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Graduate Student Well-Being

The Health Promotion Office is passionate about supporting the well-being needs of our graduate students.

Group of students at the graduate student wellness fair

According to national reports and results from the UR Graduate Student Wellness Survey in 2021, graduate students are experiencing significant levels of anxiety and stress, financial insecurity and loan repayment concerns, difficulty with work-life balance, and uncertainties about entering the job market. Graduate students may also be navigating competing demands such as a full-time job, managing a household, and caring for a family. This web page serves as a resource hub for all wellness events, programs, and services which support graduate student well-being. 

Graduate Student Wellness Committee

Are you passionate about wellness? Want to share your experience as a student with faculty and staff? Help co-create programs and policy changes for all graduate students on campus? Or have a wellness practice you want to share with your peers? The Graduate Student Wellness Committee may be for you. The group has a variety of U of R graduate school faculty, staff, and students to understand the needs of students and co-create wellness events to reach all of U of R’s graduate students in a more systematic way. To join the committee, email Rebecca Block.

Wellness Representatives

University-wide Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA)
Simon School of Business
School of Nursing
Warner School of Education
School of Medicine & Dentistry
AS&E Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA)
Eastman School of Music

Graduate Student Well-Being Events

Below you will find a variety of programs that we offer to support graduate student well-being. Some other programs that we hold include easy meal prep workshops, PAWS for stress relief pet therapy events, depression screenings, eating disorder screenings, self-defense workshops, and more!

Graduate Student Wellness Fair

Every year, we hold a Graduate Student Wellness Fair to help student de-stress and learn about the various resources they can use to enhance their well-being. This Wellness Fair brings together multiple campus resources, student groups, and community organizations to educate on resources available, as well as wellness and self-care practices that UR graduate students can integrate into their lives. Bonus: Students will be able to pet therapy dogs, get free swag, and try out VR mindfulness and Tai Chi!

Graduate Student Wellness Walks

Once a semester, we hold a Wellness Walk from the River Campus to the Genesee Valley Park! At these events, students have an opportunity to meet students and staff from other U of R graduate schools, engage in mindfulness practices, connect with others, and soak up nature in a mindful outdoor walk!

Financial Well-Being Workshops

In our Graduate Student Wellness Survey that we conducted in the Fall of 2021, finances was the highest rated stressor amongst graduate students. With this, we acknowledge how much one’s financial wellness impacts overall well-being and stress levels. In collaboration with the Financial Aid Office, we offer a variety of workshops to help support you with your finances such as budgeting, building credit, and financial well-being and goal setting!

Lawn Game Days

Graduate students are welcome to a break from their studies and soak up warm weather with the Graduate Student Wellness Committee’s lawn games events! Students have the opportunity to play a variety of games, such as kan jam, bocce, corn hole, frisbee, kickball, ladder ball, and meet graduate students from other schools. Free snacks are also be included.

Grad Groups Workshops

The Health Promotion Office and Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) offices collaborate each semester with the University Counseling Center, Ombuds Office, and other student support offices to offer brief virtual workshops on graduate student well-being. Topics have included issues such as perfectionism, distress tolerance, and advisor relationships.

These offerings serve to create spaces for graduate students to both learn how to thrive through graduate school and to share the unique difficulties they encounter.

Impostor Syndrome Workshops

Impostor syndrome, a feeling of self-doubt and trouble acknowledging your own success, is highly prevalent amongst high-achieving people, especially graduate students. Once a semester in this workshop, graduate students have the opportunity to learn about the impostor syndrome – what it is, how it impacts us and how we can navigate our graduate school experiences while dealing with it. This workshop also explores the role of community in supporting graduate student mental health, and the ways various intersectionalities combine to exacerbate or ameliorate the stresses we deal with while trying to get that degree.

Mental Well-Being

The University Counseling Center

All full-time graduate students can set up an initial assessment appointment to discuss the options and create a treatment plan that meets their needs. Contact UCC at 585-275-3113 to make an appointment or to learn more.

  • Counseling (short-term individual, couples)
  • Same-day appointments & after-hours crisis line
  • Self-help resources
  • Skills groups & Grad-student specific therapy groups
      • The Graduate Student Group is a confidential therapy group open to all UR graduate students. This group is an unstructured, process-based group that invites graduate students to share their experiences with others, strengthen their interpersonal skills, and gain support around their mental wellbeing. The group meets on Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 PM during Summer 2023 on Thursdays from 3:00-4:30 PM at the University Counseling Center. Registration is required. For more information and to register, please call UCC at (585)-275-3113.
  • Drop-in groups
  • TELUS Health Student Support is a global counseling service that can connect students to immediate, 24/7 support available by phone or text
  • Referrals (psychiatry, community therapists) in addition to offering short-term counseling and access to a variety of well-being resources
  • Consultation services when you’re concerned about another student

Learn more about UCC services.

Do you have other ideas/questions for how UCC can support you? Contact Michael Siembor.

The CARE Network

  • The CARE Network is an online referral system to share your concern about yourself, another student, incident, or issue in order for the University to provide connections to resources and support
  • The CARE Resource Center is available for self-guided access to resource information both on and off campus anytime
  • Crisis or emergency concerns should be handled by the the Department of Public Safety (DPS) by calling (585) 275-3333 available 24/7. For urgent mental health concerns, students can call the University Counseling Center (UCC) at (585) 275-3113 also available 24/7

Other Mental Health Resources


Mindful University Project

The Mindful University Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration with a mission to empower our campus community to build a culture of mindful presence and compassion.

