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Special Interest & Lifestyle Floors

Special-Interest Housing

Life Outside the Classroom

If you are inspired about art, crazy about computers, or passionate about photography, you may want to live in one of RIT's special-interest houses. Designed for students who live to share their interests, these seven houses offer a specific academic focus to residence-hall living and provide a way to tailor activities to a common group. Special-interest houses are self-governing organizations that also have a resident advisor living on floor. House members are selected based on an initial written application process, not on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications must be received by May 1 in order to be considered for fall membership. Current house members are actively involved in the selection of new members with assistance from their Residential Life administrative advisor, Housing Operations staff, and academic advisor. The demand to live in some houses far exceeds available space.

All house members are expected to pay dues to support house activities and purchase supplies for the extra on-floor amenities available to you if you live in this space. Dues range from $45 to $105 per year depending on the house. Because the houses are designed for members to share interests, they require residents to be active in house events, attend weekly meetings, and to participate in special projects throughout the year.

Special-interest houses are close-knit communities, some of which have been in existence for 35 years. The connections to faculty, departments, upper-class students, and alumni make them a truly special experience.



An Art Studio Just Two Doors Down...

Art House provides a number of dedicated workspaces with equipment to allow members to comfortably complete assignments, study, or socialize. One private space includes work tables, a cutting station, an enclosed gallery, a fully ventilated industrial spray booth, an industrial light table, and a space that holds a community store of resources and tools. House members also enjoy participating in many activities pertaining to art, community service, photography, and social programs, including an annual overnight trip. Due to its high concentration of art majors, Art House provides a mentoring and nurturing environment for future artists and craftspeople with support from RIT’s faculty and staff.

Visit the Art House Website



More than Just Computers

As one of the most popular and oldest special-interest houses on campus, Computer Science House (CSH) provides its members with a state-of-the-art technology environment, as well as a warm and inviting "family" atmosphere. Not only a home for computing majors, CSH is a diverse organization consisting of students from all programs.

Members operate and maintain house computing resources, including e-mail, Web servers, network vending machines (order a cold soda from down the hall with just a keystroke!), and a wired network (all residence halls are wireless). An on-floor lab supplies 24-hour computing facilities to all members. Those who wish to expand their technical knowledge will benefit from specialized project rooms and the board expertise of other members. CSH offers a vibrant social atmosphere comprised of traditions ranging from Capture the Flag and camping trips to house meetings and faculty gatherings. With a strong ongoing connection to its 30 years of alumni, CSH offers unique networking opportunities between its members and industry professionals. The members of CSH look forward to making you a part of their family.

Visit the Computer Science House Website




Supporting Future Engineers

Engineering studies at RIT are demanding, but first year students will find they have an advantage by living on Engineering House (E-House), where help is always next door. Engineering House promotes a close, professional relationship with the Kate Gleason College of Engineering’s faculty and resources. The resources and facilities Engineering House has to offer helps ensure first year students can successfully transition into college life. Our study lounge is a great place to collaborate with peers. The study lounge’s resources include: a floor printer, a tutor board, and dry-erase surfaces on the tables and walls. Engineering House also features a pool lounge, a movie room, and a woodshop workshop area, complete with power tools. Since Engineering House has a strong family atmosphere, students are strongly encouraged to work together on projects, and participate in many activities, such as intramural sports, throughout the academic year.

Visit the Engineering House Website




The Adventure of Science

The House of General Science (HoGS) promotes a friendly environment for students who share diverse interests in science. The house attracts students who are interested in the traditional sciences (i.e.., chemistry and physics), the medical science professions, mathematics and statistics, and innovative fields like biotechnology, bioinformatics, and imaging science. Through interaction with your housemates, you'll get the chance to gain a better understanding of the different sciences, share your curiosity, and expand your sense of discovery. The house maintains a close link with the faculty of the College of Science, and provides many social, recreational, and educational activities to encourage communication and learning between house members and the campus scientific community. The house not only provides students with a great way to establish lifelong friendships, but also a great way to make professional contacts in your career field.

