Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, you can find answers to frequently asked questions regarding graduate admissions at the University of Rochester. If you need help discovering the answers to your specific question or further clarification of the FAQs below, please email

Admissions Information

How do I submit my application?

All applications must be submitted through our online application system.

What is the application timeline?

See the summary of the general application timeline for programs in Arts, Sciences & Engineering or review your chosen program’s department page for additional details.

Can I have multiple applications?

Yes, you can have multiple applications within our Arts, Sciences & Engineering programs for same academic year. Please submit applications for your desired programs through the application portal. Please note that, every separate application has a separate application fee.

Do you accept transfer credits?

There is a section in the application which asks if a student has transfer credit. Students can transfer up to 30 credits towards a PhD programs pending department approval after admission has been granted. Up to 10 credits can be transferred towards master’s programs.

What are my chances of being admitted to a program?

All applications are reviewed by individual departments through a holistic approach and there is no fixed rate of acceptance. If you would like to know more about acceptance rate and program strength, then we recommend you to reach out to your respective program coordinators for details. The contacts for the programs on the department coordinators page

How are admissions decision made?

Admission to graduate programs in Arts, Sciences & Engineering (AS&E) is highly competitive. A qualified applicant needs a strong academic record, as evidenced by high grades in relevant coursework, comprehensive letters of recommendation, and a distinctive personal statement. Additionally, many applicants have research experiences that have resulted in publications.

We recommend that applicants review the relevant program web pages to determine how their interests align with the program’s research and academic focus.

What if I haven’t completed graduation. Can I still Apply?

You can apply with your latest up to date unofficial transcript and other application materials. As long as you complete your bachelor’s degree before matriculation into one of our graduate program you qualify for admission. After you have been accepted to a program, we will need you to send us your official transcript and degree in order to verify your credentials.

Do I need to secure a PhD advisor before admission?

None of our PhD programs require you to secure an advisor before applying or admission. You can still receive admission without doing so. However, we encourage you to go through the faculty profiles associated with your desired program and the research that matches your interests. If possible, reach out to them and share your details/plan/interest. This might help you during your application review, but it is not a part of application requirement. Some program applications may ask you to identify specific faculty you are interested in working with.

Can I have more than three letters of recommendation?

The University of Rochester encourages students to submit a maximum of three strong letters of recommendation. If you have additional letters of recommendation, please contact the department to which you are applying to see if they will accept additional letters.

How do I send letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation must be sent directly to the University of Rochester by the referee. Applicants will be asked to enter their recommender’s information into the application and the system will send them a link to upload the recommendations.

If they are not receiving their email reference requests, please:

  1. Verify accuracy of your recommender's email address
  2. Encourage your recommender to check any filters/spam folders

Still having problems? Have your recommender email with a PDF attachment of their recommendation. The email should include their name, your name, and the program you are applying to.

All materials including recommendation letters must be submitted by deadline. You can submit your application prior to the recommendation letters are sent. But they must be sent before deadline.

Can recommendation letters be sent after I have submitted my application?

Yes. Your recommendation letters can be sent after you have submitted your application. But please be informed that all recommendations must be sent before the application deadlines. Please visit your program page to know about the deadlines.

Can I make changes to my application, such as changing program of choice, after I have submitted my application?

Make sure you do a thorough review of your application. You will not be able to make any changes after submitting. Only additional documents can be uploaded to the application after submission.

What is the cost of an Application Fee?

The cost of application is different for different programs. Please visit your program page for more details regarding application fee.

Can I have an application fee waiver?

Requests for application fee waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis. Only applicants who have completed their application with all the required materials submitted will be considered for a waiver. Please reach out to the program coordinator for the department you are interested in applying to.

What are the application deadlines?

The graduate committees of each program at the University of Rochester set their own application deadlines. Your application and all supporting materials must be submitted by the deadline of the program to which you are applying (check your program page)

How to I check the status of my application?

Visit the application status page by logging in to the online application system. Decisions are typically released within 6-8 weeks from the application deadline. But may vary depending upon program and circumstances.

Testing Information

What are the minimum test scores required?

The admission process for programs in Arts, Sciences and Engineering allows each department to have different admission requirements, including minimum test scores, GPA, application deadlines, etc. It is critical to review the specific program’s applying page to find the information you are looking for.

Is GRE Required OR be Waived?

Most of our programs do not require the submission of GREs, however, it is important that you check the application requirements for your program of interest to make sure you understand if you need to submit these scores.

If GRE is required, can I still raise a request for GRE waiver?

It can be requested, please reach out to program coordinator with reasons and they will take care of it.

Can I submit multiple standardized test results?

