First-year Student Housing

Updated: March 10, 2020

The 2020-21 Housing Application for new students opens on March 18. Apply in your Housing Portal. You can edit your application and add roommates anytime through May 7.

Welcome to Cal Poly! We're excited for you to join our campus community. Because students who live on campus have greater academic success, Cal Poly requires all first-year students to live on campus in one of our residence halls: Yosemite & Sierra Madre, South Mountain Halls, North Mountain Halls or yakʔitʸutʸu.

For 2020-21, the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science (CAFES) will join Athletics and the Cal Poly Scholars Program in requiring its incoming first-year students to live on campus for the first two years.

In your community, you have access to academic, social, wellness and awareness events. You will also have many opportunities to build friendships that will stay with you long after you graduate.

In specific situations, students can apply for a housing exemption.
Learn more here.>> 

Steps to Secure Housing

1. Accept your offer of admission
Only students who accept their offer will be able to apply for campus housing.

2. Apply for housing
After the application opens on March 18 and one to two business days after accepting your offer of admission, go to University Housing on the Cal Poly Portal to secure housing. The last day to edit your application and be eligible for the room selection process is May 7.

On the housing application you will:

  • Agree to the housing contract. (Designate a cosigner if you are under the age of 18.)
  • Make your initial payment ($500 for housing + $1,000 for dining).
  • Select your top Residential Learning Community preferences.
  • Let us know if you plan to request a disability-related accommodation from the Disability Resource Center.
  • Let us know if you're planning to stay for Winter Break (Dec. 12-Jan.3). Winter Break is not included in your Housing Contract; an additional fee applies for Winter Break residents.
  • Choose a same-gender room or a gender-inclusive room:
    • Same-gender room: Students share a room with other students of the same sex or gender.
    • Gender-inclusive Rooms (LGBTQ+ and allies): We recognize that many students would be more comfortable living with members of the LGBTQ+ community and/or in housing options inclusive of all genders, gender identities, and expressions (not gendered into male and female spaces). Gender-inclusive rooms are available in both the Pride Residential Community and in small clusters throughout all other residential learning communities.
  • Request up to two roommates, for a maximum group size of three.
  • Choose other housing options — including a Dining Plan, Grad Guard Renters Insurance and more.

3. Select your room
In early summer, students will receive a room selection appointment and participate in room selection. Appointments are based on a lottery. The date you accept your admission or complete your housing application has no impact on your room selection appointment. Return to the application during your room selection window to pick a room for yourself and members of your roommate group.

  • If you are part of an approved roommate group, only one member assigns all roommates in the group. We suggest you coordinate with roommates to determine who has the earliest appointment and discuss your preferred housing options.
  • Once you begin room selection, you can view available rooms based on your Residential Learning Community request. Interactive floorplans are also be available during room selection.
  • If all spaces in your preferred communities are full at the time of your room selection appointment, you will see all available spaces in residence halls.
  • Residence halls feature a mix of double, triple and quad rooms. Review what room-types are offered in each community. That info will be helpful during room selection. But keep in mind: preferred room-types are not guaranteed, and double rooms often fill more quickly than triple or quad room options.
  • You will receive a confirmation email when your selection is complete.
  • Once you’ve assigned into a room, there will be no changes until after room selection has ended.

Residential Learning Communities

At Cal Poly, students request to live in a Residential Learning Community — not a specific building. Residential Learning Communities house the academic, social, identity and interest-specific Living Learning Programs that connect and build community among first-year students. 

tudents indicate their top Residential Learning Community (RLC) preferences in the application. To meet the needs of the program and its residents, University Housing may move the location of programs from year to year.

See all 2020-21 Residential Learning Communities. >>


The last day to cancel campus housing without financial penalty is Aug. 13, 2020. To cancel your housing, go to University Housing in your Cal Poly Portal, then click on Housing Cancellations.

    Planning Links

    Residence Halls
    Note: First-year students live in residence halls. Should the incoming first-year class exceed the number of spaces in the residence halls, first-years may also live in Cerro Vista Apartments. Residence hall occupancy and room configurations are subject to change.

    2020 First-year Housing Application Steps and Timeline

    First-year Student Housing Fees

    Mustang Move-in

    First-years move in on Sept. 11 and 12, 2020. You reserve a move-in arrival time after room selection has taken place. The following communities will move in on the following days: 

    Friday, Sept. 11: North Mountain, Yosemite, Sierra Madre

    Saturday, Sept. 12: yakʔitʸutʸu and South Mountain

    Winter and Spring Housing

    Not planning on moving to Cal Poly until Winter or Spring quarter? You'll fill out a different application for housing. Visit the Winter and Spring Housing webpage to learn more.

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