Resident Assistants

Apply to be an RA

The Resident Assistant (RA) position is one of the most highly sought after leadership opportunities at SMU.  Our past RAs report leaving the position with a wide array of skills, connections, and memories gained from their involvement in their residential communities including: 

  • Lasting and meaningful connections with fellow students, staff, and faculty
  • Preparation and discernment for their future careers
  • A greater understanding of and pride in the greater SMU community
  • Enhanced leadership skills and an appreciation for servant leadership roles
  • The opportunity to mentor and be a resource for other students
  • A desire to grow personally and be their best selves

The current RA Job Description can be found here.

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.

Incoming RAs must be at least sophomores (2nd year students), enrolled in SMU as a full-time student, and having completed at least one semester at SMU by the time they begin the position. RAs are not required to have previously or currently live(d) on campus. 

Applications for the 2024-2025 RA position will be posted here beginning November 1, 2023.

Completed applications are due by 4:00 PM on Thursday, January 4. Please remember that we will not be able to accept any late applications. The application includes the following:

  • A one-page resume in a PDF format
  • Short essay questions

Preparing a quality application and resume takes time. We recommend getting started early and taking advantage of resume review services through the Hegi Family Career Development Center.

Please note that the application is due before you return to campus for the Spring semester. We strongly recommend that you check that you will have a good internet connection in advance or complete the application before you leave campus.


After completing the application, RLSH will perform grade and conduct checks to determine if you are eligible for an interview. If you are eligible, you will be offered an interview.

Interviews will be held from January 29 – February 2. If you are eligible for an interview, the RA recruitment committee will reach out to you the week prior to schedule a date and time. Each interview will last approximately 50 minutes. Candidates will first meet with their Residential Community Director and another member of the Residence Life staff for about thirty minutes. Next, the candidate will meet with a Faculty-in-Residence and a Resident Assistant for about 20 minutes. Please dress in interview appropriate clothing (e.g., no athleisure wear) and arrive at least 5 minutes before your schedule interview.   

Additionally, our RA Ambassadors will be hosting mock-interview programs in the weeks before the actual interviews. Past participants have said this practice and feedback is helpful in preparing for the interview. Please be on the lookout for advertisements in your community. 

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. However, there are times when students are hired for Residential Commons other than their own based on the overall needs of our campus community. 

What if I am not a member of a Residential Commons?
If you are not a member of a Residential Commons, you are still eligible and encouraged to apply. You will be primarily 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. You can learn more about these communities here.

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” will also be considered for 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 and Spring Break, fewer RAs will serve on-call each day. Holidays are divided amongst your staff.

Do RAs have roommates?
RAs who are assigned to a double room should also expect to be assigned a roommate.

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.

For any questions about the RA recruitment and selection process, please email

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