• Mid-sized private urban research university
  • Founded in 1850 – a long tradition of ‘breaking boundaries’
  • Just over 4500 undergraduates – 12,000+ in total
  • Residential campus
  • 87% graduation rate
  • Retention rate 91%
  • Very selective – 30% acceptance rate
  • 9:1 students to faculty ratio
  • Students from more than 120 countries
  • In 2022 – 25% of new students were non-US citizens. Globally enriching environment.
  • Rochester is a very values-driven institution
  • Mission is to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Even Better
  • They are looking for students who have striven to make themselves better, their communities better, and the world around them better


  • In Rochester – the ‘Flower City’ – 4th largest city in NY State
  • Western New York State – scenic Finger Lakes region
  • Closer to Toronto than NYC – 3 hours to drive to Toronto, 6 hours to NYC
  • Just over 1 hour flight to NYC, Boston and Philadelphia
  • Gets all four seasons – plenty of snow in the winter!
  • Extensive urban trail network – great place for those who love the outdoors
  • Riverside campus – adjacent to the medical centre
  • The Eastman School of Music is located over the bridge in the downtown area
  • The world class Memorial Art Gallery is also owned by the university


  • 136 majors
  • Liberal arts education
  • Often thought of as a STEM school but makes serious investments in the humanities and social sciences – eg. brand new performing arts centre
  • Three undergraduate schools: School of Arts & Sciences, Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, and the Eastman School of Music
  • Admitted to the university – not a faculty/school
  • No separate barriers to business or engineering programmes
  • No required subjects, but not a fully open curriculum with no rules
  • 45% double-major
  • Graduation requirements: Writing Requirements, Major Requirements, Cluster Requirements
  • R1 research university
  • 77% participate in research (growing) – aiming for 100%
  • Top 20 among US institutions for Citation Impact
  • Combined Degree & Special Programmes: Medicine, Engineering, Education, Public Health and Nursing.
  • REMS Medicine programme – students are admitted to undergraduate and graduate degrees in one admission process. No MCAT. Extremely competitive – typically only 12 students per year. Deadline 15th Nov.
  • Eastman School of Music is a direct admit programme. World leading for music composition, performance and education
  • University of Rochester Medical Centre offers tons of opportunities for pre-med students, but also those from other areas – such as business and art therapy
  • Laboratory for Laser Energetics – offers the foremost laser and optics programmes in the world
  • Emerging strength in Data Science
  • High % of women in engineering and computer science programmes
  • Take Five Scholars Program – students can take an additional semester or year tuition free to pursue a project totally separate from their major or degree
  • E5 – Entrepreneurial project-based tuition fee 5th year through competitive application.
  • 95% of students do an internship
  • 40+ study abroad countries
  • Gwen Greene Centre for Career Education and Connection – supports students not only with valuable resources for career search, but also ‘Life Design’. Intentional about engaging 1st and 2nd year students.


  • Early Decision I – 1st November
  • Early Decision II – 5th January
  • No Early Action
  • Regular Decision – 5th January
  • Around 40% admitted through ED I and ED II
  • Priority Scholarships deadline = December 1st
  • Application fee – $50
  • SAT/ACT is considered but certainly not required.
  • Holistic review – they really dig into the different aspects of the application and are particularly looking for a student’s character and values: Strength of Mind, Strength of Heart, and Strength of Will.
  • Through application explore ways to demonstrate empathy, kindness, generosity, humility, teamwork, creativity, intellectual curiosity, grit, tenacity, resilience – all desirable UR character strengths.
  • Looking for students to have taken a rigorous high school curriculum, in the context of what was available
  • Interview highly recommended – will dig into character strengths (way to demonstrate interest)
  • Applicants should ask themselves: What am I interested in? What makes me interesting?


  • Need aware in admissions
  • Meets full demonstrated need of all admitted students – including international
  • Merit scholarship programmes are used intentionally to support the middle income families who don’t qualify for need-based aid
  • Merit scholarships range from $2,000 to full tuition – all admitted students are automatically considered
  • Tuition = $60,550 (2022/23)
  • Estimated total cost of attendance = $82,468 + travel costs for international and out-of-state students


  • 80% live on campus all four years
  • All 1st and 2nd year students must live on campus
  • Affinity housing is on offer for first year students focusing on lifestyle themes, such as: quiet-study, substance-free, co-ed by random room, and so on.
  • Speciality interest housing and academic living centres are available for upper class men – eg. community service, sustainability, computers, music, drama, anime. These change over time to reflect student interests
  • Wide variety of dining options available – unique dietary requirements are catered for


  • 23 NCAA Division III teams
  • 300+ student organisations
  • Each season has its own festival
  • Greek life is present – Greek houses that are somewhat residential, but not a huge part of campus culture
  • Annual traditions – Boar’s Head Dinner, Wilson Day, Dandelion Day and Meliora Weekend


  • UR will suit students who consider themselves ‘Cool Nerds’ – they are quirky, innovative, and have an academic character that is intellectually curious and filled with genuine enthusiasm for learning – rather than performance based.
  • Good fit students either know what they want to do and don’t want to have to do general education requirements OR are undecided/exploratory students with a love of learning
  • Very entrepreneurial and innovative culture
  • Extensive support for diversity through various centres and offices – and inclusive campus culture

Visit the University of Rochester website

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