With more than 250 student-run clubs, an extensive athletic center, and nightly events, the University of Rochester’s River Campus rarely slows down. Most students love it so much that they decide to live on campus all four years.
Part of what makes the Rochester experience so fun and memorable is the host of rich campus traditions.
The annual event combines homecoming, reunion, Family Weekend, and the Stonehurst Capital Regatta with activities that include top-notch entertainment, a festive atmosphere, and informational seminars by both University and outside experts speaking on a variety of topics.
Held at the end of spring classes, Dandelion Day is a day for students, faculty, and staff to bring their entire families to this on-campus carnival. In addition to rides, games, and food trucks, the Campus Activities Board schedules a performance from a major music group.
This annual event for seniors is modeled on a celebration held at Queen’s College in Oxford. Costumed faculty, administrators, and student leaders as well as University-wide participants enjoy a medieval-style celebration and meal just before winter break.
A University-wide community service project, more than 900 first-years, staff, faculty, and alumni go into the Rochester area before classes start to perform community service projects. The day was named in memory of the late Joseph C. Wilson ’31, the president of Xerox, a University graduate and trustee, and one of the University’s greatest benefactors. This tradition was reimagined Wilson Days of Engagement for the 2020 incoming class, including both online and in-person activities that could be done safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a community, the University of Rochester is defined by a deep commitment to Meliora—ever better. Embedded in that ideal are the values we share: equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect, and accountability.
Together, we set the highest standards for how we treat each other to ensure our community is welcoming to all and is a place where all can thrive.
The Kearns Center provides educational guidance, scholarships, and support services to students who come from low-income families, will be, or already are, the first person in their family to earn a college degree and/or come from racial groups identified by the federal government as underrepresented in higher education, including: African American, Native American, or Hispanic.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) is dedicated to cultivating an equitable, respectful, and welcoming culture at the University of Rochester. We strive to weave diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University’s mission to learn, discover, heal, and create. We celebrate our connections to the Rochester community and affirm that in a pluralistic culture, the definition of community includes individuals who represent every race, creed, color, ability, sexual identity, and gender.
The Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) is the official academic home of all historically underrepresented minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). We are dedicated to the betterment of the minority student experience at Rochester through advocacy, holistic advising, education, and collaboration with campus units.
The mission of the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center (BIC) is to promote cultural awareness and engagement, educate on issues of identity, culture, and diversity, and provide avenues for intersection and opportunities for collaboration. The University Meliora Values and the College Competencies are prevalent in all that the center does. In addition, we provide opportunities for education and dialogue on topics such as race, religion, LGBTQ issues, privilege, intercultural communication, and bias-related incidents.
The Campus Pride Index ranked Rochester among the nation’s best for making the educational experience welcoming and respectful for all.
Rochester scored five stars for the LGBTQ community in the areas of support and institutional commitment, academic life, housing and residence life, campus safety, and counseling and health.
The health, wellness, and safety of our students is a top priority for the entire campus community. Whether students are taking advantage of our regularly scheduled mindfulness workshops, attending one-on-one or group counseling sessions through the Counseling Center, focusing on their physical wellbeing at the Bloch Fitness Center, or utilizing our interfaith spaces there are a many ways to renew the mind, body, and soul at Rochester.
Dining Services provides students a contact to support their specific dietary needs, as well as help students understand special dietary options on campus, like a gluten-free pantry in our Douglas Dining Center.
The University of Rochester’s Department of Athletics and Recreation maintains the Bloch Fitness Center which provides students, faculty and staff over 50 pieces of cardio equipment and 10,000 pounds of free weights to build their physical wellness as well as a Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The mission of University Health Services to improve, guard and care for the health and safety of University of Rochester students and staff. Primary care, counseling center and health promotions are all part of UHS.
The Counseling Center provides a comprehensive and individualized plan for full-time members of the campus community. Licensed therapists are available to support students and are committed to maintaining awareness that our various cultural lenses have an impact on how we view our colleagues and our students, and we remain committed to dismantling our biases.
Through cooperative programs among the various religious communities affiliated with the Interfaith Chapel and through the activities of the Students’ Association for Interfaith Cooperation (SAIC), the spiritual growth, maturity and wellness of our students within their chosen religious or philosophical tradition is fostered.
The Interfaith Chapel is a place for people to worship in their particular faith and a place where people of different faiths, or no religious tradition at all, can share in dialogue, worship, and interfaith education.
The Mindful University Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration with a mission to empower the campus community to build a culture of mindful presence, patience and compassion.
Rochester participates in Division III of the NCAA and is in the University Athletic Association and the Liberty League. The University has a variety of varsity, club, and intramural sports, giving students the opportunity to compete against other schools, improve their skills, and build lasting connections with other students. The main athletics facilities on campus are the Goergen Athletic Center and Fauver Stadium.
Club sports allow athletes to compete against other schools without the pressure of conference competition. Rochester has both competitive sports—like rugby, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, and quadball—as well as recreational sports, such as archery, cheerleading, dodgeball, and table tennis. See the Wilson Commons Student Activities website for a complete list of club sports.
