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 residential reality (lasting for one academic year, beginning in Fall 2023). 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 Director 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
  • SDCs can be canceled if they do not meet certain enrollment requirements
  • There will be no SDCs or PCs accepted in the College House at the Radian for 2023-24.

2023-2024 SDC Application Process

Step 1: Get Familiar with the Requirements

Read this document and understand what CHAS will require you to provide information about during your application and interview process:

Student Designed Communities (PDF, 375KB)

Step 2: Pay Attention to Important Dates

  • Monday, November 7 at noon:  SDC Applications are due to CHAS
  • Monday, November 7 – Wednesday, November 30: Individual College Houses will review proposals and conduct interview process with applicants
  • Monday, December 5 [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)
  • Name of a faculty or staff advisor who will work with the community
  • Clear description as to what the SDC offers the students who will be involved (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 during room selection in January (exact dates TBD) by logging onto MyHomeAtPenn 
  • On the application, you will need to select your SDC from the list of PC options
  • The House Director 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