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Incoming Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is some important information on mailings and deadlines as well as some of the most frequently asked questions and answers from incoming students.


What is included in your orientation mailings?

Enrollment packet – Contains your final grade report, meal plan selection, residential life agreement, health history form, religious preference form, disability information form, and new student matriculation information.

Enrollment packets arrive mid- to late May.

Orientation and pre-registration information email – Contains your First-Year Academic Handbook as well as information on Orientation registration, our Parent and Family Orientation Program, and the Sibling Orientation Program.

Orientation email communication and pre-registration arrive late-June.

Residential Life:
Housing assignment – Contains information on your room, roommate, residential advisor (RA), and more. Housing assignments arrive mid-July.

Move in – Contains information specific to move-in day and arrives early August.


What are the important upcoming deadlines?

Admissions Deadlines:

Orientation Deadlines:

  • Orientation Registration - July 15
  • Parent and Family Orientation/Sibling Orientation registration – July 26

Other Deadlines:


Where can I live on-campus in my first year?

As an incoming first-year student, you'll be living on either the Residential Quad (in either Gilbert, Hoeing, or Tiernan halls) or on the hill (in either Susan B. Anthony or Genesee halls).

What will be in my room? What should I bring from home?

Each room has a:

  • Bed with a mattress (standard extra-long twin size, 36˝ x 80˝)
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Bookcase
  • Three-drawer dresser
  • Closet space
  • Wastebasket
  • Window covering

As far as what you should bring, that will largely be determined by your individual preferences. For more information on what to bring, see the Office for Residential Life and Housing Services’ Packing 101 PDF.

Is there a housing deposit?


When do I get my room assignment and find out my roommate?

Housing assignments are mailed out in mid- to late July.

Will my residence hall have wireless internet access?


Will there be upper-year students on my hall?

Residential advisors (RAs), First-Year Fellows, and D'Lions are all upper-year students who will be living on your floor to help you with a variety of issues.

RAs are great resources if you have any questions. They help to establish a sense of community, interpret University policy, and assist in its enforcement.

First-Year Fellows are there for you to ask academic questions and will be your go-to students if you have questions about registration or other class-related questions.

D'Lions are the spirit epicenter of the hall focused on student involvement. They decorate the hall, host fun programming, and are generally awesome.


What is declining? What are meal passes?

Declining is money included in each meal plan that can only be spent on food in any of Dining Services' on-campus retail facilities. Passes can be used at all campus dining locations.

Is declining different than URos?

Yes, they are two separate things. URos is a spending account that can be used for a wide variety of services on campus—including purchasing items at the bookstore, food, and laundry—as well as at select places off campus, such as Chipotle.

What dining options will I have on-campus?

The three main dining stations on the River Campus are Danforth, Douglass, and the Pit.

Danforth is located in Susan B. Anthony Hall. It has many stations where you may get unlimited food and is accessible by either pass or declining.

Douglass Commons, located next to Wilson Commons, has many stations where you may get unlimited food and is accessible by either pass or declining.

The Pit is located on the first floor in Wilson Commons. It features many separate food stations where you may purchase a meal with declining.

There are also several smaller dining locations on campus, including Starbucks. See the dining website for a complete list. 

What are my meal plan options?

If you are living in Residential Group 1 (which includes Tiernan, Gilbert, Susan B. Anthony, Genesee, Hoeing, and Lovejoy) for your first-year, then you will be able to choose from the:

  • Meliora Unlimited Pass Plan
  • Blue Unlimited Pass Plan
  • 150 Pass Plan

The Meliora and Blue pass plans both contain unlimited passes while the 150 pass has, surprisingly, 150 passes.


When is orientation?

International Student Orientation begins August 19 and ends August 20. Domestic Student Orientation begins August 21 and runs until the first day of class, which is August 28. International students are are required to join the rest of the orientation. 

What is orientation?

Orientation is the week prior to the start of classes during which incoming students will be introduced to others, the University, and the surrounding community.

What will I do during orientation week?

Orientation week is designed to kick start your college career. We’ll help you prepare for college life through academic programming, fun social events, and a variety of other programs. You'll have the opportunity to learn more about the University as well as the choices available for you here academically, professionally, and socially.

When you arrive, you'll receive the full and complete orientation week schedule to guide you through you first week on campus.

Why is orientation an entire week? My friends only had a few days in the middle of summer.

At the University of Rochester, we've found that having all students on campus for the week prior to the start of classes gives everyone the opportunity to meet more people, learn about University offerings more efficiently, and provides an overall better experience.

Will I register for classes during orientation week?

Yes! First you will meet with your undergraduate advisor to help you plan your classes for the semester. Remember to ask a peer-advisor or First-Year Fellows on your hall for help with registration if you're confused.

Is it okay if I miss a few days of orientation?

No. If you miss the first few days you will be missing necessary meetings, programs, and events ensuring a smooth transition to college and your academic career. If you absolutely need to miss it for medical or other reasons, please email

What is Wilson Day?

