About CHAS


About the College House System at Penn


The thirteen 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 6000 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 Director, one or more Fellows, a House Director, a House Coordinator, a plentiful staff of student Resident Advisors (RAs), student technology assistants, 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 Program Communities 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 thematic Program Communities 

• 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

• Dinners and informal events every night of the week

• Personal support and advice from RA staff

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