You @ WashU

Life in a WashU Residential College

As a member of the residential college community, you’ll get to know others closely and become involved in numerous activities and organizations. You will be encouraged and supported in your intellectual development and your relationships with others, including students, faculty, and staff.

All WashU first-year students must live on campus. Our first-year students live in 10 residential colleges on a part of campus we call the “South 40,” which is like its own small town, with dining facilities, a fitness center, a technology center, meeting rooms, intramural fields, basketball and sand volleyball courts, and more, plus its own student government. In addition, a gift shop, a convenience store, the mailroom, and several student-run businesses are located on the South 40.

Residential College Resources

Our residential colleges have social lounges, study rooms, personal computing labs, and recreation rooms. Residential college staff members are here to help you pursue your personal and educational goals. As you become more familiar with your residential college, you will find a dedicated group of faculty, staff, and students willing and able to help with any questions. Resident Advisors (RAs) are highly trained upperclass students who live in the the residential colleges, providing service to their peers as leaders, confidants, resources, and friends. In addition, each college has a Residential College Director (RCD), a professional staff member who manages the day-to-day operations. The RCD works with the RAs and interacts with students in the colleges. Each college also has its own dedicated housekeeping and maintenance personnel.

Read more about residential college facilities and services.

Student Leadership

Through the Congress of the South 40 (CS40), all residential students have the opportunity to create community and programming in their residential college. Students elect representatives who work as part of individual residential college councils to address needs and plan community building programs throughout the school year.

CS40, independently and with other student organizations, sponsors and produces many events on the South 40 – including large sporting events, outdoor music festivals, a formal dance, outings to St. Louis attractions, community service activities, and a variety of other events – throughout the year. CS40 offers many opportunities for you to get involved in activities and refine your leadership skills.

Residential Options

Residence houses located on the South 40 are either modern or traditional buildings.

Modern buildings: These facilities consist primarily of double rooms, with some triple and single rooms. Most room layouts consist of two double rooms adjoined by a restroom.

Traditional buildings: These facilities have single, double, and triple room options on each floor, and each floor community shares common restrooms. Some traditional halls are configured in a suite style with double and single rooms and a shared restroom.

Read more about reserving on-campus housing.

What’s in a Room?

Each student is provided with an extra-long twin bed, a desk, a chair, a dresser, bookshelves, and a closet. All rooms have mini-blinds and are air-conditioned. Over the summer, you will receive Bear Facts, a guide for new students that includes average room dimensions and lists of items to bring to campus.


Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts | Class of 2019 | Belmont, Massachusetts

"My favorite thing about living on the South 40 is being with the people around me: the passionate, intelligent, and caring individuals that I am proud to call my classmates and friends. I know I’ll always have friends here for me to make me tea when I’m sick, compliment me on my artwork when I’m working late at night, and cheer me on when I’m studying for a tough exam.

"The RAs and WUSAs (upperclass mentors) on my floor not only provide a wide variety of resources for us, they also help foster our sense of community with floor-wide outings and events. It didn’t take me long to realize I’d found one of the most friendly and welcoming communities around."

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