Themed Housing Communities

A Themed Housing Community is a community of first-year students who live together in a residence hall, share a common interest, and participate in group activities with a designated faculty member, student life representative, and upper-class student. We created Themed Housing Communities to not only extend your learning beyond the classroom, but also to foster friendships among like-minded students and professors.

You will choose from a variety of communities (simply designate and rank your top choices on your First-Year Student Residence Application/Agreement). Most people get their top picks.

Academic Fusion or Scholars in Action?

As a member of an Academic Fusion Themed Housing Community, you will take a class with your hall mates that's typically taught by your faculty advisor. You will also participate in thematically related events, such as attending concerts, films, theater presentations, lectures, art exhibits, and more.

Scholars in Action Themed Housing Communities focus on a shared interest but are not tied to a class; in some cases those themes are academic in nature, and in others they're more about life enrichment. The Scholars in Action communities also have faculty and student life advisors who help organize a variety of interesting activities such as networking events, field trips to area businesses, visits to local spiritual communities, and whitewater rafting excursions.

Each year we offer a diverse selection of themed housing based on student interest. Here's a sample of communities that we have offered recently:

Academic Fusion

  • Education
  • Ethnic Studies
  • History
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Women and Gender Studies

Scholars in Action

  • Adventure Education
  • Dog and Cat Lovers
  • Human Rights
  • Leadership and Management Skills
  • Science
  • Social Justice and Educational Change
  • Sustainability and Local Food

Visit our housing website for a list of this year’s Themed Housing Communities.

Sample Community Activities

Here's a sample of things you might do in a themed housing community:

  • Take a behind-the-scenes tour of SFMOMA
  • Visit organizations engaged in sustainable business practices
  • Experience the Exploratorium
  • Write poetry in the park
  • Meet and talk with Oakland city leaders
  • Take a historic walking tour of Fisherman's Wharf
  • Visit MoAD, the Museum of the African Diaspora
  • Bike through Golden Gate Park
  • Rock climb

Case Study: Education

As part of the Education Themed Housing Community, students:

  • Explored the murals in San Francisco's Mission District and discussed experiential learning
  • Met with first-year teachers to talk about successes and challenges in the classroom
  • Toured the Julia Morgan School for Girls on the Mills campus to learn about a single-sex middle school
  • Enjoyed a group dinner at Dr. Donahue's home in San Francisco

"One of the things about living together is that students support each other as learners. They study together and take classes in pairs. It’s those networks of support that predict success in college."

—David Donahue
Associate Provost
Professor of Education
Advisor for the Education Themed Housing Community

Last Updated: 12/10/14