Welcome Class of 2020! The Housing Preference Request Form will open April 1, 2016 at noon. You must accept your offer of admission before you can access the form. In the meantime, please review the important information and resources below to prepare to submit your form.
Living in Penn's College Houses is an essential part of the Penn experience. Freshmen are required to live on campus and participate in a meal plan during their first year of enrollment. Students may submit housing preferences online by logging into the Admissions Applicant Portal. The housing preferences request form will be available the day after all regular admission decisions have been released. Please read instructions below. Any questions can be directed to the Housing Assignments Office at 215-898-8271 or via email to
ResourcesReview the following resources and information prior to completing your Housing Preferences Request Form.
New for 2016The Class of 2020 will be the first to live in the New College House, the first signature building on Penn's campus specifically designed to maximize the College House experience. The New College House has 350 private bedrooms within multi-person suites with bathroom and living room, a dining hall, lounges on every floor, two seminar rooms and other community spaces. For more information on New College House including floor plans and furnishings, click here.
In the first year, New College House will be a freshmen community while Hill College House closes one year for renovation.
College HousesIncoming freshmen are eligible to live in nine of Penn's eleven College Houses:
- Housing Policy
All first-year students are required to live on-campus.
- The College Houses foster small, intimate communities that provide academic and personal support, as well as many opportunities to meet other students from diverse backgrounds and interests. To support undergraduates in their successful transition to Penn, all freshmen, transfer, and exchange students will be required to live on campus and participate in a meal plan during their first year of enrollment. Exceptions to this policy include students enrolled in the College of Liberal Studies or in the Penn Nursing BSN Second Degree Program. Exceptions will also be granted for married students, those in a University-recognized domestic partnership, and those living with their dependents. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be sent in writing with any appropriate supporting documentation to the Housing Assignments Office,
. Requests must be submitted for review by June 1. Requests for exceptions for medical reasons must be made through the Medical Accommodation process.
- Process and Deadlines
The Housing Preferences Request form will be available once all regular admission decisions have been released. Students must accept their admission to the University of Pennsylvania in order to access the Housing Preferences Request form. It may take up to to 24 hours for your response to be updated in the housing system.
- First-year students may submit housing preferences online by logging into the Admissions Applicant Portal. The form will be available the day after all regular admission decisions have been released. Using the user name and password sent by the Admissions Office, students who have accepted their admission to Penn are able to log in and access their housing preferences form through the "My Housing" link. If you have lost your username and password, contact Admissions by email to
- We highly recommend that students prepare by reading about the various College House and Residential Program offerings, reviewing the rent schedule for room types and associated costs, and prioritizing their preferences regarding Houses and room types.
- When completing your form, you are required to list six choices. You are encouraged to vary your preferences in order to maximize getting one of your choices. For example, do not list more than four preferences in the Quadrangle because those Houses will fill with first and second choice preferences (refer to the Assignment Process). You may request a specific roommate of the same gender by coordinating your efforts and following the steps described below. If you are interested in Gender Neutral Housing, which means your room assignment is made without regard to gender, please read the policy and complete the steps within the application.
- Housing Preferences Request forms must be submitted by May 2, 11:59 PM, EDT (Eastern Daylight Savings Time), in order to be considered in the first round of assignments. Those submitted after May 2 will be reviewed based on the date of receipt. The Housing Preferences Request form will be available through June 30. Anyone not submitting preferences will be assigned to any available space.
Freshmen may request one roommate.
- You may request one roommate of the same gender by following the steps below.
- You and your roommate must start your Housing Preferences Request form and create your user names (screen names) for the housing portal.
- Share your user name with your roommate and discuss your housing preferences because all room choices must match to be assigned together. Be aware that if you are applying to a Residential Program, both roommates must apply and be accepted into the program.
- One roommate may then request the other by entering the roommate’s first and last names exactly as it appears on their housing form (Details step).
- The requested roommate then returns to the housing form and must accept the request. If the requested roommate decides to decline for any reason (or not attend Penn), it is his or her responsibility to share this information with the requester.
- Neither roommate should submit their form without confirming that the other roommate has applied and completed the roommate step. You cannot change or add information once you submit your Housing Preferences Request form.
- Both forms must be submitted by May 2. If you submit after May 2, both forms must be received within a close time period (1-3 days).
- If you do not have a specific roommate request, Penn uses a short lifestyle questionnaire to assign roommates. However, whether submitting a specific roommate request or not, matching is not guaranteed as other factors such as room preference and availability play a significant role.
