Living Learning Communities (LLCs)
Find a community that's just right for you!
A student who resides in a Living Learning Community (LLC), formally known as Special Living Options (SLOs), has the opportunity to live and learn with classmates who share similar interests but bring many different personalities and traits to the environment. The student will live with other members of the LLC in a close-knit community (or "house") located in University housing. LLC members will have the opportunity to participate in field trips, group dinners, and other social and educational activities. Students build strong relationships with fellow residents—and with the faculty and staff members affiliated with LLC. In Penn State's LLCs, learning isn't just encouraged—it's celebrated!
- First-year students: Learn how to request a LLC as a HFS Contract preference (some LLCs require a secondary application).
- Current eligible LLC members: Review the LLC contract process guidelines.
- Not in a LLC? Some LCCs allow residential students who live in another building/housing area to participate in activities. For more information, contact the Office of Residence Life.
LIFE House, Lion LaunchPad, and Engineering and Applied Sciences (EASI) will be discontinued after the 2021-2022 academic year.
Location: West Housing Area
ALLY House provides an open, safe, and inclusive living environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally students. This living environment is a collaboration between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Ally (LGBTQA) Student Resource Center and the Sexuality and Gender Studies minor that is offered by the College of Liberal Arts. ALLY House fosters a community dedicated to knowledge and understanding of sexuality and gender issues. Student programs and academic opportunities support these goals.
Arts & Architecture House
Arts & Architecture House is specially designed to meet the needs of students in majors such as art, music, architecture, theater arts, architectural engineering, and landscape architecture. Residents have opportunities to interact with faculty, participate in field trips to museums and historical sites, and take part in educational workshops.
Arts & Architecture House residents live in North Housing Area, a vibrant community that houses three LLCs and is located within walking distance of the Palmer Museum of Art and the Visual Arts and Music Buildings. Students live in suites and share a communal kitchen (with limited cooking accessibility), art studio, music practice rooms, seminar rooms, and other common areas with fellow North Housing Area residents. View North Housing Area room rates to compare the cost of living in a suite to the cost of living in a traditional residence hall. First-year students are only assigned to two-bedroom suites with a standard occupancy of four students.
Biology Home (BIOME)
Make the BIOME your biology home! Designed for students interested in the biology major, this LLC is dedicated to creating a strong academic community, while fostering the fun aspects of the discipline. Students will benefit academically from study groups (most of your neighbors will be in the same classes), tutor opportunities, and review sessions. On the social side, residents will participate in faculty “meet and greets,” guest speakers ranging from career mentors to interesting researchers, and a monthly, biology-theme movie night. Join the BIOME and get the most out of your biology experience!
Break Access/Holiday Housing
The University has three official academic year break periods: fall break, the break between the fall and spring semesters, and spring break. During these break periods, University Housing closes and all residents are required to leave for the entire period. Personal belongings may be left in the room during the break periods. View Important Dates for when housing closes and reopens.
To accommodate students who are unable to travel home during these time periods or who need to stay on campus during the break periods, Housing offers a Break Access/Holiday HFS Contract. Students assigned to Break Access/Holiday Housing will be charged an additional room fee per semester for this service. No refunds are processed if a student does not stay for all or any part of the closedown periods. The Break Access/Holiday Housing HFS Contract cannot be canceled.
Break Access/Holiday Housing can be requested either by selecting the option as a LLC preference on the HFS Contract or by contacting the Housing Assignment Office.
Students who select Break Access/Holiday housing in advance of the HFS Contract period will be assigned to a designated set of buildings, based on the type of housing option the student selected:
- Pollock Halls: Beaver and Hartranft Halls
- South Halls: McElwain Hall
- West Halls: Hamilton Hall
- Eastview Terrace: Brill and Curry Halls
- Nittany Apartments
- White Course Apartments
Students with a Break Access/Holiday Housing HFS Contract will not be required to leave the residence hall during the closedown periods. During the break periods, staff will be available in the building to assist with emergencies. Although the dining halls are closed during closedown periods, there will be limited food service operations available on campus during specified hours. The Campus Meal Plan remains active during closedown periods, and students may use their meal plan for purchases.
