The Rochester Curriculum is driven by students. There are no required subjects. Undergraduates take responsibility and build their education out of their own interests, goals, and aspirations. At Rochester, students are invited to learn what they love. The unique curriculum allows undergraduates to choose their major from among the three branches of learning natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities and take a cluster of three related courses in each of the other two.
Rochester's distinctive Quest courses offer freshmen the benefits of small classes, mentorship and collaboration, and the opportunity to conduct original research. Students learn the value and skills of independent study through Quest courses, a lesson that serves them both during their undergraduate careers and after.
Through the "Take Five" Scholars Program, selected students may undertake a tuition-free fifth year so that they may pursue their diverse interests.
Exceptional undergraduates interested in studying medicine, engineering, or education may pursue one of the following Combined-Admission Programs (CAPs), which guarantee admission to professional or graduate school upon successful completion of undergraduate studies:
Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS), an eight-year BA/BS–MD program. Admitted students enter the University with a guarantee of admission to the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Graduate Engineering at Rochester (GEAR), a five-year BS-MS program. Admitted students enter the University with assurance of admission into one of seven engineering master's programs at the Hajim School of Engineering.
Guaranteed Rochester Accelerated Degree in Education (GRADE), a five-year BA/BS–MS program. Admitted students enter the University with a guarantee of admission to the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education.
Dual Degree Programs combine a bachelor's degree with a second bachelor's degree in music or nursing. While attending the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, students pursue a bachelor's degree of their choice while also pursuing a bachelor's degree at the Eastman School of Music or at the School of Nursing. The fact that Eastman is a school within the University of Rochester makes the Dual Degree at Eastman program an exceptional opportunity. Additionally, the partnership between the College and the School of Nursing makes the Dual Degree in Nursing a unique undergraduate experience and exceptional career preparation.
Rochester students may take advantage of full-year and semester-long opportunities for study abroad; summer and winter trips are also available. In all, Rochester offers more than 60 study abroad programs. Destinations include Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malawi, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan. Internships are available in Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, Bonn, and Madrid.
For those interested in an exciting and enlightening domestic field experience, the Department of Political Science directs the Washington Semester Program; this program allows selected undergraduates to participate actively in the national legislative process.
Majors and Degrees Offered
The University of Rochester offers Bachelor of Arts and/or Bachelor of Science programs through the College: available majors include African and African-American studies; American sign language; American studies; anthropology; archaeology, technology & historical structures; art history; bioethics; biological sciences (biology, biochemistry, cell & developmental biology, computational biology; ecology and evolutionary biology, microbiology, molecular genetics, or neuroscience); brain and cognitive sciences; business; chemistry; classics; comparative literature; creative writing; data science; digital media studies; East Asian studies; economics; English literature; environmental health; environmental science; environmental studies; epidemiology; film and media studies; financial economics; French; geological sciences; geomechanics; German; health, behavior & society; health policy; history; interdepartmental studies; international relations; Japanese; language, media & communications; linguistics; mathematics; mathematics-applied; mathematics-statistics; music; philosophy; physics; physics and astronomy; political science; psychology; public health; religion; Russian; Russian studies; Spanish; statistics; studio arts; theater; and women's studies.
The Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences offers study in audio & music engineering; biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; computer science; electrical and computer engineering; engineering and applied sciences; engineering science; mechanical engineering; optical engineering; and optics.
Rochester not only offers a Bachelor of Arts in music through the College, but also a Bachelor of Music degree through the Eastman School of Music; available majors include applied music, jazz studies and contemporary media, music composition, music education, and music theory. Private instruction through the Eastman School is available to students in the College.
The College offers certificate programs in actuarial studies, Asian studies, biophysics, biotechnology, leadership, literary translation studies, mathematical modeling in political science and economics medphysics, Polish and Central European studies, and stage management. These programs complement traditional majors.
The University of Rochester is a top tier research university comprising more than two hundred majors, two thousand faculty, and instructional staff, and “a wealth and myriad of opportunity.” “If you want to be successful, you have the chance to do it here,” says a student. The flexibility with majors and the ability to pick and choose classes “without being forced to complete gen eds in subjects that you’re not interested in” is a huge boon in “shaping everyone to be a Renaissance man.” It allows the student “to personalize their experience while mandating that they receive exposure to the different ways of thinking present in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.”
The courses at U of R are “hard but rewarding,” and each professor has his or her own teaching style, bringing all the material being taught to life. The “passionate and compassionate alike” teachers “are there to help and want you to succeed, but you still have to work hard to get a good grade”; luckily, the “enormous” administrator to student ratio means plenty of accessibility for students. Still, many students are no stranger to lectures and agree that “small classes are always better than large.”
One of the greatest benefits of U of R is that it “offers world class research opportunities to passionate students at any level.” Everyone is very serious about their major--“taking difficult course loads is extremely common”—and “Rochester is populated with students who would turn the library into a social spot.”