The University of Rochester has more than 23 different varsity sports teams that compete in both the Liberty League and the University Athletic Association at the NCAA Division III level. See the Athletics website for a complete list of sports, as well as team schedules and scores.
For those athletes who want to play for the sheer love of the sport, intramurals provide a great opportunity to get exercise while competing in a more casual environment. Most of our intramural teams are coed. For more information, see the intramurals web page.
Aside from its proximity to classes, the library, and University events, on-campus housing gives you the chance to meet others and participate in school-sponsored activities. Learn more about campus housing.
Did you know 80 percent of Rochester undergraduate students live in campus housing?
Incoming first-year students are required to live on campus and will stay in either Susan B. Anthony Hall, Genesee Hall, or the Quad, which is comprised of Gilbert, Hoeing, Lovejoy, and Tiernan Halls. First-years are housed together and most will share a double room with another first-year student. However, there are a limited number of single rooms and some triple rooms for first-year students.
First-year students who wish to combine their living experiences with sustainability efforts and education on campus may decide to participate in the EcoReps Program to help educate their floormates on environmental issues through activities and events.
Affinity housing is a popular housing option at Rochester for first-year students. Affinity housing options center on lifestyle themes that participants agree to follow in order to remain in the living area. These themes include quiet-study, substance-free, co-ed by random room (male and female rooms on the same floor with separate bath facilities), etc.
Many upper-year students choose to live in suites or apartment-style housing on campus. Some also decide to become leaders in the first-year dorms as residence assistants, first-year fellows, or D’Lions (upper-year students who advise first-years). Returning upper-year students enter the housing selection lottery in March.
Upper-year students and incoming transfers can also choose to live off campus. See the off-campus housing section of the residential life website for more information.
The Office for Residential Life and Housing Services maintains a self-serve housing search engine where landlords list their available properties. The search engine also allows you to search for roommates.
The University of Rochester is home to more than 2,300 international students and scholars from around the globe. In fact, our incoming class is one-fourth international! More than 120 countries are represented in the University’s global community, making our campuses dynamic and eclectic.
With such a diverse student population and numerous cultural events and activities, the University of Rochester prides itself on being a global village. The surrounding city also provides a welcoming environment for students from all over the world.
Special interest housing and academic living centers allow upper-year students to integrate their interests with their daily lives by living and learning in an environment with others who share common interests. Current interests include music, drama, anime, computers, film, community service, and sustainability. Over time, floors and interest communities can change to reflect student interests.
The University’s campuses have been tobacco-free since 2017. All College housing is smoke-free. We still ask you to indicate your smoking status and preference for a smoking or nonsmoking pairing on the housing application.
Fraternity and sorority membership is a lifestyle option for undergraduate students. Approximately 14 percent of the students at the University of Rochester belong to Greek-letter organizations. They have the option of living in chapter houses or special interest residential areas on and off campus.
Whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee on the way to class, eating a slice of pizza after a late-night study session, or catching up with friends at Sunday brunch, Rochester has dining options to suit your needs. All of these different options are included in a comprehensive meal plan, which can be accessed with a swipe of your ID card.
Did you know the University of Rochester ranked among the top 15 “Best Colleges for Food?”
Rocky’s Sub Shop and Lounge, located on the first floor of Wilson Commons, is your place to relax, watch some television, play billiards and board games, or grab something to eat. It features fresh, local breads and a huge variety of clean-label meats and cheeses.
Douglass Dining provides delicious options at every turn with all-you-care-to-eat value. Five unique micro-restaurants serve a blend of global fare in a casual, contemporary setting. Our Kosher Comfort station features whole roasted meats and sides plus an entire New York City–style deli with made-to-order sandwiches using house-cured meats, house-made kosher pickles, and sides. Our allergen-free station delivers fresh, clean, farm-to-table entrees devoid of the top eight food allergens and gluten. The Bistro serves up European flare and other campus favorites while the Street station features authentic, globally inspired dishes with endless variety. Topping it all off is Just Desserts with sweet and savory items from the bakery, milkshakes, local coffee, and more.
Danforth Dining Center offers fresh, made-to-order options five days a week. At this residential all-you-care-to-eat facility, each station features inspired menu options—with fresh ingredients that can be customized to your preference—and provides access to specialty stations designed to satisfy unique dietary needs and preferences. Danforth is home to dedicated vegan and gluten-free stations, and the entire facility is nut-free.
Located in Rush Rhees Library, Connections market and café is dedicated to sustainability. Enjoy locally grown and produced foods including soups, salads, sandwiches, a full bagel and cream cheese bar, and baked goods along with Fair Trade coffee with a local backstory.
Located in Goergen Hall, California Rollin’ II brings Rochester’s favorite sushi right to campus! Stop by for fresh, made-to-order sushi rolls, poke bowls, noodle bowls, soups, salads, and much more.
