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Theme Communities & Michigan Learning Communities

Living-learning programs

Michigan Housing offers two types of Living-Learning programs: Theme Communities and Michigan Learning Communities (MLCs). Both types of programs offer you an opportunity to explore and experience college life with other students who share your interests. What are the key differences between Theme Communities and MLCs?

  • Topic: Theme Community topics are interest- and experience-based (i.e. sustainability or being a first generation college student) and MLC topics are typically academic based (i.e. Women in Science and Engineering, Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars).

  • Size: Theme Communities range from 30-40 students and MLCs include roughly 115 students.

  • Expectations of engagement: Theme Communities typically ask that students engage several times a month in Theme-specific-events. In MLCs, students can take a class with other participants, in addition to attending weekly events.

  • Supporting staff: Theme Communities are supported by Michigan Housing and Student Life staff while MLCs are supported by academic departments and Michigan Housing staff.

Check out the Theme Communities and MLCs to find out the best match for you!

Theme Communities

Theme Communities offer you an opportunity to live and learn with 30-40 peers who share a passion area (like women’s leadership or multiculturalism) or a lived experience (such as being a first generation college student or substance-free living). By intentionally creating small communities on one floor within a larger residence hall, you’ll be able to quickly develop friendships. You’ll also have opportunities to grow and learn from events related to your interests and resources curated by Theme Community staff members. Learn more about Michigan Housing’s Theme Communities below by clicking into specific Theme Community pages. And check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

First-Year Communities

To Apply:

The Theme Community Application is part of the general housing application.



SubFree provides a community for students seeking to live in an environment free of alcohol and drugs where they’re able to focus on academics and engage in alternative social programming.

1st Gen

1st Gen provides an extra layer of support for first-year students who are the first in their family to attend college.

Multicultural Housing Community

Multicultural Housing Community (MHC) is designed to facilitate deep communication and understanding amongst students of diverse backgrounds and identities in an intentional manner.


The Innovation community provides a collaborative living-learning space for residents interested in social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Sustainable Living Experience

Sustainable Living Experience (SLE) is a community dedicated to providing an inclusive and immersive environment for students to develop lifelong leadership in sustainability and environmental justice.

Adelia Cheever Program

The Adelia Cheever Program (Cheever) is a community that prepares undergraduate women for leadership in a global society through service learning, exploration and respect of cultural differences and cultivation of lifelong friendships.

Living Business

Living Business represents a group of diverse first-year students at the Ross School of Business interested in opportunities to build community and champion the values of the school.


LiveWell is a community of students passionate about living a holistically well life while at the University of Michigan.

Transfer Year Experience

Transfer Year Experience (TYE) is a community designed to address the transitional needs and concerns of incoming transfer residents. No application necessary for this option- it will be available via self selection if offered.

Returning Student Communities

To Apply:

The Returning Resident Theme Application will be open from January 11 – January 18, 2024.

  • Fill out the Theme Community application.
  • Review and follow the instructions outlined on the Returning Resident Housing Process webpage
  • Complete the online Michigan Housing application when it becomes available.
  • Applicants will be notified of their Theme Community status on a rolling basis following the application deadline.
Apply Now

Adelia Cheever Program

The Adelia Cheever Program (Cheever) is a community that prepares undergraduate women for leadership in a global society through service learning, exploration and respect of cultural differences and cultivation of lifelong friendships.

Second Year Experience

Second Year Experience (SYE) is a community focused on the unique needs and interests of second-year residents.

International Impact

International Impact is designed for second-year students, juniors and seniors to advance their knowledge and appreciation of our diverse, multicultural world and to provide unique opportunities for connections across disciplinary and geographical boundaries.

Michigan Learning Communities

Michigan Learning Communities (MLCs) are self-selected groups of students and faculty, often from diverse backgrounds, drawn together by shared goals and common intellectual interests. Those interests can range from community service to cutting-edge research and from mathematics to communication arts. They combine the personal attention of a small college environment with the unparalleled resources of a large research university. Students in MLCs will take classes and live together in a designated area within our residential communities.

To learn more about MLCs please visit the MLCs website. 

To Apply:

Application Dates: February 15- May 6, 2024

*Early Review Application Deadline: April 7, 2024

Apply Now!

