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7 Reasons to Choose Rochester

When looking for the best university for you, there are lots of things to keep in mind. When I was looking for the best school for me, I made a spreadsheet with all the information I could find about each school I was accepted to in order to decide which would be the best for me. Here are just a few of the unique characteristics of the University of Rochester that made me choose this school.

  1. The flexible curriculum

The curriculum at this school was actually the deciding factor for me to come to the University of Rochester. The curriculum is flexible so that students can make almost all the decisions on their own to decide what they want their academic life to look like. The only things the school requires are:

  • A primary writing course
  • Required major courses
  • Two clusters of your choice


Students all over the University will tell you that one of the most unique things about our school are the clusters. A cluster is a group of three classes from one of the academic divisions – humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Depending on what division your major is, your clusters will have to fall within the other two divisions (if your major falls under the Hajim School of Engineering, then only one cluster is required). The clusters give students a very easy way to add a minor since most minors only require five courses, so students only need two additional courses. Personally, I loved having the cluster requirement. It gave me an opportunity to branch out and try something completely different from my major, and I even made my cluster into a minor. I know people have used their cluster courses and turned them into a second major! 

  1. Take Five

Another great and unique opportunity at the University of Rochester is our Take Five program. The Take Five program gives students the opportunity to explore a new area of interest after completing their major or minor requirements, free of tuition! The program is for students who may have recently found a new interest, didn’t have enough time in their schedule to explore everything they wanted, or simply ran out of time to experience everything the University of Rochester has to offer. I have never heard of another school offering a program like this, which makes it so special to the University of Rochester students. For more information, feel free to check out the Take Five website or read some of the articles our other Admissions Bloggers have written!

  1. Research Opportunities

The University of Rochester provides research opportunities for hundreds of students every year. Something that I think is particularly special about UR is that we offer research in 60 different centers and institutes. Usually, when you think of research, STEM comes to mind. However, at the University of Rochester, you can find research in so many more areas. From Lasers to Music and Sound to virtual reality, there is research going on at this school for anyone to get involved with. I know dozens of people who have gotten involved with research and not only learned more about their program of interest but also were able to work closer with some of their professors. 

  1. UR Medicine

Along the same lines as research opportunities comes the UR Medical Center. The University has a high population of pre-med students, which makes UR Medicine an incredibly helpful resource to many people. It allows students access to research opportunities, clinical volunteering, and an opportunity to make connections with professional medical staff. 

Being so close to UR Medicine also provides excellent medical care to the students at the University of Rochester. If you are planning on using the school’s insurance, you will never have to worry about finding a place in UR Medicine that doesn’t take it. To learn more about UR Medicine, be sure to visit their website for all the information you could need. 

  1. Eastman School of Music

The Eastman School of Music is an amazing part of the University of Rochester that not many people take advantage of. They have incredibly talented students, and going to the shows is free for students! There is a shuttle that operates between the River Campus and Eastman Campus, so students can easily travel between them. These shuttles also make it possible for students on the River Campus to take classes on the Eastman Campus and vice versa. 

Every year, to welcome the incoming first-year students, everyone travels to the Eastman campus to watch the annual Celebrate Diversity performance. I believe that this is one of the best traditions at the university and provides students with a chance to see all the amazing talent that’s waiting for them in their next four years. 

  1. Greene Center

An often underused (but incredibly helpful) resource at the University of Rochester is the Greene Center. The Greene Center is the Career Advising Center on campus, and it has dozens of services available for students, such as inviting guest speakers to come to advise students, providing resume, CV, or interview tips, having funding for internships or travel, and so much more. I’ve used the Greene Center many times to review my resume, book a room to have an interview in, and obtain funding for an internship that I needed to relocate for. 

  1. Community Weekends

One of the more random points on this list that I needed to mention was the Community Weekends. As an employee of Wilson Commons Student Activities, I have an inside look and a special love for the Community Weekends. They are as follows:

  • Yellowjacket Weekend. Yellowjacket Weekend is the kickstart event of the year. Wilson Quad is full of carnival games, rides, and food trucks for students to enjoy. The weather is usually beautiful, and it’s an amazing way to hang out with your new friends and make some more. 
  • Meliora Weekend. Meliora Weekend can also be known as Alumni Weekend and Parents Weekend. Former University of Rochester students are welcomed back to campus, along with current students’ families. The campus is full of activities and giveaways that you won’t want to miss. 
  • Winterfest Weekend. Winterfest Weekend begins the spring semester with a chilly but amazing start. Every year, there is a live ice carving demonstration and a signature giveaway. Hundreds of students come every year to enjoy some hot chocolate, firepits, smores, and headliner entertainment. 
  • Springfest Weekend. Springfest Weekend is a UR favorite. Also known as Dandelion Day (or D-Day), Springfest finishes off the spring semester and gives students a chance to relax before finals are in full swing. Carnival games, rides, and food trucks take over Wilson Quad once again for students to spend the day hanging out with their friends. 

While the Community Weekends may not be advertised as much, I believe they are an essential part of the University of Rochester experience. I have loved running around campus every Community Weekend, trying to get every giveaway and make it to every event. They are a great way to take a break from your busy schedule and spend time with friends. 


There are tons of other things that make the University of Rochester an amazing place to attend. I know that there were plenty of other things that influenced my decision to attend this university, but these were things that convinced me to come and then convinced me to stay. I have loved my time here, and hopefully, you will too!

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