Living Learning Communities

Living-Learning Communities are specialized residential environments designed to integrate on-campus living with a focused academic experience. The mix of curricular and co-curricular activities inside and outside of the classroom enables students to fully engage in their VCU experience and learn to encounter real world experiences with an interdisciplinary approach. With the support of dedicated staff members, intentional events and programs, and experiential learning opportunities students who participate in Living-Learning Communities experience a stronger connection to the university through increased academic and personal success. All residential students have the opportunity to participate. We offer several varieties of communities that are designed to enhance on-campus living with a focus on shared interest, academic goals, or lifestyle preferences.


Programs-in-Residence are residential experiences that offer students interested in a shared topic the opportunity to live together in a dedicated residential area. Programs-in-Residence support high levels of student interaction, increased interaction with faculty outside of the classroom and collaboration through the use of strategies such as a required class on the given topic, study groups and programming. 


three students at move-in


Acceleration is a comprehensive program for incoming VCU freshmen who are interested in pre-health concentrations in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and the allied health sciences. The program provides exposure to various health professions and preparatory course work in math and science through a 4-week summer program followed by academic support throughout the freshman year. 

Hall: Brandt
Sponsoring Department: Division for Health Sciences Diversity
Required Class: Yes (Please check back for details)

* Acceleration has separate application process. Visit the VCU Acceleration website.

Art students working on large poster outside

Artist Colony

Artist Colony is for incoming students who have a passion for the arts. This community unites students from various personal and academic backgrounds who have a passion for the arts and exposes them to theater, visual arts and crafts, music and dance. This is an opportunity for students to develop their creativity, engage with the arts on campus and in the Richmond community, interact with VCU faculty and staff members and serve as a creative resource for the campus community as a whole. Students applying to the Artist Colony do not need to be majors within the School of the Arts, but do need to have a genuine interest in arts and culture that was fostered prior to coming to VCU. Regardless of major, from arts and business to the sciences and the humanities, students need to be active participants in creative making, thinking and doing.

Hall: Johnson
Required class: Yes (Please check back for details)
Sponsoring Department: School of the Arts

Student working on group project at table

da Vinci Disrupters

The da Vinci Disrupters is a first-year living learning community focused on the development of a multi-disciplinary mindset required for successful venture creation, innovation, and creativity. Disrupters are students who are excited and ready to disrupt the status quo through collaboration, ideation, and innovation. Through the program students are exposed to the many offerings of the VCU da Vinci Center in hopes that they might find a home for themselves in years to follow. If selected, students will be required to take INNO 200: Intro to Innovation and Venture Creation, a lecture series course designed to highlight all the myriad of ways innovation and venture creation can come to life. Additionally, students are expected to participate in staple VCU da Vinci Center programs such as Innovation Challenges and the IDEATE lecture series. 

Hall: Gladding Residence Center
Required class: INNO 200: Intro to Innovation and Venture Creation
Sponsoring Departments: da Vinci Center for Innovation

V C U student working on a service


Ecovillage is for students who have an interest in and commitment to sustainable living. Through the year, residents will gain personal and professional skills relating to initiating and implementing sustainable projects. Residents will also be exposed to how VCU is working to become more sustainable through energy and water use reduction, our learn-to-garden program and community engagement/outreach. Lastly, residents will work closely with the VCU Office of Sustainability to identify and improve these programs to better the VCU student experience.

Hall: Brandt
Required class: Yes (Please check back for details)
Sponsoring Department: Sustainability Office

Student working on group project at table

Emerging Leaders Program

Emerging Leaders Program is a one year, intensive leadership community. It is designed to create opportunities for students to learn about leadership through classroom study and practical, real world application. Residents of this community are paired with upperclassmen mentors to substantial leadership project during the year. The Emerging Leaders Program is only open to students who have been invited to apply to the program. 

Hall: Gladding Residence Center
Sponsoring Department: VCU LEAD

*The Emerging Leaders Program has separate application process. Visit the Emerging Leaders website for more information.