- Gender Neutral Assignment Option - students may request to be assigned without regard to gender, meaning the assignment is made without looking at either roommate's gender. If you are interested in this option, indicate this in the appropriate space on the Preference Request form. If you have a specific roommate request, there is a space in this section to include your roommate information (do not use the roommate request screen). Students under 18 years of age must submit written consent from their parents.
- Residential Services recognizes that transgender and intersex students may have particular needs for their on-campus living environment. Students are encouraged to contact the Housing Assignments Office to discuss possible options for best supporting their needs.
- Special Housing Needs
Students with special housing needs must submit a Request for Accommodated Housing form.
- Students with special housing needs because of a serious medical condition or disability should indicate this on the Housing Preferences Request form. Return the Housing Accommodation Request Form which includes the required documentation from the appropriate health care provider to the Office of Student Disabilities Services by May 2. Utilizing the information provided, the Offices of Student Health and Student Disabilities Services will review and make accommodation decisions. Decisions will be communicated to the Housing Assignments Office and they will provide reasonable accommodation to meet your needs based on the availability of appropriate options. Please be aware that you may prefer options that are not required to meet your accommodation needs. Housing Assignments cannot guarantee your preferences will be met beyond those required for your approved need. For more information please contact the Office of Student Disabilities Services, Weingarten Learning Resources Center, 3702 Spruce Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6027, 215-573-9235 (voice), 215-746-6320 (TDD), 215-746-6326 (Fax).
- Residential Programs
Residential Programs are smaller theme-based communities within a College House.
- If you are interested in a Residential Program, a smaller theme-based community within a College House, you may list up to two preferences and these will be considered your top choices(s). Most of the Residential Programs require an essay at the time of application. The only exception is the Film program in Gregory College House. Your essay should describe your present interests and activities related to the Program, the contributions you expect to make, and the benefits you hope to derive from community membership. Applicants’ essays for the Modern Languages Residential Program should describe formal and informal language experience. Your essay should be no longer than 500 words. These essays are reviewed by the House Dean for acceptance into the Program and room assignment. The types of rooms available to freshmen are limited. While your preference will be considered, if accepted into a Program you will be assigned to any available space.
- Huntsman International Studies Program and Benjamin Franklin Scholars
- Freshmen enrolled in the Huntsman Program for International Studies and Business are required to select the Huntsman Program as their first housing preference. Similarly, Benjamin Franklin Scholars must request the Integrated Studies Program as their first housing preference. As residency is required for both programs, no Residential Program essay is needed.
- Assignment Process
Housing Preference Request forms submitted by May 2 will be processed first. Those submitted after May 2 will be assigned in order of date received beginning in late May.
- Forms received by May 2 will be processed first. Requests for Residential Programs will be reviewed by the House Deans who will determine acceptance into the program and room assignments. For those applicants not requesting Residential Programs and those not accepted into Programs, assignments will be made through a computer lottery process which cycles through applicants by preference order. This means everyone’s first choices will be reviewed and if space is available an assignment will be made. The computer program will proceed in this fashion through preferences 2-8. This is why it is important to vary your choices and to list more than one. If you request a roommate, the person whose is randomly selected first will pull in the other.
- Due to the popularity of certain locations and limited availability, you may not be assigned one of your choices. If none of your preferences is available, you will be placed in any available space in order to ensure you have on-campus housing. We do not accept room change requests over the summer. There will be an opportunity to change rooms early in the semester if space is available.
- Forms received May 3 - June 30 will be assigned in order of date received. Typically, review of these applications begins late May. Please be aware that the availability of certain room types significantly decreases after the first round of assignments so you may not get one of your preferences. If you do not submit preferences by June 30, you will be assigned to any available bed.
- Housing Notification
If your Housing Preferences form is received by May 2, your assignment information will be available after June 10.
- If your Preferences form is received by May 2, your assignment information will be available by logging into campusexpress.upenn.edu after June 10. Those submitting forms after May 2 will be notified by e-mail when their assignment is available. You will need your Pennkey and password to log in to Campus Express. Information to create your Pennkey will be sent in May. For questions regarding your Pennkey, please e-mail
- You must confirm that you viewed your housing assignment or cancel it if you are not attending Penn online at campusexpress.upenn.edu or by writing to
by June 17. Once you receive your room assignment, check our Move In page which is frequently updated with details about moving in.