Due to COVID-19, we have removed the residential requirement, and have instead moved our learning communities online. Learn more about our offerings on the respective community’s page. 

We want to be sure we answer all your questions about learning communities so you can make an informed decision about your participation. We have put together a list of the most commonly asked questions by incoming first-years and transfers. Have a look and if you still have questions, please contact us at rulc@echo.rutgers.edu. 

What is a living-learning community (LLC)?

A living-learning community is a self-selected group of students who share similar academic, cultural or language interests and explore them together in common courses and out of classroom activities. Living-learning communities have the added benefit of being on the same floor with community members.

What are the benefits of joining?

Students in living-learning communities (LLCs) report making friends quickly and connecting with faculty, staff and other students more easily.  LLCs help facilitate your transition to campus life by making Rutgers a smaller place and by giving you a chance to live and learn with students of similar interests. LLCs build a supportive, fun, and vibrant community of friends! 

What are the participation requirements?

Each student enrolled in a living-learning community takes one to three courses related to the theme of the community, as well as participates in programs which are designed by a residential peer mentor (upperclassman staff member with similar academic, cultural, or language interests).  Additionally, students participate in 1 on 1 or group conversations with their peer mentor, twice a semester. 

What is the application and selection process?

  1. Take your placement testing ASAP if you are a first-year. Most of the communities require Basic Composition or higher and we cannot accept you into a community until we have reviewed your placement scores.
  • We will not review scores for the International LLC.
  • Business and Health and Medicine require math and English scores.
  • French Language and Culture require French scores.
  • If you haveAPed out of the courses related to the LLC of your choice, this opportunity is likely not the best fit for you as you will not be able to take the courses affiliated with the LLC. You may upload scores for our office to review here.
  1. Go to oncampus.rutgers.edu for your housing application. When you arrive to the Learning Communities page on the housing application, utilize the drop-down box to select a living-learning community based on an interest area you would like to explore. Remember you must live in the designated residence hall and take the associated course(s) in order to participate in our LLCs. The priority deadline for applications is June 7, but we will accept applications after this date if there is space. BE SURE TO REVIEW THE REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY SECTIONS BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR A COMMUNITY THROUGH THE HOUSING APPLICATION.
  1. The following LLCs require a brief supplemental application in addition to the housing application. The supplemental application can be found here for: Entrepreneurship and Innovation LLC, Business Discovery House, and Health and Medicine.
  1. After we check your scores and review your housing and supplemental application (if applicable) we will notify you via email whether your application has been accepted or declined. Ensure the email you list on your application is one you can check after you’ve graduated from your current institution/left your previous institution.  If your application is accepted, you will be automatically enrolled in the LLC if there is a COMPLETED housing application on file.  If you wish to no longer participate it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to immediately respond to our email and make us aware of your wish to decline the LLC. If we decline your application, you will be provided an opportunity to apply for a different LLC if space and time allows.  Generally, the earlier you apply, the sooner we can notify you.
  1. SAS Transfer Knights LLCs are not found on the Housing application as they are an invite-only community. If you are eligible, you will be emailed by the Transfer Center.

When will I find out if I have been accepted?

Admittance to the community is on a rolling basis.  Generally, the earlier you apply, the earlier you will hear from us. Our priority deadline is June 7, but we will review additional applications after this time if the LLC has not filled. If your application is accepted, you will be automatically enrolled in the LLC.  If you wish to no longer participate it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to immediately respond to our email and make us aware of your wish to decline the LLC. If we decline your application, you will be provided an opportunity to apply for a different LLC if space and time allows.  

Note: You must complete your housing application in order to be assigned living-learning community housing and participate in an LLC. 

Does being part of a particular LLC mean that I am committing to that field of study as a major or future career?

No. Signing up to be in a particular living-learning community does not mean that you are committing to major in that topic of interest. The living-learning community is designed to help you explore that particular area of interest.

What if I’m undecided on my major?

If you are undecided, joining a living-learning community is helpful in figuring out what major you would like to pursue. By joining a living-learning community that appeals to your interests, you will be able to better decide whether or not that is a major/field of study that you would like to pursue.

If I already picked a roommate, can they still be my roommate in the living-learning community?

Your roommate must both apply and be accepted into the LLC in order for you to live together.  We suggest you discuss this with one another and list each other on the housing application to facilitate the Assignment matching. 

What if I no longer want to be a part of the living-learning community after I have been assigned to the community?

If you determine that you no longer want to live in the assigned LLC space, please email the Learning Communities Office at rulc@echo.rutgers.edu regarding your request.  If approved, there is a potential for your classes to shift depending on the courses connected to that particular LLC.

First-Years Only: If I choose to be in a living-learning community that does not relate to the major that I want to pursue, will I be behind in class requirements?

No.  As a first-year student you are encouraged to take exploratory classes to figure out what you want to major in. Regardless of what you choose as a major, all classes taken in the living-learning community will count towards your graduation credit.

First-Years Only: What courses are part of the living-learning community?

Each community has between one to three courses that students share in common. Please check ruoncampus.rutgers.edu/rulc/ for details. For some living- learning communities, you may be enrolled in a larger introductory course, which has students from both inside and outside of the LLC.

First-Years Only: How is being in a living-learning community different than if I came into Rutgers as a regular student?

Being part of a living-learning community still classifies you as a regular student, and you are still involved in all the offerings of our residential first-year experience.  You will get an added bonus of having an enhanced experience through a program that will contribute to your success at Rutgers by having access to peer mentors, professional staff, and faculty, that have your academic, cultural, and/or language interests in mind.


SAS Transfer Knights Only: What courses are part of the living-learning community?

Each community has one course that the students share in common. The Students in Transition Seminar is a uniquely designed course that is exclusively held for SAS Transfer Knights community members. STS courses are a 1-credit requirement by the School of Arts and Sciences. The community gives you the added benefit of co-enrolling with living-learning community members who are interested in life sciences, physical sciences, or communication.

Do I have to live on campus to be part of a living-learning community?

Living-learning communities are residential programs that require you to live on a designated floor, suite or house.  However, Douglass welcomes commuters in addition to residential students. 


Do LLC members have an opportunity to interact with non-LLC members, in residence?

Yes. Most living-learning communities are housed in buildings with both LLC members and non-LLC members, and so there are ample opportunities to engage with both LLC members and non-LLC members.

Is there any extra cost to take part in a living-learning community?

Students in Douglass Residential College LLCs are charged an extra cost. Douglass rates are as follows:

  • $60 course fee for the Global Village course. This fee is used for all co-curricular programming that takes place within the house.
  • Cultural excursions are fully funded – lodging, transportation, and meals.
  • $75 charge per semester for DRC membership as of fall 2018.

What’s the difference between a living-learning community and a thematic community?

Living-learning communities have a course component, whereas thematic communities do not.  Thematic communities also do not have peer mentor staff on hand for informal advising and assistance with transitioning to Rutgers.  However, thematic communities do have access to resident assistant staff.