College Center for Advising Services

Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) Program

The University of Rochester defines entrepreneurship as "transforming an idea into an enterprise that generates value," implying that the enterprise outlives the creator and that it positively affects others. Qualified students may propose to devote as much as an entire academic year to internships, special projects, relevant coursework, business plan development, research into various facets of entrepreneurship, or analysis of how culture and public policy influence entrepreneurial activity. Students may apply from the time that they have been accepted into a major through the first semester of their senior year. Participation is open to all undergraduates in the College and the Eastman School of Music with the following exceptions:

Applications are available at each of several information sessions held each semester and on the web at Applications are due no later than the first of November in the fall semester or the first Thursday after Spring Break in the spring term. Students should submit their KEY Program materials to Lattimore 312. Letters of recommendation are due the same day as the application and should be sent directly to Lattimore 312.

A list of courses that has been developed with entrepreneurship in mind can be found at Students should also consult the faculty with whom they want to study, and/or the appropriate departmental administrators to be sure that the courses they want to take will be offered, and that they are adequately prepared for the courses they intend to take. Each applicant needs to arrange for two full-time faculty members to send letters of recommendation to the KEY Review Board on his or her behalf. One letter focuses on the applicant's academic preparedness, and the other comments on the proposed KEY program.

A special review process exists for all proposed courses taught at the graduate level or outside the Colleges of Arts, Sciences, Engineering and Eastman School of Music; such courses are normally not approved. Undergraduate courses taught at the Simon School are acceptable, however.

The Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year Review Board assumes that the following criteria will be met:

Applications will be judged on:

Fifth-year students are unlikely to be eligible for undergraduate housing, although they may serve as Residential Advisers. The Off-Campus Living Program will guide students in the process of obtaining off-campus housing, if necessary. Students are responsible for all costs, other than tuition, associated with their fifth year of study (this includes any start-up costs). Students should contact the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible to determine what sort of aid, if any, they are eligible for in their fifth year.

Students should also be aware of the following:

Additional details about Commencement, yearbooks, etc. are available in the KEY Program Acceptance Manual distributed to each student after being accepted into the KEY Program.

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