Theme Communities


Theme Community Residents

Theme Communities provide an opportunity to enhance your UW experience by living among students who share a common interest—in the Arts, Business, Engineering, First Year Experience, Food Exploration, Global Experience, Honors Program, Pre-Health Sciences, Substance Free or Sustainable Living. In addition to the social activities, support and community found in all UW residence halls and apartments, each Theme Community offers unique events and connections to resources and information related to that specific theme. Review the descriptions of the ten Theme Communities, found below, to see what might interest you. Indicate your preference on your housing application.

Arts Community

Alder Hall Floor 5, McMahon Hall South Floor 3

The Arts Community offers students a living environment with an emphasis on the visual, literary and performing arts and the interests of the residents. Through campus partnerships with UW Arts, the UW World Series and ArtsLink, Arts Community staff and students develop activities and attend art events. While most Arts Community members simply enjoy the arts, students may also be exploring majors or careers related to the arts. 

For more information related to the arts, please visit ArtsLink, an organization of students and advisers from 13+ departments related to the arts, UW Arts and the UW World Series.

A request for placement in the Arts Community will supersede a request for placement in other residence halls, and students may be assigned to a different room type than they would otherwise be assigned in order to accommodate their request to live in the Arts Community.

Students with interests in Art, Art History, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Cinema Studies, Comparative History of Ideas, Comparative Literature, Dance, Design, Digital Arts and Experimental Media, Drama, English and Music are encouraged to consider selecting the Arts Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application.

Business Community

McMahon Hall North Floors 2–3

The Business Community offers students a living environment that complements their experience in the Michael G. Foster School of Business, within a well-rounded and active setting. Business Community members have additional opportunities to connect with Foster School staff and faculty, business leaders and alumnae, and access to academic-enrichment and career-development events. Learn more about the activities and opportunities in this community here.

Preference is given to students who participate in the Foster School Freshman Direct program. Pre-business majors are encouraged to select the Business Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application.

A request for placement in the Business Community will supersede a request for placement in other residence halls.

For further information, visit Foster School and its associated programs or contact them by phone at 206-685-3400.

Students approved by the appropriate department have priority to live in the Business Community.

Engineering Community

Elm Hall Floors 3–4, McCarty Hall North Floors 1–4

The Engineering Community offers students a living environment that enhances their connection with the UW College of Engineering in an engaged social setting. Students who choose the Engineering Community have opportunities to connect with faculty, local business leaders and alumnae in the field of engineering, and proximity to peers for forming study groups. Preference is given to students who participate in the following College of Engineering programs: Emerging Leaders, ALVA (Alliances for Learning and Vision), Direct Freshman Admits, and HP Scholars who are admitted to the College of Engineering program. Engineering and pre-engineering majors, women and men, are encouraged to select the Engineering Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application. Learn more about activities and opportunities in this community here.

A request for placement in the Engineering Community will supersede a request for placement in other residence halls, and students may be assigned to a different room type than they would otherwise be assigned in order to accommodate their request to live in the Engineering Community.

Students approved by the appropriate department have priority to live in the Engineering Community.

First Year Husky Experience 

Lander Hall Floors 5-6 (new Autumn 2014)

First Year Husky Experience Theme Community is a new community developed to align with the Husky Experience initiative. The Husky Experience is an integrated learning initiative, supported across campus, designed to encourage intentional exploration of four main themes: identity, choice, relationships and trajectory. Through the Husky Experience, students are encouraged to examine the following questions: Who am I? Who am I becoming? What will I stand for? What do I want my time at UW to be spent doing? Who am I meeting, and what lessons can be gained from those connections? What is my plan and how do I get there? The First Year Husky Experience Theme Community is a community for first year students and is designed to bring these questions into the residential community. Students in this community will have the opportunity to explore identity, choices, relationships and trajectory in an intentional and supportive environment. Students will have opportunities to engage with faculty and staff from across campus through informal gatherings, events and workshops.

Students who desire a community designed to engage first-year students in the intentional exploration of identity, choices, relationships and trajectory are encouraged to select the First Year Husky Experience Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application.

