After accepting your offer at admission to NYU, most likely one of the next applications to find you will be the one to secure on-campus housing at one of NYU’s Residence Halls across the Washington Square Park campus. Whether you want a classic college experience in NYC or something more, NYU’s Res Life has a ton of different options for you to engage with your fellow students and find a sense of community when you’re living on a campus with no walls!
When we applied to NYU, one of the things we were most excited for was living in NYC dorms. However, given NYU’s unique campus, Zach and I weren’t sure what to expect. After learning more about NYU’s Residential Housing System we were able to apply to housing which best suited us and the experiences we were searching for. Here’s what we have learned after a few years in NYU Housing.
First Year Residence Halls
NYU’s office of Residential Life and Housing Services works hard to ensure that students are able to engage with an environment that fosters a sense of community, teaches them new ideas, and encourages them to expand their ideas and perspectives through meaningful connections with others.
Our dorms are called Residence Halls because they are places where students can really feel a sense of belonging and find a place that they can call home in NYC. Because we have such a vast population of students attending NYU, our Residence Halls have a myriad of programs that offer different experiences and events for you to explore.
A few of our Residence Halls have exploration floors, floors of Res Halls that specially house students based on a particular interest. Similarly we have the Residential College, where students are broken into cohorts surrounding a particular topic. Some include the arts, different languages, or even foods! There are lots of options to choose from and this is something that both Zach and I both took advantage of our first year.
Our First Year
I came to NYU from a small suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area and I knew that I wanted to live in a Residence Hall with fewer residents to get a small-community experience for my first year. I heard about the Residential College at Goddard Hall at my first Weekend on the Square panel. I loved the idea of students being grouped together in cohorts and experience of the city through this lens. In this program, I was able to go to various arts and media events and meet other students who loved theatre, art, and film as much as I do. I also took my required first-year expository writing course with my faculty member cohort affiliate; I was able to have a class with her and some of my other cohort members twice a week! Goddard Hall is right across the street from Bobst Library so it is one of the Residence Halls closest to campus. When I was first finding my way around campus, being close to campus was really beneficial, but overall I felt inundated with school all the time and couldn’t really get a break. I knew that I wanted to live a bit further away from campus after this first year.
Goddard is a bit different than other halls with special programs because through the Residential College program, you are enrolled in a non-credit pass/fail leadership course that appears on your transcript!
With this, you are required to attend a certain number of different events held by RA’s and faculty members, but it’s through these events that you are able to make meaningful connections with other first-year students with common interests. You are required to apply specifically to the Residential College when applying for housing, but if accepted, you are notified of your housing placement in Goddard a little bit earlier than other halls!
When I attended my very first Weekend on the Square, I visited a singular residence hall that I knew was the only option for me. It was the glorious and fabulous Brittany Hall on 10th Street and Broadway. I was captured by the glistening hardwood floors and the ideal location in between Washington Square Park and Union Square Park. I knew that I would need to have a living space separated from my academic life, so having my residential hall a short 5-10 minute walk away was ideal.
My high school was very small, I graduated in a class of 60 students, so I knew that finding a community on campus and in my residential hall was very important for me. After doing further research into Brittany Hall, I discovered that they had three Exploration Floors that greatly interested me: Food, Movies, and Music. Brittany was my number one choice, and in order to boost my chances of living there I applied to all three Exploration Floors.
Exploration floors offered me an opportunity to find my place at NYU, as I would be living on a floor with students who shared my interests. Luckily, I was selected for Brittany’s movie-themed floor. I met many of my friends living at Brittany, and I ended up living with them during my second year.
Summer in the City
After wrapping up our first 2 semesters, we both knew that we wanted to stay in NYC for the summer. We both applied to be Summer Paraprofessionals for NYU Res Life. I worked as a Summer Assistant in Broome Street Residence Hall and Zach worked as a Program Assistant position in Weinstein Hall. I worked more on the administrative side for Broome and Zach worked with students participating in High School Summer Programs staying at Weinstein.
Moving from Goddard to Broome Street (which is about a 15 minute-walk to campus,) I was able to meet loads of new people in my hall and experience a wider range of the all that the city had to offer. I felt like my vision of NYC really expanded that summer.
For Zach, living in Weinstein helped him expand his social circle, and gave him a traditional dorm experience. Since Weinstein has concrete walls and linoleum floors, something Brittany did not, Zach was able to flex his interior design skills in order to make the space feel a little more like home. He can attest – a lot can be accomplished with a tapestry and a little bit of hope!
While choosing your first year hall may seem daunting, having a bit of an idea of what you can expect in terms of upperclassmen housing may help in your decision for what experience you want for your first year!
