Life

House Life

Application Tips

Tips from the House Deans:

  1. Read carefully as deadlines count. Follow all important timeline information as instructed by the individual programs and Residential Services.
  2. Meet Criteria. Pick programs where you meet the stated criteria for the program. For example, if you need a background in music and you are a novice, then you don't meet the criteria for that particular program. 
  3. Plan with Roommates. Make sure all of your roommates apply for the same program(s). Remember, you get a first and second choice. All roommates need to match up.
  4. Be authentic. Be honest and pick programs that interest you. Don't apply if you're only interested in a room type or House.
  5. Showcase interest with your essay. Focus on the program of choice in your essay, what you would bring to the program, and do not make it about the House. If listing two choices, write completely different essays for each choice. For example, Arts House in Harnwell is different than The Rodin Arts Collective (TRAC).

Speaking of the Application Essay:

Some of the programs require an essay. Some have additional requirements. Incoming first-year students should review the first-year menu below; upperclass students returning to campus should review the upperclass menu below.

Essay Tip #1: The general essay prompt for all first-year Residential Program applicants is as follows:

Explain your interest and activities related to the program, the contributions you expect to make to the community, and the benefits you hope to derive from membership.

Essay Tip #2: Be sure to visit the pages for the following programs who have additional requirements to apply:

  • Fisher Hassenfeld/Scientific AdventuresInstead of essay prompt, describe your experience in science, your long terms plans, and your motivation for joining the program.
  • Gregory/Film Culture: No essay required; type "Film Culture" in the essay box.
  • Gregory/Modern Languages Program:Submit the standard room preference form online at myhomeatpenn, identifying MLP as one of your top choices. Submit an essay specifying which language house(s) you are interested in, and give us a short amount of information about your background, fluency level, and specific interests related to the program. Please write your essay in English. 
  • Kings Court English/Huntsman Program: No essay required; type "Hunstman Program" in the essay box.
  • Riepe/Integrated Studies Program: No essay required; type "Integrated Studies Program" in the essay box.

If not listed, then there are no requirements other then the general essay prompt. For a complete list of available Residential Programs, visit our list here.

Essay Tip #1: The general essay prompt for all Residential Program applicants is as follows:

Please address the following questions (maximum is 500 words): 1.) Why are you interested in joining this Residential Program?; 2.) What would your involvement bring to this program’s overall experience?; 3.) How have you participated in your current House community?; and 4.) If you have a specific bedroom, roommate pairing, or neighbor preferences, please list them.

Essay Tip #2: Be sure to visit the pages for the following programs who have additional requirements to apply:

  • Gregory/Film CultureNo essay; apply to Gregory in the Four-Year House process and fill out a room preference form
  • Gregory/Modern Languages: No essay; apply to Gregory in the Four-Year House process and fill out a room preference form
  • Harnwell/Arts House: Recommends additional participation in an audition or interview
  • Harrison/Integrated Living Program: Cover in the essay how you will be an asset to the community and what you hope to gain from the program
  • Harrison/Front Row Theatre and the Arts: Cover in the essay your current involvement with Front Row or other theatre groups on campus
  • Harrison/Cinema in Residence: Instead of essay prompt, complete a 4-5 paragrpah movie review for a movie that you belive should be included in Harrison's Cinema in Residence syllabus
  • Rodin/Balanced Living Community: Apply to the program titled "Wellness Community" when filling out your application

If not listed, then there are no requirements other then the general essay prompt. For a complete list of available Residential Programs, visit our list here.

If not listed, then there are no requirements other then the general essay prompt. For a complete list of available Residential Programs, visit our list here.