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University- wide Program

Access Rochester: The University of Rochester welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The University employs professional staff committed to assisting students with disabilities in the classroom, residence halls, libraries and elsewhere on campus and has made many modifications to its facilities to enhance access. The University is committed to eliminating physical and architectural barriers as well as to responding to the needs of students, faculty, and staff with disabilities. We encourage students with disabilities to assess their needs realistically, to take advantage of appropriate support, and to be clear and precise about gaining assistance.

Arts, Sciences and Engineering

The Kearns Center: The mission of the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences and Engineering at the University of Rochester is to expand the educational pipeline through the doctoral degree for low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented minority students.

The Kearns Center focuses on the creation of replicable and scalable educational models that will increase the number of low-income and historically underrepresented individuals pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The Kearns Center partners with the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the Xerox Corporation, the Ford Foundation and a host of private donors to promote the successful engagement of a diverse student body in higher education.


The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program: The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is named in honor of the late Challenger space shuttle astronaut and laser physicist. Funded through a grant from the United States Department of Education, the objective of the McNair Program(s) are to increase the numbers of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented minority undergraduates who pursue Ph.D. degrees and go on to careers in research and teaching at the University level.

Students at the University of Rochester have the option of applying to either our academic year program or our summer program.


Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA): The University of Rochester's Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) provides counseling, disseminates information, initiates programs and serves as a liaison with other departments and divisions of the university to enhance the environment in which minority students live and learn.

OMSA is committed to providing these support services to ensure students achieve their academic, personal and career goals at the University of Rochester.

Furthermore, OMSA proactively supports the University's efforts to build diversity awareness and promotes an inclusive community for students, faculty and staff.


The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP): The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is specifically designed to serve students of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. The program is especially attractive for those students who, because of their economic and educational backgrounds, may not have considered attending the University.  Jointly sponsored by the University of Rochester and the New York State Education Department since its inception in 1969, the HEOP provides eligible New York State students with a strong support network that includes academic advising, tutorial assistance, personal counseling, a pre-freshman summer program and substantial need-based financial assistance. The most recent cohort five-year graduation rate for HEOP students is 90%, compared to the College’s 5-year graduation rate of~80%.


Learning Resources: Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, directed by learning specialist and Dean Vicki Roth, offers extensive services for students with learning disabilities.  These services include testing referrals, counseling, note takers, and provisions for those needing extended examination periods.  CETL serves the entire College student population with a range of learning-support services, including study groups with trained group leaders for many introductory science and mathematics courses, tutoring services (including HEOP-funded tutoring for low-income students), and individual, study-related counseling. (

Early Connection Opportunity, Participants of the Early Connection Opportunity (ECO) program become more informed students, and better prepared to engage in the academic, social and cultural wealth of the University community.

College Diversity Round Table:  The CDR is structured as a student-centered task force where campus climate and quality of life issues and/or concerns can be voiced, heard, and acted upon, especially those affecting racial, ethnic and cultural groups on campus. The Diversity Roundtable can also serve as a focal point for diversity discussions, initiatives and best practices.

Multicultural Awareness Student Organizations: Amnesty International, Association for the Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent (ADITI), Black Students Union (BSU), Chinese Student Association (CSA), Grass-roots, International Ambassadors, Korean American Students Association (KASA), Men Against Sexual Assault (MASA), Minority Student Advisory Board, Pride Network, Spanish and Latino Students' Association (SALSA), Students for Social Justice, Students Participating in Creating a (positive) Environment (SPICE), Turkish Students' Association, UR Peace, UR Veg, Vietnamese Students' Association (VSA), Women's Caucus.

Community Service Network: CSN is a student-driven organization; its mission is to establish, implement, and support programs that foster lifelong commitment to social responsibility and multicultural understanding, through dedicated community involvement.

The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies: The Institute was established in 1986 to promote the development of African and African-American studies in undergraduate and graduate education and through advanced research at the University of Rochester.

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies is named to honor Susan B. Anthony, the nineteenth-century suffragist who led a successful campaign to have women admitted to the University of Rochester in 1900. The Institute is dedicated to addressing curricular and scholarly issues important for understanding the role of women and gender throughout history and in contemporary society.

The Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership: Inspired by Susan B. Anthony's vision and passion, the center celebrates women's achievements at the University of Rochester and in the world. The center works to understand and overcome barriers to women's wider leadership.

Eastman School of Music

Links Scholarships: The award, which is a cooperative effort between The Links, Incorporated, and the Eastman School to recognize and celebrate extraordinary talent and academic achievement of an African American scholar musician.

School of Medicine and Dentistry

For the past several years, SMD has been a leader among medical schools nationally in the successful recruitment and matriculation of students underrepresented in medicine. 

NIH Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP): This program is designed to provide minority students with mentored research opportunities for a period of up to two years in preparation for graduate school.  At the end of this time they will have developed the skills necessary to compete successfully for matriculation into a PhD program.  This grant included slots for 10 trainees; each trainee conducts full-time research and also has the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities, to take courses at no cost, and to attend meetings.  Since its inception in 2001, there have been 40 participants in the PREP program, 85% of whom have gone on to graduate school.  Currently, PREP program participants are invited to seminars held by CTSI. 


Early Assurance Program: Provides a conditional acceptance to highly qualified college sophomores from 10 of our better feeder schools.  Networking with pre-health advisors.

Linkage programs: Linkage with Bryn Mawr College and John Hopkins University post-baccalaureate programs 

Minority Association for Premedical Students: Mentoring Program

SMD has established four summer programs specifically designed for underrepresented minority undergraduates.  All of these programs include mentored research experience, all of which have been very successful in providing a pool of qualified applicants to our medical school. 

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program allows undergraduate minority students from non-research-based colleges and universities the opportunity to spend a research-intensive summer at URMC.  Ten to fifteen college students are selected from a national pool of over 100 candidates to participate in this nine-week program. 

Hearst Research Summer Fellows Program provides funding for 5-7 minority students interested in careers in medicine or biomedical research each summer.

Strong Children’s Research Center Summer Training Program, based in the Department of Pediatrics receives over 140 -200 applications per year for 22 mentored summer research training positions, in which the majority are women and individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds.  Students from all three programs meet regularly for lectures, seminars and social events.  The lecture series includes discussion about career opportunities in medicine.

The GEBS Summer Scholars Program provides undergraduates with a 10-week research experience in the biomedical sciences.  Although the program is not specifically targeted as a recruiting mechanism for minority students, minority enrollment in this very competitive program is certainly encouraged and has been very successful, to date. Funding derives from Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the SMD, and from faculty grants. Overall, GEBS Summer Scholars program provided support for a total of 23 students in summer 2009. Importantly, 4-6 of the program participants have been from predominantly minority serving institutions (historically Black Colleges and Universities or Puerto Rican Universities), each year during the past 3 years. Since its inception approximately 15-20% of the summer trainees come to the URMC to pursue their graduate studies.  Thus, this population of summer students represents an important pool of future minority trainees for the CTSI. 

NCDHR: The National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) is one of 33 prevention research centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Prevention Research Centers (PRC) Program. The PRC program is a network of academic researchers, public health agencies, and community members that conducts applied research in disease prevention and control.

The NCDHR partners with deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to promote health. The Center does not investigate prevention of hearing loss. Rather, it is concerned with finding ways to help deaf and hard-of-hearing communities eliminate health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, depression and other chronic health concerns.

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Updated August 16, 2011