Apply for Housing

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 one of our 11 Residential Commons.
  • Transfer students do not have a housing requirement. Assignments are made on a space available basis, with priority given to students who are 20 years of age or younger.
  • Graduate students are encouraged to check out the SMU Apartments

How to Apply

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. To learn more about how your housing applications are processed after submission, visit our Housing Assignment Priority page.

  • 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.

  • Current SMU Students Not Living On Campus

    Current students not living on campus or who are returning after an absence may email to inquire about current availability and access to the SMU Housing Portal.

  • Summer School and May Term

    We offer housing for students enrolled at SMU during the summer! Housing applications are available on the SMU Housing Portal for current residents. Not currently living on campus? Contact us for access to the SMU Housing Portal for summer.

    Summer School Housing
    Residents must be enrolled in SMU classes in order to live in summer school housing.
    Summer school will be housed in Cockrell-McIntosh with mostly double occupancy rooms, with a few single occupancy rooms. Singles are assigned in application date order.

    May Term Housing
    Available only for residents from Spring semester who enroll in May Term. Not living on-campus this Spring? Due to demand, we are not able to offer May Term students from off-campus.

    Other Summer Housing
    Our summer housing is limited to students enrolling at SMU, and we unfortunately are unable to offer housing to students interning or working in Dallas. You may want to explore your options with corporate housing companies, or with the University of Texas-Dallas intern housing program.

Resident Dining Plans

On-campus dining plans provide convenient meal options and seven-day, all-access dining in Umphrey Lee Center and Arnold Dining Commons. 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. Students living in a Residential Commons, Smith-Perkins, and 3050 SMU Blvd are required to a meal plan. Meal plans are optional for residents in Martin, Moore, Thomas, and Service House. They 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. Ready to select a plan? Learn more and sign up with SMU Dining Services, which manages all meal plan requests and changes.

Housing Timeline

Below is an overview of our housing application and assignment process.


  • 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
  • Deadline for exemption request is April 1


  • Resident move-out after Spring semester
  • 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


  • Incoming students receive notification of their assigned community and room type (double or single occupancy)
  • Fall room rent charges are billed to student accounts for incoming residents
  • 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