Room Selection

How to Apply

Whether you are new to Penn, returning for your second, third, or fourth year, or just here for a semester or year, the application process is tailored to your needs. To help you feel prepared to hit submit, please review the information provided about room rates, roommates, and save the dates, all specific to you. 

How to Apply

Need to Know

Timing is everything, and our room selection timeline vary depending on the your time at Penn. Updates, deadlines, and other specifics regarding room selection will come be sent to your student email account. We recommend checking your email daily to not miss any time-sensitive information.

Students eligible to participate in room selection must be full-time students enrolled in a degree-granting program for Fall 2020 and in good financial and disciplinary standing in order to apply. Please check your standing in the Student Registration System prior to the start of the Room Selection process to be sure your graduation year is accurate.

How to Apply

First-Year Students

Regular Application

As First-Year Students, you submit housing preferences online through the Admissions Applicant Portal. The application will be available a few days after all regular admission decisions have been released. Using the username and password sent by the Admissions Office, students who have accepted their admission to Penn are able to log in and access their housing application. Access to the housing system may take up to 24 hours after a student has accepted their admission offer. 

The application requires you to list six room type preferences. You are encouraged to vary your preferences in order to maximize getting one of your choices. For example, you are not permitted to list more than three preferences in the Quadrangle or more than one preference in Lauder College House because those houses will fill with first and second choice preferences. 

Once assignments are available, students will view and confirm their assignments by logging into Campus Express with their PennKey and password. 

Program Communities

Program Communities are smaller theme-based communities within a College House. When completing your housing application, you may list up to two Program Community preferences and these will be considered your top choices.  

Most Program Community applications require an essay. Your essay should describe your present interests and activities related to the Program, the contributions you expect to make, and the benefits you hope to derive from the community membership. These essays are reviewed by the House Dean for acceptance into the Program and room assignment.  

The types of rooms available to First-Year students are limited. While your preferences will be considered, if accepted into a Program you will be assigned to any available space. 

How to Apply

Transfer Students

Application

As Transfer Students, you access your application through the Admissions Applicant Portal using your Admissions PIN and password.  

The application requires you to list six room type preferences. You are encouraged to vary your preferences in order to maximize getting one of your choices. Availability of certain room types is limited at this time of year. Your assignment will be made based on your choices, if possible. Otherwise, you will be assigned to any available space. Due to the limited number of certain room types, some options will not be available to request on the application. 

Once assignments are available, students will view and confirm their assignments by logging into Campus Express with their PennKey and password. 

One application, the PC option is a step in there. If you say yes, it will open up more opportunities.  

Transfer Communities

Recognizing your journey to Penn is a unique one, the College Houses offer communities to meet your needs.  Within the housing application, you can select up to two Transfer Communities built to surround you with students that share your experience. These communities offer support and programming designed to best serve transfer students. 

How to Apply

Exchange Students

Application

Whether coming to Penn for the fall, spring, or academic year; you will submit your preferred housing options by completing the Housing Application by logging in with your PennKey and password.  You will receive information via email about how to create a PennKey and password a few weeks after being accepted.  

The housing preferences you indicate while completing the application, will be considered in the assignment process, but cannot be guaranteed as returning Penn students have already been assigned rooms and spaces are limited. Due to the high demand for high-rise apartments with private bedrooms, it is strongly encouraged that you also include preferences in other buildings. Some room types may not be available to select on the application due to limited room numbers.  

How to Apply

Second-Year Students

Program Community

You have the option to apply to live within a tightly-knit community based around specific themes, student-designed programs, or course communities. If you are interested in joining one of these communities, you will need to complete the Program Community phase of the housing application.   

Many program communities require an essay.  If one is required, please respond to these questions within the application (maximum 500 words): 

  • Why are you interested in joining this Program Community? 
  • What would your involvement bring to this program’s overall experience? 
  • How have you participated in your current House community? 

Please be sure to include room type preferences and roommate requests on your application.  When possible, your preferences will be taken into account but are not guaranteed. 

House Deans review Program Community applications and decide on your acceptance and room assignment. If you are not accepted into your first choice, the House Dean of your second choice will review your application.   

Return to House

Love where you live? Rising Second-Year Students residing in one of our Four-Year College Houses have the opportunity to return to their current house. Within the application, you will form a group of 1-4 students, making sure that the Captain of the group currently lives in the house you are looking to live in the following year. Once your group is verified and the application is completed, the Captain will be given a timeslot in which to select a room, and bed spaces for group members during the “priority selection” process. During “priority selection,” only the Captain is able to select a room and place group members in assigned bedrooms. All bedrooms in the selected room must be filled with no vacancies. If a room is not selected during “priority selection” the members of the group are able to select a room and bed space during “open selection” as long as they are selecting a room in their current House and their current House is not a First-Year Community. 

