Students excited at graduation ceremony

Additional Academic Opportunities

The University of Rochester offers a variety of unique interdisciplinary academic opportunities for students that exist at the cross section of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and applied sciences, to solve real-world problems. These collaborative experiences include tuition-free fifth years, music lessons at one of the world’s best music conservatories, and dedicated research initiatives within the humanities and social sciences.


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.

Senior Scholars

The Senior Scholar Program gives seniors the opportunity to fully 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.

Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP)

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 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.

Lessons at Eastman School of Music

University of Rochester’s famous Eastman School of Music is not just for music majors. Any Rochester student may take private instrumental or vocal lessons at Eastman for academic credit (a basic audition to determine placement is required after you enroll).

Study Abroad

There may be no better way to get a valuable, global learning experience and have 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 eighteen different languages from around the world, including new offerings in Korean and Turkish, effective fall 2015. 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.

Frederick Douglas Institute for African and African-American Studies

The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies 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, we also host a bi-weekly video and film series to discuss video and documentaries capturing Africa’s past and present.

Take 5 Scholars Program

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! Sure, 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. Since 1986, more than 800 students have been accepted into this prestigious and exciting program.

The Experiential-Five (e5) Program

Qualified students may 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.

Meliora Scholars Program

The Humanities Center, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the School of Arts and Sciences sponsors 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 are supported by individual and small-group mentoring by faculty members, activities that explore humanistic research, such as discussions, field trips, and special opportunities to connect with both UR faculty and visiting scholars.

Urban Fellows

Students from Rochester and from Rochester-area colleges are encouraged to apply for paid summer fellowships sponsored by the University of Rochester and Leadership Rochester. 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 NY State Senator Joseph Robach.

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

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies 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 is able to 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 annual public lecture series. We offer undergraduate majorsminors, and clusters in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies in both the humanities and the social sciences.

Learn what happens to our students when they graduate!