Application and Assignment

Housing License Agreement

As part of the housing application, each student signs the SMU Housing License Agreement and a copy of the document is emailed to the student’s SMU email address after completion. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The License Agreement is for the full academic year, for Fall and Spring semesters license agreement is for the entire academic year, or any part remaining, for students who move in after the start of the academic year.
  • The License agreement is for a space only, and does not guarantee assignment will be to a specific building, room type or with a specific roommate.
  • A meal plan is required for students assigned to a residential commons, Smith-Perkins and 3050 SMU Blvd.
  • Cancellation of application may result in financial penalties. Details are outlined in the Housing License Agreement.

Cancellation of Housing Application Prior to Move in

Prior to residence hall opening & move in, students may only cancel their housing application and license agreement as outlined below.

Residency Required Students

  • If leaving SMU, a current student must complete withdrawal paperwork with the Office of Student Success and Retention (a Leave of Absence or Formal Exit).
  • If requesting Exemption, aa student may complete the exemption form on the SMU Housing Portal. Submitting an exemption request does not mean an exemption will be granted. Students are notified of the decision by email. If exemption is granted, RLSH will cancel the housing application & license agreement. Cancellation penalties will apply for returning residents after April 1 as outlined in the housing license agreement.
  • If approved for Study Abroad, student must notify RLSH by June 1. After June 1, cancellation penalties may apply.

Students without Residency Requirement

  • A non-required student may cancel by completing the cancellation request on the SMU Housing Portal when available or by emailing Cancellation penalties will apply after April 1 as outlined in the housing license agreement.
  • If leaving SMU, the student should contact the Office of Student Success & Retention.
  • If approved for Study Abroad, student must notify RLSH by June 1. After June 1, cancellation penalties may apply.

Cancellation/Withdrawal After Move-in

After residence hall opening & move in, students may only cancel their housing application & license agreement as follows.

If leaving SMU, the resident student must:

  • Contact the Office of Student Success and Retention to withdraw from classes and complete required paperwork (Leave of Absence or Formal Exit)
  • Notify RLSH and check out of their assigned room.
  • Prorated charges will apply in accordance with the Bursar’s withdrawal/cancellation policy, based on date of departure/check out.

Students who decide to leave SMU after the Fall semester must move out at the end of the Fall term when the residential communities close.

  1. Contact the Office of Student Success and Retention to complete required paperwork ( Leave of Absence or Formal Exit) and withdraw from Spring classes (if applicable.)
  2. Notify RLSH and check out of their assigned room prior to the Fall semester closing date.
  3. Students who decide to withdraw after the residential communities are closed must make arrangements with RLSH to move out. Cancellation penalties will apply for cancellations occurring after the Fall closing date, as outlined in the SMU Housing License Agreement.

Residents who wish to end their housing but will remain enrolled may petition for release from their housing obligation. The petition process is designed for students who have encountered unforeseeable circumstances which occurred after move in which now prohibit them from residing in their assigned space.

  1. Student must submit a completed the Petition for Release form with documentation to RLSH.
  2. Submitting a Petition for Release does not mean that a release will be granted. 
  3. Petitions are reviewed by the Housing Appeals committee on a rolling basis, typically twice per month.
  4. The Housing Appeals committee will assess the circumstances presented by the student in the petition and whether there are viable options available for providing alternative on-campus housing.
  5. If released, the student is notified by email of the outcome, the resulting financial obligation and information about a check out deadline.

Students who move out without being a release are obligated for any and all remaining portions of their housing agreement.

Roommate Requests

The process for requesting a roommate depends on the time of year.

How to request a roommate

Residents request a roommate on the SMU Housing Portal when reapplying for the upcoming year. 

  • In the Roommates section of the application, use the Search by SMU ID to request and accept your roommate.
  • Deadline to request a roommate is March 1.
  • Returning residents who complete the request/accept roommate process in the SMU Housing portal by March 1 are able to reserve a room together during Reapplication/Room Selection.
  • Returning residents may not request an incoming student as a roommate. (The only exception is for siblings.)
Roommates are a priority for all concerned, and that is why there are established deadlines. Roommate requests or changes after the March 1 deadline cannot be guaranteed, but will be honored to the extent possible on a space available basis. We know there are reasons why a student may wish to add, change or drop a roommate request. Any changes (whether dropping or adding) must be submitted in writing to and may be given further instructions to join a waiting list. 
Roommate requests during the year are managed via the room change process, and students meet with their RCD to begin the request process. This is not available on the portal.

Room Changes

Interested in a room change? We encourage you to start by talking to your RCD. Room change requests begin the second week of class each semester.