Move to Another House

If you live in one of our First-Year Houses or are looking for a new community to join, Move to Another House is the application phase for you. As a Second-Year Student you can choose from one of our Upperclass College Houses or Four-Year College Houses. Within the application, you will form a group of 1-4 students and select a Captain. Once your group is verified and the application is completed, the Captain will be given a timeslot in which to select a room, and bed spaces for group members during the “priority selection” process. During “priority selection,” only the Captain is able to select a room and place group members in assigned bedrooms. All bedrooms in the selected room must be filled with no vacancies. If a room is not selected during “priority selection” the members of the group are able to select a room and bed space during “open selection.”  

How to Apply

Third & Fourth Year Students

Room Retention

The ability to retain your room is only available to rising Third and Fourth-Year Students. If you would like to remain in your current assignment for the upcoming academic year, please be sure to apply during the Return to House phase and select Room Retention. Within the application, you will form a group of 2-4 students, making sure that the Captain of the group currently lives in the room you are looking to live in the following year. All members of your Group must be from your current house, and must all be rising Third and Fourth-Year students. Once your group is verified, the Captain will need to assign each group member to a bedroom.  The application can then be completed. A timeslot to select a room will not be assigned to your group. If more than one roommate tries to claim a room and bring in roommates, no one will be eligible to retain the room and a timeslot will be assigned to select a room during Return to House. 

Program Communities

You have the option to apply to live within a tightly-knit community based around specific themes, student-designed programs, or course communities. If you are interested in joining one of these communities, you will need to complete the Program Community phase of the housing application.   

Many program communities require an essay.  If one is required, please respond to these questions within the application (maximum 500 words): 

  • Why are you interested in joining this Program Community? 
  • What would your involvement bring to this program’s overall experience? 
  • How have you participated in your current House community? 

Please be sure to include room type preferences and roommate requests on your application.  When possible, your preferences will be taken into account but are not guaranteed. 

House Deans review Program Community applications and decide on your acceptance and room assignment. If you are not accepted into your first choice, the House Dean of your second choice will review your application.   

Return to House

Love where you live? Then you have the opportunity to return to their current College House. Within the application, you will form a group of 1-4 students, making sure that the Captain of the group currently lives in the house you are looking to live in the following year. Once your group is verified and the application is completed, the Captain will be given a timeslot in which to select a room, and bed spaces for group members during the “priority selection” process. During “priority selection,” only the Captain is able to select a room and place group members in assigned bedrooms. All bedrooms in the selected room must be filled with no vacancies. If a room is not selected during “priority selection” the members of the group are able to select a room and bed space during “open selection” as long as they are selecting a room in their current House. 

Move to Another House

If you are looking for a new community to join, Move to Another House will allow you to choose from any of our Upperclass or Four-Year College Houses. Within the application, you will form a group of 1-4 students and select a Captain. Once your group is verified and the application is completed, the Captain will be given a timeslot in which to select a room, and bed spaces for group members during the “priority selection” process. During “priority selection,” only the Captain is able to select a room and place group members in assigned bedrooms. All bedrooms in the selected room must be filled with no vacancies. If a room is not selected during “priority selection” the members of the group are able to select a room and bed space during “open selection.” 

How to Apply

Graduate Students

New Grad Students

New graduate students interested in living on campus will access the application online with their Pennkey and password. You will be asked to enter your room or apartment type preferences within the application. If none of your preferences are available, you will not be assigned housing unless you answered “yes” to the question asking if you will accept any room type. Priority is given to full-time graduate students; part-time students may be accommodated as space allows at the discretion of the Director.  

Special Interest Communities

Special Interest Communities, sometimes referred to as academic clustering, are floors where students in similar academic programs or who have shared academic interested are housed together.  You can request a Special Interest Community on your housing application. Students in related fields have priority for these spaces. 

Special Interest Communities available: 

  • Design 
  • Education 
  • Engineering 
  • Health Sciences (Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Nursing) 
  • Law 
  • Social Work
Returning Grad Application

As a returning graduate student, you have the option to remain in your current room for the next year. When completing the application, be sure to select the Room Retention section. If you do not retain during the Returning Graduate Housing Application dates, you may still request to, but your room may be assigned to another student. Students who retain their rooms have the option to remain in continuous residence and will be charged July and August rent.  

If you are looking to change rooms for the next year, be sure to select the Room Change section of the application. You will need to list your room type preferences, being as specific as possible, list all of the options you are willing to consider. Applications will be processed in the order received.