Residence Life & Student Housing

Resident Assistant Recruitment

Thank you for your interest in Residence Life & Student Housing (RLSH) and the Resident Assistant (RA) position.  Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year will be available here on November 1, 2019 and due on January 7, 2020.

Information sessions

Information sessions will be offered in every Residential Commons November 1-14. We highly encourage you to attend an information session to learn more about the application process and the RA position. If you are not able to attend the information session scheduled for your community, please feel free to attend any of the other sessions. Specific dates and times will be posted in the individual communities.


Applicants must have a 2.5 semester and cumulative SMU GPA and be in good standing with the University. If you are currently on conduct probation, deferred suspension, or suspension with the university, you will not be eligible for an interview. Further, any other conduct violation including a Call for Help, Conduct Warning, or Informal Warning will be considered on a case by case basis. If you have been found responsible for violating any University policy or RLSH community standard, you may be asked to write a letter explaining the situation and what you have learned since the incident. Those candidates will be considered for interview eligibility on a case by case basis. Recent violations may also preclude you from the interview process.

At the time when they begin the position, incoming RAs must be at least a sophomore (2nd year student), must be enrolled in SMU as a full-time student, and must have completed at least one semester at SMU.  For a full job description and a list of requirements, please view the link on the right.


Application Process for 2020-2021

Candidates for the RA Position must complete the following in order to be considered:

  1. Submit completed application– Due at 4:00 PM CST on Tuesday, January 7

    • This includes a one-page resume in a PDF format and several short essay questions.

    • Please note that this date is before you return to campus. Late applications will not be acceptable, so check that you will have a good internet connection in advance or complete the application before you leave campus.

  2. Interview – January 25– February 2

    • Eligible candidates will be contacted with interview times.

Beginning November 1, you can access the online application. The application link will not allow you to save information and continue it later.  For this reason, we suggest that you take a look at the form when it is available to determine what information you'll need, then prepare that information (i.e., your resume, contact information for your references, and your short answers) in advance, and then fill out the application when you have all of your materials prepared.


We believe that a Residential Commons should be a home base for students. For that reason, our priority is to keep students in their Residential Commons.

Additionally,  Upper Division Housing is seeking qualified candidates. If you wish to work in one of those areas, please indicate that on your application when asked.


Completed applications are due 4:00 PM CST on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. Late applications will not be accepted.

Frequently asked questions

What if I am not a member of a Residential Commons?

If you are not a member of a Residential Commons, you are still very eligible and encouraged to apply. You will be considered to work in Upper Division Housing.


What is Upper Division Housing?

Upper Division Housing includes houses and apartment-style living that house sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate students. Upper Division Housing includes Daniel House (seniors, juniors), Dyer House, Martin House (grads, seniors), Moore House, Perkins House, SMU Service House  and Smith House.


Can I be an RA and an Orientation Leader?

Because AARO and RA training dates overlap, you cannot serve as both an RA and an Orientation Leader at the same time.  If you have been accepted as an Orientation Leader and signed an agreement for that position, you will not be eligible for an RA position. However, you can apply to be an RA alternate.  If selected as an alternate, you would then be eligible for hire after you have completed all of your orientation responsibilities.


How many hours per week do you work?

It is a busy position, but doesn’t have exact hours.  You will have a 1-2 hour weekly staff meeting, community hours, on-call nights (1-2 per week), a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor weekly, and other obligations at your supervisor’s discretion.


I’m planning on going abroad.  Can I be an RA for 1 semester?

No, this is a 10-month position.


Do I apply to work in a specific building?

On the application, you will indicate whether you’d like to work in your commons, upper-division communities, or both. You will interview only with the community you select.  If you select “both,” you will interview with your commons.  A small number of the people who select “both” may also be invited to interview with Upper Division Housing.  If you are not affiliated with a commons, you will interview with Upper-Division Housing.


I've been given a conduct referral, can I still apply?

If you are currently on conduct probation, deferred suspension, or suspension with the university, you will not be eligible for an interview. Any other conduct violation including a Call for Help or Conduct Warning will be considered on a case by case basis. If you have been found responsible for a policy violation, but were given a lower standard sanction, you will most likely be asked to write a letter explaining the event.   Your eligibility for an interview will then be considered on a case by case basis.


How many nights a week will I be "on-call"?

This varies for each community, but usually 1-2 nights a week.


Do RAs stay over breaks?

Yes, RAs will cover on-call for Winter Break, Spring Break, and other holidays.  During Winter Break, fewer RAs will serve on-call each evening. Holidays are divided amongst your staff.


Do RAs have roommates?

You will potentially have a roommate if assigned to double occupancy room.  We try to avoid assigning RAs a roommate, but when we are over capacity, it is difficult to avoid.


I have a job on/off-campus. Can I keep it and still be a RA?

RAs can work up to 10 hours a week with supervisor approval.


Can I join a Fraternity or Sorority while an RA?

RAs can participate in fall fraternity or sorority recruitment with supervisor approval. Spring recruitment usually conflicts with January RA training, so participation is usually not a possibility.


Do I have to pay for RA related resources? (e.g., programs and bulletin boards?)



What is included in the room and meal plan scholarships?

RAs can choose between two meal plans (the All Access plus $200 flex and the Block 150 plus $500 flex).  RA scholarships and credits will cover the exact amount of the occupied room and purchased meal plan.


Contact US

For any questions about the RA recruitment and selection process, please e-mail

Updated 10/14/19