • Prerequisites for advanced courses: are your courses listed in the correct order?
  • Courses that are Spring Only, Fall Only, or Summer Only: are you placing all courses in the correct semester based on when they are offered?
  • Duals: Are you including all the requirements for your non-GSAS major?


Find and download a DSIS or Blank Plan of Study template for your Plan here!

If you need support developing a Dual plan, please meet with your current Academic Advisor.

You can save your unofficial Transcript from SIS by "printing" the page (ctrl+P), and selecting "Save PDF" where you would normally select a printer. This must be included with your application! 

Optional Supporting Materials: Any other materials that would help your application to the major including...

  • Portfolio with 3-5 examples of work and a Description Sheet *
  • Faculty references, recommendation letters, or other materials.

Download this Checklist to stay organized and to learn more about the Portfolio Option! 



Submit your Application:

Please request a Portfolio box folder through HASS Student Services ( 
If you don’t have a Box @RPI account, you can request one here.

  • All Portfolio Items should be submitted within one folder that you create in your Box Folder.
  • Please clearly label each of your Application Materials.



We wish you the best of luck! 


The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575

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