Residential Commons

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A place everyone can call home

SMU’s Residential Commons allow students to experience the cohesiveness and intimacy of a small school while still enjoying the cultural and scholarly resources of a large university.

SMU’s implementation of the residential college system is perhaps the most distinctive feature of the University. It offers students a familiar, comfortable living environment, personal interaction with faculty members and administrators, and exciting opportunities for academic and extracurricular exploration. The Residential Commons do much to foster spirit, allegiance, and a sense of community at SMU.

SMU has designed the Residential Commons to integrate the academic, residential, and social experience and to create a sense of belonging.

Each Commons has unique identities, traditions, gatherings, and meaningful activities that build community and long-term bonds among residents. Each Commons is led by a Faculty-in-Residence (FiR), a Residential Community Director (RCD), and a variety of student leaders. 


Everyone has a commons affiliation

All entering first-year students receive assignment to one of 11 Residential Commons.

Students remain affiliated with their Residential Commons during their time at SMU (and beyond). SMU makes every effort to represent the diversity of the entire undergraduate community within every Residential Commons. In this sense, each college is a microcosm of the larger student population.

First-year commuters and transfer students who do not live in a Residential Commons affiliate with Boaz Commons or Ware Commons, respectively—every undergraduate student belongs to a Residential Commons.