Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join one of the Learning Community programs?

Virtually all residential freshmen will live in a residence hall with their classmates from their first year Humanities class, The Augustine and Culture Seminar.  About one-third of the first-year class opts into one of the offered themed learning communities. The learning communities offer a holistic experience where students live together in a residence call (on south campus), take their ACS 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 students form a small group community both in and outside of class.

Students sign up for a learning community when they complete the housing contract. The HOUSING CONTRACT will be available to students on February 28 (for early decision or early action students who have paid their deposit) or on May 1 (for regular admit students who have paid their deposit) at

Students are encouraged to complete the housing contract and sign up for a learning community early as we are not always able to accommodate all of the expressed interest. It is best to list both a first and second choice for your preferred learning community theme. Students are placed in the learning community based on a variety of factors, including date of deposit, date of housing contract, gender, and college. Most participants are notified of their placement in a learning community 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.

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Is everyone accepted into the program?

Students are selected to be in the learning community based on a variety of factors, including date of housing contract completion, available space in the community, gender, and college. The programs attempt to have a cross section of students from all four Colleges (Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Engineering and 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.

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When will I find out if I am accepted into a Learning Community program?

You will most likely find out the first week of August, after housing assignments are made available.  If you are placed in a learning community, 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.

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Are the Learning Community Programs just for freshmen?

The themed learning communities 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 Fall semester of their freshman year.

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What are the benefits of being in a Learning Community?

The Learning Communities are designed to enhance the experience of students as they acclimate to college life both in and out of the classroom. Students also have the chance to explore an interest they have (such as Leadership. Healthy Living, Global Citizenship, to name just a few of the available themes).  Being in a learning community 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 the learning communities have been very happy with their choice to participate. They are enriched with the friendships they make and the knowledge they gain.

To read more about our students' experiences, click here.

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How much of a time commitment does participation in a Learning Community require?

Students in the learning communities take the ACS class that all first-year students take, but are in a section of ACS associated with their themed community. Students also are enrolled in an additional discussion class that meets once-a-week for 75 minutes, usually in the residence hall. The discussion class meets from the beginning of the school year until late February. The one-credit class is an “extra” class, and 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 through the Hop On the Bus series.

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What if I select one of the programs and do not get in?

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 wait list, simply contact us and we will remove your name (through e-mail or by phone at 610-519-4550).

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May I opt into a learning community if I have a preferred roommate?

Yes. You will indicate on the learning community form and housing contract who your preferred roommate is. The preferred roommate also should complete the learning community 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 learning community form and name each other as "preferred."

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Can students from all majors participate?

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 a learning community, your class schedule will automatically be adjusted to register you for the appropriate section of ACS and the one-credit discussion class.

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Will my status as a varsity athlete affect my ability to participate?

In most cases, no. Students who are on sports teams are welcomed to participate in the learning communities.  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 a learning community 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.

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Where will the students participating in the learning community program be housed on campus?

Students participating in learning communities will be housed in a designated hall on south campus for the 2019-2020 school year.

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Are the residence halls involved with the programs co-educational?

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

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