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Residence Halls

Living on campus in a university residence hall is considered an important part of student life. Almost 7,000 students are accommodated in single rooms, double rooms, multiple occupancy rooms, and apartments in 22 residence halls. All halls are coeducational, but in the majority of cases, specific wings and floors house occupants of the same gender. 

Each fall the residence halls provide a new home for over 5,650 entering freshmen. Subject to the availability of space, all freshmen are required to live in a residence hall for two academic semesters (a summer term does not count as an academic semester), unless they are married or live with parents and have permission to commute. Requests for permission to reside off campus for other reasons are considered on their merits, taking into account individual circumstances. 

The residence halls provide a range of services and programs designed to support the intellectual, social, and personal growth of single student residents. All residence halls, for example, offer tutoring services to residents at no cost. Some halls offer special facilities, such as an academic skills lab, or a music room. A variety of academic and social programs are sponsored by residence hall and other university staff. 

The residence hall dining service hours are planned to be convenient for most students’ schedules, and self-serve salad bars are available at noon and evening meals. Steak nights, ice cream socials, and late-night coffee and cookie breaks during exam week are among the special activities planned during the semester. The dining program permits students (regardless of hall assignment) to eat in any residence hall dining center. 

For more information about university housing options and/or permission to reside off campus, prospective students may contact Occupancy Management via e-mail at reservations@colorado.edu or by mail at Occupancy Management, Center for Community, room S300, 159 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0159.

Residential Academic Programs

A number of the residence halls are home to Residential Academic Programs (RAPs), whereby students live in and take special classes in their hall that meet core curriculum and/or other course requirements. These special academic programs are described in the College of Arts and Sciences and Other Academic Programs sections. All of these programs charge additional $850 fees per academic year. They include:

  • Baker RAP is designed for freshmen and sophomores in the College of Arts and Sciences interested in the natural sciences and environmental studies. 
  • Communication and Society RAP in Buckingham Hall offers 200 first- and second-year students a program to explore many different areas of communication, ranging from processes of face-to-face interaction to the impact of media and technology on daily life.
  • Farrand RAP offers small seminar courses in the liberal arts taught by award-winning faculty selected to help create a close intellectual and social community. About 400 mostly first-year students from the College of Arts and Sciences participate. The program focuses on the study of the humanities within the larger frame of culture and society.
  • Global Engineering RAP prepares engineering students for the new global conditions of the engineering professions through experiencing international culture, mastering a second language, and gaining confidence with IT-driven international communication and collaboration. 
  • Global Studies RAP promotes the recognition of global interdependence, encourages the study of foreign languages and international affairs, and emphasizes the value of international education. This year-long program is housed in the renovated Arnett Hall and connects participants with a peer group of students who have similar interests and goals. The staff is knowledgeable about CU-Boulder’s many international resources, and the faculty incorporate international work into their teaching and research. 
  • Health Professions RAP proudly took residence in the newly renovated Kittredge West Hall in fall 2013, accommodating approximately 225 students. This community is ideal for students interested in exploring course work and career options in the health professions such as practitioners, researchers, or policymakers. Courses offered will include a mix of natural science, social science, and general education courses appropriate for first- and second-year students interested in study or careers related to health care or health care policy.
  • Honors RAP is the residential component of the Honors Program of the College of Arts and Sciences. It promotes and sustains academic excellence within a lively community setting. Students take one, onsite, seminar-style 3-hour course each semester. Beyond the classroom, Honors RAP offers a variety of cocurricular and student-led activities that enhance the learning experience. It is open to approximately 335 first-year and continuing honors-qualified students. Participants live in Smith Hall.
  • Leadership RAP is dedicated to the study and practice of leadership for the purpose of educating culturally competent leaders who champion an ethic of civic and social responsibility. The Leadership RAP offers two studies programs: the Ethnic Living and Learning Community Leadership Studies Program (ELLC) and the Chancellor’s Leadership Studies Program (CLSP). Both these programs are housed in Kittredge Central.
  • Leeds Business RAP (Leeds RAP) is a targeted community that is comprised exclusively of students who are business majors. Leeds RAP seeks to build individuals who are well-rounded, prepared, engaged, and equipped to succeed in 21st century workplaces and take roles as global leaders. Located in Darley South, Williams Village, where students in the program develop supportive relationships with faculty and staff, including an in-house academic advisor, as well as with peer mentors.
  • Libby Arts RAP (LRAP) is designed primarily for first- and second-year College of Arts and Sciences students interested in the arts. LRAP offers a curriculum in the arts, including visual arts, theatre and dance, film studies, and writing. The program also offers a variety of courses that fulfill university core requirements from a number of disciplines including economics, art history, and integrative physiology. In addition to small class sizes in a living and learning environment, co-curricular activities provide a sense of community and a unique opportunity to interact with faculty and LRAP advisors across art disciplines.
  • Sewall Residential Program is a co-educational program for first- and second-year students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences or the Leeds School of Business who have an interest in the study of history and culture. Its award-winning faculty offer small seminar-style courses and a variety of co-curricular activities and outreach opportunities that emphasize the connections between modern culture and its historical roots.
  • Sustainable by Design Residential Academic Program (SbD) offers unique interdisciplinary educational opportunities in a residential community setting. The program will help to develop students who are globally focused leaders, well-versed in both the technical and societal aspects of sustainable designs. Along with its program partner, Sustainability and Social Innovation (SSI), SbD creates a shared vocabulary and literacy to enable students to develop successful approaches to meeting emerging challenges to human society and the planet. Open to all majors.
  • Sustainability and Social Innovation (SSI) includes interdisciplinary faculty and students interested in developing innovative, self-sustaining solutions for critical social environmental issues around the globe. Small courses emphasize collaborative problem-solving and hands-on projects. Core classes relevant to the SSI focus are available. Open to all majors.