Wilson Day is an annual day of community service for new and incoming University of Rochester students. Students will be transported in large groups to dozens of sites throughout the city completing meaningful projects at educational and non-profit organizations. At the end of the day, students will have the opportunity to browse a community service fair while enjoying ice cream provided by the librarians of Rush Rhees Library.


What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is a great resource for students to keep track of their classes, grades, and many other academic issues.

What is a cluster?

A cluster is a group of three academically related classes that fall into one of the three main fields of study at Rochester:

  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Natural sciences

You must complete at least one cluster in each field of study; your major will satisfy at least one of these. We offer over 200 clusters, which can all be found on the cluster search engine.

For some more information on clusters, visit the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) website or make an appointment with one of their skilled counselors.

Are there any required classes?

The only required class for all majors is a writing course. Students can take one of a variety of courses to complete the primary writing requirement.

What happens if I didn't get into WRT 105 my first semester?

Don't worry, only half of the incoming class take their writing class the first semester.

What if I don't know my major?

That's fine. Many other people in your class are undecided or will change their major. You do not have to officially declare your major until second semester of sophomore year.

What if I want to change my major?

As a student, you do not need to officially declare your major until sophomore year and no incoming students have officially declared yet. Therefore, it is okay for incoming students to change their major as many times as they like!

Will I get credit for the Advanced Placement (AP) classes/exams I took during high school?

You may or may not depending on the class and your score on the exam. See the CCAS Advisor's Handbook for more information on if your exam scores will translate into credit.

I'm planning on taking foreign language next semester. What level course should I sign up for?

To determine where you start off in a foreign language, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures offers language specific placement exams.

When is registration?

First you will have a meeting with your undergraduate advisor on August 22. In this meeting, your advisor will help you plan your classes for the semester. Registration will open on August 24 in the morning. Remember to ask the First-Year Fellows on your hall for help with registration if you're confused.

Student Life

How do I get involved on campus?

With over 200 clubs and organizations, there are many opportunities to become involved. On September 8, there will be the Activities Fair where student organizations showcase what they do and inform everyone about how to join.

With organizations ranging from academic honor societies, class councils, cultural organizations, club sports, performing and fine arts groups, religious organizations, and student government, there are lots of opportunities to get involved!

I'm interested in getting a job on campus. What should I do?

There will be a job fair on campus where on-campus employers will be looking for incoming students to hire. Some require experience, most do not. Some are work study, some are not. There are tons of different types of jobs as well. You'll have lots of opportunity to work (and make money!) if you want to.

Where can I get information about fraternities and sororities at the University of Rochester?

A good place to start is Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. Every fraternity and sorority also has a page on the Campus Community Connection with information about the group.

First-year students are eligible to join an organization starting their second semester. Each governing council (Panhellenic Association, Multicultural Greek Council, and Interfraternity Council) will share additional information about recruitment (often called “rushing” or “rush”) in the spring.

How will I know about upcoming events?

The main page of the Campus Community Connection is continually updated with upcoming events and activities and you'll periodically receive emails about weekend events and other noteworthy programming. Student organizations also typically advertise their own events through fliers and on social media.


What is my student ID?

Your student ID is the eight digit number that is given to you when you get your picture ID from the University. The number usually start with 2 or 3 and is in the following format: 2xxxxxxxx or 3xxxxxxx.

This is not the same as your NetID.

What is my NetID?

Your NetID, also called your username, will be associated with your email. These are a maximum of eight characters and are typically formatted with the first letter of your first name followed by your last name.

This is not the same as your student ID.

How do I set up my NetID?

Go to the University account initialization page and enter your student ID and birth date. Follow the rest of the instructions and you should be good to go!

What are URos?

URos is a spending account that can be used for a wide variety of services on campus—including purchasing items at the bookstore, food, and laundry—as well as at select places off campus, such as Chipotle.

When do I pay my tuition?

You will receive an email from the Office of the Bursar during the summer with information about paying your tuition bill.

What banks are on campus?

For banking, there is a JPMorgan Chase branch on campus as well as ATMs for both Chase and Advantage Federal Credit Union.

How much does laundry cost? How do I pay?

Laundry fee is included in your room and board. There is no charge for the washer or dryer. 

What's the weather like in Rochester?

Weather in Rochester can be pretty variable. We've had years where we get feet of snow in the winter and others where it has barely dropping into freezing. It’s best to bring clothing suitable for warm and cold weather.

What retail options are there around Rochester?

There are quite a few places to shop around Rochester and our awesome friends over at the International Services Office (ISO) have compiled a comprehensive list outlining many of your options.

How do I get around Rochester while living on campus?

The University bus service offers rides to many locations in Rochester, such as the Eastman School of Music and Pittsford Plaza. The University also hosts a number of Zipcars that students may purchase the right to use whenever they are available. You can also rent bicycles! While getting from class to class on campus, nearly all students walk (crossing campus takes less than 15 minutes).