Make the Hilltop Home.

We do our best to make the housing application process worry-free. We take you step-by-step based on who you are—incoming first-year or transfer student, returning resident, current student not living on campus, or graduate student.

Incoming First-Year and Transfer Students

Welcome, incoming first-year and transfer students! Below are the steps to get you started with the on-campus housing application. As you work through the process, we are here to help. Get in touch if you have questions or if we can be of any assistance.

  1. Once you are admitted to SMU, accept your offer of admission and pay your admission deposit.
  2. Allow one to two business days for access to the housing application. You will receive an email when the housing portal is ready for you.
  3. Log into the SMU Housing Portal using your SMU ID and password.
  4. Follow the step-by-step directions to complete your application.
  5. If you haven’t received instructions by email within three weeks of paying your deposit, email us ( with your name and SMU ID number.

Returning Residents

We are excited to have you back! Returning residents are rising sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Reapply for SMU on-campus housing on the SMU Housing Portal during the advertised reapplication period in February and March each year. No housing deposit is required.

Current SMU Students Not Living On Campus

Current students not living on campus or who are returning after an absence may email for access to the SMU Housing Portal.

Graduate Students

New graduate students may request an application from Residence Life & Student Housing (RLSH) beginning in March. New graduate students must pay a $100 nonrefundable housing deposit. Email for availability.

Summer School & May Term

Spending your summer in the city? We offer housing for students enrolled at SMU during the summer!

SMU requires most incoming students to live on campus for two years. Living on campus is important for having the most robust and fulfilling SMU experience.

  • First-year students must live on campus for their first two years at SMU and are assigned to 1 of 11 Residential Commons.
  • New transfer students who are under 20 years old have a one-year residency requirement and are assigned either to a Residential Commons or to Upper-Division Housing.
  • New transfer students who are over 20 years old have no requirement to live on campus but may apply and be assigned on a space-available basis.

New students from the Dallas area who wish to live at home with their parent or guardian may request an exemption from the residency requirement on the basis of financial, medical/disability, or personal hardship.

Exemption requests are available after completion of the housing application.

Below is an overview of our housing application and assignment process. Visit our Important Dates page for specific dates.


  • Returning resident reapplication opens in late-January
  • New student housing application opens in late-January
  • Incoming Spring students move-in prior to the start of classes


  • Returning student reapplication deadline is March 1
  • Returning students participate in Room Selection in March
  • New student applications continue
  • Summer school application opens mid-March


  • Cancellation deadline for juniors and seniors is April 1
  • Fall room rent charges are billed to student accounts for returning residents


  • Information about Fall Move-In is distributed and sign-up begins on the SMU Housing Portal for move-in times in late-May


  • Roommate request deadline for incoming students is June 1
  • Fall room rent charges are billed to student accounts for incoming residents


  • Incoming students receive notification of their assigned community and room type (double or single occupancy)
  • The deadline to request a loft is in July


  • Roommate notification is sent by email in early-August 
  • New student move-in (based on Move-In Timeslot selected by student)
  • Returning student move-in (based on Move-In Timeslot selected by student)


  • Spring admitted student housing application opens in mid-October


  • Spring room charges are billed to student accounts
  • New spring applications completed in November take priority for assignment in December


  • Late-December, incoming spring-semester students are assigned and receive notification by email of their community, room type (double/single), and move-in information

Spending your summer in the city? We offer housing for students enrolled at SMU during the summer.

Review our summer school and May term information for details. Applications will be available on the SMU Housing Portal after March 23 for current residents. For students not living on-campus, please contact us for access to the SMU Housing Portal

All SMU students living on campus must buy a meal plan from the residential plan options. All first- and second-year residents must purchase The Works meal plan.

Dining and Meal Plans

All students living in a Residential Commons or traditional residence hall (Smith, Perkins) must have a meal plan. Meal plans are optional for residents in Moore, Daniel Apartments, Service House, and Dyer House. Meal plans may be used at Umphrey Lee Center and at Arnold Dining Commons. Convenience meals are available at Mac’s Place, and flex dollars can be used at any SMU dining location or campus convenience store. Students with special dietary needs may consult with the SMU dietitian at 214-768-4349. Further information is available from Dining Services at

On-campus dining plans provide convenient meal options and seven-day, all-access dining in Umphrey Lee Center and Arnold Dining Commons.

Student Classification

Dining Plan Options

First-year students and sophomores

  • The Works, $200 flex
  • The Works, $300 flex
  • The Works, $500 flex

Juniors (third year on campus)

  • The Works OR
  • Block 150, $200 flex
  • Block 150, $300 flex
  • Block 150, $500 flex

Seniors (after third year on campus)

  • The Works OR Block 150 OR
  • Block 50, $200 flex
  • Block 50, $300 flex
  • Block 50, $500 flex

Ready to select a plan? Learn more and sign up with SMU Dining Services, which manages all meal plan requests and changes.