Office of Academic Affairs

Visiting Scholars

The Eastman School of Music welcomes scholars from faculties of other universities to spend time studying with our faculty, administrators, staff, and students.   Generally, a visiting appointment is a courtesy status, entitling the holder to library privileges and (in some cases) access to our classes and seminars (however, always subject to individual instructor approval).  When possible, Visiting Scholars will be provided with a workspace.  Appointments as a Visiting Scholar at the School do not provide compensation or financial assistance.  Such visitors are supported by their home institution (such as a sabbatical leave) or by a major granting agency (for example, Fulbright).

Role of the Scholar

Before we can decide whether we can accommodate your academic goals, the prospective scholar must complete an application.  Based on this information, we will determine whether the Eastman School of Music has the resources to optimally provide a learning experience for the scholar.

Role of the Academic Host

Each visiting scholar is required to have a Faculty Academic Host.  If there is a faculty member who shares your research interests and is available to serve as a host for you, you will receive a letter of invitation from the Office of the Academic Affairs of the Eastman School of Music.  If however, there is not a faculty member available, your request cannot be considered for that time period, and therefore, it may be necessary to wait until the following academic year.  Applicants will be informed if a subsequent re-application is appropriate.

The departmental host will provide an orientation to the University and the Rochester area for the exchange visitor and any accompanying family members. The host will need to assist the visitor with such things as:

• Obtaining Social Security number
• Opening a bank account
• Housing
• Furniture and household goods rental or purchases
• Enrolling children in school
• Finding a childcare provider
• Locating the nearest bank, grocery store, and clothing stores
• How to obtain emergency medical care
• How to choose a doctor and dentist
• How to purchase medical insurance
• How to contact the fire and police departments
• How to buy a used car and obtain a driver’s license and insurance
• Life and customs in the United States
• The cost of living in the Rochester area
• Public transportation options
• Supporting the exchange visitor in participating in cross-cultural activities

Academic Departments

The Eastman School of Music has thirteen academic departments.  We invite you to look at the Web site for each of these academic departments to find the department that most nearly reflects your academic interests.  Departments and their descriptions can be found at

Length of stay

The length of your stay will depend on your funding and the release time from your University. There is no minimum period of stay, however the total length of stay cannot exceed 12 months.

Applications: How to apply

Those interested must apply to the Eastman School of Music as a Visiting Scholar at least 6 months in advance of the proposed start date.

Verification of financial support for the total length of the visitor’s program is required.  If the applicant requires a J-1 visa, specific minimum required financial support information can be found at the University of Rochester’s International Services Office’s J1 Exchange Visitor Information, Requirements & Questionnaire for minimum required financial support located at:

Complete and submit the following:

  • Eastman School of Music Visiting Scholar Application Form Visiting Scholar Application
  • One or two page proposal for study or research
  • Copy of your resume or curriculum vita
  • Current cd, dvd, or .jpeg recordings of your work, and/or examples of recent creative activities as applicable (publications, journal articles, scores, etc.)

Return via mail or e-mail to:

Associate Dean of Academic and International Affairs
Eastman School of Music
26 Gibbs Street
Box 63
Rochester, NY 14604

Phone: 585.274.1020
Fax: 585.276.2150

Upon receipt of your application, it will be circulated to the appropriate academic department.  If it is possible for the academic department you are interested in to accept you as a visiting scholar in the time period you require, you will receive a letter of invitation from the Office of Academic Affairs on behalf of the department.

Official Invitation

Once you have successfully completed the application process and a suitable faculty host is determined by the Department Chair and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, you will receive an information packet by mail with an official letter of invitation.  Included in this packet will be additional information you will need to know regarding your stay in Rochester.

Required Legal Forms for International Scholars

Once Eastman has agreed to host you as a Visiting Scholar, we will request a DS-2019 that allows you to apply for your J-1 Exchange Visitor visa.  Form DS-2019 is used to apply for your J-1 visa (J-2 form is for accompanying dependents).  Eastman will then request J-1 visa certification on your behalf.

For specific information on SEVIS fee requirements, required documentation for the form DS-2019 application, obtaining the J visa, and the health insurance requirements, please refer to the University of Rochester’s International Services Office’s J1 Exchange Visitor Information, Requirements & Questionnaire.

English Language Proficiency

All exchange visitors must have the ability to speak and understand verbal English as well as the ability to read, write, and comprehend written English.  No English language training will be available or provided by the School for exchange visitors who arrive and lack English language proficiency.  Consular officials may deny a foreign national a J-1 visa if they deem their English language skills to be inadequate.


Visiting Scholars have many opportunities on our campus to participate in classroom activities. Please discuss this with your academic host before your arrival.


Eastman does not secure housing for Visiting Scholars.  It is necessary for each scholar to make his or her own living arrangements.  The Faculty Host can offer advice or assistance, but the ultimate responsibility for housing rests with the Visiting Scholar.

There are a lot of choices for housing in the Rochester area.  University options range from single or shared rooms on a floor with shared facilities to full apartments equipped with bath, kitchen, and living areas.  Beyond the University, the housing options vary dramatically by type, location, and other arrangements.  You may choose to rent a house or part of a house from a private landlord, or a single apartment unit through a formal complex, or even purchase a home of your own.  Finding the right place to live will take some research and an understanding of the area.  It is important that you feel comfortable in your decision, by considering all factors such as location and facilities, along with cost and contractual terms.  For this reason, the University recommends that you look at potential living arrangements for off-campus housing in person, before making your choice.  You may want some time to visit your options and choose one that suits your needs and budget.

An excellent way to begin your search is by referring to the following University of Rochester website:

Transportation in Rochester

Information regarding local transportation can be found at:

Travel Arrangements

When making airline ticket reservation, your final airline destination should be Rochester, New York. Rochester is in beautiful western New York State, approximately 350 miles from New York City (which is easily accessible by plane, train, bus, or car).

Upon Arrival

Once you are in Rochester, please visit the Office of Academic Affairs in ESM 110.  The staff will help you find the appropriate contact person in your host department and assist you with obtaining an identification card.  You will also need to visit the International Services Office to check-in for visa purposes.