College Center for Advising Services


Clusters are authorized sets of related courses. Each cluster requires at least 12 credits, and each falls within one of the three academic divisions: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and engineering. Students are expected to complete a formal set of courses—a major, a minor, or a cluster—in each of these three divisions, with an average grade of C or better. There are over 250 authorized clusters.

Note the following:

Students who want a cluster that is different from any that is authorized, but is composed of courses at least two of which come from a single department, should talk to the undergraduate adviser in that department. The department may propose a new cluster for submission to the Curriculum Committee, or endorse a unique modification of an existing cluster for an individual student. The form called “Proposal for Exception to Departmental Cluster” is submitted to Lattimore 312 in the latter case for review by the Curriculum Committee.

Students who wish to design their own interdisciplinary cluster, composed of courses from three different departments, may apply to the Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Programs in Dewey 2-147. They need to have the endorsement of two faculty members, and should be encouraged to discuss their proposal with an adviser in that office.

Students and advisers will find use of the Cluster Search Engine a helpful tool. This database is searchable by course (e.g., FR 101), by division or department (e.g., social sciences, ANT), and by concept (e.g., cognition). Every authorized cluster appears here, with a brief description as well as precise requirements for its completion. Course numbers are linked to the course descriptions submitted by the departments. See

Additional Clusters

Beginning in2017, enrolled undergraduates have the option of declaring Additional Clusters. These clusters are beyond those used to meet the distributional requirements of the Rochester Curriculum. Additional Clusters encourage students to explore new areas and pursue them in some depth. These clusters will appear on the transcript.

The following policies will apply:

Transfer Students

Students who transfer to the University of Rochester are encouraged to complete the entire Rochester Curriculum. However, knowing that time constraints and requirements for the major may make this difficult for some, the faculty has authorized certain exceptions. Keeping in mind that students in accredited engineering programs complete one fewer cluster than is stated below, here are the guidelines:

Students entering as sophomores:

Students entering as juniors (or with at least 56 credit hours and four semesters of transfer work):

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