Housing Communities FAQ

Please note: 2024–25 community application deadlines have been extended to May 15, with decisions finalized by May 30.

About Our Communities: The Basics

What is the difference between an Academic Residential Community (ARC) and a Residential Community (RC)?

An Academic Residential Community (ARC) is a community of students who live together in the same building and take classes together based around an interest or identity. The ARC curriculum includes a year-long, four-credit UGST-labeled ARC seminar and often incorporates another class that aligns with the interest of the community. An ARC is a great way to explore majors with your peers while building community in the residence halls by living and socializing together.

A Residential Community (RC) is a community of students who live together based on a shared interest or identity, but who do not take any courses together. An RC is a great opportunity for students looking to build community in the residence halls but are not interested in exploring a discipline academically.

Both ARCs and RCs include cocurricular programming led by peer mentors, faculty, and staff. They also have resident assistants specifically selected and assigned to the communities. Some ARCs and RCs have specialized spaces in the residence halls to support their academic activities, such as the Business ARC Innovation Lab, Art ARC Hacker-Maker Studio, and Performing Artists Collective dance and music spaces.

Are students required to join an ARC or RC?

No. Applying for an ARC or RC is optional.

How is an ARC or RC different from a residence hall?

Students in ARCs and RCs live together in a block of reserved rooms within a residence hall. The other rooms in the hall are occupied by students in other ARCs or RCs, or by students not affiliated with an ARC or RC.

Where are each of the ARCs and RCs located?

Information regarding the location of ARCs and RCs can be found at the bottom of each community’s web page. Links to each community are available on our communities page

What are the room types for the ARCs and RCs?

You will be limited to the building and rooms that have been reserved for your community.

Am I required to live with other ARC students in the designated ARC or RC rooms?

Yes. If a student is accepted into an ARC or RC, the student will be required to live within a residence hall with other students in their community. Students in a community will only view other students in their community as roommate options and will select from rooms reserved for their community during room selection. If two students want to room together in a community, both students must be accepted into the same ARC or RC.

What is the difference between an identity-based community and an interest-based community?

An identity-based ARC or RC is a community where students with shared identities live and learn together. While students from all backgrounds may apply, these communities are specifically crafted as both learning cohorts and affinity spaces where individuals with similar identities can connect. The programming and curricula for these communities are tailored to the specific identity they represent.

At the UO, our identity-based communities are:

  • Latinx Scholars ARC
  • LGBTQIA+ Scholars ARC
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies ARC
  • Umoja Scholars ARC
  • Women in Science and Math ARC
  • First-Generation RC
  • Gender Expansive RC
  • Home Flight Scholars RC

The interest-based communities are spaces to live and learn with other students sharing similar academic interests.


ARCs and Academics

What does an ARC curriculum look like?

Each ARC curriculum looks a little different. ARCs will have a year-long seminar (either two or three terms) for students within the community, and are often supplemented by additional courses as part of their curriculum. These courses are a great way to enhance the ARC seminar with additional discussion and shared knowledge.

For example, a sample year-long ARC curriculum for our Native American and Indigenous Studies ARC might look like this:

ES 199 - NAIS ARC Seminar (1 credit)
ES 256 – Introduction to Native American Studies (4 credits)

ES 199 – NAIS ARC Seminar (1 credit)
ENG 244 – Introduction to Native American Literature (4 credits)

ES 199 – NAIS ARC Seminar (2 credits)
LING 399 – Oregon’s Indigenous Languages (4 credits)

If students stay in their ARC seminar for the entire year, the seminar will satisfy one of the three  “Areas of Inquiry” core education requirements.

What if I decide to choose a different major or area of study that is different from my ARC?

Our ARC seminars provide students with an opportunity to explore various academic interests, as the yearlong seminar fulfills one of the UO’s “Areas of Inquiry” Core Education requirements. When you successfully complete all four credits of any ARC seminar, such as UGST 111 (Arts & Letters), UGST 112 (Social Science), or UGST 113 (Science), it will contribute to your progress in the corresponding requirement. Additionally, most courses associated with ARC seminars also help fulfill other core education requirements.

How is an ARC different from a FIG (First-Year Interest Group)?

While students in ARCs and FIGs take classes together, students in First Year Interest Groups do not live in a residence hall together and the FIG is not tied to UO Housing. A FIG is also only for one term, while an ARC is a yearlong experience. Because both ARCs and FIGs have academic requirements, we do not recommend students participate in both. However, a student in an RC can participate in a FIG without conflict.


The Community Application Process

How do I apply for an ARC or RC?

Applying for an ARC or RC take place within the My Housing portal as part of registering for housing. To apply, register for housing and select an ARC or RC in the “Community Preference” dropdown, under “Applications.” Fill out the required community questions.

Once your housing registration has been submitted, a committee will review your community application. You will receive notice through MyHousing and via email regarding the committee’s decision.

During the housing registration process, you will be prompted to choose a community. If you do not wish to join a community, select “No.” If you later decide to apply for a community or switch community preferences (before May 15), this is the section of the housing registration where those changes are made.

When do ARC and RC applications close?

The priority deadline for ARC and RC applications is May 15. We recommend that you get your application in as early as possible because some communities may fill up earlier. Some communities may remain open if space remains, but will close before roommate browsing begins in June.

Can I switch from one ARC or RC to another?

Yes and no. Before May 15, you may drop one community and switch to another, where you will go through the application process again, including answering community questions. After May 15, you may not apply for a new community. You may withdraw a community application at any time.

What happens if I am no longer interested in an ARC or RC?

If you are no longer interested in an ARC or RC, remove your community preference in My Housing. Once the community preference has been removed you will no longer be able to live with ARC or RC students in that community. Note that if you remove your community preference after the application deadline has passed (May 15), you will not be able to apply to rejoin that community.

The community I want to join is full. What are my options?

We recommend checking out other communities whose applications are still open and seeing if those are of interest! Otherwise, you may be able to get on a waitlist for the community, meaning that your application will be considered if a space opens up.

I have been waitlisted for an ARC or RC. What does that mean?

Being waitlisted means that you will be considered for the community depending on space. Students who are waitlisted can leave the waitlist at any time by adjusting their community preferences in My Housing. Waitlists close on May 15.

When do we choose our rooms?

Room selection for new UO students in ARCs or RCs begins in July and closes in August. You will be notified of your specific room selection date and time via email and a notification through My Housing.