The University of Rochester, across all of its schools and campuses, enrolls approximately 5,600 undergraduates and 4,600 graduate students. Its 158 buildings house over 200 academic majors. Additionally, the university, including UR Medicine affiliated hospitals and medical centers, is the largest employer in the Greater Rochester area and the 6th largest employer in New York. The university is included in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Highest Research Activity institution. According to the National Science Foundation ranking of total research and development expenditures, the University of Rochester spent $346 million on R&D in 2016, the 66th highest figure, nationally.
The university has six schools and various interdisciplinary programs. The University of Rochester is particularly noted for its Eastman School of Music due to its consistent high rankings and the creative and scholarly contributions of its faculty and students. The Sibley Music Library at Eastman is the largest academic music library in North America and holds the third largest collection in the United States.
The College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering is home to departments and divisions of note. The Institute of Optics was founded in 1929 through a grant from Eastman Kodak and Bausch and Lomb as the first educational program in the US devoted exclusively to optics. The departments of political science and economics have made a significant and consistent impact on positivist social science since the 1960s; the distinctive, mathematical approach pioneered at Rochester and closely affiliated departments is known as the Rochester school. The department of chemistry is noted for its contributions to synthetic organic chemistry, including the first lab based synthesis of morphine. The Rossell Hope Robbins Library serves as the university's resource for Old and Middle English texts and expertise. The university is also home to Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics, the second most energetic fusion laser in the world.
The First Baptist Church of Hamilton was founded in 1796; its leadership then founded the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York in 1817. From 1819-1846, the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution existed as a proto-college to both Madison, renamed Colgate, University and the University of Rochester. This institution existed to train clergy in the Baptist tradition, but the academic leadership aspired to grant higher degrees and created a collegiate division separate from the theological division.
In 1846, the State of New York granted a charter to the collegiate division of The Hamilton Literary and Theologic Institution, which then sought help from the Columbian College in the District of Columbia, a fellow Baptist institution in the young nation's Capital. From 1846-1850, degrees issued by Madison University were awarded by Columbian College, which would become the George Washington University. At the urging of John Wilder and the Baptist Education Society, the university was to be moved to Rochester, New York. However, legal action prevented Madison from moving to Rochester.