Living-Learning Program

Get the most out of your freshmen year

Freshmen have the opportunity to participate in a Living-Learning Community. These programs are designed to enhance on-campus living with a focus on shared interest, academic goals or lifestyle preferences.  

Theme Communities 

Theme Communities are residential experiences that offer students who have special interests or lifestyle preferences the opportunity to live and study together. Theme Communities provide participating students with co-curricular activities that may be initiated and led by either students or by university faculty/staff. There is no class requirement for these communities.

Artist Colony is for incoming students who have a passion for the arts. This community unites students from various personal and academic backgrounds who have a passion for the arts and exposes them to theater, visual arts and crafts, music and dance. This is an opportunity for students to develop their creativity, engage with the arts on campus and in the Richmond community, interact with VCU faculty and staff members and serve as a creative resource for the campus community as a whole.  Students applying to the Artist Colony do not need to  be majors within the School of the Arts, but do need to have a genuine interest in arts and culture that was fostered prior to coming to VCU. Regardless of major, from arts and business to the sciences and the humanities, students need to be active participants in creative making, thinking and doing.
Hall: Johnson
Sponsoring Department: School of the Arts

Engage is a theme community for incoming students who want to learn more about their communities and themselves through reflective community service. Engage students will connect with the Richmond community through direct and indirect community engagement opportunities in order to enhance personal growth and community development. Engage will bridge scholarly initiatives and co-curricular experiences by connecting what you are learning in the classroom with what you are experiencing in the real world. The students work together through collaboratively planned initiatives with partner organizations to address community-identified needs. Coordinated by the Student Leadership and Involvement Center, Engage brings together like minded students into one living community to engage, grow and learn from one another.
Hall: West Grace South
Sponsoring Department: Student Leadership & Involvement Center

FIT is program for students interested in health, fitness and wellness.  Through a partnership with the Recreational Sports Department, The Well and  COBE (the College Behavioral and Emotional Health Initiative:, FIT puts health, wellness and fitness at the center of the university experience and a core component of each student’s experience.
Hall: Rhoads
Sponsoring Departments: COBE, Rec Sports and The WELL

Outdoor Adventure is for students who love hiking, climbing, kayaking, snowboarding or any other outdoor pursuit. This community offers an exciting experiential learning environment where students share outdoor experiences that foster personal development, cultivate relationships, and encourage academic success. Through help from the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program, residents will learn wilderness stewardship, develop leadership skills and explore group dynamics. Each semester, residents will have the opportunity to choose and plan adventure trips such as indoor/outdoor rock climbing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, skiing/snowboarding, backpacking and many more.
Hall: Cary & Belvidere
Sponsoring Department: Rec Sports


Programs-in-Residence are residential experiences that offer students interested in a shared topic the opportunity to live together in a dedicated residential area. Programs-in-Residence support high levels of student interaction, increased interaction with faculty outside of the classroom and collaboration through the use of strategies such as a required class on the given topic, study groups and programming..


Ecovillage is for students who have an interest in and commitment to sustainable living. Through the year, residents will gain personal and professional skills relating to initiating and implementing sustainable projects. Residents will also be exposed to how VCU is working to become more sustainable through energy and water use reduction, our learn-to-garden program and community engagement/outreach. Lastly, residents will work closely with the VCU Office of Sustainability to identify and improve these programs to better the VCU student experience.
Hall: West Grace South
Required class: LDRS 200: Profiles in Leadership
Sponsoring Department: Sustainability Office 

Global Village is for students interested in learning more about other cultures. Students will spend the year learning about how to engage in a culture other than your own and opportunities for travel abroad. Students will be able to interact with people from all over the world and help them transition to life in the United States. This unique and dynamic community is fueled by intercultural communication, cultural exploration, new friendships and moments of intrigue and discovery.

