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The Housing Process

Frequently Asked Questions

The Residential Commons (RC) is an academic living-learning concept that has its roots in the residential college system of Oxford University and Cambridge University in England. American universities (including Harvard, Duke and Vanderbilt) have developed similar models. The Residential Commons at SMU will be unique to our campus. Students will live in their RC for two years and call their RC “home” for their college career and even after moving off-campus. SMU is committed to making the RC experience a lifelong influence.

The Residential Commons is a transformation of the living experience at SMU. Current residence halls will be transformed by adding faculty apartments and office into RCs and in the five new buildings in the southeast quadrant of the campus.

Incoming students will be equally distributed to a Residential Commons and will live in their RC for two years. Each RC will house students from across campus representing all the SMU colleges and schools. RCs cannot be requested.

Yes, students will be able to request a specific roommate. Students who do not request a specific roommate may request to be paired with a roommate from their academic school, scholar program (Hilltop New Century, Honors, Presidential, or Hunt), or intercollegiate athletic team.

Yes. We will honor as space allows.

These programs will continue as academic opportunities for new students, but will no longer be offered as residential programs. See for more information: http://www.smu.edu/Academics/OfficeofGeneralEducation/HilltopNewCenturyScholars

As in the current residence halls, most rooms are designed for double occupancy with a varying number of single rooms in each building. All buildings and floors will be co-ed.

Some students will have the opportunity to live in their RC as juniors or seniors as space allows; however, students will continue to be affiliated with their RC throughout their time at SMU. SMU will have other upperclass housing options available specifically for juniors and seniors.

It means two years of guaranteed housing at SMU, the first in our current residential communities and the second in the Residential Commons. Housing assignments for this class are still being reviewed.

Although first-year students must reside in the RCs, sophomores will be eligible to request to meet the second year residence requirement by living in a Fraternity or Sorority House in accordance with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Residence Life & Student Housing policies.

Research shows that students who interact with faculty outside of the classroom are more engaged which is reflected in cognitive and personal development, student satisfaction and retention. This can lead to research projects, job prospects and mentorship opportunities.

"I am a regular guy with hobbies, aspirations and dreams — just like my students. By living among them, I witness the amazing drive, passion and dedication they bring to this campus. My understanding of my students' lives outside the classroom has made me a better teacher."

Mark Fontenot, Faculty-in-Residence and Clinical Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.