What is University of Rochester Known For?
Do you know how to improve your profile for college applications?
See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now — it only takes 3 minutes and it's 100% free.
- Overview of Rochester Admissions
- Unique Aspects of Rochester
- What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at Rochester?
“Rochester is a way of thinking.”
According to the University of Rochester, this is how the community conceptualizes itself. Founded in 1850, this esteemed “Little Ivy,” is a private research university that is home to numerous world-class programs, from the humanities to STEM to music.
Rochester attracts students from around the globe every year. But is it the right school for you?
Overview of Rochester Admissions
Location: Rochester, NY
Undergrad Enrollment: 6,500
Acceptance Rate: 29%
Middle 50% SAT: 630-710 (EBRW); 670-790 (M)
Middle 50% ACT: 29-33
Rochester accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. The university has both Early Decision I and Early Decision II plans, with respective deadlines of November 1 and January 5. The January deadline also serves as the Regular Decision deadline, with exceptions for dual-degree programs.
Unique Aspects of Rochester
The majority of undergraduate programs are housed in the School of Arts & Sciences and Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. Nevertheless, there are also top-tier programs in the Eastman School of Music and the School of Nursing. In fact, the Eastman School of Music is one of the most prestigious music schools in the country.
Rochester has an open curriculum, meaning that Arts & Sciences and Engineering students have no required subjects, other than a single writing requirement. This requirement can be fulfilled by courses like Philosophy in Science Fiction to Comics and Culture.
Instead of a traditional core curriculum, students choose a major, along with clusters in two remaining areas. These clusters include sets of three thematically related courses, and students can choose from existing sets or create their own.
The open curriculum gives students the freedom to explore different interests and the time to double- or even triple-major, pursue extracurriculars, study abroad, and more!
Research plays an enormous role in academic life at Rochester. The Office of Undergraduate Research exists to help students at all levels secure opportunities within the university and externally.
The Senior Scholars Research Program gives up to 15 seniors the opportunity to spend their senior year working on a single project in a range of fields, from creative writing to scientific investigations. Scholars work under the supervision of a faculty advisor.
Combined Degree Programs
Rochester offers six combined degree programs, through which students graduate with two degrees.
Through Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS), students can complete their BA/BS + MD in eight years. After scholars complete their bachelor’s degree and pre-med requirements, they are admitted to the Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Meanwhile, through Graduate Engineering at Rochester (GEAR), students can skip the admissions exams usually required for admission to graduate programs and head straight into a master’s program at the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences for your fifth year, choosing among:
- Biomedical engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Computer science
- Electrical and computer engineering
- Materials science
- Mechanical engineering
- Technical entrepreneurship and management (TEAM)
Students can also pursue a Dual Degree with Eastman (DDE), earning a bachelor of music and a BA/BS from Arts & Sciences or Engineering simultaneously.
Through the Take Five program undergraduates may continue on for a fifth year, tuition-free. During the elective fifth year, they will be able to undertake a project or courses outside of their major.
With more than 250 student organizations spanning club sports, Greek life, performing arts, multicultural societies, religious organizations, and much more, Rochester has plenty of activities to offer.
The university has twenty-three varsity teams that compete in the Liberty League and NCAA Division III. Additionally, 22 percent of students participate in Greek life.
Students have opportunities to meet others and engage in their interests through organizations like Campus Community Connection, whose goal is to establish a welcoming environment. Or, they can explore any number of clubs, such as the Japanese Culture Association, Lowenthal Service Group, and Brick Beats Dance Club.
While not an extracurricular per se, Eastman is open for private instrumental or vocal lessons, which any Rochester student can take for academic credit.
U of R is home to a huge number of traditions. Just a few of these are:
- Boar’s Head Dinner: a callback to the Middle Ages, where students and faculty dress in medieval garb and participate in an English court-style dinner and procession
- Celebrate Diversity: a celebration where first-year students gather and celebrate with dance, song, poetry, and music from around the world
- I Heart UR Day: essentially Spirit Week for Rochester students
- Meliora Weekend: an annual community celebration with community members, alumni, and students
- The Boulders: students routinely paint boulders situated in front of the residence halls
- Painting the Tunnels: students paint the tunnels on campus to promote events and raise awareness
A majority of students at U of R live on campus for all four years of their undergraduate studies. Along with traditional housing, the university offers Special Interest Housing Affiliations, where groups of upperclassmen live together, grouped by shared interests. Some examples of themes include:
- Anime Interest Floor (AIF)
- Computer Interest Floor (CIF)
- Douglass Leadership House (DLH)
- Drama House
- Lilac Living
- Music Interest Floor (MIF)
Affinity Housing, including quiet-study, substance-free, and non-smoking, is also available.
One of the best resources for students is Eastman itself. Students can attend performances by world-class musicians at Eastman Theatre at the school. They can also take advantage of music lessons at a premier music conservatory.
Additionally, students, faculty, and staff receive free admission at Memorial Art Gallery, located on campus.
What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at Rochester?
Admission to Rochester is highly competitive. While there’s no guarantee of admission to U of R and similarly selective schools, you can find out your likelihood of acceptance and take steps to improve your odds. CollegeVine’s chancing engine will estimate your real chances of admission, plus give you free tips for improving your profile, tailored to you.
Find out your fit with Rochester and other colleges using our school-search tool. You can filter and search based on factors like location, size, program, financial aid, selectivity, and much more.