Business and Society House (BASH)
In partnership with the Smeal College of Business, the Business and Society House provides educational opportunities that enable students to stay informed about current events in business, society, and the world. Residents get valuable career development advice, learn from affiliated faculty members and guest speakers, and participate in field trips and tours of local businesses.
Business and Society House residents live in North Housing Area, a vibrant community that houses three LLC and is located within walking distance of the Business Administration Building. Students live in suites and share a communal kitchen (limited cooking accessibility), seminar rooms, and other common areas with their fellow North Halls residents.
View Holmes Hall room rates to compare the cost of living in a suite to the cost of living in a traditional residence hall. First-year students are only assigned to two-bedroom suites with a standard occupancy of four students.
Discover House is a living-learning community designed by the Division of Undergraduate Studies for students who want to make the most of their Penn State experience. In Discover House, a student learns about University opportunities and academic programs so he/she can make an informed choice of major and create an exciting academic plan. Discover House students receive individualized attention from advisers and faculty members, and are offered special programs, courses, and opportunities. It is an ideal environment to begin university life and transition to the on-campus living environment and is open to first-year students in any college. Learn more about Discover House.
Earth & Mineral Sciences House (EMS)
Residents of the Earth and Mineral Sciences House can develop close relationships with faculty from across the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Students live, study, and socialize with others who share their love of earth sciences, earth science policy, energy, business and finance, energy and sustainability policy, energy engineering, geobiology, geography, geosciences, materials science and engineering, meteorology and atmospheric science, mining engineering, and petroleum and natural gas engineering. Field trips, house dinners, guest lectures, lunches with faculty, community service, and intramural sports are just a few of the educational, service, and social opportunities available to members. Residents also enjoy access to a computing lab, kitchen, and study lounges.
The activities and programs offered at EARTH House reflect residents' interests in environmental and agricultural issues. Working closely with faculty from the College of Agricultural Sciences, residents take part in recycling efforts, visit organic farms, attend guest lectures, and participate in a variety of other educational experiences.
EARTH House residents live in North Housing Area, a vibrant community that houses three Living Learning Communities that work collaboratively to provide activities for the whole community. First-year students live in two-bedroom/four-person suites and share a communal kitchen (with limited cooking accessibility), seminar rooms, and other common areas with fellow North Halls residents. View North Housing Area room rates to compare the cost of living in a suite to the cost of living in a traditional residence hall. First-year students are only assigned to two-bedroom suites with a standard occupancy of four students.
Engineering House (E-House)
This Living Learning Community gives engineering students the opportunity to interact with faculty from the College of Engineering and other professionals who work in the field. Residents also learn about the resources and services the college offers to help them achieve their academic, personal, and career goals.
- Open to engineering students only. (Participating students' requested roommates may also be housed in this LLC only if space permits.)
- Secondary Application Required! Students interested in E-House need to submit a secondary application, as the Housing Assignment Office does not select the first-year participants assigned to E-House.
First-Year in Education
First-year students living in this Living Learning Community benefit from numerous activities to help them understand the opportunities and resources in the College of Education. A focus on career exploration, multicultural understanding, and service further addresses the needs of students exploring their options in this multidisciplinary field. Increased faculty interaction and academic support are benefits for residents in this community
First-Year In Liberal Arts
First-year students interested or enrolled in the College of the Liberal Arts may select this Living-Learning program. Residents will explore Liberal Arts majors, learn about professional development opportunities, and receive guidance from Liberal Arts staff members. Residents will enjoy co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities associated with the College, while extending and complementing their experiences in the classroom. Students will have access to workshops and events specific to Liberal Arts majors and opportunities.
- Open to first-year students in the College of the Liberal Arts and Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) who have an interest in Liberal Arts
- Supplemental Application Required! Students interested in the First-year Liberal Arts Living Learning Community should complete a supplemental application here.
