About the College House System at Penn


The eleven College Houses bring together undergraduates, faculty, staff, and graduate students to form vibrant residential communities within the larger context of our renowned urban campus, right in the heart of historic Philadelphia.  

As a division of the Provost’s Office, our mission is to bring the academic life of the classroom into our living spaces.

We have roughly 5600 residents in total, primarily freshman, though Penn undergraduates may remain in residence for all four years if they wish.  The architectural styles vary from 24-story modern high-rises with over 800 residents to smaller, 4-story brick Houses with 170 residents. 

Each House has a Faculty Master, one or more Fellows, a House Dean, a House Coordinator, a plentiful staff of student Residential Advisors (RAs) and Graduate Associates (GAs), student Information Technology Advisors (ITAs), and many student managers in key positions.

Each House offers countless cultural, academic and recreational events, personal services, leadership opportunities—too numerous to name at once. Every House is different in its focus and traditions, but all offer the same great amenities and avenues for self-discovery and enrichment.

Over 40 specialized “theme floors” called Residential Programs in which students may choose to live provide smaller, tight-knit communities within the Houses. 

In tandem with the Department of Residential Services, the College House experience offers the following advantages:

Traditional Penn experience with other Penn students

In-House academic advising

Credit courses and workshops in-House

Free in-House tutoring in Chemistry, Economics and Math

Penn faculty and staff as neighbors and mentors

Supportive community when needed

Lease flexibility for Study Abroad students

House-based Research Fellowship opportunities

Over 30 interest-based Residential Programs 

No commitment to a 12-month lease

Secure, ubiquitous Wi-Fi

No utility, cable TV, or Internet bills

No subletting necessary

Location, location, location!

Furniture provided with rent

Ability to change rooms, if desired, up to 3 times a year

No security deposit required

Reduced price tickets to a dozens of House-sponsored events

Some in-House dining halls, cafes, convenience stores

24-hour staffed security trained to handle emergencies

Convenient lockout services

Information Centers offering personal assistance, tokens, vacuums, etc.

State-of-the-art life safety systems

Leadership opportunities in House governance, Residential Advisory Board

Dinners and informal events every night of the week

Personal support and advice from RA and GA staffs

400+ paid positions to gain pre-professional experience, assist the House

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