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Learning Communities

About half of Saint Louis University freshmen find their perfect level of social and academic support in one of our nine on-campus learning communities.

Students in learning communities live in the same residence hall and take classes that are centered around a particular major, aspect of social identity and experience, or academic interest. At Saint Louis University, learning communities help shape the student experience and give you a sense of family amidst the larger SLU community.

Living in a learning community allows you opportunities to build meaningful relationships with faculty, staff and peers. You will often engage together in off-campus excursions, special lecture series, community service activities and social gatherings in the residence halls. 

Learning communities provide a great way for you to meet new people and make friends with those who have similar interests. Plus, research shows that students are more successful when their academic experiences are integrated with other aspects of their life. You will have the opportunity to get involved on campus and within the greater Saint Louis University community.

SLU also offers theme housing communities for freshman still deciding on a major, first-year transfer students, upperclassmen Greek Life participants, and upperclassmen interested in Wellness. These communities differ from learning communities in that they do not incorporate required coursework or direct faculty engagement in the form of co-curricular experiences.

View Our Brochure Learning Community FAQs

 

Selecting a Learning Community

As you consider Saint Louis University's eight learning communities, there are a few questions that can guide you in selecting the one that best supports your major or long-term career goals:

  • Is there a topic that intrigues me (i.e. leadership, social justice, community service)?
  • Are there academic support services like tutoring and academic advising that I would like to have access to in my residence hall?
  • Would I like to connect with a faculty member outside of the classroom during my first semester?
  • Is there a specific area of campus where I want to live?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What part of my social identity would I like to explore more? 
  • What type of mentorship and network am I hoping to acquire as a first-year student?

Benefits of Joining a Learning Community

  • Connect with students with similar academic and personal goals
  • Get connected to campus life and University resources
  • Explore St. Louis through field trips
  • Volunteer through community service projects
  • Access peer mentoring and tutoring
  • Explore leadership development opportunities
  • Explore career options
  • Networking and professional mentoring

How to Join a Learning Community

It’s easy to apply to take part in a learning community at SLU.

Step 1: Review the list of learning communities, and select the community or communities for which you want to apply. Be sure to review the academic requirements (i.e. major and college) for each learning community as some are major/college specific.  

Step 2: Complete both your housing contract and your Learning Community contract.  To learn more about how to sign up for housing and a learning community, click here.

Step 3: Confirm your Learning Community courses.  You will be registered for your Learning Community courses prior to SLU101 summer orientation by the LC Academic Coordinator in collaboration with your academic advisor. During SLU101, the LC Academic Coordinator and Academic Advisor will be available to answer any questions that you may have regarding your academic schedule. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re wondering which learning community at Saint Louis University is right for you and the application process, take a look at these frequently asked questions.

What are the expectations of students that participate in learning communities?

Learning Community experiences offered will not only focus on the academic components of the Learning Community, but will also provide a variety of social and educational programs to assist with a student's first year transition to the university. Making the transition from high school to college can be difficult. As you experience new freedoms, learn new routines, and face new academic and personal challenges, a Learning Community can help you begin your college career successfully.  We encourage each student to become a partner in their education by becoming an active leader and learner within their Learning Community.

If I have not selected a major, should I still consider participating in a learning community?

There are several learning communities that are open to everyone:

Diversity and Global Citizenship

Leadership for Social Change

Life Sciences

Micah: Living the Mission 

Thrive: Black and Talented

If you have an idea of what you might like to major in, you might select a learning community which focuses on that field and you’ll have the chance to find out if this is a career you’re interested in pursuing.

Do I have to take all of the classes associated with my learning community?

Yes. Courses must be taken together as a full set of associated courses.  However, Learning Communities leave room for you to take additional classes.  You'll select these classes when you meet with your academic advisor during your SLU 101 visit.  If you have prior credit for a course or the course does not fit your major academic course plan, you can request an exemption from a Learning Community course. There are four general reasons that an LC student may be excused from one or more of their Learning Community courses. 
1) The student has prior credit; Advanced Placement/Dual Enrollment/Transfer credit.
2) The student has not met a prerequisite for the LC course.
3) The LC course conflicts with a requirement for their major; including a course sequence issue (please note: all other LC course options and scheduling options must be exhausted before an exemption is given to the student).
4) The student is a student-athlete; in the Billiken Success Program; or in the INTO program and has a programming conflict.

Do I need to fill out an application to be part of a learning community?

For most of our learning communities, you will need to fill out both a Learning Community contract and a  housing contract.   Some Learning Communities require supplemental applications.

To be part of the Micah program, you’ll need to complete a supplemental application and be accepted.

If you’d like to be in the Honors Learning Community, you’ll need to apply and be accepted to the University Honors program.

What if I want to change my learning community preferences?

To change your preferences for learning communities prior to May 1, you can simply edit your Learning Community contract. Editing your contract does not affect your priority date. After May 1, you can contact us directly, lc@slu.edu or speak to Housing and Residence Life during your SLU 101 visit.

Do I have to live in the residence hall where the learning community is housed?

Yes. Living in a learning community requires that you live on the floor with that community. If you have an extenuating circumstance that requires you to live in a certain arrangement, due to an approved accommodation, please let Housing and Residence Life know as soon as possible. If you have a disability or need additional accommodations, please contact Disability Services.

If I already have a roommate, how do we both join a learning community?

Both you and your roommate should sign up for the same learning community. You can indicate your roommate request on your housing contract. It is important that both you and your roommate indicate each other on the contract using your 9-digit SLU IDs (starts with 00). The Learning Community preference that you indicate on your Learning Community contract takes priority over all other preferences on the housing contract.