Housing and Residence Life

Each year, we welcome students from nearly all counties in Wisconsin, nearly all states in the US, and more than 50 countries from around the world. Although we don't require our students to live on campus, most freshmen choose to live in University Residence Halls. You will meet others who are beginning their college journey, experience diverse perspectives and cultural backgrounds, build new friendships, and make global connections.

The halls are open to upperclassmen as well, so new students can learn from and live beside sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Each hall is divided into smaller houses, allowing residents to form unique communities within the larger building. Our students find that the halls provide an appealing mix of academic and social life.

In addition, students who live in University Residence Halls earn higher GPAs and benefit from residence hall class sections, tutoring and academic advising in the halls, and learning communities.

University Residence Halls

Our 19 University Residence Halls are spread across two distinct neighborhoods with names coined for their location on campus. The Lakeshore Neighborhood is nestled against beautiful Lake Mendota, offering residents the most inexpensive lakefront property they will ever live on. The Southeast Neighborhood is in the southeast area of campus, comprised of more high-rise buildings and less green space. Both neighborhoods are close to classes, major bus routes, libraries and many other campus resources.

No matter where you live on campus, you'll quickly discover that our residence hall communities give you the support, services, and cultural and social opportunities you need to learn, make friends, and feel right at home.

University Residence Halls feature:

  • Academic programs that enhance the student residential experience. Within the halls, you'll find academic advising, tutoring services, writing instruction, study rooms, classrooms, and wireless access points.
  • Residential Learning Communities – eight learning communities that give you the chance to live and learn with other students who share your interests. These communities provide a more seamless experience that blends residential and academic life on campus.
  • Dining options that are popular, convenient and delicious. Students can choose from a variety of dining rooms, carryout stores, delis, coffee houses, and even room delivery service. Our menus include locally sourced, vegetarian, vegan, and organic foods to accommodate a variety of preferences and diets. Residents pay only for the food they select (a meal plan is not required) using their Housing Food debit account, which is part of the campus ID card (Wiscard).

University Housing Contracts

University Housing now uses an online system for housing contracts, and information will be sent to the email account that admitted students have on file with the university. Detailed information for prospective residents is available on the recently redesigned University Housing website. Students and their families will still receive a small booklet about the residence halls as a prompt to learn more online, and this booklet will also be available to campus visitors.

Transfer Student Housing

Most transfer students live in one of the many privately owned apartments, houses, and condos that surround campus, which you can learn about through the Campus-Area Housing Listing Service. However, there are some students who choose to spend their first year on campus in one of our University Residence Halls. There's even a residence hall community just for transfer students, Tripp Hall, which is located on the shores of Lake Mendota.

Additional Housing Options

If you choose not to live in the University Residence Halls, a variety of privately owned housing options are also available. These include private residence halls, apartments, houses, efficiencies, condos, rooms, co-ops, and fraternity and sorority chapter houses. The university provides an online listing of campus-area housing options.

There are also several private residence halls located near campus, although they are not owned or operated by the university. Available features may include resident assistants, dining halls and meal plans, computer labs and fitness centers, recreational and social programs, and traditional rooms, suites, and apartments.