The Catholic University of America

Student Affairs

A Glimpse at Campus Housing

By Mike Allen, vice president for student affairs, and Tim Carney, executive director of housing, Pryzbyla Center management, and recreation

Providing accommodations for more than 2,000 students who want to live on campus is no easy task, but that is what the Office of Housing Services manages to accomplish every year. Adding to the challenge this year was the reduction in the number of beds that were available as well as a larger than anticipated incoming freshman class. With the demolition of the residence halls on South Campus to make way for the Monroe Street Market development and the removal of the Curley Court trailers this past spring, the number of beds dropped to 2,050, the least amount since the fall of 2000. However, in spite of these challenges, all first- and second-year students, along with many upperclassmen and some graduate and law students, were successfully provided accommodations for the current academic year.

The University housing policy requires that all first- and second-year undergraduate students live in campus housing unless they reside with a parent or legal guardian within 20 miles of campus or are 21 years of age or older. Undergraduate students at CUA live in single-sex residence halls. Coupled with programs directed toward students’ personal, spiritual, and moral development, single-sex housing fosters an environment of virtuous living consistent with the Catholic intellectual tradition. Upper-class and graduate students who would like to live on campus are invited to enter a lottery in February each year to request available on-campus housing.

Gibbons Hall lobby

On-campus housing options range from the traditional (a shared double or triple room with a shared bathroom down the hall) to suites (multiple rooms sharing a bathroom) and apartments. Students reside in one of 17 University residence halls, which include both the oldest and newest buildings on campus: Caldwell Hall was built in 1889 and was renovated in 1960 to include the Seton wing. Opus Hall, which added more than 400 additional beds, was built in spring 2009. Because older buildings require renovations and improvements, many of the University halls see a portion of the revenue generated by housing costs reinvested into the buildings every year. Gibbons Hall, built in 1912, recently had its lobby restored to highlight some of its original architectural features. A three-year project to renovate the exterior area in Centennial Village has included the addition of a new sport court, fountain area, and comprehensive landscape improvements. Extensive renovations to Caldwell and Seton halls will soon be completed to add sprinklers, remove asbestos-containing materials, upgrade the bathrooms and laundry rooms, paint rooms, and replace carpeting. Future plans to build a new residence hall are in the works as we continually strive to provide our students with high quality living and learning space.

Centennial Village

For information regarding the housing process and other services offered, visit