Program for displaced college students from Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

More than a month after Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma made landfall in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, many residents still do not have power or access to clean water. Universities and colleges in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have had to shut down, forcing many students to suspend their degree programs. In response to this, the University of Rochester is inviting displaced college students from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to continue their undergraduate coursework with us during the 2018 spring semester.

Eligible students will arrive in January as a visiting student, allowing them to continue their education while their college or university prepares for their return for the 2018 fall semester. The University of Rochester will help arrange travel and provide on-campus accommodations. Students will be able to take the courses that correspond with the academic program they were enrolled in before their studies were interrupted.

The deadline to apply was December 1.

Frequently Asked Questions

You must submit the online form (above), a copy of your most recent transcript, and standardized test scores. If you don’t have these currently available, send what you can and we’ll work with you.

Students will arrive for the spring 2018 semester starting on January 14. They will attend spring orientation.

Students will be enrolled as full-time undergraduates for one semester.

Accepted Rochester Guest Semester students will not owe tuition to the University. Standard on-campus housing and a meal plan will also be covered. Students should plan to cover additional expenses not listed here. 

To be eligible for the program, students must currently be pursuing an undergraduate degree or coursework that also exists at the University of Rochester. Students will be able to take courses through the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

If you are pursuing graduate, or other coursework that is not offered at the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, contact us with your specific information and we’ll connect you with the appropriate department(s) for individual decisions.

If you are a second-semester senior, it is possible that you will complete your coursework toward the completion of your degree. However, because this is a one-semester program, it is not designed for students to complete their degree in full.

Students are only eligible to live on campus and complete coursework during the spring 2018 semester.

No; eligible students are those pursuing a degree at a college or university in these areas.

Additional English language support will be be available through the University’s partnership with the Cambridge Education Group.

If you have questions, please contact Tanya Strachan at or Joe Latimer at You can also call Admissions toll-free at (888) 822-2256.