About the University

The University of Rochester is an independent, privately endowed institution that offers over 50 doctoral programs in seven schools and colleges. It brings together a faculty of over 1,000 with a student body of about 7,000 of whom 2,500 are full-time graduate students in fields ranging from the arts and humanities through engineering and science to medicine and music. Graduate students come to Rochester from all parts of the world; together they constitute a community that is characterized by high quality and reasonable size.

The physical resources of the University are extraordinary especially given its size. Generous benefactors have helped provide facilities easily on a par with those of much larger universities. The University library system, for example, has more than 2 million volumes, 12,000 current periodicals, and a number of important research collections. Rush Rhees Library, in which the History Department is located, is an excellent working library for the social sciences and humanities and contains several important collections in American social and political history.

The new Sibley Music Library of the Eastman School of Music houses one of the largest collections of music literature and source materials in the Western hemisphere. The Edward G. Miner Library at the Medical Center contains several collections significant for the study of medical history. The Charlotte Whitney Allen Library serving the Memorial Art Gallery is also readily accessible. In addition, the University belongs to the Research Libraries Group, a corporation of institutions with notable libraries, such as Princeton, Stanford, Yale, and Columbia. Among other benefits, this membership means that graduate students will have computerized access to information about the holdings of all these libraries, and priority status for borrowing materials on Interlibrary Loan. The University also belongs to the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), a computerized network providing information about the holdings of more than 3,800 university, school, corporate, and public libraries throughout the country. All the libraries in the University (except rare book rooms) operate on an open-stack system. In Rush Rhees Library there is reserved carrel seating for 460 graduate students and 65 studies for faculty and Ph.D. candidates.

The Memorial Art Gallery, which is a unit of the University, serves both as a collection for teaching and as a public gallery for the Rochester community. It has an excellent permanent collection and an active program of traveling exhibits. The International Museum of Photography, in the George Eastman House, contains the world's largest collection of photographs and films. The Strong Museum in downtown Rochester contains a remarkable collection of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century material culture of the American middle class. The Eastman Theater seats 3,094 and serves as the main performance facility for the orchestras and large ensembles of Eastman School students and faculty, as the home of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and as the setting for performances by traveling orchestras, artists, opera, and dance companies.

Living in Rochester

The quality of life in the city of Rochester and the surrounding region is high by almost any standard of measure. The work force contains a large proportion of skilled professional, scientific, and technical personnel, which results in substantial community concern about the quality of public institutions and the content of cultural life. Music, theater, and dance of all varieties are readily available, as are films both classical and contemporary. In addition, since Rochester is situated on Lake Ontario and close to the Finger Lakes, there are many opportunities for boating and sailing. Cross country and downhill skiing are popular during the winter months. The Finger Lakes region is the largest wine producing region in the East, and metropolitan Rochester has more park acreage (including bike trails along the Barge Canal) per capita than any other American city. The River Campus of the University (on which the History Department is located) is adjacent to a city park and a public golf course. The area offers a rural setting complete with beautiful riverside paths, in an urban environment.

Graduate Housing

A wide range of University housing in areas near the River Campus is reserved for single and married graduate students. University Park has studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. Whipple Park (about one mile from River Campus) contains two-bedroom garden apartments and two- and three-bedroom townhouses. Goler House (adjacent to the medical center) contains studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. 

In addition to University housing, there are many reasonably priced privately owned apartments and rooms in the pleasant residential neighborhoods near the River Campus. Also, many graduate students live in the Park Avenue area of the city, where charming turn-of-the-century houses have been converted into apartments and where there is a large population of young people. This area is easily reached by a free shuttle bus and is also served by public transportation.