University Housing

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Building 31
Phone: 805.756.1226

University Housing provides a unique and rewarding living experience for students of all class levels. Engaging residential life programs, led by professional staff and peer leaders in five Learning Communities, provide a foundational experience rooted in the Mustang Way that supports Learn By Doing, encourages excellence, and promotes student success.

At Cal Poly, all freshmen live on campus the first year. For the majority of first-year students, it is the first experience in a shared living environment. The live-on requirement ensures every student benefits from living in a supportive, new community where learning and campus life happens right at their doorstep, continuing, transfer and graduate student have the opportunity to live in campus apartments. Their communities focus on their specific needs to ensure academic success. Most students make lifelong friends and connections with other students they meet in campus housing.

Residential Life

All residents take part in University Housing Learning Communities where they engage in a diverse environment that enhances their academic and social experience at Cal Poly. Community programs and activities are administered by Coordinators of Student Development --full-time, live-in professionals who  assist residents with counseling, crisis intervention, general referrals, and judicial actions. The Coordinators of Student Development also oversee front desk services and the Resident Advisors/Community Advisors (RAs/CAs). The RAs and CAs, are typically upper-division students who understand the challenges faced by new students and make living on campus a positive and memorable experience for all residents. They are trained in building community, making academic referrals, planning events, mediation and crisis intervention.

Living Learning Program

The Living Learning Program communities offer freshmen the opportunity to live with other students studying in the same academic college. Students make direct connections with faculty, academic advisors, career advisors and campus resources. Programs focus on academic development and support, faculty interaction and career development, Living Learning Programs are located in the residence halls. There is one community for each of the University’s six undergraduate colleges.

Connections Themes

Connections learning themes provide environments where freshmen who share similar interests can live and interact together. Events are centered around student interests and themes. Campus clubs, organizations, faculty and staff get involved to link residents to campus life. Themes allow residents to explore new interests or immerse themselves in one of their passions outside of the classroom. There are approximately 15 halls. Connections themes are offered in the residence halls.


iCommunity is a learning community for freshman students interested in entrepreneurship. It is an interdisciplinary program that brings together students studying science, engineering, business and the arts to learn about client communication, emerging markets, and project management. Programs are hands-on, true to Cal Poly’s Learn By Doing educational approach. iCommunity is offered in campus apartments.

Transitions Program

Transitions residents explore personal strengths and examine how their talents relate to possible career options. Transfer students and freshmen are introduced to a community of peers, faculty and staff who help them navigate their new campus. Transitions offers programs and activities in apartments for first-year, transfer and returning students who are comfortable with an independent lifestyle. The Honors Community is also located here.

Sophomore Success Program

The Sophomore Success Program is offered to returning students living in campus apartments. Student events and activities help second-year students define their academic goals, create a map of coursework, offer exposure to projects, and provide career connections. University Housing provides freshmen with more information about this program during their first year at Cal Poly.

Student Leadership

Student representatives are elected in fall term to serve on governing boards in each of the halls and apartments. Participants contribute to their hall’s community by planning social, recreational, and educational events, and by voicing student-related concerns. Networks in community services, recreational sports and multicultural issues provide additional opportunities for student involvement.


Cal Poly ResNet is the campus housing network. All campus rooms have 24/7 access to the Cal Poly Network and wireless Internet service. University Housing’s ResNet Office provides computing support programs for all campus residents.

Applying for Campus Housing

The Housing Application is located in the Cal Poly Portal on the Housing Tab. Assignments for housing are made on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the housing application submission date, community preferences, demand, and availability.

All first-time freshmen are required to complete a housing intent, indicating their plans to live on campus. Once the Housing Application System opens, access to the housing intent and online application is granted within 24-48 hours of the student accepting Cal Poly's offer of admission. Students must complete and submit the Housing Application, print, sign and return the Housing & Dining License Agreement, and make the initial housing payment to Cal Poly in order to secure their space.

Freshmen who do not intend to live on campus may request an exemption. Exemptions from the residential requirement will be considered based upon the Freshman On-Campus Living Exemption Policy.

Continuing students begin applying for housing in February. Housing Application timelines and checklists are located on the University Housing website.


An initial housing payment is due at the time of application; or, students may request a financial aid deferral. The balance of fees for the academic year are paid in advance, either in full, by installment payment plan, or by quarterly financial aid disbursements.

The fees listed below reflect 2015-2016 academic year prices.

Location Price
Freshman residence halls: double occupancy:$7,176
Required freshman dining plan, residence halls:$4,833
Location Price
Freshman apartments, private rooms: $8,302
Required freshman dining plan, apartments:$3,853

Freshmen are also assigned to triple rooms in the residence halls and double rooms in the apartments. These options are priced differently.  

Off-Campus Housing Resources

The “Off-Campus” page on the University Housing website includes an online search tool to assist students, faculty and staff in locating off-campus housing options, information about the local housing market, and links to educational resources for renters.