Undergraduate Housing

Elder Hall

Elder Hall

All undergraduate students have the option to live in residence halls, residential colleges, residential communities, and 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.

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. Residential areas enhance the residential experience by promoting equity across the entire housing portfolio while affording students a choice among housing models.

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 residential faculty leader.

Housing Models

There are three different housing models: residence halls, residential communities, and residential colleges. A main difference between them is the degree of faculty involvement. Residence halls have all of the programs and support a student needs for a successful residential experience. Residential communities provide some extra programming and faculty engagement. Residential colleges have the most opportunities for faculty engagement and programming. 

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 Residence Hall Association (RHA) frequently plan programs to help students meet people and be academically successful.

Residence Halls features:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Resident Directors
  • Residence Hall Association (RHA) leaders
  • Programming
  • Academic support

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, 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:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Resident Directors
  • Residential College Board (RCB) leaders
  • Faculty Chairs
  • Credit-bearing seminars
  • Academic support
  • Theme-based communities
  • Reserved dining hall spaces for faculty engagement

Explore residential college options.

Residential Communities

Residential communities focus on student engagement, student driven programming, and live in faculty involvement while providing students with a comfortable place to live, learn, and grow.

Our Faculty in Residence program is one main difference between residential colleges and residential communities. These faculty members interact with students outside of the classroom in meaningful and enriching ways. They offer guidance, help students access resources, and build community by hosting gatherings that promote learning, interaction, and participation within their community.

Residential Communities features:

  • Resident Assistants
  • Resident Directors
  • Faculty in Residence
  • Credit bearing seminars
  • Programming
  • Academic support

Explore residential community 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.