University of Rochester

#115 / #41
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School
Private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York, United States

University of Rochester Featured Rankings

About University of Rochester

Featured Alumnus

Jennifer Saul ranks among our Top Influential Anthropologists Today.

Bruce Schneier ranks among our Top Influential Computer Scientists Today.

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Rochester traces its roots to the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, founded in 1817 in the town of Hamilton in central New York state. Its primary function was to train Baptist clergymen. In 1823, the educational society changed its name to the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution.

In 1846, the Hamilton Institution created a new collegiate division, under the name of Madison University, for the purpose of providing its students with a broader and more-modern, non-theological curriculum. In 1890, Madison University changed its name to Colgate University, which continues to operate in Hamilton to this day.

At the time of the founding of Madison University in 1846, there was a dispute, which led to the departure of many faculty members for a new university that was being planned in the city of Rochester, farther west, near the shore of Lake Ontario. The new school, named the University of Rochester, was finally chartered in 1850, which is usually considered as the date of the school’s founding, in spite of the fact that many of the faculty members had come directly from Madison University.

The first year’s enrollment was very small, comprising some 60 students—28 of whom had also transferred from Madison University. Today, the University of Rochester is a private, secular, research university with a total student population of more than 12,000.

Among Rochester’s many highly esteemed schools, colleges, and institutes, the following are especially worthy of mention: the Laboratory of Laser Energetics; the Institute of Optics; and the Eastman School of Music, which is among the finest music programs in the country.

Twelve Nobel laureates have been associated with the University of Rochester, namely,


  • Gérard Mourou
  • Donna Strickland
  • Masatoshi Koshiba
  • Steven Chu


  • Biochemist, Vincent du Vigneaud

Physiology or Medicine–

  • George Whipple
  • Henrik Dam
  • D. Carleton Gajdusek
  • Arthur Kornberg


  • Richard Thaler
  • Paul Romer
  • Robert Fogel

Other distinguished Rochester-connected individuals include the following:

  • Mathematician, Arthur J. Lohwater
  • Computer scientists, Stan Frankel, Avie Tevanian, Bruce Schneier, Corinna Cortes & J.C.R. Licklider
  • Philosophers, Myles Brand & Peter van Inwagen
  • Poet, Galway Kinnell
  • Novelist, Shirley Jackson
  • Mystery writer, Thomas Perry
  • US Pledge of Allegiance author, Francis Bellamy
  • Literary theorist, N. Katherine Hayles
  • Actors, Robert Wallace Forster, Jr., Lance Reddick & Debra Jo Rupp
  • Theater producer, George Abbott
  • Film critic, Janet Maslin
  • Popular singer and songwriter, Wendy O. Williams
  • Jazz bassist, Ron Carter
  • Trumpet player and composer, Chuck Mangione
  • Drummer, Steve Gadd
  • Classical composer, David Diamond
  • Film composer, Angelo Badalamenti
  • Tenor, Anthony Dean Griffey
  • Soprano, Renée Fleming
  • Astronomer, Robert H. Dicke
  • Astrophysicist, Adam Frank
  • Physicists, John C. Slater, Emil Wolf, Carlos Stroud, Greg Gbur, Robert W. Boyd & George Sudarshan
  • Optical engineer, Robert E. Hopkins
  • Engineer and inventor, Gary Starkweather
  • Chemists, Esther M. Conwell & Steven M. Weinreb
  • Geologist, Grove Karl Gilbert
  • Neurologist, Rudolph E. Tanzi
  • Cognitive neuroscientist, Susan Hockfield
  • Evolutionary biologists, H. Allen Orr & David Sloan Wilson
  • Sex researcher, William Masters
  • Psychologists, Richard M. Ryan & Mark Rosenzweig
  • Economists, Hugo Sonnenschein, Steven E. Landsburg, Lionel McKenzie, Michele Boldrin, Kenneth French & Zvi Hercowitz
  • Economist and public servant, Lawrence Kudlow
  • Economist and social activist, Jennifer Roback Morse
  • Historians, Steven Hahn, Stephen Kotkin & Richard M. Dolan
  • Linguist, Ivan Sag
  • Political scientists, Richard McKelvey, Morris P. Fiorina & John Aldrich
  • African-American Studies scholar, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
  • Legal scholar, Arthur R. Miller

According to Wikipedia, The University of Rochester is a private research university in Rochester, New York. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees. The University of Rochester enrolls approximately 6,800 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. Its 158 buildings house over 200 academic majors. According to the National Science Foundation, Rochester spent $370 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 68th in the nation. The university is the 7th largest employer in the Finger lakes region of New York.

University of Rochester Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
19,607 35% 86% 1405 32

How Much Does University of Rochester Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)
Price by Family Income
Income Average Net Cost
0 - 30K $15,324
30K - 48K $14,508
48K - 75K $23,659
75K - 110K $29,342
110K+ $44,732

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

How Much Do University of Rochester Graduates Make?

If you graduate from University of Rochester, then you can expect to earn an average of $74,300 per year. You also have a 92% chance of being employed after 10 years.

University of Rochester's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student Body Under-Grads Graduates
11,598 7,636 3,962

Where is University of Rochester?

University of Rochester is located at Wilson Blvd. - Wallis Hall, Rochester NY 14627-0011

How Safe is University of Rochester?

Rochester has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is University of Rochester Known For?

University of Rochester is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

University of Rochester's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are University of Rochester's Most Influential Alumni?

University of Rochester's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Economics, Medical, and Physics. Here are some of University of Rochester's most famous alumni:

Bob Ludwig
Bob Ludwig
An American audio engineer.
Richard Thaler
Richard Thaler
An American economist.
J. C. R. Licklider
J. C. R. Licklider
An American psychologist and computer scientist.
Bruce Schneier
Bruce Schneier
An American computer scientist, (1963 - ), New York, New York.
John C. Slater
John C. Slater
An American physicist.
Arthur Kornberg
Arthur Kornberg
An American biochemist.
Steven Chu
Steven Chu
An American physicist, former United States Secretary of Energy, Nobel laureate.
Janet Maslin
An American journalist and critic.
Masatoshi Koshiba
Masatoshi Koshiba
A Japanese physicist and astronomer .
Robert H. Dicke
Robert H. Dicke
An American astronomer.
Richard Rashid
Richard Rashid
An American computer scientist, Microsoft vice president.
Tullio Regge
An Italian physicist.

Image Attributions