Visit the House of General Science Website




Diversity at Its Best

"Diversity is the one thing we all have in common. We celebrate it every day." (Anonymous)

International House (I-House) is made up of students from all backgrounds and cultures, who share a sense of passion for diversity. Although our name may include ‘international’, many members were born and raised in the United States. I-House is a place where students can learn about other cultures and be a part of an open, friendly community. The house holds many events and activities, including trips to amusement parks, ski/snowboarding trips, and its most popular event, the semesterly floor dinner. For the floor dinner, members cook dishes from their own cultures in the floor kitchen, a fully equipped kitchen/lounge, an unique facility in the residence halls. Members and alumni come together to enjoy these home cooked meals with each other and celebrate the community that they are a part of.

I-House also has a separate lounge on floor, an area used by many members to study, hang out, or play video games. The floor is diverse not only culturally, but academically as well. Any student is bound to find an upperclassmen on floor who is in the same major that they are in, so there is always someone there that can help guide them. Living in International House is a rewarding experience, and students will come to find that there is never a dull moment on floor.

Visit the Internationall House Website




Photography at All Hours

Photo House is the ideal place for RIT students with a passion for photography, whether they are photo majors or not. Photo House draws students from many programs, including film, industrial design, and computer science. Photo House provides convenient facilities that are open 24 hours a day. Without leaving your hall you can shoot in the studio, print in one of two black-and-white darkrooms, mount in the print finishing room, and present your work in the gallery or on the Photo House social media. Members are always finding fun things to do in their free time, including movie-nights, gallery visits, Special Interest House events, and annual picnics.. Looking to develop your photographic style? Several times a year, professionals in the field come to speak at Photo House and share their real-world experiences. Photo House members also benefit from mutual critiques of their work as well as study groups in a supportive atmosphere. If you are planning on coming to RIT, why not join Photo House? - RIT's residential center for photographic creativity.




United for Student Leadership, Cultural Enrichment, and Academic Achievement

Unity House (U-House) is dedicated to a supportive community focused on developing AALANA (African American, Latino American, Native American) student leaders. Unity House has built a tradition of welcoming new students and provides a variety of academic workshops, programs, and community service activities in an environment that promotes academic achievement and awareness of diverse cultural issues.

Members develop leadership skills through a first year project, diverse cultural celebrations, personal development opportunities, and other social events. A number of Unity House members hold leadership positions in various clubs including: AALANA Collegiate Association (ACA), Latin American Students Association, National Society of Black Engineers, Caribbean Students Association, and Student Government.

Most importantly, Unity House focuses on academic achievement by creating connections between students to provide academic mentorship. Unity House also assists students in accessing academic resources provided on campus for individuals of under-represented minority groups, with intimate affiliations to the Multicultural Center for Academic Success, TRiO Student Support Services, HEOP, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.


Lifestyle Floors


Study Abroad Living Learning Community

The Study Abroad Living Learning Community will provide residents with the opportunity to leverage their interest in study abroad and passion for other cultures to create a personalized, unique RIT experience. With the help of RIT Global, Housing Operations and the Center for Residence Life, students will determine how study abroad fits into their personal and academic goals. Members of the community will be able to live with other students who share their interest in international travel, learn about other cultures’ history, traditions and values and participate in international-themed activities and events. In addition, participants will take the initial steps of making study abroad a reality by creating a personalized Study Abroad Strategic Plan, with support in outlining what they value in a study abroad experience, benefits to study abroad, and options for financing their journey.
Incoming first year students will live in Colby Hall and upper class students have the opportunity to live in Global Village. First year students who are interested in expanding their global awareness and who want to learn more about study abroad are welcome to self-select the community when making their housing decision in June. Upper class students can contact Jessica Mallon with RIT Housing Operations at or 585-475-7461 for application information.


Intensified Study Floors

RIT is a university for focused students, and these floors promote an environment that encourages academic study groups and a more structured study atmosphere. Floor programs are centered around encouraging interpersonal relationships through academic, social, recreational, cultural, and athletic activities.


