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.

Learning Community members

Students in learning communities live in the same residence hall and take classes that are centered around a particular major 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.

Selecting a Learning Community

Saint Louis University is home to nine learning communities:

As you consider the choices, there are a few questions that can guide you in selecting the right learning community for you:

  • What topics most interest 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?
  • Which learning community supports my career goals?
  • Is there a specific area of campus where I want to live?

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

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. Don’t forget to look at the requirements for each learning community since some require a specific major or a supplemental application.

Step 2: Apply for your learning community through the housing contract. To learn more about how to sign up for housing, click here.

Step 3: Confirm your Learning Community courses.  You will be registered for these courses prior to SLU101 summer orientation and will meet with an adviser then to make sure that they fit your schedule and major.

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?

Students are encouraged to participate in the activities and programs focused on the academic topic of the learning community. Community experiences will not only focus on the academic topic of the learning community but will also provide you with social and educational programs to assist with your first-year transition to the University. 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 on the right track.

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

Faith and Formation

Life Sciences

Micah: Service and Faith

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. You will take each of the associated courses with people in your learning community. The courses vary by learning community. Learning communities also leave room for you to take additional classes during your first semester. 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.

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

For all learning communities except Micah and Honors, you do not need to fill out an application outside of the appropriate information on the housing contract.

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

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 housing contract. Editing your housing 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, 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 000).