Student working on group project at table

Lavender House

Lavender House provides an inclusive community for LGBTQIA+ students to live and learn with their peers. This community is a queer friendly space with monthly programs sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs focusing on LGBTQIA+ identities, history and concerns. Here, residents are able to explore and express their whole selves, including their gender identities and sexualities, in a safe and affirming environment 

Hall: Gladding Residence Center
Required class: Yes (Please check back for details)
Sponsoring Department: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Student working on group project at table

LEAD Explorers

LEAD Explorers is a first-year living-learning community for students who want to learn more about themselves and how they can become leaders in their classes, organizations and community.  LEAD Explorers will introduce students to the concepts of leadership through courses, speakers, trips and residential programs. LEAD Explorers is open to all students in all majors who have an interest in learning about leadership and developing a strong set of leadership skills. If selected, participants will be required to arrive early for RAM CAMP and register for a 1-credit leadership seminar LDRS 200: Profiles in Leadership to be taken in the fall semester.

Hall: Gladding Residence Center
Required Course: Yes (Please check back for details)
Sponsoring Department: VCU LEAD

three students at convocation


Mosaic is a multicultural living environment that facilitates dialogue and learning about the many aspects of diversity, including race, gender, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, religion, political views and other forms of difference. It is designed to highlight the role of intersectionality and interconnectedness through the lens of social identity. The community's design encourages students to engage in dialogue about social justice and diversity in a shared academic and residential environment

Hall: Gladding Residence Center 
Required class: Yes (Please check back for details)
Sponsoring Department: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and da Vinci Center for Innovation

Person paddle boarding on the James River

Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor Adventure is for students who love hiking, climbing, kayaking, snowboarding or any other outdoor pursuit. This community offers an exciting experiential learning environment where students share outdoor experiences that foster personal development, cultivate relationships, and encourage academic success. Through help from the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program, residents will learn wilderness stewardship, develop leadership skills and explore group dynamics. Each semester, residents will have the opportunity to choose and plan adventure trips such as indoor/outdoor rock climbing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, skiing/snowboarding, backpacking and many more.

Hall: Gladding Residence Center 
Required class: Yes (Please check back for details)
Sponsoring Department: Rec Sports

Student at event


SPARK is an engineering community where future engineers and programmers unite in a shared space.

Hall: Gladding Residence Center
Required class: Yes (Please check back for details)
Sponsoring Departments: Engineering

Student working on group project at table

The Honors College

The Honors College residence hall accommodates both first-year and upper-class students in a residence hall that is designed especially for students of The Honors College. The Honors College living experience allows for increased interaction among honors students and facilitates active involvement in Honors College programs, including seminars and activities. In addition to completing honors courses, honors students attend Berglund seminars and assume leadership roles in honors student organizations.

Hall: Gladding Residence Center and Cary & Belvidere
Sponsoring Department: The Honors College

*The Honors College has separate application process. Visit the The Honors College website for more information.

Theme Communities

Theme Communities are a residential experience that offers students who have special interests or lifestyle preferences the opportunity to live and study together. Theme Communities provide participating students with co-curricular activities that may be initiated and led by either students or by university faculty/staff. There is no class requirement for these communities.

V C U student working on a service


Engage is a theme community for incoming students wanting to learn more about their communities and themselves through reflective community service. ENGAGE students will connect with each other and the Richmond community through direct and indirect community engagement opportunities which will enhance their personal growth and community development in fun and meaningful ways. Students will work together through collaboratively planned initiatives with partner organizations to address community identified needs. Coordinated by VCU ASPiRE, ENGAGE brings together like minded students into one living community to connect, engage, grow and learn from one another.

Hall: Brandt
Required class: N/A
Sponsoring Department: VCU ASPiRE

Person paddle boarding on the James River

Live Well

Live WELL is for students interested In learning more about how to live a healthy and active lifestyle focused on self-discovery, well-being, healthy relationships, and practicing healthy wellness behaviors. 

Hall: Gladding Residence Center
Required class: No
Sponsoring Departments: COBE, Rec Sports and The Well

How To Apply

Living-Learning Communities Application is part of the Housing Application. To apply, visit the Housing Application before June 3 and follow all steps. Students will be asked to write a short essay and rank their top three preferences. Please review all the options before making selections. While efforts are made to place students in their first choice, that is not always possible. 

Requesting A Roommate

Roommate requests for a Living-Learning Community can be made through the Housing Application. However, to be eligible to be roommates, both students must select the same Living-Learning Community and also choose each other as roommates. If a student chooses a Living-Learning Community and the roommate does not, the student will be placed in the Living-Learning Community over the roommate choice.

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