Wellness Lifestyle Option

If you're committed to a healthy lifestyle, the Wellness Lifestyle Option offers a chance to live with others who are nutrition conscious, engaged in fitness activities, and are familiar with wellness information. Students also agree not to smoke outside and bring the smell of smoke in on their clothing. Floor programs focus on health-related activities, group activities, and community development.


Alcohol/Substance-Free Lifestyle Option

RIT's alcohol policy prohibits possession, consumption, or evidence of alcohol in all residence halls. An increasingly popular option for many students is an alcohol and substance-free living arrangement.

These floors are for students who seek a coeducational living environment where residents and their guests agree to keep their living area free from alcohol at all times. Members agree to abstain from all non-prescribed mood-altering drugs. Students agree not to smoke outside and bring the smell of smoke in on their clothing. This program has been developed to create a healthy, proactive environment that supports students' academic and personal growth without limiting their enjoyment of the traditional college activities.

Students who are in recovery from alcohol and other substances or who come from families where addiction has been an issue might be interested in the One Day at a Time program, founded on principles of the 12-step program and/ or  SMART Recovery. Special programming and support services are available on an individual and/or group level.

Want more information?  Please contact Student Wellness at (585) 475-3963 or  Karen Pelc at (585)475-7081, or S.A.I.S.D, Substance and Alcohol Intervention Services for the Deaf, at (585) 286-1969 VP , or (585) 475-4963 Voice


Single-Sex Floors

If you prefer to live in a single-sex environment, you may request this option on your residence hall contract. Students may also be placed on a single-sex floor without requesting this option in order to maintain the balance of males and females on co-ed floors. Opposite-sex visitation is allowed on single-sex floors.


Gender- Inclusive Floor

RIT offers gender-inclusive housing options to incoming and current students in the residence halls in Mark Ellingson Hall.
Gender-inclusive housing is an housing option that places no restriction on the gender of roommates.  This means that students can live in the same room with a person(s) of a different biological gender.  Gender-inclusive housing is one option among our traditional housing in a variety of residence halls.
RIT offers this option to help create an environment which acknowledges, appreciates and respects the diverse nature of the RIT student body, while giving students more flexibility in finding a roommate who is truly compatible.  Residing in gender-inclusive housing is a choice; no student will be assigned to a gender-inclusive space in the residence halls without applying for that option.
Interested students must indicate in the housing application they are interested in Gender-Inclusive Housing.  By selecting “yes” (you are interested), you will be able to search for other students who have selected “yes” and match as roommates, and you will be able to search for gender-inclusive rooms during room selection.
There are a limited number of gender-inclusive rooms available.  If you are searching for a gender-inclusive room but none are available, please contact Housing Operations to discuss potential options


Honors Housing

Students who have been accepted into the RIT Honors Program have the opportunity to live in honors housing in Carlton Gibson Hall, where they can build friendships and mutual support in the honors community while taking advantage of honors activities beyond the classroom. First-year honors students are encouraged to select honors housing, but may also choose other residence hall options, such as special-interest houses.


University Studies: A Living-Learning Community for Undecided Majors

First-year students admitted into the University Studies program are encouraged to live and learn together, to gain insight from each other about the proces of deciding on a final RIT major.  Students in the USP LLC live in Residence Hall B, where they can interact on a daily basis and discuss a variety of topics ranging from courses, careeers, and deciding on a major to simply talking about their plans for an upcoming weekend.  The faculty and staff of the University Studies program engage with the students throughout the year with social and educational events held in or near Residence Hall b, starting with a fall picnic each year.


Mainstream Floors

Mainstreamed floors where both deaf/hard-of-hearing and hearing students live are located in Ellingson, Peterson, Residence Hall D, Sol Heumann, and Gibson halls.

Housing Operations does not assign hearing and deaf/hard-of-hearing students as roommates unless both students request an assignment together. Students may be placed on a mainstream floor without requesting this option.

The RAs assigned to these floors have sign language skills and special training related to the needs of the hearing and deaf/hard-of-hearing population. RAs may be hearing or deaf/hard-of-hearing.


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