University of Rochester

Fast Facts

(From the "FYI" brochure printed August 1998)

University of Rochester
By Way of Introduction
Rochester Today
Past and Prologue
Research Centers
Curricula and Special Programs
The Campus
Funding and Finances
Rochester Firsts and Foremosts
For More Information

University of Rochester

The College
Arts and Sciences
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Eastman School of Music
School of Medicine and Dentistry
School of Nursing
William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development

By Way of Introduction

What does the University of Rochester offer its students? An environment focused on the individual--with exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close work with faculty who are at the top of their fields. This combination--the academic opportunities of a university and the spirit of a college--is one of Rochester's special strengths.

Rochester Today

General description: Private, coeducational, nonsectarian

President: Thomas H. Jackson, the University's ninth

Principal units

River Campus
The College (Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Medical Center
Eastman Dental Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
School of Nursing
Strong Memorial Hospital

Eastman School Campus
Eastman School of Music
Other campuses
South Campus (Center for Optoelectronics and Imaging, Laboratory for Laser Energetics)
Memorial Art Gallery
Mt. Hope Campus
C. E. K. Mees Observatory (Bristol Hills)


3,700 full-time undergraduates in the College
460 full-time undergraduates in the Eastman School
100 full-time juniors and seniors in the School of Nursing
2,570 full-time graduate students
1,115 part-time students
Faculty: 1,010 full-time faculty

Alumni: More than 79,000 living

Staff: 7,770 full-time employees

Research volume:
The University ranks 30th among universities and colleges nationwide in total federal obligations.

Academic affiliations

Consortium On Financing Higher Education (COFHE)
Rochester is one of the 32 members of this association of the nation's top private colleges and universities.

Association of American Universities (AAU)
Rochester is one of 62 members of this prestigious organization of the leading public and private research and graduate institutions in the country.

Past and Prologue

Brief history

Founded in 1850 as a Baptist-sponsored institution. First master's degrees awarded in 1897. Due in large part to the efforts of Susan B. Anthony, women were first admitted in 1900.

Under President Rush Rhees (1900-1935), the University grew expansively. It was during his tenure that George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak, became a major donor, and the Eastman School of Music and the School of Medicine and Dentistry were founded. The renowned Institute of Optics opened in 1929. The first Ph.D. was awarded in 1925, and by 1930 several departments had begun to train candidates for the doctorate. Also under Rhees, ground was broken in 1927 for the present main campus on the Genesee River.

In 1955, the Colleges for Men and Women were merged into what is now the College. In 1958, three new schools were created in engineering, business administration, and education. The Laboratory for Laser Energetics was founded in 1970, and the School of Nursing was created from the Department of Nursing in 1971.

In 1986, the business school was named for William E. Simon, entrepreneur and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

In 1993, the education school was named in honor of Margaret Warner Scandling '44, lifelong University supporter and wife of philanthropist and businessman William Scandling.

In 1998, the Eastman Dental Center was added to the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Research Centers


With more than 3 million volumes and 9,000 periodicals, Rochester ranks 42nd among all libraries in the United States and Canada in its total holdings. Libraries include:

The River Campus Libraries, holding approximately two million volumes;

The Medical Center's Edward G. Miner Library;

The Sibley Music Library of the Eastman School of Music, one of the foremost music research libraries in the world; and

The Charlotte Whitney Allen Library of the University's Memorial Art Gallery.

Laboratories and research centers (a partial list)

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies--Established in 1987 with the aim of crystallizing and examining contemporary concerns about women and men as "actors" in society.

The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies -- Established in 1986 as the focal point for such studies at the University.

Center for Electronic Imaging Systems--A multimillion-dollar center providing state-of-the-art research facilities for joint University-industry projects, funded by private industry, New York State (which has designated it a Center for Advanced Technology), and the National Science Foundation.

The Laboratory for Laser Energetics--A national resource for research and education in advanced technology as well as a multidisciplinary research facility for students throughout the University. In 1995, an upgrade to the laboratory's "OMEGA" laser made it the world's most powerful ultraviolet laser.

The C. E. K. Mees Observatory--Located on Gannett Hill, about 40 miles from Rochester, it operates one of the largest reflecting telescopes in the eastern United States, a 24-inch Cassegrain.

The National Science Foundation Center for Photoinduced Charge Transfer--Where scientists examine the interaction between light and matter, in such processes as photography, photocopying, photosynthesis, and enzymatic reactions.

Center for Optics Manufacturing--In another University-corporate venture, scientists and engineers are bringing about a revolution in optics manufacturing by developing ways to automate the design and manufacture of optical elements.

The Center for Polish and Central European Studies--An academic meeting place for teaching and research that brings together faculty and students to study the historical legacy and current transformations within Central Europe.

Center for Visual Science--An internationally renowned research group, from six departments, dedicated to understanding the neural basis of vision.

