Every year, about one-third of Villanova’s first-year students choose Communitas, which offers the opportunity to thrive through meaningful conversations and intentional community-building inside and outside the classroom. Students who select Communitas live together in a residence hall on South Campus, are enrolled in a one-credit Communitas course designed around a specific theme that meets weekly throughout the year, and take an Augustine and Culture Seminar (ACS) class designed specifically for Communitas with the same students from their theme.

Communitas and The First-Year Experience

Students who select Communitas:

  • Live together in a residence hall on South campus
  • Take a specially-designed Augustine and Culture Seminar, a class all first-year students participate in
  • Enjoy unique co-curricular programming
  • Are enrolled in a one-credit Communitas course designed around a specific theme that meets weekly throughout the first year




Students in Communitas take the Augustine and Culture Seminar (ACS) with their hallmates, are offered co-curricular opportunities and field trips with faculty, and take a one-credit workshop-style course on one of several offered themes, which students opt into.

The one-credit workshop meets in a casual setting and provides students the opportunity to learn practical knowledge about topics that matter in today's world through experiential activity and discussion.

2024-25 Communitas Themes

Who am I in relation to the arts?

Students Explore:
• Culture through the ages
• Off-campus performances, museums, art galleries

What is my responsibility to my neighbor and the world?

Students Explore:
• Seeking truth through service
• Values in action

The Caritas: Service Learning community includes:

  • Participating in the Augustine and Culture Seminar (ACS) together.
  • A one-credit reflection group that meets weekly for 50 minutes.
  • 3-hours of community service/week.

Caritas will continue throughout the entire year and students receive 2 credits for the additional time for service: one credit for the fall, and one credit for the spring. 

How can I express myself through writing?

Students Explore:
• The craft of poetry and fiction
• Creative as well as critical expression

Who am I within the natural world?

Students Explore:
• Impactful issues and innovations 
• Current and evolving views of nature
• Urban farms, eco-friendly products

How does faith inform life?

Students Explore:
• Evolving through your faith journey
• Theories of faith development
• Different religious traditions

Who am I in relation to the world?

Students Explore:
• Sharing of diverse ideas
• Conversations across cultures
• Contemporary global issues

How can I take care of myself and prioritize my well-being, beyond nutrition and fitness?

Students will:

• Set and track a goal related to their well-being
• Connect with key health and well-being resources at Villanova
• Explore how their personal well-being is connected with community well-being through discussion, activities, off-campus trips and projects

What is my purpose and passion?

Students Explore:
• Leadership styles and theories
• Self-reflection and mission definition
• Collaborative and cooperative service

Where do science and the humanities intersect?

Students Explore:
• Inquiry into fundamental questions through a science lens
• Human origins and destinations

How do I inspire a just and open society?

Students Explore:
• Definitions of social justice
• Igniting change on- and off-campus
• Marginalized identities and experiences    




Questions are common for new students and families! If your question about Communitas is unanswered here, please contact us—we're here to help.

Students sign up for Communitas when they complete the housing contract.  Students are encouraged to complete the housing contract and sign up for Communitas early as we are not always able to accommodate all who express interest. It is best to list a first and second choice for your preferred Communitas theme.

Students are placed in Communitas based on a variety of factors, including:

  • date of deposit
  • date of housing contract
  • gender
  • college

Most participants are notified of their placement shortly after housing assignments are available, typically at the end of July or early August.  

Students are selected for Communitas based on a variety of factors, including date of housing contract completion, available space, gender and college.

The programs attempt to have a cross-section of students from all four Colleges (Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Engineering, and the Villanova School of Business) for the residential programs. Sign up early if you are interested to increase your chance of obtaining a place in your program of first choice.

You will most likely find out the first week of August after housing assignments are made available. If you are placed into Communitas, your housing assignment and your class schedule will reflect the residence hall and an ACS class associated with the community, along with the one-credit discussion class on the theme of the community.

Students may indicate a first choice and a second choice community. If more students sign up than we have space for, you will be housed with other first-year students and be placed in a section of ACS. We will also automatically put your name on a waitlist for the theme(s) you expressed interest in. 

Communitas is themed sections that are designed for first-year students and your commitment is for one academic year. There is a Sophomore Service Learning Community that interested students apply for during the fall semester of their freshman year.

Yes. Students from all four colleges (Liberal Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Business) can participate since all first-year students take the Humanities seminar (ACS) for two semesters, the foundation of the learning communities.

The Caritas: Service Learning Community may be challenging for Engineering, Science and Nursing students due to scheduling constraints/labs and time at the service sites. We try our best to give students their first or second choice and will reach out if we run into a scheduling concern. Once you are placed in Communitas, your class schedule will automatically be adjusted to register you for the appropriate section of ACS and the one-credit discussion class.

Students who are varsity athletes are welcome to participate in Communitas. However, some student-athletes have found that living with another student on their team is desirable, or find with required practice times they do not wish to make additional time commitments. If you are considering participating in Communitas and you are a varsity athlete, we encourage you to be realistic about managing your time and what athletic commitments you may have during the year.  

Communitas is designed to enhance the student experience as they acclimate to college life both inside and outside the classroom. Students also have the chance to explore an interest.

Participating in Communitas provides students with opportunities to get to know their peers quickly and easily through: 

  • in-class ACS discussions around the bigger questions of life 
  • daily interactions within the residence hall 
  • the one-credit discussion class where active engagement in conversation is the hallmark of the experience

Students participating in Communitas have been very happy with their choice to participate. They are enriched with the friendships they make and the knowledge they gain.

Students in Communitas take the ACS class that all first-year students take, but are in a section of ACS associated with their themed community. Additionally, students also are enrolled in a discussion class that meets once a week for 75 minutes. The discussion class meets from the beginning of the school year until late February.

The one-credit class is geared to engage students in conversations, activities, and reflections related to the theme. It is designed to add value to the first-year experience, not to be burdensome in light of students’ academic commitments. Students from all four colleges participate very successfully. Additional optional co-curricular programming is also offered to students throughout the year.

Yes. You should complete your housing contract and indicate your Communitas interest.  When the Roommate Selection process is available in mid-May, you can search for a roommate who is also interested in Communitas.  Preference for Communitas is given to those who complete the housing contract and either have no preferred roommate, or have a preferred roommate who also selected Communitas. If  there is availability, we will consider other pairings. We will make every effort to accommodate the roommate requests; if there are extenuating circumstances, we will reach out.   

Students participating in Communitas will be housed in Stanford Hall located on south campus for the 2024-2025 academic year. Students will be a member of the ACS class, the Communitas-themed section and the residence hall for the full academic year. If a student decides to leave Communitas at any point, they will also be reassigned to a different residence hall. 

Office of First Year Experience

215 Dougherty Hall

Student Life Offices and Departments
We want to provide the best experience possible for our students and community members. Below are the offices and departments housed within the Division of Student Life. If you have any questions, please contact us.