First-year Residential Learning Communities

When students apply for housing, they request Residential Learning Communities — not a specific building. The location of each Learning Community is subject to change from year-to-year, based on the number of requests. The location of specific Learning Communities is determined during the summer. 

Room configurations in residence halls are subject to change, based on the availability of facilities and enrollment. It is our intent that all first-years live in residence halls and upperclassmen live in apartments. Should the incoming first-year class exceed the number of bed spaces in the residence halls, first-years may be assigned into campus apartments or additional triple rooms will be added to residence halls.

2021-22 Residential Learning Communities


Open to all first-year students; Coursework Required

In collaboration with the Center for Leadership, this residential learning community fosters socially responsible leadership development through events and initiatives that are innovative and educational. All members of this community must complete the not-for-credit Emerging Leadership Certificate together during Fall 2021. More information for this program is online at:


College-Based Communities
Open to all first-year students of all majors

Each college — College of Liberal Arts; College of Science and Math; College of Engineering; College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science; Orfalea College of Business; and College of Architecture and Environmental Design — has its own Residential Learning Community! These six communities afford students the opportunity to live with others in their college or major, often sharing the same classes, while participating in activities that center around their academics, careers and social interests.

CAL POLY Scholars
Required for students in the Cal Poly Scholars program. Roommates do not have to be part of the program.

An invitation-only program that provides a two-year residential experience for students from selected California high schools. The key goals of this program are to think critically and creatively, build respect for diversity and work collaboratively, build scholarly expertise, and promote lifelong learning.

At the request of Cal Poly Scholars, program participants and their requested roommate/s will be assigned a room in the Cal Poly Scholars community.


Cultural and Identity Scholars Community
Open to all FiRst-year students

Offered in partnership with Student Diversity & Belonging, Cultural and Identity Scholar Communities provide opportunities — especially for underrepresented students on campus — to create cultural, social and academic connections. These communities also serve as safe spaces for students who identify within the Culture & Identity Scholars Community. We offer the following communities in the application:

  • Asian-Pacific Islander Scholars 
  • Black Scholars 
  • Chicanx/Latinx Scholars
  • Cross Cultural Scholars 
  • Native and Indigenous Scholars
  • SWANA Scholars

Communities will be formed based off of student interest. If there is not enough interest in a specific cultural and identity learning community, students will be offered a space in the Cross Cultural Scholars Community.


Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
Required for all students in the EOP program. Roommates do not have to be part of the program.

EOP is an invitation-only program focused on helping improve the access, retention and graduation of students through encouraging success, community building and empowerment. EOP participants live with other members of the program in their own Learning Community, though they may invite non-EOP members to be their roommates.

At the request of EOP, program participants and their roommate/s will be assigned a room in the EOP community.


Optional for students invited to be part of the Honors program. Roommates do not have to Be part of the program.

A community where members of Cal Poly’s Honors Program live together to seek challenges, participate in experiential and interdisciplinary learning, grow as individuals, and expand the boundaries of their academic potential. The Honors community observes extended quiet hours.


Pride Community
Open to LGBTQia+ identified students and allies

A learning community for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) identified students and their allies that specializes in strong community, leadership and identity development and education on issues pertaining to sexual and gender diversity at Cal Poly and in the San Luis Obispo community. This living option features gender-inclusive restrooms and programmatic offerings through the Pride Center.


Substance Free
Open to all first-year students

The Substance Free community is for those committed to a living environment of wellness and having a great time without tobacco, drugs, or alcohol. Residents of the Substance Free community sign a Statement of Understanding and agree to live in an environment that is conscientious of the well-being of yourself and others by forgoing substances within the community.

TRIO Achievers
Required for students in the TRIO program. Roommates do not have to be part of TRIO.

A learning community where members of the TRIO program participate in academic advising, get tutoring, and participate in workshops — right in their residence hall. TRIO members are required to live in the TRIO community as part of their program, but may invite non-TRIO members to be their roommates.

At the request of TRIO, program participants and their roommate/s will be assigned a room in the TRIO community instead of participating in general room selection. 

Watch this video on TRIO Achievers to learn more.

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