  • The Residential Commons experience is a foundational experience at SMU and students are expected to stay in their RC for their first year. With limited exceptions, first year students may not transfer to a different RC.
  • The room change process is designed to address conflict or concern between roommates before a change is made.
  • All room changes must be approved by RLSH staff prior to any move. Students who move without approval will be required to move back to their assigned room.
  • SMU has a diverse population, with students coming from a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, nationalities, and ethnic cultures. Room change requests based on a roommate’s background, beliefs, nationality, sexual orientation, race or ethnic culture will not be approved.
  • There are times when an administrative or conduct move may take precedent over a move initiated by a resident or RCD.
  • When a room change request involves more than one student (such as a roommate swap) all parties must agree to the change.

First, contact your Residential Community Director for the change request form. Second, you will meet with your RCD to discuss the request. Depending on the reason for the request, the RCD will determine the next steps. Below are common reasons students wish to change rooms, paired with additional process information for each situation. 

  • Roommate differences: Your RCD will work with you and your roommate to address concerns and conflicts. Roommate mediation is the starting point, and roommates should have completed the roommate agreement. A room change or swap may be approved after mediation depending on space and circumstances.
  • Single room: All single rooms are assigned and we don’t expect any vacancies this semester. Your RCD will keep your request form for 30 days. If a single does become available, the RCD will use the order date of the change requests to fill the single.
  • Roommate request: We do not have any empty double rooms for roommate requests. If you live in the same building, you may speak with your RCD about options to swap roommates. All parties must be in agreement before the RCD will approve a swap.
  • Request for Upper Division Housing: Sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in UDH may inquire with their RCD.
  • Disability Accommodation: Request for accommodation is made to the DASS office, and RLSH is notified if a housing accommodation is required. During the academic year, residents with a new accommodation will be placed on a “wait list” for reassignment.

If a change is approved

  • You will be notified by your RCD via email with instructions if a change is approved. Generally, the move must be completed within 48 hours. Do not move without approval.
  • There are no available spaces for a move to occur.
  • Administrative moves, including those for conduct and DASS accommodation may take precedent over a move initiated by a resident.
  • Previous room change request may be in progress.
  • If one or more residents in a swap is being pressured or coerced.

Breaks and Late Stay

Residence Life & Student Housing (RLSH) recognizes that some students may need to move out later than the scheduled closing of our residential communities in order to meet academic, personal, or departmental requirements.

Official University break periods include Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break.

Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, and Spring Break
Students may occupy their assigned room. Students who leave during breaks may leave their belongings in their assigned room at their own risk.

Winter break
Residents who have extenuating circumstances which necessitate being on-campus after the residence halls close for Fall semester may request to reside in their room during Winter Break. Requests are available in late Fall until December 1 on the SMU Housing Portal.

Residents who need to stay after the Spring closing date may request an extension or late-stay request for the following reasons:

  • Academic reasons
  • Attending a sibling’s graduation
  • Interim housing between spring and summer semesters
  • International flights

If approved, there is a $25 per night charge. The deadline to request a late stay is May 1.

Waiting Lists

The demand for some of our spaces is very high, so we maintain a few waiting lists. During Reapplication/Room Selection (in March) many popular room types will fill. It is possible that after Room Selection and before the start of the Fall semester, some of these rooms will have a vacancy. This occurs for a variety of reasons and allows us to move some students into these vacancies. However, space is always in demand, and being on a waitlist does not guarantee that a change will occur.

  • Waitlists are only available to undergraduate students (sophomores and above) who have an active housing assignment for the Fall semester. 
  • Waitlists will open on the SMU Housing portal at the end of March.
  • Students can add waitlists to their housing application through the SMU Housing Portal.
  • The waiting lists are active until July 22, unless closed earlier due to limited inventory, and then expire on August 1.
  • There is no limit to the number of waitlists a student can be on, but once an assignment from a waitlist is made, all other waitlist requests will be cancelled. Students will be able to tell us their top selection, and indicate if they only want to be assigned if they are also assigned with their preferred roommate.

Re-assignments from a waiting list are made based on availability and in the order students are added to the waitlist. We do not report on your place in waitlist queue because it does not reflect your chances of being assigned to your preferred room type.

We have waiting lists for several types of rooms, and a waiting list for students requesting reassignment due to a new roommate request. 

  • Residential Commons Single (students are only eligible for their current commons)
  • Residential Commons Double (students only assigned to their current commons)
  • 3050 SMU Blvd (doubles)
  • Smith-Perkins (single)
  • Smith-Perkins (double)
  • Martin House (singles, for juniors and seniors only)
  • Moore House (doubles)
  • Thomas House (singles, for juniors and seniors only)
  • Roommate Request (new request only):  for consideration, both students must join the waiting list and be willing to be moved to any room available on-campus
Students who did not live on-campus during housing Reapplication may not join a waiting list if they receive an assignment in the Summer. Housing availability is very limited and housing assignments will only be made if space is available in late-July and August.
First year students are randomly assigned to a Residential Commons, and may not be on a waitlist. Transfer students are assigned to housing on a space-available basis and may not be on a waitlist. Please see Future Resident for more information about applying for housing!