Yes, our application system is capable of collecting and storing multiple GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo test scores. Please check with the specific program’s academic department to understand how those scores will be viewed and interpreted when you submit your application.

Can I submit Standardized Test/TOEFL/IELTS/ score if they expire before the class starts next year/Admission cycle?

We will accept your English language test score/standardized test score if it is valid till your application deadline. As different programs have different application deadlines, we request you to check your program page and make sure your test score remains valid till the deadline. For example, if the program deadline is December 1 then we expect your test scores remain valid until December 1. Test scores expire after two years from the test date.


What is the total tuition fee of my master’s program?

Please refer to the cost of attendance page to get an overall idea of probable expenses for an academic year.

What type of financial support is available?

Offers of financial support vary between students depending on program and degree.

PhD applicants offered admission are given full funding including a full tuition waiver, annual stipend, and health insurance coverage.

Master’s applicants offered admission are offered tuition scholarships based on academic merit displayed in the application. Our tuition scholarships typically range between 30-40%.

You can read more about the financial support we offer our students by visiting the Costs and Financial Support section of our website.

Information for International Students

Do I need to submit scores from an English Proficiency Exam?

All international students whose native language is not English are required to provide proof of English language proficiency through the submission of official test scores from one of the following exams. Scores more than two years old from the application deadline are not valid.

  • TOEFL or TOEFL iBT Home Edition
  • Duolingo

To send in IELTS scores please use the following address:

University of Rochester
Graduate Studies – AS&E
500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd
P.O. Box 270401
Rochester NY 14627

TOEFL scores can be submitted using the code 2928 (a department code is not necessary).

Duolingo score can be sent directly to the University of Rochester at no cost.

Can I receive a waiver for the English language proficiency exam requirement?

The English proficiency test requirement is automatically waived for citizens of the following countries whose native language is English:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Commonwealth Caribbean Nations
  • Ghana
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Virgin Islands

The requirement may also be waived if a student has completed at least three years of full time and in-person postsecondary study in one of the countries listed above or the United States. If you have this academic background and would like a waiver please email

We reserve the right to require further demonstration of English proficiency, even if you have received your degree from one of the above-mentioned countries.

What if my English Test Score is Low?

Having lesser English scores doesn’t necessarily mean a rejection. However, if you are in doubt about your English test score not meeting your school’s recommended score then we recommend you to reach out to your program coordinator and check if any additional materials can be submitted.

Can I apply with a three-year degree?

If you are applying with a three-year degree from a foreign institution, you will need to provide a WES evaluation stating that the degree you were awarded is equivalent to a U.S. 4-year bachelor’s degree.

Students need to request WES to send their evaluation to our university at the below address.

University of Rochester
Graduate Studies – AS&E
500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd
P.O. Box 270401
Rochester NY 14627

Information for Admitted Students

Can I get a financial aid/scholarship or an assistantship for e.g. TA/RA?

All PhD applicants offered admission to the University of Rochester are eligible for a full tuition scholarship and annual stipend. Stipend amounts vary based on academic program.

Merit based scholarships are awarded by individual academic departments to the master’s applicants. during the admission process. Please check your interested program/department page to obtain more details regarding this.

Please visit the financial support page for more details.

Do I need to send my official transcript through mail?

For the application process, please upload unofficial transcripts through the application portal. If you are admitted and decide to attend the University of Rochester, you will be required to have official transcripts sent to the graduate education office from the issuing institution to verify your degree. These transcripts typically arrive in our office during the summer before your start date.

Do I need my community college transcript?

Yes. The University of Rochester requires full academic disclosure. This includes submitting transcripts from all institutions of higher education.

Where do I need to send my transcript?

Please visit the “Required Pre-enrollment Documents” section of our website to get complete details on sending your transcript to the university.

Does the University of Rochester require a tuition deposit?

Students admitted to master’s programs at the University of Rochester are required to submit a non-refundable tuition deposit to reserve a slot in the entering class. The graduate tuition deposit confirms your intent to enroll in a master’s program at the University.

The tuition deposit must be submitted through the online application system via a credit card payment and will be credited against the charges for tuition and fees in your student account. As a reminder for our international students, we will not issue an I-20 or DS-2019 until you have submitted your graduate tuition deposit.

Students admitted to doctoral programs are not required to submit a tuition deposit.

Deposits must be received by the response deadline indicated on your acceptance letter in order to reserve your space in the class. Deposits received after the due date are considered if space remains in the class.

If paying the tuition deposit presents a financial hardship, such as for those who will be financing their master’s program through federal loans, please the department coordinator with the following information in order to request a waiver of the deposit.

I've been accepted to the MS degree program but would like to be considered for the PhD program instead. Is this possible?

The PhD program requires a separate application. In order to be considered for the PhD program you need to create another application.