First-Year in Science and Engineering House (FISE)
First-year students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Eberly College of Science, College of Engineering, and College of Earth and Mineral Sciences may choose to reside in the First-Year in Science and Engineering (FISE). FISE offers a residential experience for first-year students seeking to live in a diverse and inclusive STEM-focused living and learning community. Designed to support first-year students in their transition to college, FISE offers excellent academic resources and programs throughout the year. FISE students leave well prepared to succeed in their future academic work and STEM.
In addition to indicating FISE as a preference on the HFS Contract, a secondary application must be completed and submitted, including an essay, by May 15
- Secondary Application Required!
- Students enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Eberly College of Science, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: FISE General Application
- Students enrolled in the College of Engineering: Engineering Application
- The Housing Assignment Office does not select the first-year participants assigned to FISE. Mutual roommate requests will only be honored if space permits.
First-year undergraduate with veteran status who are enrolled in the EDUC 100 Veterans First-Year Seminar are eligible to live in this LLC, which is offered in collaboration with the Office of Veterans Program. The First-Year Veterans LLC provides veteran students a space to transition to the State College area as well as the Penn State educational environment with student sharing a similar experience.
The First-Year Veterans LLC is located in White Course Apartments, which offers 4-person/4-bedroom fully-furnished apartments. Each apartment features four private bedrooms, two bathrooms, a shared kitchen and living room space, and a washer/dryer. These apartments are located on the west side of campus, which is easily accessible via the Red Link CATA bus line.
Students enrolled in the Eberly College of Science's forensic science major may choose this environment to further enhance the University-wide, interdisciplinary approach of the academic curriculum. Activities that support classroom learning and informal interaction with prominent faculty will deepen students' understanding of this exciting field.
Gender Inclusive Housing
Location: several housing options throughout campus
Learn more about the Gender Inclusive Housing Options available at University Park.
Global Engagement Community
The Global Engagement Community (GEC) Living Learning Community promotes a dynamic exchange of global and local perspectives at Penn State. GEC residents have access to interactive and intercultural learning opportunities and activities, both in the residence hall and through their participation in a 1-credit Global Engagement Seminar (APLNG 297 -001) course. Additionally, students can build meaningful intercultural peer relationships with both international and domestic students on the floor.
- Secondary Application Required! First-year students interested in living in the Global Engagement Community need to complete a secondary application.
Health and Human Development
This Living Learning Community is affiliated with the College of Health and Human Development, which is committed to improving human health, development, and the quality of life for all people through innovative and experiential education. We are looking to give students the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, and peers who are actively engaged in the College. The goal of the LLC is to relate programming efforts to different resources, majors, and fields of study to get students connected to the College.
Information Sciences and Technology House (IST)
Students studying Information Sciences and Technology have the option of living in this LLC, which gives its residents the opportunity to interact with peers in the Information Sciences and Technology (IST) program. House dinners, monthly activities, and field trips give residents the chance to get to know each other and the IST faculty.
Joint Service ROTC Housing
Students with the ambition to become officers in the Armed Services can live surrounded by like-minded individuals fostering both personal and professional growth and development. Residents benefit from the mentoring of both upper-class students and the ROTC staff while living in an environment where respect, integrity, duty, honor, and the rest of the military's core values are part of the atmosphere.
- Open to first-year students only.
- Learn more about Joint Service ROTC at http://undergrad.psu.edu/rotc.html
Liberal Arts Paterno Fellows House
First-year students in the College of the Liberal Arts who are intending to become Paterno Fellows may select this LLC, where residents are committed to aspiring to the signature honors and leadership program. This program is offered in cooperation with the Schreyer Honors College. Students will enroll in suitable honors courses during their first year, seek academic excellence, and participate in the program's other offerings. Residents will enjoy cocurricular and extracurricular opportunities associated with the Paterno Fellows Program, as well as in-house offerings and mentoring activities that contribute to their social and academic success.
- Open to all first-year students in the College of the Liberal Arts who are self-selecting as Paterno Fellows aspirants. Students enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) with a serious interest in Liberal Arts and with a commitment of taking three to four honors courses in their first year at Penn State may also request this LLC with permission of program staff (email for permission).
