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With all the opportunities available within the Residential College, it's understandable to have a few questions. We're happy to help clarify in our FAQs below. Feel free to also contact us at or (734) 763-0032 for more information. 

General Questions

How many students are enrolled in the RC?

We admit a maximum of 250 students in each incoming class. However, as the RC spans all four years, there are about 850 active RC students on campus currently.

Who is eligible to apply to the RC?

All students applying to U-M LSA may indicate their interest in the RC on the U-M LSA Common Application or Coalition Application by selecting the RC as their “Program of Study.” Students who did not indicate interest in the RC on their application are invited to fill out this form to indicate their interest.

The RC admits on a first come, first served basis until capacity of 250 students is reached. The RC also admits transfer students who have earned 40 credits or less thus far. Dual-degree applicants (such as SMTD-LSA) may also apply for the RC.

Is there a tuition difference for the RC?

Nope! RC students are also LSA students. However, RC students should plan to pay for residential Housing costs for their first and second years in order to complete the RC's residential requirement.

Do students pursuing interests in STEM join the RC?

Absolutely! There are students majoring in Computer Science, Mathematics, on Pre-Med tracks, Neuroscience, and many other STEM fields enrolled in the RC. You will also find many RC students interested in research, both in their study abroad pursuits and their UROP projects here on campus. Here’s a recent podcast episode with two RC alumna who were STEM majors while students with us.

Do I have to be talented in the visual or performing arts to join the RC?

The RC has several options for our students pursuing passions within the arts, yet we are not exclusively an “arts college.” While not every RC student would self-identify as "artsy," RC students are known for their broad approach to creativity - from creative techniques to learning language outside the classroom to exploring music for the first time in Found Instruments, from interdisciplinary approaches to explore social justice, to presenting German language skills on stage through Drama. Read what some students recently said about how the arts offerings in the RC enriched their non-artistic academic studies. 

The RC on Campus

How is the RC a part of U of M?

The RC is a small, liberal arts college housed within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA). In other words, every RC student is also an LSA student. We are often called a "school within a school."

Unlike most other Michigan Learning Communities (MLCs), the RC is a full four year program, that, upon completion, RC students will graduate with a degree from both the RC and LSA.

Will I still feel integrated into U-M while being a part of the RC?

Yes! RC-ers stay connected to campus as a whole by joining UM student organizations, enrolling in classes across campus, attending campus-wide events, pursuing LSA majors or minors, and being a Wolverine!

Can I participate in any other Michigan Learning Communities if I am in the RC?

Yes, if it is a non-residential community. You may join UROP, CSP, Honors, or University Mentorship. It is also possible to join upper-level residential communities, such as the Global Scholars Program and Max Kade with your junior year, once the residential requirement is completed.

Can I enroll in both the RC and the Honors Program?

Absolutely, several RC-Honors students join our community each year. However, RC-Honors students may not elect the option of Honors housing in place of RC housing in East Quad.

Academics in the RC

Do RC students fulfill just LSA requirements, just RC requirements, or both?

As all RC students are also LSA students, RC students fulfill both requirements for RC and LSA. In fact, most RC requirements overlap with LSA requirements, meaning you can complete two requirements with one course!

How many RC courses does the average student take?

About one third of the average RC student's courses are typically held within the RC. This number can be higher for students enrolling in an RC major or minor. Check out our latest course offerings. 

Does the RC have graded courses?*

Yes, with a few exceptions. The only RC courses that aren’t graded are the Intensive I & II immersion language classes. In addition to grades, RC students will receive narrative evaluations on their transcript for each RC course they complete.

Can I start learning a new language?

 Of course - some students continue learning languages in which they have experience, while some start as true beginners. No experience is required to enroll in the immersion courses.

What is the average class size in the RC?

The average class size for the RC is 9-20 students and is typically held in East Quad, the same building where RC students live for their first two years on campus.

*Due to COVID-19 safety regulations, some RC courses are instructed in a virtual format, some are a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction, and some courses are in-person.  

Do RC students have a lot of contact with their professors?

With small classes, an emphasis on writing and discussion, and professors’ offices located in East Quad, it is not unusual for RC students to develop a strong rapport with their professors.

Am I restricted to RC majors and minors as an RC student?

RC-ers may choose from any major and/or minor offered through LSA and/or the RC. For instance, in the RC class of 2017 there were over 30 different majors represented.

Life in East Quad

What opportunities are there for student life?

The RC has several student-led discussion groups called “Forums” that can be enrolled in for credit. Titles and topics range from Food Forum to Feminist Forum, from LGBTQA Forum, to Creative Writing Forum. There is also a theater troupe (the RC Players), the RC Student Union, and the RC Review literary magazine.

What facilities does the RC have on-site?

The RC is home to the Keene Theater, a ceramics studio, a photography darkroom, a sculpture studio, the RC Art Gallery, RC Academic Advising, the Benzinger Library, several study lounges, music practice rooms, a dance studio, Blue Cafe, and East Quad Dining Hall. 

Do non-RC students live in East Quad?

Yes, RC students make up about two thirds of East Quad’s residential space, while the remaining students are LSA peers.

How do roommates work?

Incoming first year students “room blind” with a fellow RC student. For your sophomore year, you may select any roommate and may indicate preference for any space in the building.

Can RC students join a fraternity or sorority?

Yes! RC students can join a fraternity or a sorority. However, students who participate in a fraternity or sorority must still complete the RC’s first-year live-in requirement. 

Transfers & the RC

Is it possible to transfer out of the RC?

We in the RC are committed to helping students find the best fit on campus. If that turns out not to be the RC, you will then schedule an appointment with the RC Academic Services Coordinator to begin steps to transfer out of the RC.

Is it possible to transfer into the RC?

Yes, depending upon space and eligibility. We accept transfer students with 40 or less transfer credits. You can find more information here.

*Grades were instituted in the RC in 2001 making the class of 2005 the last eligible to graduate under the former system of exclusively written evaluations. 

*For any additional questions related to the RC and COVID-19, please visit this page.  


For further exploration:

- 9 Myths about the Residential Colllege
- The RC Podcast, for episodes about student-run RC Forums, the RC Review, and much more

RC Admissions Chat