The W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy--A collaborative center designed to encourage interdisciplinary analysis in the fields of economics and political science.

Computing facilities

Rochester has hundreds of Macintosh and IBM-compatible personal computers, as well as UNIX, VMS, and MVS mainframe computers available for instruction and study. Classrooms equipped with computer projection and computers at each seat are used in courses from art history to statistics to electrical engineering. All residence hall rooms are equipped with connections to the University-wide data communication network and the Internet; nearly all undergraduates receive free electronic mail accounts upon arrival on campus.

In addition to these facilities, research computing is conducted on the Laboratory for Laser Energetics' Cray Y-MP, one of only a dozen such university-owned supercomputers in the nation, as well as on a KSR 1 and IBM SP2, available through the University's membership in the Cornell Theory Center's Smart Node program.


Rochester's faculty include members of the National Academy of Sciences and fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Science--as well as members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Nursing among other prestigious professional societies.

In the last 10 years, 23 faculty have been named Guggenheim Fellows. Present faculty include two Pulitzer Prize winners, two MacArthur Foundation fellowship ("Genius Grant") recipients, and six National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellows.

Rochester faculty are recognized for distinction in a wide variety of academic circles. Six have won the most prestigious honor of the Optical Society of America, the Frederic Ives Medal. One is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association, an honor that goes only to two or three economists each year. The American Political Science Association annually awards a prize named in honor of Rochester's Richard F. Fenno, Jr., professor of political science.


Rochester's undergraduates are ambitious and have high aspirations: the percentage of Rochester students who are planning to work toward professional or graduate degrees is higher than that at a group of leading private universities surveyed; acceptance at medical and law schools is significantly higher than the national rate.

In a study of 82 private research and doctoral universities, Rochester ranks 9th in the number of bachelor's degree recipients who go on to earn doctoral degrees--especially impressive given Rochester's compact size.

Students at the Eastman School regularly win Down Beat awards, BMI grants, and ASCAP Foundation Grants, and also have won the esteemed Prix de Rome.

In athletics, Rochester is a founding member of the University Athletic Association, the most geographically expansive Division III athletic conference in the country. The UAA places emphasis on scholarship as well as athletics. Members include Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, Chicago, Emory, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Washington (St. Louis).

Curricula and Special Programs


The Rochester Curriculum--This distinctive curriculum ensures a broad liberal arts education by allowing undergraduates to get deeply involved in fields of their own choosing within all three branches of learning--the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences (including math and engineering).

More than 175 degree programs (bachelor's, master's, and doctoral) in its undergraduate and graduate divisions.

Fourteen "3-2" programs (combined bachelor's/master's degree programs that take five years). Also offered: combined master's degree programs, combined master's and doctoral programs, joint Ph.D. programs.

Special certificate programs--actuarial studies, Asian studies, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, international relations, management studies (see below), and Polish and Central European studies. Numerous certificate programs are offered in education on the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Interdisciplinary study programs are offered among many departments and research centers, including the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies, the Frederick Douglass Center for African and African-American Studies, the Center for Visual Science, and the Cognitive Science Program (involving psychology, computer science, linguistics, and philosophy).

NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps) programs are open to all undergraduates and offer a nationally competitive NROTC scholarship.

Special programs

Quest--Seminar style courses for first-year students that--rather than relying on textbook information--encourage development of intellectual tools through the study of primary sources such as original writings, film, or other research.

Take Five Scholars Program--Allows students to take a tuition-free fifth year to pursue broader academic interests before they graduate.

The Management Studies Certificate Program--With the distinguished Simon School, the program helps undergraduates prepare for the business world as they pursue the academic concentration of their choice in the liberal arts, engineering, or any other discipline.

The Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS) Program--Selected entering Rochester students are assured a place in the University's medical school when they earn their bachelor's degrees, freeing them to develop their intellects broadly before they launch into their medical studies.

"Reach for Rochester"--Employment programs helping students to find local paying internships both on and off campus, as well as summer jobs, regardless of financial need.

Academic internships--For learning experiences at, for example, the local district attorney's office; nearby corporations and nonprofit agencies; Washington, D.C., to serve in the office of a United States senator or representative; and abroad.

Study Abroad--A singular opportunity for a broadening semester or year of foreign study. Students travel to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the American University in Cairo, and Uppsala University in Sweden; to London, Bonn, Brussels, Paris, and Madrid; and through consortium programs to countries including Australia, Austria, China, Italy, Japan, Russia, and Spain.

Extracurricular life

Most undergraduates live on campus. First- and second-year students are required to live on campus.

Student organizations--Over 120. In addition, there are 11 varsity men's teams, 11 varsity women's teams, more than 35 intramural and club sports, as well as 14 fraternities, 9 sororities, and a variety of special-interest living groups.

Student media--WRUR--AM-FM radio station; Campus Times--student newspaper; Logos--literary magazine; Interpres--yearbook; The Norm--satire magazine; and The Messenger, a multicultural journal.