While NYU doesn’t require you to live on campus at any point during your time here, housing is guaranteed for all matriculating students as long as they spend their first year in housing. This means that unless you move off-campus or commute into the city, you will always have a spot waiting for you in NYU’s on-campus housing!
Like first year Residence Halls, there are a few different options for fostering a sense of community and creating your intended NYC experience in upperclassmen housing. Overall, upperclassmen halls are a bit more “hands-off” than first- year halls. They are typically a little further away from campus, are apartment style so they come with a common space and kitchen area, and they will probably give you a greater sense of independence as an upperclassmen.
We both spent our sophomore fall semesters in Broome Street Residence Hall, but even then had different experiences during our time in this Residence Hall. Located in the trendy SoHo area, you are guaranteed to see at least one celebrity a week going to and from class.
I'm Headed Downtown
I knew that I wanted to live further away from campus as a sophomore. After a summer working as a summer RA in this hall, I moved across the hall with my roommate from my first year. We decided to continue our Residential College experience at Broome Street Residence Hall and lived on the same floor as a ton of our close friends from first year as well! One of my favorite things about Broome Street is how it’s the continuation of the Residential College and allows you to keep exploring NYC through your cohort.
After working as a Summer Assistant, I was able to get an idea of how the building worked at Broome and felt like I didn’t have such a big transition from first-year to upperclassmen life.
I loved having a bit of a walk to campus and felt like I was living my young New York professional dreams. I’ll never forget seeing Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, and Zayn Malik all within five minutes while walking to class one morning.
After the fall semester, I studied away at NYU Paris and also lived in student housing. I luckily got a lot of help with my application to study away from the RAs that held pre-departure events for students so felt prepared and motivated before leaving NYC for the semester.
Strutting in SoHo
During my Sophomore year I lived with a group of friends I met in my first year residential hall. We applied to live in Broome Street Residential College, located on Broome Street in the SoHo area. We wanted to expand our horizons and live in a completely new area located a little further downtown, and Broome was the perfect fit for us.
Our space in Broome Street was apartment-style and was equipped with a kitchen and an enormous common area. My roomies and I would have dedicated movie nights, baking nights, and cooking nights in order to make sure we had time to just be with each other as friends and roommates. We pursued Broome Street not only because of its stellar location, but also because of the requirements of living in the residential college.
The requirement to attend various in-hall community programs and events in order to earn credits pushed us to have responsibilities as suite-mates as well as residents in the hall, and allowed us to explore the community in a different residential setting. I loved living in Broome and hopefully I will be returning this coming fall!
On the Other Side
When I was a sophomore, after my experience as a Summer Assistant and making connections with my RAs, I decided that I wanted to be an RA for upperclassmen myself. The spring of my sophomore year I was notified that I was hired to be an RA in the coming fall in none other than Broome Street!
This past year, I was lucky enough to make some of the best connections with other RAs, my residents, and the professional staff that live and work in the building. I was able to design programs and events for residents surrounding different topics and interests and I felt like I was able to grow my leadership skills and foster a community on my floor. My favorite memory as an RA was taking residents to see films directed by women at the Angelika Theatre close to campus and having incredible conversations about the film afterward. I cannot wait to return as an RA for my senior year!
As an RA, I received a meal-plan and a housing stipend that covered the cost of my room. While it is a demanding and challenging job, it is an option for students to explore if you are interested in having your housing and meal-plan covered by the university!
During my Junior year I lived in University Hall, located on 14th Street and Union Square, and Gramercy Hall, located on 23rd Street and Third Avenue. While living in U-Hall I roomed with people I had never met before. In order to immerse myself within the residential community, I joined the E-Board as the Director of Communications. Since U-Hall is occupied by First Years and Upperclassmen, I was able to make connections with students across various academic disciplines and years.
I particularly loved U-Hall because it not only had kitchens and common areas in the suites, but was also equipped with a Dining Hall and Dunkin’ Donuts. Having donuts readily available was both amazing and detrimental to my stomach, but luckily the Palladium Gym was right next door, and 404 Fitness was only a short walk down Lafayette Street.
Since my floor in U-Hall was for “fall only residents” I moved into Gramercy Hall for the spring semester. Gramercy is perhaps one of the most popular halls in the housing system for upperclassmen, because of its modern accommodations and gigantic windows. I loved living in Gramercy, and since it’s further from campus, I loved the option of hopping on the NYU Shuttle Busses for a free ride to-and-from campus!
That's a Wrap!
Overall, no matter where you decide to live, you have loads of options to foster the best experience you could have while studying at NYU. Residence Halls give you the opportunity to make friends and meet people from around the world and create some of the best memories during your time at NYU.