Women In Science and Engineering Residence Program

The Women in Science and Engineering Residence Program (WISE RP) is an academically supportive living/learning community for students who are interested in academic majors and careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or pre-health. WISE RP participants have access to a number of academic resources and benefits that aid them in their transition to the university. The community, housed in Mosher Jordan Residence Hall, is comprised of approximately 100 first-year students, 25 returning students who serve as sophomore Peer Mentors, and four upper-level undergraduate Resident Advisors.

Residential College

The Residential College (RC) is a small, four-year program that provides any LSA student an engaging environment with an emphasis on languages, writing & discussion, the social sciences, and the arts. The RC enables students to combine the resources of the larger university with the lively intellectual atmosphere of a small, liberal arts college, while choosing any LSA major.

Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars

Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars (MRADS) provides an opportunity for first-year students of any potential major to participate in a year-long research project with UM faculty. Members live with other students participating in research, join in peer-led study groups, and participate in social events throughout the year. Beyond research events, last year MRADS students held game nights, talent shows, and participated in craft activities. Sophomore student leaders who participated in MRADS during their first year also live in Mosher-Jordan and serve as mentors and research advisors to first-year students.

Michigan Community Scholars Program

MCSP provides students with a small, diverse, supportive community of first- and second-year students from a wide variety of interests and backgrounds; opportunities to dialogue with others around social justice issues; wellness, cultural, and social events; and a menu of carefully selected courses taught by dedicated faculty from across the university. In addition, every year, MCSP students contribute hundreds of hours of community service within the greater Ann Arbor area, working with local schools, community gardens, refugee assistance programs, and environmental organizations.

Max Kade German Residence

Max Kade offers students a unique opportunity to live in the only language house on campus. The core theme of the Max Kade Haus is experiential learning–applying what is learned in one’s German classes to everyday life. Program participants are also eligible to apply for the George Valenta Scholarship. Max Kade hosts special events throughout the academic year, culminating in a trip to a German-speaking city in the spring. Some of the activities include: Attending musical performances by German composers and artists (Handel’s Messiah, Berliner Philharmoniker, etc.); Yoga auf Deutsch; excursions to museums to see German-related exhibits; Kerrytown Kindlefest.

Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts (LSWA)

Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts is a living/learning community focused on creative expression of all kinds. Students live in a welcoming community with other first- and second-year students who have similar passions. They take small writing and studio arts classes taught by dedicated faculty and attend events together such as art exhibits, theater performances, live concerts, and poetry readings. LSWA participants engage in student-led clubs and workshops and have opportunities to work with guest musicians, painters, poets, and more. Students from any academic major are encouraged to develop and stay connected to their creativity.

Living Arts Engine

Living Arts Engine Program unites students who are excited about working with their peers and faculty in engineering, the arts, architecture and other fields to explore innovation, creativity and collaboration. Living Arts Engine strives to provide an open, playful environment that encourages students to generate and pursue creative new ideas. The program offers weekly classes and monthly workshops by distinguished faculty and working professionals from the fields of engineering, architecture, visual arts, film, music performance and composition, dance, and theater. In addition, Living Arts Engine provides mentorship by older students and support for Living Arts Engine students to create their own programming and events.

Honors Program

The LSA Honors Program is a four-year academic program designed to provide motivated, academically talented undergraduates with opportunities to enrich their education beyond what might be typical for an undergraduate career at the University of Michigan. It allows the student to combine the vast resources of a large research university with the kind of personal attention and small community one might find at a small liberal arts college.

Health Sciences Scholars Program

The Health Sciences Scholars Program (HSSP) is a living/learning community that provides first-year undergraduates with opportunities to explore the issues, opportunities and diversity of professions in the field of health sciences. Students receive support as they transition to life at the University of Michigan as well as the direction needed for pre-health studies.

Global Scholars Program

The Global Scholars Program (GSP) prepares sophomore, junior, and senior University of Michigan students to be interculturally competent global citizens, champions for meaningful change, and innovative leaders of tomorrow. GSP students live, learn, and complete collaborative global justice internships with US, international, and exchange students. Global Scholars hold over 20 citizenships and speak over 30 languages combined! Students may choose to return for a second and third year as leaders in the program.