At Caltech we are committed to making sure students are connected to their peers and have the opportunity to live on campus in a community that is social, safe, and fun.
All our residential communities offer social support structures that create opportunities for student leadership. Each community is led by upperclass students who serve as Peer Advocates, Health Advocates, ARC representatives, SURF ambassadors, teaching assistants, and generally amazing sources of advice for succeeding at Caltech. In addition to student supports, residences also include Resident Associates, Residential Life Coordinators, and Faculty in Residence.
Caltech's unique House system consists of eight distinct residential communities which are the locus of many of Caltech's social and cultural traditions. Students also enjoy fashioning their own community experiences in the Marks/Braun and Bechtel residences. Bechtel offers students the chance to live on campus while offering space and resources for developing new community experiences, such as our new Theme Living Communities.
First year students (including transfer students and those returning from leave) are given the opportunity to participate in rotation. This is the formal, algorithm-driven process for initial house affiliation. During rotation, first year students get to meet members of each house, participate in house activities that showcase their unique communities, and then rank the houses according to their preferences. Rotation is available only during the first year and cannot be deferred; however, individual house membership remains available throughout a student's career.
Students may live in the house in which they choose to affiliate or they may opt for unaffiliated housing. Caltech will ensure that students who forego initial house affiliation receive housing in one of our unaffiliated housing options, Marks/Braun or Bechtel.
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The South Hovses are the oldest dormitories on campus. The housing options available are single, double, and triple capacity bedrooms, with the majority of rooms being singles. There are dining halls, lounges, kitchens and other house-specific common spaces throughout the buildings. All bathrooms in the South Hovses are gender neutral.
The North Houses were built in 1960 to accommodate the growing student population. The housing options available are double capacity bedrooms, with lofted beds accessible by ladders. There are dining halls, lounges, kitchens and other house-specific common spaces throughout the buildings. There are some gendered and some gender-neutral bathrooms in the North Houses.
Avery is the newest House, built in 1996. The housing options available are single and double rooms, but incoming freshmen live in doubles with adjustable lofted beds. There is a dining hall, lounges, kitchens and other common spaces throughout the building. There are some gendered and some gender-neutral bathrooms in Avery.
The Bechtel residence is our newest residence building on campus. The housing options available in Bechtel include 4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-bedroom suites as well as a handful of standalone suite singles. In the suites, residents will each have their own private bedroom and common lounge space with tables, chairs, a sofa, and a micro-fridge, as well as bathroom facilities shared among suitemates. The standalone suite singles are single rooms with a private bathroom.
Marks and Braun are two small, conjoined residences located just south of the Center for Student Services (CSS) on campus. Each is comprised of single rooms with shared bathrooms, and a small number of 2-bedroom suites (2 single rooms that share a bathroom). Each area is supported by a Resident Associate.