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Academic Opportunities

The University of Rochester offers a variety of unique interdisciplinary academic opportunities for students. These include a tuition-free fifth year of study, music lessons at one of the world’s best music conservatories, and dedicated research initiatives within the humanities and social sciences.


University of Rochester junior Emily Tworek is pictured outside Writers & Books in Rochester, NY where she recently interned.Today’s employers are looking for more than just a college degree and an impressive GPA. Having experience in your field will give you an edge over other college students when applying for a job. Rochester encourages students to participate in an internship for valuable work experience and the possibility of college credit. The Gwen M. Greene Center for Career Education and Connections can assist you in finding and applying for an internship. Certain academic criteria must be met, and internships for class credit may require additional work.


Take Five Scholars Program

Take Five student Austin Bailey is pictured in the lab of chemistry professor Todd D. Krauss.Students who wish to pursue broader academic interests can apply for this innovative Rochester program, which allows students to stay for a fifth year of study—tuition-free! Four years of college may seem like a lifetime now, but once you’re deeply involved in your area of interest, you’ll soon wonder how you can squeeze everything you want to learn into just four short years.

Take Five Program

Senior Scholars

A senior student standing behind a desk surrounded by globes.The Senior Scholar Program gives seniors at Rochester the opportunity to devote their time and effort to a single project to culminate their college experience. If you qualify, you could spend your entire senior year working on a project that will draw on your college experience, University research, and your own interests. This project could be a scientific investigation, a research endeavor, or a work of art.

Senior Scholars

The Experiential-Five (e5) Program

Three students sitting cross legged and practicing mindfullness on a bench in the quad.Qualified students can propose to devote as much as an entire academic year to internships, special projects, business plan development, research into various facets of entrepreneurship, or analysis of how culture and public policy influence entrepreneurial activity.

e5 Program

Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP)

A Grand Challenges Scholar student holding tow glasses of water—one clean, and one dirty.The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges are inspired by 14 broad problems facing society in sustainability, health, security, and knowledge. Solutions to these problems will require interdisciplinary teams and years of sustained effort. The Hajim School of Engineering’s Grand Challenges Scholars design a personalized program that explores a selected Grand Challenge through five program areas, including hands-on projects, interdisciplinary experiences, entrepreneurial or innovation endeavors, global dimensions, and service learning. Scholars also receive formal designation as an NAE Grand Challenges Scholar at graduation.

Grand Challenges

Meliora Scholars Program

A person in a suit giving a speech from behind a podium.The Humanities Center, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the School of Arts & Sciences sponsor opportunities for undergraduate students to dive deeper into their humanities and humanistic social science research. Through funding, students can take advantage of experiences relevant to humanistic inquiry, such as language acquisition, internships, or study abroad programs. Additionally, Meliora Scholars access individual and small-group mentoring by faculty members as well as activities that explore humanistic research, such as discussions, field trips, and special opportunities to connect with both University faculty and visiting scholars.

Meliora Scholars

Lessons at Eastman School of Music

A student playing a violin in a class.The world-renowned Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester is not just for music majors. Any Rochester student can take private instrumental or vocal lessons at Eastman for academic credit (a basic audition to determine placement is required after you enroll).

Eastman lessons

Urban Fellows

Three students at a poster session presenting their work.Students from Rochester and from Rochester-area colleges are encouraged to apply for paid summer fellowships sponsored by the University of Rochester and Center for Community Engagement. Stipends of $2,000 are available to fund these ten-week summer fellowships in the Rochester community. This program is made possible through grants from the Kauffman Foundation, the City of Rochester, and New York State Senator Joseph Robach.

Urban Fellows

Study abroad

A student abroad with a village in the background.There may be no better way to get a valuable, global learning experience while having fun than to study abroad. Rochester has many sister cities located around the world, and each year hundreds of students travel overseas to live and study in a new culture. Earn credits toward your degree, participate in an internship, and maybe even learn a foreign language in your choice of more than 70 countries. The University also offers programs in 18 different languages from around the world. Juniors and seniors are eligible to study abroad at universities around the world. Choose the program that best suits your interests and course of study.

Study abroad programs

Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

A person standing at a table of documents.The Susan B. Anthony Institute focuses on the changing cultural, economic, political, and psychological relations among people of all genders and sexualities. Because our discipline asks questions about gender and sexuality that no single academic department can answer, the program encourages an interdisciplinary approach to research and learning. The program includes faculty from across the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs. The institute sponsors faculty research seminars, conferences, mentorship seminars, and public lectures. We offer undergraduate majorsminors, and clusters in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies in both the humanities and the social sciences.

Susan B. Anthony Institute

Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies

A person speaking from a podium with a statue of Frederick Douglass in the background.The Frederick Douglass Institute was established in 1986 to promote the development of African and African American studies in undergraduate and graduate education and to advance research at Rochester. The institute offers an interdisciplinary major that encompasses a broad range of undergraduate courses, many of which are offered in collaboration with other departments. In addition to an undergraduate internship and a distinguished speaker series, the institute also hosts a bi-weekly video and film series to discuss Africa’s past and present.

Frederick Douglass Institute

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