Schreyer Honors College Living & Learning Environment
Located in close proximity to the administrative offices of Schreyer Honors College, this LLC supports Schreyer Scholars, providing them with a number of opportunities to participate in academic and social activities. Over 65 percent of the residents of Atherton and Simmons are Schreyer Scholars, and all residents have access to the computer labs and music practice rooms located in these residence halls. A $25.00 living-learning fee is charged each semester to all residents on their student account.
- Any student may request to live in this scholarly residential environment, but priority is given to first-year and returning Schreyer Scholars.
- Premedical-Medical (PMM) students are not considered a Schreyer student, and may only be assigned to this living environment if space is available.
Schreyer Honors College - The GLOBE
The GLOBE is a Living Learning Community for students in the Schreyer Honors College. It seeks to form a close-knit community of globally minded individuals who have the desire to foster global awareness and an international perspective. It aims to expand on the initiatives of the Schreyer Honors College by:
- Fostering respect and awareness for the world and its diverse people
- Contributing to international progress by developing a network for future collaborations
- Building an inclusive community that embraces different mindsets and encourages personal and academic growth
To attain this goal, members participate in activities such as group discussions, guest professor events, and food events. In order to ensure that all members on the floor are active, a point system is in place on the floor. Members accrue points by attending floor events and must accrue 10 points by the end of each semester to remain part of The GLOBE.
Sophomore Year Experience (SYE)
Students living in this special Living Learning Community will have the opportunity to engage in discussion and experiences focused on the particular needs associated with the sophomore year. During this transitional time members of the community will have a chance to explore issues of personal growth and identity, self-discovery and responsibility, leadership and mentoring, and cultivation of positive relationships. Special enrichment topics throughout the academic year may include career guidance; planning for study abroad; involvement in student activities; availability of services; acquiring financial assistance; as well as others, based on the needs of the particular students represented in the current year's SYE cohort.
The Wellness Community provides first-year students an opportunity to participate in an active and engaging living environment. The Wellness Community will provide students a holistic approach to wellness, student success and well-being, and the pursuit life-long health. The Wellness Community will provide students opportunities to participate in outdoor recreation, intramural sports, mindfulness activities, community service, and free Wellness Services from the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. Stone Hall is located adjacent to the IM Building, which offers four gyms, a variety of court sports such as basketball or volleyball, a climbing wall, and fitness classes.
The Wellness Community is affiliated with AURORA: Penn State's Outdoor Orientation Program. The AURORA Program has offered students a distinct entrance into Penn State through a five-day wilderness backpacking program before the fall semester begins. AURORA provides students the opportunity to explore new places, learn new skills, and make great memories. Participation in AURORA is not required for students living in the Wellness Community, but students are encouraged to explore this program as a way to get an early start on the Wellness Community experience.
Women In Science & Engineering (WISE) House
The Women In Science and Engineering House (WISE House) is designed to actively promote an equitable and inclusive Living Learning Community for residents pursuing undergraduate degrees in science and engineering. Members of WISE House will benefit from community programming and academic support while living and learning with others pursuing similar academic course loads and fields of study. WISE House receives advising and support from the Penn State Women in Engineering Program (WEP). First-year WISE House residents within the College of Engineering will have the opportunity to enroll in the WISE first-year seminar. WISE House is open to undergraduates of any year standing, with preference given to students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Health and Human Development, College of Information Sciences and Technology, and Eberly College of Science.
University housing is proud to offer students the opportunity to reside in the ROAR House: Residence Of Addiction Recovery. Students participating in the Penn State Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), a program sponsored by Student Affairs, are eligible to reside in this living option. ROAR House members are students who are free from alcohol and other drugs and are in recovery from addictions. The "ROAR" is meant to suggest the collective power of students in the Penn State CRC, whose affiliated student organization is called Lions for Recovery, will help students work together to be successful in recovery. The ROAR House is just one of many ways that Penn State is supporting students recovering from alcoholism and other addictions. For a student in recovery, the CRC provides a variety of on-campus recovery meetings, recovery events, and offers assistance for students to make connections for other recovery services.
The ROAR House is located in White Course Apartments, which offers four individual bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and kitchen. A washer and dryer is provided in the apartment, and parking permits are available for convenient parking lot located adjacent to the building. Although not required, residents are eligible to purchase the Campus Meal Plan to enjoy the convenience of Penn State Food Services.
