First-Year Students

Student walking across campus with luggage

Welcome and congratulations on your decision to join the Johns Hopkins University community! The next few months will be exciting for you as you begin your preparations for college life. This section contains information which will:

  • Explain our policies and procedures
  • Explain the assignment process for incoming first-year students
  • Provide you with information about our housing facilities and meal plan options
  • Provide you with information to assist you in making your housing questionnaire choices
  • Provide helpful housing-related resources

The Community Living staff looks forward to welcoming you in the fall!

Getting Started

All incoming, full-time Arts and Sciences and Engineering first-year students are required to live in university housing. First-year students are placed in one of our designated residence halls or first-year areas, typically with a roommate. We will pair students together based on their responses to the lifestyle questionnaire, however, we cannot guarantee a perfect match. Most first-year students will reside in double occupancy rooms; please note that there are a limited number of single-occupancy rooms available.

Applying for Housing

Before applying for housing, all students should first review the policies and procedures below and explore our residence halls and meal plan options. In May, all students who have confirmed they will be attending JHU in the fall will receive communication with instructions on accessing and completing their housing application online via the Housing Portal.

The application will be available at 12:00pm EST on Monday, May 24, 2021, through Sunday, June 20, 2021, at 11:59pm EST.

Policies & Procedures

Commuter Exemption

The only exception to the on-campus residency requirement for first-year students is for those students who live with their parent(s) or legal guardian within commuting distance from campus. If this is your situation and you are planning to commute from home, there is a separate application process on the portal. When you log into the Online Housing Portal, select and complete the Commuter Exemption Request for the upcoming academic year. The Commuter Exemption Application will be open from Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 12:00pm noon EST through Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 11:59pm EST. Questions regarding commuter exemption eligibility should be directed to Rebekah McMillan at or 410-516-7960.

Requests for Accommodated Housing

Documentation is required to request accommodated housing for any reason. Housing accommodations are granted based only on documented need. No request can be considered for any circumstances beyond documented needs. All documents should be submitted to the office of Student Disability Services. The request will be evaluated and approval or denial will be communicated directly to the student. The types of accommodations provided are dependent on the impact of the student’s disability. Keep in mind that students applying for housing accommodations are still required to complete a housing application prior to the deadline.

Single Room Accommodations

Requests for a single room as an accommodation based solely on a desire to have a “quiet, undisturbed place to study” will not be granted. Requests for a single room as an accommodation require documentation from a qualified medical professional that demonstrates a link between the request and disability.

Applying for Housing Accommodations

  1. Register with Student Disabilities Services (SDS) and provide documentation of your disability.
  2. Apply for housing through the Online Housing Portal by submitting your completed housing application. On the Online Housing Portal, make sure to select “yes” when answering “Are you requesting additional accommodations?” on the step labeled “My Additional Housing Needs.
  3. Once your application and request for an accommodation have been submitted, they will be reviewed by Student Disability Services and University Housing. Assignments are made based on the availability of housing and approved housing accommodations.

All requests for accommodated housing and supplemental documentation must be received by the Student Disability Services Office no later than Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 5:00pm EST. Please note you must still submit your Housing Contract online through the Housing Portal by 11:59pm EST on Sunday, June 20, 2021.

Peabody Dual Degree Students

Peabody dual degree students are required to reside on the Peabody campus for their first year. For more information, please visit the Peabody’s housing website.

Assignment Process

Housing assignments are made using the Housing Portal’s auto-allocation function: an automated room assigning system that takes student’s preferences into account. This allows all students who submit their housing contract by the deadline an equal opportunity to be assigned to one of their top preferences. All students whose applications are submitted by 11:59pm EST on Sunday, June 20, 2021, will be included in the first-year auto-allocation process.

If any student misses the application deadline, they will be placed in any remaining available space after all other students have been assigned.

Lifestyle Questionnaire & Roommate Selection

Part of the assignment process is evaluating your selections on the lifestyle questionnaire. The lifestyle questionnaire asks you to list your preferences in regards to building and room occupancy, as well as various other attributes.

If you have someone you would like to room with, you are able to request a roommate by searching for them in the online Housing Portal and then adding them to your roommate group. The other student will need to confirm and join your roommate group in order for both students to be assigned together.

If you do not know of someone, you can be included in the roommate search function. You will fill out a small bio about yourself (which will be visible to other incoming first-year students) as well as complete the lifestyle questionnaire. Based on your answers, matches will be populated that you are then able to message through the portal. Once you have found someone you are interested in living with, you can create a roommate group for the other student to join with you. Again, both students must confirm and join the same roommate group in order to be assigned together.

If you do not request a roommate and do no find a roommate using our roommate search option, our system will refer to your questionnaire during the assignment process and match you with a roommate (if applicable) into available spaces. While we do our best to accommodate students’ top building and room preferences, we cannot guarantee placement in your top choices.

Gender Inclusive Housing

Traditionally, housing assignments are made with students of the same sex, and in general, that will continue. However, we acknowledge that this does not work for everyone. To meet the needs of all students, by nurturing an atmosphere where students can be the most comfortable with whom they live, it is important that the residential community has an atmosphere that values diversity, social justice, and promotes the dignity of all people.

Therefore, all residential students may choose to create their living group as single-sex (male or female), or a mixed group, which will create a gender-inclusive unit. It is important that the JHU housing community is a comfortable, safe place for students to live. Not all students are comfortable living in units with other students that are assigned or chosen based solely on sex. The goal is for students to feel empowered and supported by the housing system. This option was developed by Housing and Residential Life to be offered in the same manner as our room selection processes, with nothing different required, thus it will not call attention to the living environment that students choose and will provide an inclusive climate.

Incoming first-year students will be able to choose their roommate, regardless of biological sex or gender identity. As mentioned above, both students will need to join the same roommate group in order to be assigned together. Room assignments will then be made for the pair placing them following the auto-allocation process. As all first-year students can only request roommates and not suitemates, the pair will be placed in one of our Alumni Memorial Residence Halls (AMR I or II), as those buildings have double room configurations instead of shared suites. The AMRs have both gender-neutral bathroom facilities as well as traditional single-sex bathroom facilities available. If both students do not join the same roommate group, the students will be assigned based on biological sex.

Meal Plans

Dining Programs offers five meal plan choices for first-year students. Visit the Meal Plans page to learn more.