Meliora letters spelled out in front of Rush Rhees Library

Secondary School Counselors

We hope you’ll find this page helpful in learning more about the University of Rochester and the students who thrive here. Whether you’re interested in our counselor fly-in programs, request a virtual info session, or learned what we award AP credit for, or what scholarships we offer, you’ll find it here.

Rochester’s Mission & Vision

“Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better.”

A University of the Highest Order

Approved by the University of Rochester Board of Trustees March 11, 2010

Founded as “an institution of the highest order” and guided by the motto Meliora or Ever Better, the University of Rochester will help solve the greatest challenges of the 21st century by:

  • Accelerating our progress as an international leader in sciences, engineering, social sciences, health science, business, and music.
  • Empowering our students to fulfill their academic and professional passions in a University that is diverse, welcoming, and inclusive for all students, faculty, and staff.
  • Creating innovative connections among education, humanities, music, the social sciences, science, engineering, and health science.
  • Strengthening support for a dynamic faculty dedicated to teaching, mentoring, research, clinical care, and the creative and performing arts.
  • Serving our community of alumni and friends through imaginative programs that enrich their lifelong relationship with the University and that expand our collective contributions to the world.
  • Embracing our leadership position in Rochester and the nation by making our community a model for partnership among academic, civic, cultural, health care, and business organizations.

How We Review

In reviewing applications, Rochester counselors take a variety of factors (most notably, the ones below) into consideration for a holistic review process.

High School Transcript

One factor that carries the most weight in reviewing applications is the high school transcript. Honors, AP, and IB classes are strong indicators of the extent to which students challenge themselves. However, we understand that course offerings vary greatly from one school to another.

Visiting Campus

Please encourage your students to visit campus. This type of contact is important to us, as we keep track of all demonstrated interest. We want to be sure the students we admit know the University well and truly want to be here. If visiting is not an option, there are events, information sessions, and interviews hosted around the world from September to December.

Admissions Interview

Offered to rising seniors around the world, our admissions counselors and far-reaching alumni base area host admissions interviews. While not required—but strongly recommended—an interview is a great way to show demonstrated interest. Interviews allow students to tell us more about themselves. Interviews also help determine scholarship candidates and give each student the opportunity to talk one-on-one with someone who knows the University well. From September to December we offer on- and off-campus interviews; however, if meeting one-on-one is not possible, we also offer interviews over Skype and the phone.

Students apply to the University, not any specific major. As a result, all students (including engineers!) are accepted as “undecided” and are not required to officially declare a major until the end of their sophomore year.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

There are no minimum requirements for admission to Rochester. We review each student’s application using a committee process that entails a comprehensive evaluation of each candidate. The typical Rochester student has:

  • Ranked in the top 10% of their high school class.
  • Taken 2–7 AP or IB courses.
  • Maintained a median academic unweighted GPA of 3.7.
  • Submitted SAT scores between 620 and 710 on the Evidence-Based Reading & Writing section and 660 and 790 on the Math section; or an ACT score between 29 and 34.

These are only the bare numbers to describe a Rochester student. We also value unquantifiable strengths such as initiative, creativity, enthusiasm, and leadership, and we’re also careful to ensure each class represents the full spectrum of diversity, including hometowns, ideas, and experiences.

Colleges of Rochester Tour 

October 20-22, 2019
Join us during Western New York’s spectacular fall season as we guide you through the region to visit some of the state’s finest colleges and universities. The tour includes stops at Nazareth College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher College, and the University of Rochester.

Upstate New York Counselor Tour

May 3-7, 2020
An opportunity to visit Rochester in the spring along with several other Upstate NY colleges and universities including Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Rochester.

Secondary School Issues Conference

Spring 2020, dates forthcoming
The University of Rochester’s annual Secondary School Issues Conference is a professional conference where you will hear thought-provoking speakers and express your views on issues related to secondary school education and college counseling. More than merely a college visit, this event is aimed at looking at the bigger picture.

Upstate New York International Counselor Tour

Upcoming in Summer 2021
An opportunity to visit Rochester in the summer along with several other Upstate NY colleges and universities including Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Skidmore College, and the University of Rochester.

Alan and Jane Handler Endowed Scholarship

With a permanently endowed fund, the Alan and Jane Handler Scholarship is awarded to selected students who do not otherwise have the financial means to attain a Rochester education. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic excellence, outstanding potential to be future leaders, and demonstrated mastery of complex challenges.

The Handler Scholarship is the University’s leading award. Handler students will receive assured, complete financial support (tuition, fees, room, board, books, personal expenses and transportation), as well as individual and group opportunities, for the duration of the regular four-year academic program.

High School Awards

Each year, participating high schools may nominate up to four qualified students, one for each of these awards. All nominees will have their application fee waived and will be eligible to be considered for merit scholarships worth at least $10,000 per year.

The awards include:

  • The Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award
  • The Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award
  • The George Eastman Young Leaders Award
  • The Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology

Student Resources

Making the Transition

  • Academic Advising
  • Where Rochester graduates go

Opportunities for Prospective Students

  • Off-campus events
  • On-campus events
  • Pre-College Programs

Campus Resources

  • Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Writing, Speaking, & Argument Program
  • Tutoring

Connect with Us

We realize that we can’t visit every school around the world, but we still want to connect with you. Here are two ways you can do just that:

Off-Campus Events

We’re visiting over 400 high schools in your area to share more information about Rochester. Find an off-campus event near you.

Virtual Information Sessions

If we aren’t traveling to you, virtual information sessions are a great way to learn more about Rochester, connect with current students, or hear from our admissions counselors about general tips for the admissions process.

What do I need for a virtual information session?
The only equipment needed is a computer (per student, or with a projector for the classroom), a webcam, and au

The Insider’s Guide to College

This insider’s guide to college is designed to be your roadmap to success. It will set you on a clear path toward pursuing an education at a selective college or university. During your college search for your dream school, make this list your own rather than following it exactly. There is no singular route when it comes to college admissions.

students hanging out on the quad in summer