Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for one of the Learning Community programs?

Virtually all residential freshmen will live in a residence hall where their classmates from their first year seminar course, The Augustine and Culture Seminar, will live. About one-third of the class opts into one of the offered themed learning communities. Information about the themed communities is available on the web and a letter with highlights is mailed to all accepted new students during the Spring semester. 

Applications will be available on May 1 in conjunction with the University Housing Contract available at You must pay your deposit to hold your place in the class before being able to apply for housing and subsequently, a learning community.  

Students are encouraged to apply 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 selected to be in the learning community based on a variety of factors, including date of deposit, available double and triple rooms, gender, and college.  Most participants are notified of their selection the last week 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 deposit, available double and triple rooms, 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.  Apply 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.  If you are selected, your class schedule will automatically be adjusted by the Registrar's Office to ensure that you are enrolled in the appropriate section of the first year seminar course The Augustine and Culture Seminar (Traditions in Conversation and Modernity and its Discontents) and the one-credit workshop, if applicable. Likewise, your housing assignment will reflect your selection into a program.  Some participants may not find out they have been selected until later in the summer.

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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 themed Learning Communities are designed to enhance the experience of the student in an area in which the student has a special interest.  The themed communities  also assist students during their first year in discovering the links between the learning that students experience inside the classroom with their learning experiences outside of the classroom.  Students participating in the programs have been very happy with their choice to participate.  The students become active members of a living and learning community and are enriched with what they learn and the friendships they make.

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 Leadership, Faith and Reason, Healthy Living, Global Community, Art and Culture, Caritas: Service Learning, Creativity on the Page, and Environmental Leadership, are enrolled in an additional seminar/workshop class that meets once-a-week, most weeks, for 60-75 minutes.  The class begins at the outset of the school year and ends at Spring Break, which is in early March.  Some assignments are given in the class though much of the grade is based on participation and attendance at class or other events.  Additional optional programming is offered for students to participate in, at their own discretion. Students in Freedom and Virtue are required through their ACS first year seminar course to participate in field trips, talks, and other activities organized by the individual ACS professor.  The work load in any of the programs is not substantially heavier than for other first year students.

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

In the application, you may indicate order of preference for the various themed programs.  If you are not selected for one of the themed learning communities, you will still be assigned to a first year seminar class (ACS) and housing with your ACS classmates.  We will also automatically put your name on a wait-list for the program that you applied for.  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 apply to a program if I have a preferred roommate?

Yes. You and two preferred roommates must apply to the program that you are interested in.  On the application, space is provided for you to indicate your preferred roommates.  We will make every effort to accommodate the roommate request, however, several factors including date of deposit and learning community residence hall location will play a factor in what options are available.  PLEASE NOTE: All roommates must complete the application 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 because all first-year students are required to take the first year seminar course (ACS) for two semesters during their freshman year. Once you are selected to participate in a program, your class schedule will automatically be adjusted to register you for the appropriate section of the seminar(s).

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

No. Several varsity athletes have participated in the themed communities in the past.  However, 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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