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About Us


Combining the vibrant intellectual atmosphere of a small college with the resources of a large research university.

The Residential College (RC) is a four-year interdisciplinary liberal arts program within the College of Literature, Science and Arts (LSA) at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Founded in 1967, the RC is often described as a living-learning community; this is because RC students live and learn in the same physical space: East Quadrangle Residence Hall. The RC community encourages and welcomes participation by everyone associated with it – staff, students, faculty, friends, and alumni.

By combining typical residence hall facilities (dorm rooms, lounges, dining halls, etc.) with the academic and artistic resources required for a liberal arts education (classrooms, creative arts studios, faculty offices, performance and exhibit spaces, and student support services) the RC makes a unique contribution to higher education – a small college fully integrated with a major and highly respected public university.

What makes the RC unique?

The Best of Both Worlds

All RC students are LSA students; but NOT all LSA students are RC students. RC students get insider access to the RC, as well as everything in LSA!  

Many RC students can be found exploring the university at large, often in positions of leadership and scholarship, while enjoying all that East Quad has to offer. 

Home to a Community Garden, darkroom photography lab, ceramics studio, student library, and theater, East Quad may be the physical location of the Residential College, but our students are represented across campus.

Academic Independence

The RC curriculum is flexible and responsive to change, encompassing a wide variety of topics and disciplines.

This offers our students independence in how they are being educated alongside the freedom to challenge themselves and grow their world-view.

Students benefit from the opportuntity to engage deeply with scholarly and creative pursuits while building community and taking an active role in their education.

Learning in the Real World

The RC encourages citizenship along with scholarship. Our students engage deeply with their learning and practice global curiosity, commitment to social justice, and community engagement.

With nearly a dozen Community-Engagement Programs in the RC, students are on the forefront of community practice in Southeast Michigan.

RC students can choose from a variety of expereinces, such as volunteering with school-aged children in Ypsilanti, tutoring at the public library, practicing English in Detroit, or interning with social services programs.  

Unique Class Dynamics & Small Class Sizes

RC students collaborate with peers and faculty to engage with material head-on, challenge the status quo, and expand their world view while in small classes of 9-20 students.

Often referred to as cohorts, these small classes offer students the opportuntity to build community, establish relationships, and pursue their education in a supportive environment.

What We Teach

The RC curriculum is interdisciplinary and engages students in creative exploration of the humanities, the social and natural sciences, intensive foreign language study, and the visual and performing arts.

We seek to foster a genuine appreciation and lifelong passion for learning; not merely individual quests for knowledge, but preparation and encouragement that lead to effective and responsible engagement in any and all pursuits.