Students gathered together and socializing

Communitas is an engaging and unique opportunity for first-year students to thrive through intentional conversation inside and outside the classroom. Villanovans in Communitas embrace new friendships and unique academic endeavors while navigating the college experience together.

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

Talk To Me, I Talk Back
Healthy Communication and Conflict Resolution

The Talk To Me, I Talk Back: Healthy Communication and Conflict Resolution workshop helps identify conflict styles and assists in developing skills related to strengthening relationships and overall communication. Students will learn to recognize positive outcomes and growth as a result of resolving conflict and identify the role that emotional intelligence plays in our ability to engage in healthy communication tactics. Students will also explore their apology languages as well as the importance and challenges of honest and genuine apologies.





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.

2021-2022 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.

Additionally, Caritas: Service Learning is limited to those who are enrolled in the Arts in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) or the Villanova School of Business (VSB).

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 live a balanced lifestyle?

Students Explore:
• Identifying credible health sources
• Healthy lifestyle choices
• Individual health impact on community

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.

Communitas offers a holistic experience where students live together in a residence hall, participate in their Augustine and Culture Seminar class with hallmates, and take a one-credit discussion-based class with the same students in the ACS class. Each class has about 16 students, so participants form a small group community both in and outside of class.

Students sign up for Communitas when they complete the housing contract.

The HOUSING CONTRACT will be available to early decision students on March 1 or on May 4 (for early action and regular admit students who have paid their deposit).

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. If you do not have access to the internet to access the form, please call Teri O'Brien at 610-519-4550.

Students sign up for Communitas when they complete the housing contract.

The HOUSING CONTRACT will be available to early decision students on March 1 or on May 4 (for early action and regular admit students who have paid their deposit).

Students are encouraged to complete the housing contract and sign up for Communitas early as we are not always able to accommodate all of the expressed interest.

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) and from all geographic regions 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 wait-list for the theme(s) you expressed interest in. 

Should you decide you do not want to be on the waitlist, simply contact us and we will remove your name.

Communitas formerly was referred to as First-Year Learning Communities. Themed Communitas sections are designed for first-year students and your commitment is one year only. 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) 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 is limited to students in ARTS or VSB because of scheduling constraints and time at the service sites. 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.

In most cases, no. Students who are varsity athletes are welcomed 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, be realistic about your time management skills. Being a varsity athlete does require a significant time commitment, along with your normal academic load.

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 more deeply–in class discussions exploring the big questions of life, in the residence hall through everyday living, and in 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 will indicate on the Communitas form and housing contract who your preferred roommate is. The preferred roommate also should complete the Communitas form. We will make every effort to accommodate the roommate requests; if there are extenuating circumstances, we will reach out. If you have questions, please contact us. To reiterate: all roommates must complete the Communitas form and name each other as "preferred."

Students participating in Communitas will be housed in a designated hall on south campus for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Yes. The residence halls are co-educational by floor. Each floor/gender has its own bathrooms.

Division of Student Life

202 Dougherty Hall

Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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.