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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 are located on the SMU campus and are clustered in two general areas:  the south east of campus, adjacent to Dedman Recreational Sports and the center of campus along Bishop Blvd.

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

Yes, students are able to request a specific roommate when applying for housing. 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 cannot guarantee singles are available for first years, but we do honor requests as space allows.

Most rooms are designed for double occupancy with a varying number of single rooms in each building. All buildings and floors are co-ed, with single gender designated bathrooms.

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. There is upper division housing for juniors and seniors.

Incoming first year students are required to live on-campus for their first two years at SMU, and are therefore guaranteed on-campus housing.

Although there is a two year housing requirement,  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, Clinical Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (former Faculty in Residence, Loyd Commons)