Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of our most common questions asked by incoming first year students. If there are any questions you have that aren’t listed below, email our office at

PLU's Residency Requirement

Does PLU have a residency requirement?

Yes, PLU does have a residency requirement.

Campus Life will be moving to the following Residency Requirement, applicable to all incoming students, beginning Academic Year 2024-2025.

Pacific Lutheran University requires that all full-time students live in university housing unless the student meets one of the following criteria:

  • Live at home with a parent in Pierce County or in the following approved zip codes. Please see the attached document for approved zip codes located outside of Pierce County
  • Is at least 20 years of age 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.
  • Enrolled in and completed at least 4 full semesters at Pacific Lutheran University; includes full semester study away programs, excludes J-term and Summer.
  • Living with a spouse or child [copy of marriage or birth certificate required].

A student enrolled at the University and living off-campus that does not meet the criteria listed above and without approval from the Department of Residential Life is in violation of this policy, and will be held responsible for room and meal charges for that period and will be required to move on-campus for the remainder of their time.

Students with an admit term prior to Fall 2024 will remain subject to the Residency Requirement active at the time of their admit term. Please refer  to our Residency Requirement page for more information.

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.

Applying for On- Campus Housing

How do I apply to live on campus?

All incoming students must complete the Living Plans and Learning Community Application.

This application will include:

  • Provide basic student information
  • Sign the Master Housing and Meal Agreement
  • Apply for their desired learning communities
  • Complete the roommate questionnaire (they will also be able request a specific roommate)

First year students are assigned to a learning community and hall by our office and will receive this via their PLU email.

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.

Which hall have I been assigned to?

Incoming student learning community and residence hall assignments are assigned in the order they are received on a rolling basis. Assignments are made based on available occupancy within a learning community and residence hall at the time the application is received.

Applications for the upcoming academic year open in early December. Incoming students who complete this application should expect to receive notification of their learning community and hall assignment in late March or early April. Applications received after this time should expect a response within 3 weeks of their submittal date.

Where do transfer students live?

New transfer students are combined to live with our returning student population. All halls on campus house new transfer and returner students within themed learning communities. New transfer students may apply to any learning community, except the First Year Community. New transfer students who are interested in a more independent living on-campus experience should apply to the upper division learning community.

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

Can I have a single room?

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 Campus Life reserves space within each hall for new first year students.

New students are hand-matched by our Community Directors with another new student because their experiences and expectations naturally meet one another. This mutuality thus creates a heightened learning and growing environment.

Students who need a single room due to medical accommodations should go through the Accessibility and Accommodation Housing process.

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

Housing applications for J-term and Spring terms open in early October. Campus Life will begin processing J-term and Spring requests mid to late November and students will be notified in early December of their housing assignment, roommate information, and approved move-in time.

South & Pflueger 19-20 RA Staff
Pflueger & South Hall RA Staff 2019-2020

Living On-Campus

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!

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 Year at a Glance page for the most current information on move in dates and times.

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 Campus Life Office at 253-535-7200 or refer to the Housing Guide for a complete list of prohibited items and policies.

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)

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.

What is my mailing address?

Mail sent to PLU should be addressed as such:

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

Students should not include any building numbers for on-campus mail, as it will likely not be delivered to our mail center and returned to the sender.

What is my meal plan?

Students assigned to a traditional residence halls (all halls except South Hall) are automatically enrolled into meal plan B. Students living in traditional residence halls may upgrade or downgrade their meal plan size but are required to have a meal plan while living on campus.

South Hall residents are not required to have a meal plan.

Please refer the Meal Plan Descriptions on the dining website.

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 and same learning community. Please note that submitting a specific roommate request, does not increase one’s chances of being assigned to the same hall, especially if one application is submitted significantly later than another.

Requests must be received by July 1st. To request a specific roommate, either list the student’s name on your Living Plans and Learning Community Application or you can email Campus Life at to have your application updated with your requested roommate.