The Campus

Total campus acreage: 600 acres

Location: The 85-acre River Campus--the main campus--is located about two miles south of downtown Rochester, New York, in a bend in the Genesee River. The Medical Center, the South Campus, and the Mt. Hope Campus are located nearby. The Eastman School of Music campus and the Memorial Art Gallery are in the City of Rochester. The C. E. K. Mees Observatory is in the Bristol Hills, about 40 miles south of Rochester.

As for the University's surroundings: American Demographics magazine recently cited Rochester as "the most helpful city" in the country. The metropolitan area also has scored well on the basis of its economy, educational and cultural institutions, civic involvement, health care, and environment.


Rush Rhees Library--The dome of this majestic building, the University's central library, is the institution's unofficial symbol and a community landmark. The Hopeman Memorial Carillon, one of only six in New York State and some 180 on the entire continent, is housed here.

Bausch & Lomb Riverside Park--An 18-acre public park along the east bank of the Genesee River, made possible by a $3 million gift from Bausch & Lomb. The park is landscaped and dotted with old oak trees, and its biking/walking trail is part of a county-wide trail system. A pedestrian bridge over the river connects the campus with the city's west side.

Wilson Commons--Rochester's garden-like campus center was designed by the internationally renowned architect I. M. Pei.

Sports and Recreation Complex--Holds basketball, tennis, squash, and volleyball courts, including the Alexandra Palestra basketball court; lighted rooftop tennis courts; a Nautilus fitness center; Speegle-Wilbraham Aquatic Center (featuring an eight-lane pool, diving well with one- and three-meter boards, and seating for 700); an indoor track; multi-use rooms; and meeting facilities.

The complex is undergoing a dramatic $12.6 million renovation that will, among other improvements, install air conditioning and enlarge the fitness center, main entrance, basketball court, and multi-use rooms.

Interfaith Chapel--The tower of this University landmark rises to a point 117 feet above the Genesee River and has 6,500 square feet of colored glass walls--one of the largest glass constructions of its kind in the world.

Strong Memorial Hospital--This 750-bed hospital serves as the principal teaching unit of the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Nursing, and is a world-class center for biomedical research, education, and patient care.

Eastman Theatre--Designed in 1921 as a combination concert hall and movie palace by the famed architects McKim, Mead, and White, the theater serves today as the Eastman School's magnificent auditorium for musical performances.

Memorial Art Gallery--This is one of the few university-affiliated art museums in the country that also serve as city art museums. The gallery's elegant exhibit space is larger than that of the Whitney or Guggenheim.

Funding and Finances

Tuition and other costs: 1998-99 River Campus undergraduate tuition: $21,485. Total charges (including room, board, fees, books, and personal expenses)--approximately $31,000.

Financial aid: Undergraduate: Over $40 million (includes 1997-98 University scholarship and grant expenditures only, not federal and state grants and loans).

Most Rochester undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance, including academic merit scholarships. Over 90 percent of Ph.D. students receive financial aid, usually enough to cover tuition and living expenses.

Total University budget: $975,143,000 (1998-99)

Total voluntary support: $28,700,000 (year ending June 30, 1998).

Endowment: $1,032,000,000 (as of June 30, 1998). As of June 30, 1997 (latest available date for comparative figures), Rochester's endowment was ranked 29th in the nation among institutions of higher education.

Rochester Firsts and Foremosts

A random sampling of Rochester facts and distinctions.

The University of Rochester provides equal opportunity in admissions and student aid regardless of sex, age, race, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin. Further, the University complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws. Questions on compliance should be directed to the particular school or department and/or to the University's Equal Opportunity Coordinator, University of Rochester, P.O. Box 270501, Rochester, NY 14627-0501. Phone: (716) 275-4321.

Information in this brochure was compiled in 1998.

For More Information

Mailing addresses

For administrative offices of the College (Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences), William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, University libraries, and River Campus student residence halls:
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York 14627

For School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, and Strong Memorial Hospital:
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, New York 14642

For Eastman Dental Center
625 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, New York 14620

For the Eastman School of Music:
26 Gibbs Street
Rochester, New York 14604

Phone numbers
University of Rochester
(general information)
(716) 275-2121

Office of the President
(716) 275-8356

Office of the Provost
(716) 275-5931

Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
(716) 275-2351

Dean's Office
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
(716) 275-4151

Director's Office
Eastman School of Music
(716) 274-1010

Dean's Office
School of Medicine and Dentistry
(716) 275-5844

Dean's Office
School of Nursing
(716) 275-5451

Dean's Office
William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
(716) 275-3316

Dean's Office
Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development
(716) 275-8300

Memorial Art Gallery
(716) 275-3081

Office of Admissions
(River Campus and Nursing)
(716) 275-3221, or, toll free
(888) 822-2256

Alumni Relations & Development
(716) 273-5888

World Wide Web site:


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Latest update 3/15/99