New Students Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should I live on campus?

National research and PLU specific data show strong connections between living on campus and academic success. Students who live on campus four or more semesters are over 40 percent more likely to graduate. From 2005-13 first year students who live on campus earned an average GPA of 3.05, compared to 2.61 for students who lived off.  Students who live on campus have a greater connection to peers and faculty, a stronger sense of community and an overall greater satisfaction with their college experience.

Q. Does PLU have a residency requirement?

Yes, PLU does have a residency requirement.

Pacific Lutheran University requires that all full-time students live in university housing unless they are:

  • Living at home with parent, spouse, or child within 25 driving miles of PLU’s address.  (Notarized/certified documentation required).
  • 20 years of age or Junior Status (60 semester hours) on or before September 1 to be exempt for the academic year, or on or before February 1 to be exempt for the Spring semester.

Learn more about the Residency Requirement here.

Q. Which hall have I been assigned to?

Hall assignments are made on a rolling basis based on when you submitted your housing application.  You will be emailed with your hall assignment within 3 weeks of submitting your housing application.  If you have questions or concerns please contact Residential Life via email at or call us at 253-535-7200.

Q. What is my mailing address?

Your Name
Name of Your Residence Hall, #Your Room Number
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

Q. What is a Learning Community (LC)?

Learning Communities (LC) are communities in our residence halls centered around a special interest or theme designed to add to the learning that happens both inside and outside the classroom.  All residents are involved in our LCs, which gives them the benefits of a traditional on campus experience with the added value of developing relationships with faculty and sharing a similar community focus.  You can learn more about our various LCs by going to our First Year Communities page. Residents will indicate their LC preferences when completing their housing application.

Are you a commuting student? LCs are open to commuting students as well! Commuters can indicate their LC preferences when completing the Confirmation of Living at Home process.

Q. Can I see my room before I arrive?

While we are not able to give tours of individual halls and/or rooms, you can see floor plans and photos of the halls by hovering over “Residence Halls” in the Navigation Bar near the top of this page. Select your hall and you will find both floor plan and photo gallery resources are available on the right hand side of each residence hall page.  While the floor plan dimensions and pictures may not be an exact replica of your room, it will give you an idea of what an unfurnished and furnished room look like and how you can make it your home away from home! You can also check out PLU’s Pinterest page for a peek inside!

Q. Can new students request specific roommates?

Yes. Roommate requests must be mutual and will be honored only if both students are assigned to the same hall. Please note that submitting a specific roommate request, does not increase one’s chances of being assigned to a different hall. Requests must be received by July 1st. To request a specific roommate, either list the student’s name on your new student housing application or send a written request with the following information to the Office of Residential Life * Your Name and PLU ID Number * Your requested roommate’s name (please use only official names).

Q. When can I move into my assigned hall?

Move in day for first year students changes yearly depending on the academic calendar.  Please see our Rates and Dates page for the most current information on move in dates and times.

Q. What should I bring to PLU?

Here is a comprehensive list of things to bring with you to PLU!  Students are permitted to bring their own furniture, with the exception of lofts. However, all University provided furniture must remain in room. Residents will be charged for any furniture missing from the room when they check-out. University loft-kits are available free of charge for check-out from hall staff.

Due to fire codes, energy conservation, and creating a safe community for all, there are items that are not permitted on-campus and/or in the Residence Halls.  If you are in doubt about an item you would like to bring, call the Residential Life Office at 253-535-7200 or refer to the Housing Guide for a complete list of prohibited items and policies.

Q. What is standard to all rooms and halls?

All of the residence halls include the following amenities:

  • In Room Cable TV Hook Up
  • Ethernet/Internet In Room Connection
  • Indoor Bike Storage
  • Kitchen w/microwave(s)
  • Postal Delivery & Pick Up
  • Recycling Room
  • Student Long-Term Storage
  • Study Lounge/Central
  • Vacuum Cleaners/Brooms
  • Vending Machines
  • Twin extra-long beds
  • Blinds
  • Desks and Desk Chairs
  • Closets
  • Dressers
  • Bookshelf
  • Waste Can & Recycling Bins
  • Linoleum Floor
  • Pianos In Lounge
  • Composting
  • Laundry Facilities (free)

Q. What is my meal plan?

Students residing in traditional residence halls (all halls but South Hall) must sign-up for a meal plan.  South Hall residents are not required to have a meal plan.  Meal Plan descriptions and rates can be found here.

Q. How do I change my meal plan?

The default meal plan for Traditional Housing (excluding South Hall) is Meal Plan B. This plan is designed for the student who eats most of their meals on campus. Students can review the PLU Meal Plan options or change their meal plan through the Campus Restaurants website.

Q. Can I have a single room?

Traditional age first year students can not request a single room.  Living in university housing is an integral part of the educational experience at PLU. A residential community is an environment that challenges one to live and grow, create meaningful relationships, and to draw connections between the classroom and in life. To provide intentional learning environments and a more diverse community Residential Life reserves space within each hall for new students. New students are traditionally hand-matched with another new student because their experiences and expectations naturally meet one another. This mutuality thus creates a heightened learning and growing environment.

Q. Where do transfer students live?

Most transfer students will move into our Junior/Senior communities.  Stuen Hall and South Hall are our housing that is reserved for students 20 years of age or older, or junior status (60 semester hours) by September 1st for Fall Semester, or February 1st for Spring Semester.

Stuen Hall consists entirely of single rooms.  It is the only traditional-style residence hall where visitation is not limited.  It is three stories tall, and houses only ~60 graduate and undergraduate residents.  Stuen is located between Hauge Admin Building (west) and Ordal Hall (east).

South Hall is a non-traditional, apartment-style residence hall designed for a more independent living experience on campus.  Apartment style and occupancy vary, but each has a full kitchen, bathroom and dining room.

Contact Residential Life at or 253-535-7200 for single room opportunities or to be matched up with a non-First Year PLU student.

Q. How do I check into my hall?

If you are moving in during Fall, J-Term, or Spring openings, you can go directly to your hall’s front desk. Your Resident Assistant (RA) will assist you with the check-in process. If you are moving in during a non-official opening time, you will need to make prior arrangements. Contact your Community Director (CD) to schedule a check-in appointment, or to receive instructions on how best to accomplish this.

Q. Are pets allowed in the residence halls?

At this time, no pets except fish are allowed in the residence halls. Fish must be kept in a tank less than 25 gallons.

Q. I am a new student beginning in J-Term or Spring. When will I find out who my roommate will be?

You will receive a confirmation letter from the Office of Residential Life within two to three weeks of your application being submitted.