Residential Learning Communities

Residential Learning Communities at Mason

A Residential Learning Community (RLC) is a group of students intentionally living together on campus who have a shared interest in an academic, identity, or interest theme. We provide RLC options for all these aspects: academic, identity, and interest.  

Housing & Residence Life's Residential Learning Communities offer an inclusive environment that promotes critical thinking skills and increased enjoyment of living on campus. Research shows that RLCs offer one-on-one interactions with faculty and staff members and exciting opportunities for academic and extracurricular activities!  

All communities are led by a team of supportive students and staff committed to providing members with a space for personal growth and academic excellence. Living in an RLC gives students the chance to live amongst their peers and find their place within the Mason community.

When living in an RLC, students will join like-minded peers to explore their passion areas on a deeper level, connect to vital campus resources, and grow both in and out of the classroom. Students in the same learning communities live together in a residence hall, which makes it easier to make connections within the Mason community.

Three Types of Residential Learning Communities (RLCs)


Academic Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) are directly tied to the colleges and schools at Mason. Each Academic RLC represents a partnership between Housing & Residence Life and an academic unit to create a collaborative and holistic environment for the students engaging in that community. Students in each Academic RLC take a required connected course related to their RLC and academic program. 


Interest Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) focus on more interdisciplinary areas of interest such as: Well-being, Peace & Conflict, and Creativity, Design & Expression. These communities have a connection to another office, college, or school. While there are no required courses in the Interest RLCs, students have the option to sign up for a course if available.    


Identity Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) are centered around specific identities within our Mason community. Whether students identify with a particular identity, are allies in space, or are simply interested in learning more about identity development, they will find a supportive community in this RLC. 


Benefits of Joining a Residential Learning Community

  • A supportive, educational, and exciting experience with a community of peers
  • A team of dedicated staff that ensures a positive and supportive student experience
  • Fun, engaging activities that focus on the interest of the student's specific community
  • Opportunities to connect with other students
  • Access to academic resources and support from tutors, campus resources, and faculty
  • Interaction with like-minded individuals so that students can engage their passions and learn outside of the classroom
  • Mentoring from upper-level students who have experience in the RLC topic
  • Events and programs tailored to the RLC by content experts connected to that RLC

Explore Our Residential Learning Communities