The work of the Mindful University Project allows our students to improve their mental well-being, boost academic flourishing, increase resiliency to stress, and reduce levels of anxiety and depression.

Students sitting in a circle on Eastman Quad meditating.

Our goal is to create a safe and inclusive space for all students, staff and faculty to learn and engage in mindfulness through:

  • introductory and advanced mindfulness classes
  • daily yoga and mindful movement classes
  • drop-in meditation sittings
  • half-day silent retreats
  • educational workshops and faculty and staff training

Read more…

Buddhist Meditation Group

Join the Buddhist Meditation Group via Zoom for weekly sessions on Mondays from 5 to 6 PM. Each session includes two 30-minute drop-in sittings to fit tight schedules! Contact Kyle Trenshaw for more information or to be added to the email list. No prior meditation experience is necessary. We look forward to sitting in community with you!

Yoga in the Community

  • Tru Yoga: If you’re looking for a little more, Tru Yoga in Rochester offers student discounts for yoga classes!
    • New Student Special – Two weeks unlimited yoga: $25
    • One Drop-in Class: $12
    • Monthly Membership: $70

Take a look at Tru Yoga’s Website for more information.

LGBTQ+ Health

Queer Health Resource Guide

Visit our LGBTQ+ Health webpage for access to our Queer Health Resource Guide. In this guide, you will find information on topics such as coming out, where to find physical and mental healthcare providers that care, spiritual care, sexual health, all gender restrooms, and more!

Sexual Health

Sex Ed 101

Do you feel like you didn’t learn enough about sexual health before coming to the university or in your time spent here already? Join our online program, Sex Ed 101, to learn all the basics of sexual health. Over the course of 21 days, you will learn about contraception, consent, masturbation, and more! Learn more and join at any time on our website.

Ask the Sexpert

Do you have a burning question about sexual health? Ask the sexpert! Your question and answer will be anonymously posted on our site, as you are probably not the only person wondering about a certain topic! See past submissions and responses on our blog.

Nourishment & Body Image

UHS Nutrition Services

The University Health Service (UHS) offers nutrition services for student patients. These services are offered by a registered dietitian. Your UHS primary care provider may refer you to the dietitian, or you may choose to schedule an appointment on your own. We recommend checking your insurance coverage before receiving services. To schedule an appointment, call UHS at 585-275-2662!

The Food Pantry

The Food Pantry is dedicated to challenging the rising issue of student food insecurity on campus by supporting and serving all students and postdocs at the University of Rochester. Individuals can browse and choose non-perishable items during the Pantry’s operation hours in 105 Wilson Commons, or pre-order a bag for pick up. Check out their website for more information!

The Rochester Public Market

Looking to get some cheap, nourishing vegetables, fruits, and other food items to keep you fueled as we enter into finals season? Visit the Rochester Public Market from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays!

Westside Farmers Market

Head over to the 19th Ward on Tuesdays from June 6th until October 10th from 4-7 PM to get some affordable and nutritious produce, jams, meats, and more at the Westside Farmers Market! Located at 831 Genesee Street. You can check out a list of their vendors on their website and even sign up to volunteer for them!

South Wedge Farmers Market

Want to visit a farmers market during the week with a lot of local businesses and goods, such as Blue Barn Cidery, Beyond Breads, the Little Brownie, Mark and Amy’s Pickles, and more? The South Wedge Farmers Market is located at 357 Gregory Street in the South Wedge at Odd Fellows Lodge! Take the Orange/Blue line to get there. Visit the South Wedge Farmers Market website for more information.


Zzzzs to As Online Sleep Challenge

Our online program provides students with practical tips and strategies to calm the mind for a better night’s sleep. The 21-day challenge includes:

  • An online presentation covering the science and physiology of sleep, as well as sleep challenges common to college students.
  • Informational emails about sleep & diet, caffeine & alcohol consumption, technology use, and environmental factors that disrupt sleep.
  • Relaxation and mindfulness training.
  • Simple & practical tips.
  • Sleep logs and other helpful tracking tools.

Registration for this online program is open all year and students can begin any time. To sign up, visit our registration page. Upon registration you will receive an email to complete a sleep questionnaire. After that, participants will benefit from motivational quick tips (sent approximately every three days) and educational emails (sent once per week).

Other Sleep Resources

Financial Well-Being

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships under the Office for Residential Life and Housing Services are currently open, such as Graduate Head Resident, Graduate House Advisor, Graduate Community Assistant, and more! Check out all the positions and apply on their website.

Scholarship Funding

Looking for some scholarship funding? This is the time of year to apply! Please refer to the University of Rochester’s Financial Aid Outside Scholarship page for a comprehensive list of scholarship engines.

If you have any questions about how an outside scholarship would impact any other component of your financial aid awarding, please connect with your financial aid counselor.

School-Specific Resources

Arts, Sciences & Engineering (AS&E)

Graduate students in AS&E can reach out to either:

Other supports available:

School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD)

Graduate students and postdocs in SMD can reach out to either:

Other supports available:

Warner School of Education

Students at Warner can reach out to Brian Brent, professor and senior associate dean.

Other supports available:

Simon Business School

Students at Simon can reach out to Jim Newton, assistant dean and HR liaison.

School of Nursing (SON)
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