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 new living option is application based and will be reviewed by the Program Community Committee in College Houses & Academic Services. Here are the basics:

  • A minimum of 12 students are required to propose an idea
  • SDCs will partner with the House Dean and senior staffs of their assigned House with the execution of programming
  • SDCs are assigned by CHAS to an upperclass or four-year house that best suits the program's theme and specific needs
  • 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, January 23 from 8-10pm
  • 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 and enjoy Insomnia cookies. It's your chance to learns the ins-and-outs of the SDC process.

Tuesday, October 16 9:00 PM Rodin College House, Seminar Room M30
Wednesday, October 17 9:00 PM Hill College House, Seminar Room A231

Step 2: Pay Attention to Important Dates

  • Friday, November 2 at noon:  SDC Applications are due to CHAS
  • Monday, November 5 – Friday, November 16: CHAS will review proposals and conduct interview process with applicants; applications will be matched with one House for consideration
  • Tuesday, November 27 [approximate] : CHAS will release decisions about SDC applications; SDCs may be matched, declined or wait-listed

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
  • 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 24 and January 28 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