students walk in the plaza outside tommie north residence hall

On-Campus Living Requirement

Beginning with the Fall 2021 entering first-year class, the University of St. Thomas implemented a new policy requiring full-time, undergraduate, first and second-year students to live on campus at St. Thomas. We believe that living on campus in a student's first and second years provides learning opportunities that are holistic and transformative.

Benefits of living on campus the first two years at St. Thomas include:

  • Developing a sense of belonging to the campus community.
  • Creating meaningful connections with students, staff and faculty that support a student's academic and career journey.
  • Experiencing co-curricular learning aligned with the Tommie Advantage.
  • Engaging in campus events and take advantage of campus resources.
  • To guarantee housing on campus for a student's first two years.


Full-time, undergraduate, first and second-year bachelor's students, regardless of academic class standing, are required to live on campus in Residence Life housing and purchase a meal plan. The policy typically will require four (4) semesters of on-campus living not including summer or J-Terms for each student. This residency requirement policy is published in the University's Policy Repository and in the Student Residence Agreement.

Transfer students who enter with one semester completed at another college/university are required to complete the remaining three semesters of the requirement on campus with St. Thomas. Transfers having completed two or more semesters at another college/university are waived from the requirement.

The University of St. Thomas recognizes that a student may want to request an exception to this policy. Students seeking an exception must complete the request form and process, and the request will be reviewed by a committee, which may grant or deny the exception.

On-Campus Living Requirement Exceptions

Students may request an exception from the on-campus living requirement. Students entering into the Student Residence Agreement and requesting release from the requirement after the Agreement is in effect may still be responsible for any cancellation fees and/or charges based on the tuition, room and board refund schedule for each semester.

The review committee will regularly review exception requests. First-year (incoming) students submit their exception requests through the admissions application portal. The committee will begin review in February, prior to their fall term start date. Requests received by April 1, will receive a response by May 1. Transfer student (incoming) submit their exception requests through the admissions application portal and they will be reviewed as they are received. Any current students requesting an exception for the second year must submit the request in the St. Thomas Housing Portal accessed through Murphy Online prior to self-selection process in April.

The review committee will consider exception requests received after the deadlines listed above on a case-by-case basis. Requests should minimally include one of the exception criteria and may include multiple criteria.

Exception Request Criteria/Categories

  • Living with Parent/Legal Guardian
    • Personal and/or family circumstances/considerations, including religious or cultural.
    • Financial concerns/considerations that would prevent a student from attending the University of St. Thomas. This does not include the burden from an off-campus housing lease or mortgage signed prior to approval for an exception to the policy.
    • A completed Request and Attestation Form will need to be submitted. In addition, if requesting to live at home due to financial concerns, a review of financial information will need to be completed.
  • Married and/or Care for Dependent
    • Marriage certificate or legal documentation of a dependent for whom the student is responsible must be provided.
  • Medical Condition which cannot be accommodated on campus
    • Requests for exceptions due to medical reasons, will need supporting documentation. All supporting medical documentation must be submitted directly to Disability Resources. It is generally expected that students being given a medical exception will live at home unless extenuating circumstances exist that prevent the student from living at home.
  • Age 21 or older at any time during the academic year of their first or second year

All of the exception criteria require some verification and/or documentation from third-parties associated with the situation. The exception request form and all supplemental documentation must be received before the review committee will consider the request.

Completion of the exception request form and supporting documentation, is a request, and does not constitute automatic release from the on-campus living requirement. Failure to obtain an approved exception from Residence Life will result in the posting of the room and board charges to the student's tuition account. Any first or second-year student registered for the fall semester who fails to sign up for housing and has not been approved for an exception will automatically be assigned a room and meal plan, and will be responsible for those charges unless an exception is approved. Nonpayment of this charge may result in the cancellation of classes and/or a registration hold placed on a student's account for future semesters.

Any student found to have provided false information on the exception request form or in provided third party documentation may be subject to university disciplinary action.