Hall: Brandt Hall
Required class: GLED 101: Introduction to VCU Globe & Study Abroad
Sponsoring Department: Global Education Office

Lavender House provides an inclusive community for LGBTQIA+ students to live and learn with their peers. This community is a queer friendly space with monthly programs sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs focusing on LGBTQIA+ identities, history and concerns. Here, residents are able to explore and express their whole selves, including their gender identities and sexualities, in a safe and affirming environment

Hall: Cary & Belvidere
Required class: UNI 291: Exploring Diversity, Identity, and Social Justice
Sponsoring Department: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

LEAD Explorers is a first-year living-learning community for students who want to learn more about themselves and how they can become leaders in their classes, organizations and community.  LEAD Explorers will introduce students to the concepts of leadership through courses, speakers, trips and residential programs. LEAD Explorers is open to all students in all majors who have an interest in learning about leadership and developing a strong set of leadership skills. If selected, participants will be required to arrive early for RAM CAMP and register for a 1-credit leadership seminar LDRS 200: Profiles in Leadership to be taken in the fall semester.

Hall: Grace & Broad Residence Center
Required Course: LDRS 200: Profiles in Leadership
Sponsoring Department: VCU LEAD

Mosaic is a multicultural living environment that facilitates dialogue and learning about the many aspects of diversity, including race, gender, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, religion, political views and other forms of difference. It is designed to highlight the role of intersectionality and interconnectedness through the lens of social identity. The community's design encourages students to engage in dialogue about social justice and diversity in a shared academic and residential environment

Hall: Cary & Belvidere
Required class: UNI 291: Exploring Diversity, Identity, and Social Justice
Sponsoring Department: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

THRIVE is for students interested in learning how to make the most out of their college experience and set themselves up for a lifetime of health and happiness. THRIVE Programming includes yoga, fitness, nutrition classes, hiking, outdoors and unique educational opportunities. THRIVE integrates research, teaching, policy and programming to focused on student health and wellbeing as the foundation for student success. Residents in the THRIVE community receive priority seating in the new “Science of Happiness” course, have the unique opportunity to engage with numerous researchers across the University through COBE (, get exclusive access to monthly fun activities and much more.

Hall: Rhoads
Required class: UNIV 291: Science of Happiness
Sponsoring Departments: COBE & The WELL

How to apply to a freshmen Living-Learning Community

Living-Learning Communities Application is part of the Housing Application. Simply go to and click “Housing Application” and follow all steps. You will be able to rank your top three preferences. Please review all the Living-Learning options before making your selections. While efforts are made to place students in their first choice, that is not always possible. Living-Learning Community Applications are due June16.

Other Communities

These Programs-in-Residence have a separate application process. Visit their websites for more information.

Acceleration is a comprehensive program for incoming VCU freshmen who are interested in pre-health concentrations in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and the allied health sciences. The program provides exposure to various health professions and preparatory course work in math and science through a 4-week summer program followed by academic support throughout the freshman year. For more information visit

Hall: Brandt Hall
Sponsoring Department: Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences & the Division for Health Sciences Diversity

Emerging Leaders Program is a one year, intensive leadership community. It is designed to create opportunities for students to learn about leadership through classroom study and practical, real world application. Residents of this community are paired with upperclassmen mentors to substantial leadership project during the year. The Emerging Leaders Program is only open to students who have been invited to apply to the program. If selected, participants will be required to arrive early for RAM CAMP. Please note that if you are accepted into the Emerging Leaders Program, you do not need to apply separately for RAM CAMP. For more information visit

Hall: Grace & Broad Residence Center
Sponsoring Department: VCU LEAD

The Honors College residence hall accommodates both first-year and upper-class students in a residence hall that is designed especially for students of The Honors College. The Honors College living experience allows for increased interaction among honors students and facilitates active involvement in Honors College programs, including seminars and activities. In addition to completing honors courses, honors students attend Berglund seminars and assume leadership roles in honors student organizations. For more information visit

Hall: The Honors College
Sponsoring Department: The Honors College


Requesting a roommate for a Living-Learning Community

You can request a roommate through the Housing Application. However, to be eligible to be roommates in a Living-Learning Community, both students must select the same Living-Learning Community and also choose each other as roommates. If a student chooses a Living-Learning Community and the roommate does not, the student will be placed in the Living-Learning Community over the roommate choice.