Undergraduate Housing

Elder Hall

Elder Hall

All undergraduate students have the option to live in residence halls, residential colleges, and/or special-interest housing during their first two years, when all students live on campus. To help choose where to live, explore your housing options below. View our housing map to see where residential buildings are located on campus and how they are organized into residential areas. For an at-a-glance view of popular building features, see this table of campus residences organized by residential area.

Residential Areas

A residential area consists of a cluster of buildings with common features, services, and staffing. Students are encouraged to live beyond their building, enjoy nearby amenities, and get to know a wider circle of neighbors over meals and through programming. Areas enhance the residential experience by promoting equity across the entire housing portfolio while affording students a choice among housing models, location, and other considerations.

There are four residential areas:

Each has its own character, leadership, and amenities. While diverse, the areas share essential features to ensure that students living in each and every building have equitable access to services like dining and at least one touchpoint with a Faculty-In-Residence.

Housing Models

There are two main housing models: residence hall, and residential colleges. The primary difference between them is the degree of faculty involvement. Residence halls have all of the programs and support a student needs for a meaningful residential experience. Residential colleges offer more opportunities for faculty engagement and programming as well as continuity of community that comes with a culture of returning residents and longstanding faculty affiliations.

Residence Halls

The traditional residence halls on campus range from residences with as few as 25 students to larger residences with more than 500. Each building has its own character, spirit, and unique advantages. The residence halls are a great place to live and meet people from all over the world. Resident Assistants and student leaders from the Residence Hall Association (RHA) frequently plan programs to help students meet people and be successful.

Residence hall features include:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Resident Directors (may live in nearby building)
  • Residence Hall Association (RHA) leaders
  • Programming

Explore residence hall options.

Residential Colleges

The residential colleges range from 40 to 250 students. Some have a single unifying theme such as international studies while others are multi-thematic. Each college is headed by a faculty member who serves as the Faculty Chair. Chairs and student officers recruit faculty and staff members for the fellows program, which supports faculty presence through meals in the college, informal presentations known as firesides, and outings around campus and Chicago. In addition, fellows routinely lead small credit-bearing seminars reserved for college members and mentor residents as research assistants through a specially funded program.

Residential colleges features include:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Resident Directors (may live in nearby building)
  • Residential College Board (RCB) leaders
  • College staffs (Faculty Chairs, Associate Chairs, Assistant Chairs)
  • Credit-bearing seminars
  • Theme-based communities
  • Reserved dining hall spaces for faculty engagement

Explore residential college options.

Special Interest Housing

Special interest housing is for students who choose to live with others who share a special academic or personal interest. A special interest housing group may be located on a wing of a residence hall or have "exclusive use" of a small house. Visit our Special Interest Housing page for details.

Room Types

Learn more about the layout of traditional style housing, open suites, and closed suites by visiting our Styles of Housing page.

You can also view a virtual tour of a typical double room in Elder Hall.