Why Live on Campus?
When Mother Rosalie Hill was imagining the USD campus, she wanted to create a beautiful environment that would inspire our students to do great things. She believed the most significant qualities of education to be beauty, truth and goodness, a principle upon which our campus was conceived. Her vision now realized, USD's campus has been recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country. In fact, we are currently ranked as the seventh most beautiful college campus by the Princeton Review.
Most of our students choose to live on campus for all four years. They will tell you that this is not only due to their beautiful surroundings but also because USD feels like home. That's because they're part of a close community of peers, faculty and staff that are committed to their success and well-being. Living on campus fosters an even greater sense of home by bringing students together and encouraging new friendships.
Students living on campus have easy access to club meetings, athletic events, concerts, lectures and classes. They're also able to take part in various activities planned by the Residence Hall Association throughout the year, so there's always an opportunity to meet new people and make lasting memories. Studies show that living on campus also leads to greater academic success. You're in close proximity to classes and professors, it's easy to gather classmates for study sessions and campus resources are close at hand.
Residential life is a vital part of the USD experience, so we require that students live on campus for their first and second years. First-year students live in themed residence halls, while our second-year students live in apartment-style housing communities. Upperclassmen have the option to move off-campus, although many of our students choose to remain on-campus for all four years.
Please note that first- and second-year students have the option to commute only if their parent or court-appointed legal guardian resides in San Diego County. A resident who becomes 20 years of age following the resident’s initial matriculation at the University will still be subject to fulfilling the two-year campus residency requirement.
First-year students live in themed housing areas known as Living Learning Communities (LLC). LLCs are linked to the First Year Experience program, which combines the academic and residential experiences in a unique way. Each LLC has its own distinct theme, which helps first-year students form friendships quickly by housing them with students who share similar interests. LLCs offer a variety of activities and provide access to resident faculty members.
A student's second-year at USD is significant in many ways. This is the time when many students will declare their major, make plans to study abroad, and begin exploring research or internship opportunities. This is also a time for strengthening the initial friendships and connections that were made with peers and professors during their first year. In order to ensure that our second-year students find success, we require that they continue to live on campus. This residential experience is quite different, however, as students begin living in apartment-style communities with roommates of their choosing.
By continuing to live on campus as upperclassmen, students have the opportunity to meet new people while continuing to make memories with old friends. They are also in an ideal setting to focus on their most challenging academic years. Housing is an important part of the transfer process for these same reasons, as friendships are easily formed and access to academic resources is nearby. Upperclassmen and transfer students are provided with a wide range of housing options throughout campus.