Written by Traecy Hobson. Day Two of the Colleges of Rochester Tour — As we got off the bus and walked up the central walk of the University of Rochester’s River Campus, we all stopped to admire the quintessential, ivy covered buildings lining the picturesque Eastman quad. The campus is gorgeous! Our first stop was the iconic domed Rush Rhees Library, which prominently lies at the top of the hill.
We were welcomed to campus by the Dean of Admissions, Jonathan Burdick. He told us that students who like to question and are not satisfied with status quo will find UR to be a good fit. He continued by saying, that students here value both the in class learning and the research components of their education and strive to have close relationships with faculty.
UR is best known as a top research university with strong STEM programs. Approximately 75-percent of UR applicants are looking to major in STEM and nearly 30-percent of all students will pursue careers in healthcare. Engineering and computer science are very popular programs as well. Double majoring in business is common. UR engineering students can double major in business and still graduate in four years.
There are no general education requirements. UR Administrators believe that students should drive their own education. Many are surprised to learn that most UR students are not single-minded and usually broaden the scope of their education given the freedom to do so.
There are 5,100 undergraduate students on campus. Overall, the student body is very diverse. Twenty-percent of the students are from overseas and approximately 25-percent are students of color. Many religions are represented on campus as well. The Newman Center and Hillel are both very active on campus.
Our vivacious tour guide told us that most students take full advantage of the academic opportunities, extracurricular activities, and location of the school. There are more than 200 clubs on campus. One-quarter of the students are involved with Greek life. Although fraternities have houses, sororities do not. Students say Greek life does not drive the social scene. UR athletes compete in division III sports. A 5,000-seat stadium is on campus.
Traditions are big here. Meliora (Latin for “ever better”) Weekend is in October and is a combined family weekend/homecoming celebration. Each day is filled with live entertainment and famous speakers. Not surprising, Winterfest is big here too and features lots of traditional outdoor winter activities such as ice carving, sledding and toasting marshmallows. There are indoor activities too such as UR’s Got Talent.
There is a lot to do off campus too. College Town is a shopping district adjacent to campus geared towards college students. It’s lined with eateries, galleries and bars. Our tour guide told us that it is a great place to grab a bite to eat. Students can also use the university bus system to access the city of Rochester, which is just two miles away. Students enjoy the city’s restaurants, coffee shops, galleries, live music and multi-cultural festivals.
The Take Five Scholars Program provides a tuition free option to all students who want to spend an additional year or semester studying a special academic interest outside their major. More than 1.100 students have taken advantage of this program since its beginning in 1986.
Admissions and Financial Aid
The University of Rochester holistically reviews applications. Admission is test flexible. Although UR requires all students to submit testing, students have the option to submit a combination of tests, which they believe will best highlight their strengths (IB, AP, SAT Subject Tests, SAT, and/or SAT scores). UR meets full demonstrated need. Merit aid is awarded to students with special talents.
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