House Life

House Life

Student Designed Communities

Student Designed Communities: shared curiosity, shared space.

Student Designed Communities (SDCs) allow groups of upperclass students with a concept for a theme community to propose their ideas and turn it into a year-long residential reality. This living option is application based and will be reviewed by the Residential Program Committee in College Houses & Academic Services. Here are the basics:

  • A minimum of 12 students are required to propose an idea
  • SDCs are assigned by CHAS to an upperclass or four-year house that best suits the program's theme and specific needs; House requests should be included in the application
  • SDCs will partner with the House Dean and faculty of their assigned House with the execution of programming
  • Enrollment in an SDC may be opened to other interested students during the room selection process, but students involved in the original proposal process will receive first priority to room assignments
  • Selected programs will need to market their programs to a broad Penn audience and participate in the College House Living Fair on Wednesday, December 4 at 8:30PM in McClelland South Lounge
  • SDCs can be canceled if they do not meet certain enrollment requirements

Step 1: Attend an Information Session

Meet with members of the selection committee. It's your chance to learns the ins-and-outs of the SDC process.

Wednesday, October 16 9:00 PM Hill College House, Seminar Room A231
Thursday, October 17 9:00 PM McClelland (in Ware College House), South Lounge

Step 2: Pay Attention to Important Dates

  • Friday, November 1 at noon:  SDC Applications are due to CHAS
  • Monday, November 4 – Wednesday, November 27: CHAS will review proposals and conduct interview process with applicants; selected applications will be matched with one House for consideration
  • Monday, December 2 [approximate] : CHAS will release decisions about SDC applications; SDCs may be matched, declined or wait-listed
  • Tuesday, December 3: Approved SDCs need to confirm status by accepting or declining placement

Step 3: Apply Here  

In order to apply for a SDC, the following information will be required:

  • Name of student program coordinator (who will serve as the liaison to CHAS and, if accepted, a particular House)
  • Name of a faculty or staff advisor who will work with the community
  • Clear description as to what the SDC offers involved students (such as academic content, House partnerships, residential connections)
  • List of participation expectations in order for students to get the most out of the program 
  • Tentative schedule of events - for the SDC and offerings for the assigned House
  • Tentative budget

Click here to access the SDC application form.

Step 4: [For selected SDCs,] Apply for Housing

  • All students listed on the proposal indicated their intent to participate in the SDC
  • All students listed on the proposal will need to apply for "Program Community" housing between January 23 and January 27 by logging onto MyHomeAtPenn 
  • On the application, you will need to select your SDC from the list of PC options
  • The House Dean of your assigned House will do the room assignments and may reach out to you to pick actual spaces
  • Visit the Residential Services website for additional room selection instructions