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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 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 conversations with their peer mentor, twice a semester.
What is the application and selection process?
- Take your placement testing ASAP. Most of the communities require Basic Composition or higher and we cannot accept you into a community until we have reviewed your placement scores.
- 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 your current academic interest or an academic interest area you would like to explore. Remember you must live in the designated residence hall and take the associated courses in order to live in the LLCs. The priority deadline for applications is May 16, but we will accept applications after this date if there is space.
- The following LLCs require a brief supplemental application which can be found on the respective LLC page at ruoncampus.rutgers.edu/rulc: Entrepreneurship and Innovation LLC, Leadership LLC, and RU-tv Weather Watchers LLC.
- After we check your scores and review your application (if applicable) we will email you to make you aware that your application has been accepted or declined. Depending on when we receive your application, we may encourage you to apply for a different LLC. We reserve the right to give the opportunity to another applicant if you do not accept or decline the community by the assigned deadline.
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 May 16, but we will review additional applications after this time if the LLC has not filled. Once you are sent an acceptance to the community, you must accept the LLC. We reserve the right to offer the spot to another student if you do not respond to our inquiry for an acceptance of the community
Note: For all living-learning communities you must complete your housing application and contract or you will not be placed into the program.
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?
For many of our LLCs you and your roommate must both apply and be accepted into the LLC in order to live together.
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 email@example.com 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?
The majority of our 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?
Only 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.
- All international trips are fully funded – lodging, meals, and flights
- All national trips 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.