Profile America: First Engineering College

Tuesday, November 5. Much has been heard in recent years about national education policy encouraging more science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — students.

As far as engineering goes, the trail was broken 195 years ago on this date, with the founding of the Rensselaer School in Troy, New York. Now known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in 1824 it was the nation’s first engineering school. Its first 10 students graduated with engineering degrees in 1826.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (

Engineering has come to be applied to many fields beyond physical structures, such as in chemistry and computer science, and is a powerful force in our economy.

There are over 60,000 engineering service firms in the nation, employing 1.9 million people.

Profile America is in its 23rd year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online.

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