About Themed Communities

Apply NOW to establish or join a Themed Community for 2024-2025! 

Thank you for your interest in the Themed Communities living option! Themed Communities are entire floors or sections of a floor (minimum four people, maximum fifteen people) that house students with a similar interest or identity for one academic year. There is no guarantee that a Themed Community will return for the following year as these communities are only selected for one-year contracts. 

Groups of students interested in living together around a specific theme or topic may apply through the annual Themed Communities selection process and fill out the Themed Communities application by selecting that they are interested in “Establishing a Themed Community.” Applications must articulate a clear and coherent community theme, connect that theme to the benefits of a shared living space and articulate a vision for programming and other community development efforts. Applications must also include a roster of students interested in living in the themed community. Themed Communities may either fill all beds on a given floor or may share a specific floor with one or more Themed Communities (each community will be clustered on the floor). Students interested in being placed in one of the communities as an independent applicant (pending space availability) should also fill out the Themed Communities application and select that they are interested in ‘Applying as an individual to live in a Themed Community.” 

If you are interested in applying to live in the preexisting Special Interest Communities or Intercultural House (ICH), please fill out the SIC Application.

Questions about Special Interest Communities? Please first review information below before directing questions to Associate Director of Special Interest Communities Haley Carson.

Applicant Qualifications 

  • Applicants for Themed Communities must be enrolled at Columbia College or The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science for full-time study and have guaranteed housing status
  • Applicants must be sophomores, juniors, or seniors during their year(s) of residence and in good academic standing and disciplinary status
  • Applicants are expected to participate for a full academic year; plans to study abroad during the academic year may affect consideration of prospective residency
  • All residents are expected to participate as active members of the Themed Community in which they elect to live

Themed Communities Expectations

  • Each Themed Community will need to select a Community Coordinator from their roster to attend house leadership training, oversee programming committees, submit all program and funding requests and attend mandatory meetings with the associate director of Special Interest Communities (i.e. bi-weekly one-on-ones, roundtables, etc.)
  • Each Themed Community must implement two programs a semester for a total of at least four programs within the academic year
    • A small budget may be provided to each community to help achieve programmatic requirements
  • Each house member is expected to participate in a Themed Communities welcome session in April
  • Each house member will be assigned to a programming committee to ensure programmatic requirements are met each semester; these committees are determined by the associate director of Special Interest Communities in conjunction with the community coordinator
  • Each house member must exhibit strong involvement in the residential community and Columbia community at large
  • Each house member must participate in Themed Communities program assessment and evaluation processes
  • Each house member must actively engage and coordinate with the resident adviser (RA) of the floor and/or community
  • Each house member must participate in creating a welcoming and vibrant community
  • Each house member must take initiative to address concerns that may come up on the floor and ask for help when needed from house leadership and/or Residential Life staff, specifically respective RA(s) and/or the associate director of Special Interest Communities
  • Each house member should be a positive role model of the community; house members are a reflection of their respective communities as well as Residential Life; it is an expectation that members treat all staff, faculty and peers with respect
  • Each house member should be welcoming to all members of the Columbia community, especially within the walls of the SIC community
  • ​Each house member must abide by all Guide to Living policies

Important Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline

Applications are now being accepted at this time.

Themed Communities Interview

The format of the application interview will be a presentation-style in which each Themed Community applicant is asked to deliver an explanation of requested material to an audience that will consist of professional staff and students. Each group that submits an application to establish a Themed Community and meets all criteria of the application process will be granted an interview time.  Actual presentations for the interview are not required, but encouraged.

The application requires groups to select a community coordinator to serve as the leader of the community. The community coordinator and up to two additional members set to live in the house will deliver the 10-15 minute discussion in front of a selection committee.  More information regarding the presentation expectations will be emailed to all groups after applications are received. 

After submitting an application to establish a Themed Community, the Associate Director of Special Interest Communities will email you further information on presentation expectations and confirm with you a time to present to the selection committee.

Presentation Week

All presentations for new communities will occur between Friday, January 12Wednesday, January 31

Notification of Acceptance (Established Groups)

All groups and roster members should expect to hear from the associate director of Special Interest Communities as early as Friday, January 26, 2024. If accepted, every member on the submitted roster will receive email communication on their acceptance into the Themed Community and are expected to accept their offers by Friday, February 2, 2024 at Noon EST.

Notification of Acceptance (Individuals)

Vacant spaces in Themed Communities will be filled by individual applicants. If offered a spot in a Themed Community, all applicants must accept by Friday, February 2, 2024 at noon EST. 

Residential Life


515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3612

Fax: 212-854-6815

Office Hours

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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