Food Exploration Community 

Mercer Court

The Food Exploration Community brings students together to explore the connections between growing, eating and learning. From field to table to classroom, food intersects with farming, plant biology, culture, community, human health, restoration ecology, economics and politics. Activities and opportunities will draw on the rich food resources of the area including the robust Resident Dining Program offered by HFS, which features locally grown products, Fair Trade Certified coffee, creative culinary teams, and environmentally conscious food production and delivery. Students will also have opportunities to explore the UW Farm, local gardens, urban farming and the thriving Seattle food culture. The Food Exploration Community is offered in collaboration with the College of the Environment and the School of Public Health, which will help students explore academic pathways related to food including new UW minors in food studies and in nutritional sciences to be launched 2013–14. 

A request for placement in the Food Exploration Community will supersede a request for placement in other residence halls, and students may be assigned to a different room type than they would otherwise be assigned in order to accommodate their request to live in the Food Exploration Community. Check out this video about the Food Exploration Community, and read about The Farm at Mercer Court. 

Students interested in environmental sciences, food production, food studies, health sciences, law, nutritional sciences, political science, public health or sociology are encouraged to consider selecting the Food Exploration Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application.

Global Experience Community

Haggett Hall North Floor 7

The Global Experience Community provides students with an opportunity to expand their knowledge of Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and the world, as well as share perspectives from their own rich cultures. Students are given the opportunity to explore customs, cultures and experiences through on-campus programs, sightseeing in Seattle, and a through a variety of events coordinated with campus partners like the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS). Learn more about activities and opportunities in this community here.

Students with an interest in global affairs, study abroad programs or international studies, international students and those who have traveled internationally are encouraged to select the Global Experience Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application.

Honors Community

Haggett Hall North Floors 5–6, Alder Hall Floor 6

Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium recipients are eligible to live in either Honors Community.

The Honors Community is an exciting way for UW Honors Program students to enrich their experience in the Honors Program beyond the classroom and into their living environment. Honors Community members are a diverse group, with varied interests and different majors, creating community and social connections in the residence halls. Preference is given to students who participate in the UW Honors Program and Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium recipients. Students in these UW programs are encouraged to select the Honors Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application. Learn more about activities and opportunities in this community here.

A request for placement in the Honors Community will supersede a request for placement in other residence halls, and students may be assigned to a different room type than they would otherwise be assigned in order to accommodate their request to live in the residential Honors Community.

For further information about the Honors Program, please contact the UW Honors Program Office at 206-543-7444.

Students with approval from the appropriate department, the Honors Program or Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium for NASA Space Grant recipients have priority to live in the residential Honors Community.

Pre-Health Sciences Community

Elm Hall Floors 3–4, McCarty Hall North Floors 4-6

The goal of the Pre-Health Sciences Community is to establish an atmosphere conducive to learning and to generate an appreciation of aspects of the health sciences field through contact with students, staff and faculty who are involved various allied health science disciplines. Community members will be able to form study groups and have easy access to workshops and information sessions on preparation for health science majors, as well as math and chemistry tutoring in the Learning Resource Centers in McCarty Hall and Poplar Hall. Resident Adviser staff will coordinate pre-health science–related programs and activities with campus partners as well as social events. For great information the field and exploring different majors, visit Pre-Health Advising.

Students interested in pursuing any health sciences-related degree are encouraged to select the Pre-Health Sciences Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application.

Substance Free Community

Haggett Hall North Floor 8

The Substance Free Community provides an active, engaged living-learning environment where the use of alcohol, tobacco products or illegal substances is not tolerated by its members (regardless of a student's age). Programs and activities in the Substance Free Community are diverse, well attended and promote personal health, wellness and a substance-free lifestyle. In the other residence hall communities, alcohol use is limited to those of legal age (21 and older) and then only within the confines of a resident's room. The use of illegal substances is strictly prohibited in all residence halls. All UW residence halls are 100 percent smoke-free. 

Students living in the Substance Free Community are expected to commit to the expectations of living a substance free lifestyle while assigned to this location by signing a Substance Free Community Agreement.  This brief form will be made available to students assigned to the Substance Free Community by Residential Life staff early in the academic year.

Students interested in an active community that is substance free are encouraged to select the Substance Free Community in the Theme Community Preference portion of their housing application.