take 5 rochester

College Center for Advising Services

Take Five Scholars

Academic enrichment with NO additional tuition!

Are you struggling to find the time to pursue a special academic interest that falls outside your rigorous major? Or perhaps you have recently discovered an interest but have run out of time to learn more? Maybe you’re simply so overwhelmed with requirements that you have not had the chance to consider all that the University has to offer. If so, you may want to consider applying to the Take Five Scholars Program.

The Take Five Scholars Program, unique to the University of Rochester, provides an additional semester or year, tuition-free. It offers the chance to pursue a demanding major and still enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the broad-based, intellectual enrichment of a liberal arts education. Since its inception in 1986, over 1,100 students have become Take Five Scholars. The number of students enrolled in the program varies each year, with new Scholars accepted each semester.

If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, take some time to talk it over with your parents, your faculty advisors, and current Take Five Scholars. Think about a topic that you are passionate about but have not been able to study. Look through the Undergraduate Bulletin and online course descriptions, and list the courses that might help you attain your intellectual goals. Then begin to consider how you might incorporate them into a coherent and cohesive course program. You’ll be on your way to creating a proposal for what may become the most exciting and rewarding time of your undergraduate years!

Take Five Information Sessions

All information about the Take Five Scholars Program and the application process is available through Blackboard in your Class Year Announcements module.

In order to apply, eligible students must enroll themselves in the Blackboard T5 module, review all content in the module, then take the QUIZ. A perfect 20/20 score will provide login credentials to the T5 online application accessed through a separate web page. To access the T5 module in Blackboard, enter Take Five into the organizations search bar.

Only students who have successfully completed the quiz may contact J.B. Rodgers (T5 Program Administrator) at [email protected] with questions, or individual proposal advising.

Take Five Semester Deadlines

Fall: T5 Program Recommender Agreement Form- due October 4. Failure to meet this first deadline will make you ineligible to apply during the semester. T5 Proposal and two recommendation letters are due November 2, 2020.

Spring: T5 Program Recommender Agreement Form is due in mid-February. Failure to meet this first deadline will make you ineligible to apply during the semester. T5 Proposal and two recommendation letters are due the first Thursday after spring break.

For further questions, please contact the Take Five Scholars Program administrator, J.B. Rodgers, at the Center for Advising Services at (585) 275-2354 or by email at [email protected]

Take Five Petition

If you are currently a Take Five Scholar and need to alter your T5 coursework or schedule, you must submit the Petition to Change Course Schedule Form. DO NOT submit petitions to change coursework for majors, minors, clusters, etc.

Information about the Take Five Scholars Program from the College Center for Academic Support at the University of Rochester.

College Center for Advising Services

Take Five Scholars Program

The Take Five Scholars Program provides students with opportunities to explore additional disciplines and courses that might not otherwise be available to them. Accepted students are granted one or two tuition-free semesters to take courses in addition to those needed to complete their degrees.


Students can apply from the time they have been accepted into a major through the first semester of their senior year. Transfer students must have completed one full semester at the University before applying. (Second-semester seniors are ineligible to apply unless they are re-applicants who have been invited to re-apply.)

Applications are available at information sessions held each term or at the Academic Services Counter outside Lattimore 312.

The application deadline in the fall is November 2, 2020; in the spring, the deadline is the first Thursday after spring break.

The faculty advisor and an academic advisor should both sign the application to indicate that they have reviewed the student’s program and that it meets the requirements. Each applicant also needs to arrange for two full-time faculty members to send letters of recommendation to the Take Five Review Board on his or her behalf.

Applications will be judged on:

  • The coherence of the applicant’s program of study:
    • How do the courses the applicant proposes fit together?
    • How will those courses allow the applicant to achieve his or her educational goals?
  • The intellectual breadth of the proposal and how it enhances the applicant’s current academic program
  • The quality of the writing

Students in the College are encouraged to discuss their Take Five proposals with their faculty advisors and the Take Five advisor in the Center for Advising Services (CCAS) as they prepare their applications. Students should also consult the appropriate departmental administrators to be sure that the courses they want to take will be offered, and that they are appropriately prepared for these courses.

A special review process exists for all proposed courses taught outside Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and the Eastman School of Music; such courses are normally not approved. Undergraduate courses taught at the Simon School are acceptable, however.

The proposed program must:

  • Further the student’s general education
  • Spread the Take Five courses throughout the student’s third, fourth, and fifth years at the University, and not be taken in a single semester during or after completion of degree requirements (this will typically delay completion of degree requirements)
  • Consist of Take Five courses that relate to one another and are beyond the introductory level whenever possible

In addition to the requirements above, proposed program cannot be used to obtain an additional major, or degree, or fulfill any of the Rochester Curriculum requirements.

Study abroad programs must be completed by the end of the fourth year. Take Five Scholars are expected to spend the fifth year enrolled in courses at the University.

Credit earned during the tuition-free semester(s) cannot be applied toward the 128-credit hour degree requirement.


Fifth-year students are unlikely to be eligible for undergraduate housing, although they can serve as residential advisors. The off-campus living program will guide students through the process of obtaining off-campus housing, if necessary.

Additional Information

Students should also be aware of the following:

  • Degrees are awarded and diplomas are issued after the completion of the Take Five semester or year, and only after all Take Five courses are successfully completed
  • Grades for courses taken in the fifth year will be included in the GPA, and the final GPA (at the end of the fifth year) will be used to calculate Latin Honors
  • Take Five courses cannot be audited or used to repeat previous coursework, but one course per semester may be taken on the S/F option

Additional details about commencement, yearbooks, etc., are available in the Take Five Scholars Program Acceptance Manual given to each student after being accepted into the Take Five Scholars Program. See the Take Five page for more information.

College Center for Academic Support at the University of Rochester.