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On Site: University of Rochester


At a Glance

Rochester, New York

Undergraduate Students: 6,600

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1

Acceptance Rate: 41%

Six Year Graduation Rate: 86%

Freshman Retention Rate: 91%

Notable Majors/Programs: Music, Engineering, Optics, Business, Psychology, Computer Science, Economics, Premed


The Feel

  • University of Rochester is a mid-sized private school in western NY, known for an open curriculum and Take 5 programs - take a 5th year without paying extra tuition - multiple programs qualify.

  • Located in Rochester, NY, an up and coming medium sized city within a short drive to places like Niagara Falls or Lynchworth State Park, a “mini Grand Canyon” of New York. Be ready for a lot of snow at a place like this, but the campus has built in tunnels that connect many of the buildings.

  • Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, and overall, about 75% of the entire student body live on campus in any given year. The Yellowjackets play in NCAA Division III and their most popular sports are basketball and soccer.

  • The university has a decent sized international population and a third of it’s students come from the state of New York. They pride themselves on having a very diverse community.

Standout Points

  • One unique offering University of Rochester maintains are multiple ways to take a fifth year free of tuition! Take 5 and e5 programs are the most popular, both awarding qualified students a free 5th year to pursue their passions either in extended experiential learning within their major or interests outside their major.

  • Also very unique to the university is their open curriculum which frees students to virtually take any courses they want outside their major requirements. The only specific requirements are to take a freshman seminar course and a minimum of 3 courses in 2 different categories other than that of their major.

  • The city of Rochester is home to some major imaging/optics companies in Kodak, Xerox and more. Appropriately, the university has a very strong Optics and Optical Engineering majors and awards half the optics based degrees in the U.S.

  • They have a longstanding reputation in their pre-med program for students hoping to attend medical school with an abnormally high population of students participating in the program.

  • Over 70% of undergrad students will conduct university level research at some point in their time at Rochester!


Fun Fact

  • University of Rochester is supposedly home to 2 of the world’s largest lasers!


Bottom Line Fit: For the intellectually curious student who loves plenty of snow and is seeking an open curriculum and the drive to go beyond the standard educational rigor and opportunities of your typical college.


Learn more about University of Rochester!


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