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General Information


The University of Rochester, founded in 1850, is one of the most innovative of the leading private research universities in the country—and for undergraduates, it’s a university in perfect balance.

Rochester offers the choices and intellectual excitement of a large research university with the intimacy and opportunities for personal involvement of a small liberal arts college. More than 95 percent of classes are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants, and it’s not uncommon for senior faculty to teach introductory courses. There’s no separation between researching and teaching, between faculty’s own professional excellence and the excellence they bring to the classroom.

Rochester students live on a lively, self-contained campus, just minutes from metropolitan Rochester—a dynamic city that offers a mix of commerce, culture, and history.

Rochester balances its innovative spirit and responsiveness to individual needs with a commitment to the lasting values of a classic liberal arts education.

The results of the Rochester experience are self-evident in the track record of its alumni—in their careers and in their personal lives. “To put it simply,” says one student, “Rochester opens doors.”

For many undergraduates, the Rochester experience means surrounding a chosen major with clusters of related courses that contribute to a broad liberal education, or with a minor or two in areas distinct from the major. Others choose double majors or earn certificates in complementary fields. Still others individually design their own interdepartmental programs.

Rochester students can also benefit from the offerings of other schools and departments. For example, undergraduates can enroll in graduate courses, in classes at the medical school or the business school or take lessons at the Eastman School of Music; future engineers can diversify their studies with an advanced course in Chaucer.

Unique Opportunities

The University of Rochester offers a variety of unique interdisciplinary academic opportunities for students. These include a tuition-free fifth year of study, music lessons at one of the world’s best music conservatories, and dedicated research initiatives within the humanities and social sciences.

The Rochester Curriculum
Students have the freedom to define their own academic paths, driven by interest and curiosity. At Rochester, we believe that excellence requires freedom.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Engineering
Recognizing the need for broadly educated decision makers who are well versed in engineering, this program gives a student substantial technological knowledge and competence in at least two areas of engineering while also providing the opportunity for a liberal arts education.

e5 Program
Selected undergraduates devote a tuition-free fifth year to the study or practice of entrepreneurship: transforming an idea into an enterprise that generates value.

Grand Challenges Scholars Program
Scholars design a personalized program that explores a selected challenge through five program areas, including hands-on projects, interdisciplinary experiences, entrepreneurial or innovation endeavors, global dimensions, and service learning.

Lessons at Eastman
Any Rochester student can take private instrumental or vocal lessons at Eastman for academic credit (a basic audition to determine placement is required after you enroll).

Meliora Humanities Seminars
Through funding, students can take advantage of experiences relevant to humanistic inquiry, such as language acquisition, internships, or study abroad programs.

Senior Scholars Program
Selected undergraduates devote at least half of their entire senior year to a creative project, whether in the form of scholarly research, a scientific experiment, or a literary or artistic endeavor.

Take Five Scholars Program
Cited as one of the more innovative liberal arts programs in the country, undergraduates may apply for a fifth year of courses tuition free to follow their intellectual passion.

Urban Fellows
Students are encouraged to apply for paid summer fellowships sponsored by the University of Rochester and Center for Community Engagement.

Combined Degree Programs

Dual Degree at Eastman (DDE)
Combine your interest in music with a specific academic discipline offered at the College.

Dual Degree in Nursing (DDN)
A ten semester program which allows students to complete an undergraduate BA or BS degree and a BS in nursing at the School of Nursing.

Health and Epidemiology Advanced Learning (HEAL)
Selected undergraduates receive conditional admission to the MS program in Epidemiology offered through the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Graduate Engineering at Rochester (GEAR)
A select number of first-year applicants are given an assurance of admission into one of seven engineering and computer science master’s degree programs at the University of Rochester.

Guaranteed Rochester Accelerated Degree in Education (GRADE)
A five-year BA/BS + MS education program assures students admitted to the University of Rochester who are interested in becoming educators admission to the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS)
Selected Rochester first-year students receive a conditional acceptance to the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry when they finish the bachelor’s degree. The program frees these students to develop their intellects broadly before they launch into their medical studies.

Academic Life

There are approximately 6,100 full-time undergraduates including 500 or so at the Eastman School and 3,400 full-time graduate students at the University. The great majority of classes are small in size, enabling all students to work closely with their teachers. There is a single faculty for all students; some of the most distinguished senior professors teach beginning courses. Reflecting the personal scale of Rochester’s programs, undergraduates are encouraged to work where possible with individual faculty members in the pursuit of original scholarship.

College students must make two major transitions in their first two years. In their first year, they make the important leap from high school to college. As sophomores, they choose their major. The College’s dean of first-year students takes special responsibility for those two important years in students’ careers at the University.

Faculty and staff advisors also offer support, starting with an orientation program on campus before the beginning of first year. They are also available to supply advice on course and major requirements; to help students find paying internships and employment opportunities; and to assist in the development of post-college plans.

Students can’t expect to gain a “Rochester education” simply by studying and attending class. Out-of-class activities—whether they’re intramural sports, political clubs, community service, or movies and concerts—are a major part of undergraduate life.