With over 250 student-run clubs, an extensive athletic center, and nightly events, Rochester’s campus rarely slows down. Most students love it so much that they decide to live on campus all four years.
Aside from its proximity to classes, the library, and University events, on-campus housing gives students the chance to meet others and participate in school-sponsored activities. Learn more about campus housing.
Incoming first years are required to live on campus and have a choice between Susan B. Anthony Halls, Genesee Hall, and the Quad, 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 is also 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 floor mates on environmental issues through activities and events.
Affinity themes include quiet-study, substance-free, co-ed by random room (male and female rooms on the same floor with separate bath facilities), etc.
All College housing is smoke free. If you or your roommate choose to smoke, it must be 30 feet from any building. We still ask you to indicate your smoking status and preference for a smoking or nonsmoking pairing on the housing application.
Special Interest Housing and Academic Living Centers
For upperclassmen seeking to integrate their interests with their daily lives by living and learning in an environment with others with common interests. This housing includes the Music Interest Floor, Drama House, Douglass Leadership House, Anime Floor, Computer Interest Floor, Green Space, Film Interest Floor, Interclass Living Community, and the Tiernan Project (community and University service). Over time floors and interest communities can change as student interest does.
Fraternity and sorority membership is a lifestyle option for undergraduate students. Approximately 22% of the students at the University of Rochester belong to Greek-letter organizations and have the option of living in chapter houses or special interest residential areas on and off campus.
Students have many housing options to choose from. Many upperclassmen choose to live in suite or apartment-style housing on campus. Some also decide to be a leader in the first-year dorms as a Residence Assistant, Freshman Fellow, or D’Lion. Returning upperclassmen will enter housing selection lottery in March.
Some upperclassmen and incoming transfers may live off campus as there are many affordable options available in the Rochester area. Get more information about living off campus and resources for students through the Office for Off-Campus Living Programs.
Residential Life maintains a self-serve housing search engine where landlords list their available properties. You can also search for roommates under “shared housing.” Check out the off-campus housing database.
The dining options on campus truly fit the college lifestyle. 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 many options to suit your needs. All these different dining options are included in a comprehensive meal plan, which can be accessed with a swipe of your ID card. Learn more about dining services.
The Commons in Wilson Commons offers a variety of lunch and dinner options, ranging from sandwiches to sushi, pizza to pulled pork, and bagels to burritos. There is also a Starbucks on the third floor of Wilson Commons.
Danforth Fresh Food Company
If you’re looking for a traditional, buffet-style dining hall, Danforth is the place for you. It’s conveniently located on the first floor of one of the first-year dorms, Susan B. Anthony Hall.
Douglass Dining Center
Douglass Dining Center offers a rotating daily menu and gluten-free breads and kosher items. This dining center is closest for those living on the Quad.
Right next door to Danforth is Hillside Market, offering an espresso shop, grocery items, hot food, and much more. It’s open late for students up at night studying or hanging out with friends.
The Meliora Restaurant
Students and professors alike enjoy the atmosphere at the Meliora, where you can enjoy a classy sit-down meal. Not only do they have great daily specials for lunch, but real tablecloths and silverware.
Pura Vida serves organic, Fair Trade, shade-grown coffee. You can also choose from a variety of baked goods and delicious grab-and-go options, including Pine Hill Fresh Foods sandwiches and salads.
Rochester participates in Division III of the NCAA and is in the University Athletic Association and the Liberty League. The University has a wide 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. Learn more about athletics.
Club sports allow athletes to compete against other schools without the pressure of conference competition.
- Alpine Skiing
- Hatha Yoga
- Ice Hockey (men’s and women’s)
- Lacrosse (men’s)
- Recreational Skiing and Snowboarding
- Rock Climbing
- Rugby (men’s and women’s)
- Shotokan Karate
- Soccer (men’s and women’s)
- Squash (men’s and women’s)
- Table Tennis
- Tae Kwon Do
- Tai Chi
- Ultimate Frisbee (men’s and women’s)
- Volleyball (men’s and women’s)
- Wado Ryu Karate
- Water Polo
For those athletes who want to play for the sheer love of the sport, intramurals provide a great opportunity to get exercise and to compete in a more casual environment.
- Flag Football
- Floor Hockey
- Outdoor Soccer
- Ultimate Frisbee
The following sports are offered at the varsity level:
- Baseball (men’s)
- Basketball (men’s and women’s)
- Cross-country (men’s and women’s)
- Field hockey (women’s)
- Football (men’s)
- Golf (men’s)
- Lacrosse (women’s)
- Rowing (women’s)
- Soccer (men’s and women’s)
- Softball (women’s)
- Squash (men’s)
- Swimming & diving (men’s and women’s)
- Tennis (men’s and women’s)
- Track & field (men’s and women’s)
- Volleyball (women’s)
Arts & Culture
With music from a cappella to orchestral, dance groups from ballet to hip-hop, and a wide variety of theatre and visual arts, Rochester has an exciting arts and culture scene.
Students have many opportunities to enjoy music at Rochester. The Eastman School of Music has community and student events and offers private music and voice lessons, and the River Campus hosts many student music groups, including:
- After Hours a cappella
- Celtic dance group
- Korean Percussion Group
- Marching Pep Band
- Mariachi Meliora
- Midnight Ramblers a cappella
- Music Interest Floor
- No Jackets Required
- Stingers Trombone Ensemble
- Undergraduate Musicians’ Council
- UR Concerts
- Vocal Point a cappella
- YellowJackets a cappella
Students interested in dance and performance can take advantage of many opportunities at Rochester in addition to watching dancers and performance groups that visit the University. The following student organizations focus on dance:
The International Theatre Program aims to offer students a comprehensive introduction to the performance aspects and technical demands of theatre by producing four major productions every year. There is a campus theatre and several campus student organizations focused on theatre:
Part of what makes the Rochester experience so fun and memorable is the host of rich campus traditions here. Learn more about Rochester’s traditions.
Boar’s Head Dinner
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.
There is a superstition about the clock tower located in Dandelion Square. If you walk under it as a prospective student, you won’t be admitted; if you walk under it as a current student, you won’t graduate on time. So walk under the clock tower at your own risk!
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. Aside from rides, games, and food, the Campus Activities Board schedules a performance from a major music group.
This tradition arose following the University’s highly successful Sesquicentennial celebration in 2000. 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,
A University-wide community service project, more than 900 first years, staff, faculty, and alumni go into the Rochester area on the Friday before classes and perform a variety of community service projects. The day was named Wilson Day in memory of late Joseph C. Wilson, the president of Xerox, a University graduate (Class of 1931) and trustee, and one of the University’s greatest benefactors.
The University of Rochester is committed to supporting sustainability initiatives that promote green living on campus and in the community. Students interested in green issues will find lots of ways to get involved at Rochester. Learn more about student sustainability groups on campus, and about Rochester’s sustainability initiatives.
Through planned activities and events, residents are educated about environmental strategies like waste reduction and energy conservation. There is also special interested housing for students who want to live green. Residential Life uses compact fluorescent light bulbs and employs energy-saving lighting systems throughout its halls. Showers have been retrofitted, dripless faucets installed, water fountains are equipped with bottle refill spouts, and front-loading washers foster water conservation. Official reuse and recycling programs collect and process old furnishings, electronics, materials, and metals.
More than ten campus eateries provide fresh food that is, whenever possible, locally grown. In recognition of Dining Service’s commitment to buying locally, the University was named the first college member of the Pride of New York Program.
Student sustainability groups
- Engineers for a Sustainable World
- Engineers Without Borders
- Team Green
- UR Microfarm