Open in the evenings and late night, Southside Market is a great spot to grab groceries, snacks, and convenience items.
The Eastman Dining Center, located on the Eastman School of Music’s campus in downtown Rochester, offers an artisan Boar’s Head deli with freshly sliced meats, premium breads, and specialty salads; a pizza station; grilled favorites; and a full salad bar. Students can also pick up quick grab-and-go items or stock their rooms with an expanded snack and convenience section. Plus, the Eastman Dining Center features the online mobile ordering app, Grubhub! Simply download the app to your phone or mobile device, and you can order food and drinks on the go without waiting in line. Grubhub will link to your student ID card, so you can use your declining balance. Grubhub menus are available for the Grill, the Boar’s Head Deli, and at the International Station.
Need a pick-me-up on your way to class, or a place to meet with a study group? Swing by Starbucks on the third floor of Wilson Commons to grab a quick iced coffee or caramel macchiato, hang out with friends over a warm mocha or latte, or enjoy a sandwich while you get some work done. Be sure to download the Grubhub app so you can skip the line!
Peet’s Coffee is located in the Science and Engineering Quad. Stop in for a fresh cup of Peet’s coffee, espresso, or specialty beverage, a wide variety of teas, as well as hot and cold sandwiches, local baked goods, and simple grab-and-go options. Peet’s Coffee strives to deliver the freshest coffee possible and focuses on sustainability by sourcing Fair Trade and organic coffee from around the globe.
Open for breakfast and lunch every weekday, the Grab & Go location is conveniently located off the Douglass terrace. The menu includes breakfast sandwiches, bagels, and fruit to get your morning started right, as well as pre-packaged artisan sandwiches, sides, and fresh soups for a quick lunch. Unlimited or pass plan members have the opportunity to use a meal swipe for a pre-packaged meal to go for those busy class-to-class transitions during major meal periods. These delicious Grab & Go meals can also be purchased using declining balance, cash, credit, or URos.
Late Night at the Pit lets you enjoy your favorite pub-style options including wings, burgers, sandwiches, and sides in this late night hangout—a one-of-a-kind eating experience on the River Campus.
Convenience at your service, mornings through late night. Come to Hillside Market to stock up and grab all of your groceries, snacks, fresh produce, breads, cold drinks, hot coffee, toiletries, and more.
The Pit offers a variety of delicious choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Choose from bagels, cut fruit, and breakfast sandwiches in the morning and locally sourced grilled selections, hot and ready pizzas, globally inspired rice bowls, burritos, salads, deli sandwiches, and more options throughout the day. If you’re in a hurry, you can choose from a variety of quick to-go options, including a fully stocked salad bar, sandwiches, and locally sourced sushi, soups, or desserts.
The Brew @ Simon School is located on the first floor of Schlegel Hall, The Brew features local Gel Edith brewed coffees, loose leaf teas, and a wide selection of sandwiches, wraps, soups and breakfast pastries.
With music ranging from a cappella to orchestral, dance groups dedicated to ballet to hip-hop, and a variety of theatre and visual arts opportunities, the University of Rochester has an exciting arts and culture scene representing many countries around the world. Students have the opportunity to engage with the Institute of Performing Arts and leverage the resources from across campus to continue to pursue their gifts and talents.
For many students at Rochester, music is an integral part of campus life. The Eastman School of Music has community and student events and offers private music and voice lessons. The River Campus’s Arthur Satz Department of Music also offers music lessons, and students can join one of the many instrumental and vocal ensembles. The department also offers a major, minor, and cluster in music.
Plus, students can join one of the many music-centered student groups.
The International Theatre Program gives students a comprehensive introduction to the performance aspects and technical demands of theatre by producing four major productions every year. The program offers a major concentration, minor, and cluster, as well as a stage management certificate.
Students interested in dance can take advantage of opportunities through Rochester’s Program of Dance and Movement, which includes majors, minors, or clusters. Students can also enjoy watching dancers and performance groups that visit the University. In additional to formal classes, the University has many dance-related student organizations where students can find or continue to explore their love of dancing.
From the University’s founding the visual arts have been an integral part of the student cultural experience and the city of Rochester’s history. Students at Rochester have an opportunity to leverage both on and off campus studio/gallery space, as well as bring together a truly interdisciplinary experience that bridges the arts and technology through the use of new space, such as Studio X.
The Care Network enables members of the campus community to express their concern about a person, incident, or issue by submitting a Care Network report online to initiate a coordinated network of support services and individuals to help those in need.
The Center for Student Conflict Management helps students become positive community members during their college careers and beyond through education about the principles of the University of Rochester community (Fairness, Freedom, Honesty, Inclusion, Respect, and Responsibility), fostering our conduct system and by offering access to and training in conflict resolution processes.
The University of Rochester MERT is made up of highly trained and qualified group of community members (including students) who are available 24 hours a day to respond to medical emergencies around campus.
The University’s Public Safety staff, in addition to providing emergency services and support, provides training opportunities and engages in ongoing safety measures across campus.