While residing in the ROAR House, residents will sign an additional contract with the CRC that indicates his/her agreement to not possess, use, or become intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs at any time. Residents will be asked to not invite visitors who may be in possession of or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
To discuss your interest in ROAR House, please contact one of the following staff members:
- Jason Whitney, Program Coordinator, Penn State Collegiate Recovery Community: 814-863-0140
- Jennifer Garvin, Director, Ancillary Services, Housing and Food Services: 814-865-7543
- Mark Rameker, Senior Director, Residence Life: 814-863-1710
FAQs for Living Learning Communities
Living Learning Communities
What is a Living Learning Community (LLC)?
Living Learning Community (LLCs) are sections of University Housing where students with similar interests or majors reside together. In addition to the normal programming and events that are offered by Residence Life, LLCs offer additional programming and social events for residents to develop a close-knit community. LLCs are available for both first-year and upperclass students. Some LLCs are reserved strictly for first-year students, while other LLCs offer students the ability to return to the living environment.
Learn more about Living Learning Communities (LLCs).
Can I receive a contract offer for my LLC and also for other housing options?
Living Learning Community (LLCs) Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contracts will be offered before the first round of housing Invitations in November. The HFS Contract offer will expire at 12:00 p.m. (noon) the day the first round of invitations are sent. Once an LLC HFS Contract is accepted, a student is no longer eligible to receive an invitation because they have agreed to live in the LLC housing option and have an active HFS Contract.
If a student does NOT accept the LLC HFS Contract, that offer will expire. Once the offer expires, the LLC housing option will not be reoffered. If the offer has expired, then a student is eligible to participate in the Housing Process. Beginning 12:00 p.m. ET (noon) December 1 an eligible student can log on to eLiving and request housing to receive an invitation in the February invitation process..
I am an upperclass student. Can I join an LLC if I did not participate as a first-year student?
Upperclass students can indicate a desire to join an LLC when they Update Preferences on their HFS Contract in eLiving. If space is available, upperclass would be considered for placement in the LLC.
I am returning to my LLC. Can I request a roommate?
When you request housing, a roommate request cannot be indicated. Upperclass LLC members will self-select a room assignment. Although you cannot indicate a roommate preference on the HFS Contract, you and your roommate (also a part of your LLC) can self-select a rom together. More details on this process will be provided to eligible students just prior to the self-selection process.
I did not accept my Living Learning Community (LLC) HFS Contract and opted to participate in the LiveOn Housing Process. I do not see any housing options that I want. Can I return to the LLC?
Once the LLC HFS Contract offer has expired, we can not extend the offer to return to the LLC.
If the student is interested in living on campus they should choose from the available Housing Options before their invitation expires. Once they have an accepted HFS Contract, the student can Update Preferences and request to return to the LLC. If space is available they will be considered for assignment.
I'm in a Living Learning Community (LLC). How can I return to the LLC?
Certain LLCs offer the ability to return to the living environment, while some are intended just for first-year students.
If your LLC has a return-to-living-environment, you must earn eligibility to LiveOn for the next academic year. Eligibility is based on participating and other requirements, and will be discussed during LLC meetings.
Students who are eligible to return to the LLC must Request Housing between noon October 1 - noon October 31. An HFS Contract offer for the LLC will be made in November, and must be accepted before the offer expiration date. Review the housing process timeline to view the specific date that LLC offers will be made.
Is there an additional cost for participating in a Living Learning Community (LLC)?
There is no additional cost to participate in a Living Learning Community (LLC). However, pricing may vary depending on the location of the LLC. Be sure to check the Room & Board Rates for the specific location of the selected LLC.
What is the deadline for first-year students to apply for a Living Learning Community (LLC)
To be considered for placement in the LLC, first-year students should indicate their interest in the preference section of their Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract by 12:00 p.m. ET (noon) on May 15. Some LLCs require a secondary application. The Living Learning Communities (LLCs) website had more information on specific housing areas and buildings for the communities and includes information if a secondary application is required.