Located in Rochester, New York, the University of Rochester is a private research university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, including professional and doctoral degrees. UR consists of six schools as well as various interdisciplinary programs. In the history of the school, 19 faculty members have received a Guggenheim Fellowship, four faculty members and eight alumni have won a Pulitzer Prize and one senior research associate, two faculty and five university alumni have won a Nobel Prize. Prestigious alumni include Rich Rashid, the founder of Microsoft Research, Mayur Thakur, managing director at Goldman Sachs, and Danny Sabbah, general manager and CTO of IBM Cloud.

University of Rochester Accreditation Details

The University of Rochester is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States.

University of Rochester Application Requirements

Before the application review can begin, students must first submit a completed Common Application and an official high school transcript that shows at least three years’ worth of grades. Students must also provide official test scores, a teacher evaluation, a school report and a mid-year report for consideration. Degree-specific application requirements will vary, so students are advised to check with the department for more information.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer science can expect to pay $25,545 per semester, or $51,090 per year. This excludes costs for activities, housing, transportation, meal plans and other expenses. Graduates will pay $1,596 per credit hour if matriculated and $1,022 per credit hour if non-matriculated. Students should also keep in mind additional fees for dissertations, registration, activities and health insurance.

The University of Rochester offers need-based financial assistance for eligible students. Typical packages include outside awards, work study, loans, grants and scholarships. Students are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine whether they qualify for assistance. The school also encourages and supports present and past military service members and their families as they strive to reach their higher education goals. The University of Rochester has been recognized as a “top military-friendly college” two years in a row for its Veterans Alliance group, its Rochester Pledge scholarship and its participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Computer Science Degrees Available

The University of Rochester offers several computer science degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate offerings include a B.S. in Computer Science, a B.A. in Computer Science and a minor in computer science. All programs are designed with the flexibility necessary to satisfy the needs of all students interested in pursuing a career in the field. The programs not only give students a rigorous, solid background in computer science principles and the requisite mathematical foundations, but they also expose students to the problems and solution methods used in the various areas of the discipline.

The B.S. in Computer Science is made up of qualifying advanced and core courses as well as an upper-level writing requirement. Qualifying courses include Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, The Science of Data Structures and The Science of Programming. Core courses include an Introduction to Computational Statistics, Computer Models and Limitations, Computer Organization and Artificial Intelligence. Advanced courses are organized by areas of interest, including Machine Learning, Vision and Robotics, Natural Language and Knowledge Representation, Computer Systems, Human Computer Interaction and Web, Theory and Data Science.

In order to earn a B.A. in Computer Science degree, students must complete two core courses, one approved track and its required prerequisite courses, additional courses as necessary and an upper-level writing requirement. Approved tracks include Artificial Intelligence and Machine Vision, Human-Computer Interaction, Natural Language Understanding, Theory of Computation, Computer Systems, Computational Science and Computer Security.

With either undergraduate degree, students must develop a plan that includes two upper-level writing experiences, each of which must generate a 25-page paper of expository prose. These pages may be composed in the form of a series of smaller papers or one larger paper. Acceptable writing experiences including the creation of a technical report or research paper, designated courses in computer science, any “W” courses in other departments with approval from an advisor or a course titled “Communicating Your Professional Identity.”

Established in 1974, the graduate program at the University of Rochester has a history of more than four decades of world-class research, especially in the theory of computation, software systems and artificial intelligence/human-computer interaction. The school provides an interactive, collegial environment in which students are directly mentored by faculty. All Ph.D. students and faculty, regardless of their area, are familiar with the others’ works due to the close-knit, small department.

The M.S. program is based on both required coursework and optional research and is designed for students who are not seeking a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. It is appropriate for those who have earned an undergraduate degree in other fields but who are seeking a career in computer science. In order to earn their degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 credits, including 400-level four-credit courses. Up to six credit hours may be from research credits, and students must pass an examination in order to complete the program. Samples programs of study include human-computer interaction, natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer architecture, algorithms and complexity and programming languages and computer systems.

The Ph.D. program includes coursework, testing, projects, research, teaching assistantships and a doctoral dissertation that the student develops under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Applicants with an undergraduate degree receive direct admittance into the Ph.D. program. Students earn their M.S. in their second year and usually finish their Ph.D. in four to five years. Program requirements include six breadth courses, a problem seminar and one of the following four areas: theory, systems, human-computer interaction or artificial intelligence. Students must also complete a Ph.D. thesis proposal.

The Department of Computer Science also engages in cross-disciplinary research by working closely with other departments such as the Department of Linguistics, the Center for Visual Science and the University of Rochester Medical Center to use computing knowledge and skills to solve difficult problems. Research is broken down into programs, including systems research, theory research, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence research. Students may base their research on that path or field that is most aligned with their career goals upon graduation from the University of Rochester.


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