Living and Learning Communities

Living and Learning Communities (LLCs) also enhance the learning environment. Several communities offer themed housing without the formal connection to faculty found with the RAPs.

  • Active Living offers students in Darley North a living community in which all participants strive to lead an intentionally active lifestyle. Events in the program inspire the holistic development of mind, body, and spirit. Ultimately, Active Living participants aim to achieve academic success and fulfillment of their personal needs and goals.
  • The Hallett Diversity Program is a community that provides a safe space for students to talk and learn more about social justice issues through conferences, events, and dialogue. This program partners with the Spectrum Living & Learning Community.
  • The Quadrangle Engineering and Sciences Living and Learning Community is comprised of students studying engineering, applied science, or mathematics who live in Aden, Brackett, Cockerell, or Crosman halls. This program offers residents on-site tutoring, access to a computer lab configured to match that in engineering computer labs, enhanced academic support services, wireless computer access, and calculus work groups in residence. An additional fee of $130 per academic year was charged in 2013–14 to cover support activities (fee is subject to change).
  • Spectrum, part of the Hallett Diversity Program, offers a variety of social and educational activities including leadership opportunities. Spectrum is designed to provide a supportive place for individuals of all sexual identities including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and their allies. The Spectrum living area has gender neutral bathrooms.
  • Transfer WEST (Welcoming Exceptional Students in Transition) is a unique social, academic, and resource community just for transfer students. Participants have previously attended other universities or colleges but are new to CU. The program hosts various social events and activities as well as academic advisement and career-oriented programs geared to help transfer students be successful at CU-Boulder.

Room and Board Rates per Semester

Residence hall room and board rates per person, per semester, for the 2013–14 academic year were as follows: 

19 meals/week and double room: $6,129
19 meals/week and single room: $7,062

Different meal plans are available. A modest rate increase should be expected for the 2014–15 year. 

Application for Residence Hall Housing

New freshman and transfer students receive information from Housing & Dining Services about applying for accommodations after they have confirmed their intent to attend the university. Housing assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier applications are submitted, the better chance students have of being assigned to the residence hall of their choice. (Please note that Housing & Dining Services does not guarantee assignment to a particular building or program, type of accommodation, or a specific roommate.) 

Note: Application for admission to the university and application for housing are two separate transactions. Application for housing does not guarantee admission to the university, nor does admission to the university guarantee that housing will be available. For information regarding admission notification and confirmation procedures, see the Undergraduate Admission section. 

A security deposit ($300 for 2014–15) is required to apply for residence hall accommodations. (Deposit is subject to change.) 

All housing contracts are for the full two-semester academic year or remainder thereof. An early termination of contract is subject to financial penalties as stated in the residence halls contract.

Graduate and Family Housing

The university’s Children’s Center provides day care for the children of family housing residents, staff, and faculty. For information on applying: write the Graduate & Family Housing Office, 1350 20th Street, #A10, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80302;  call 303-492-6384; or e-mail familyhousing@colorado.edu. The housing website is housing.colorado.edu

Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations

Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations (a service of CUSG) maintains listings of apartments, houses, and rooms for rent in the Boulder area. Currently enrolled students may view listings and connect with potential roommates on Ralphie’s List, CU’s rental database at offcampushousing.colorado.edu. The office also maintains a detailed list of apartments and property management companies available for download or pickup in the office.

The department has a staff attorney available on Tuesdays and Fridays to advise students about leases, security deposits, maintenance issues, and roommate and landlord conflicts.  

Office assistants will help students locate properties and answer questions about the surrounding neighborhoods.

During the spring semester, the office sponsors two off-campus housing fairs where landlords, property managers, and related businesses offer their services to students in a tradeshow fashion.

For additional information, call 303-492-7053 or visit offcampushousing.colorado.edu. Office hours are 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday. Summer hours are 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.