Two-Year Housing and Dining Requirement

The College Houses are unique residential communities for Penn undergraduates that connect the academic life of the University to the residential experience. They foster smaller, intimate communities that students call home and from which they are supported in pursuing their academic goals and in navigating the complexities of university life. The College Houses provide academic and personal support to residents and promote social interaction, engagement, accountability and leadership within a setting that honors the diverse needs and backgrounds of the Penn community.

The College House experience is a central component of a student’s successful transition to and mastery of the rigors of university life at Penn. To support our undergraduates in their academic and personal endeavors, and to engage them with each other and the larger Penn community, we require all undergraduate students1 to live on campus in a College House and participate in a meal plan for their first four semesters (excluding summers), regardless of the number of course units or class standing.

  • Students who transfer to Penn from another institution with second year standing and who lived on campus their first year at their previous institution may count those semesters toward the Penn housing residency requirement.
  • Students who transfer to Penn from another institution with junior standing are required to live in on-campus housing for their first two semesters at Penn.
  • Students who study abroad during their sophomore year may include that time toward the requirement.
  • A student who has taken a leave of absence during their first two years living on campus may apply for an exemption from the residency requirement. The exemption will be approved if a student lived on campus for three complete semesters.
  • Signing an off-campus lease or entering into a housing agreement within a fraternity or sorority house does not exempt the student from this policy.

Updated March 12, 2024 


The following students are exempt from this policy: students enrolled in the College of Liberal Studies or in the Penn Nursing BSN Second Degree Program, students who are married or in a University-recognized domestic partnership, students living with a dependent, or students who are age 22 or older at the start of the academic year.