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Residential Learning Community and Specialized Housing


We are looking forward to helping you create your new home at CSUSM Housing! As you make your choice on where to create your new home, we wanted to invite you to live in our residential learning community (RLC) or specialized housing. 

Residential Learning Community

Our department currently offers one Residential Learning Community (RLC) to incoming first-year residents. We are actively developing partnerships and assessing the impact of our program in order to incorporate more RLCs in the near future. Students who engage actively in an RLC program have proven to have higher GPAs and graduation rates; as well as having a pathway to leadership opportunities across campus.

The San Marcos Experience (SME) RLC is designed to help ease the transition into college by placing students into a cohort with other like-minded first year students. You will share an apartment or be on the RLC floor with the same students you'll have classes with first semester. SME promotes leadership development and civic engagement both inside and outside of the classroom. Students in this program have proven to have higher GPAs and graduation rates and are now leaders across campus. 

Benefits of participating in an RLC include:

  • Priority registration (1-2 classes for Fall 2023)
  • Exclusive event during Week of Welcome
  • Leadership and involvement opportunities all year long
  • A tight-knit community of RLC students in both your classes and your living environment!


  • Must be a first-time freshman only
  • Provisional admission to CSUSM for Fall 2023
  • Submit your intent to enroll
  • Apply for CSUSM Housing at North Commons
  • Not in another specialty program (TRIO/SSS, Athletics, CAMP)
    • Each specialty program requires participants to enroll in certain courses mandatory for first-year student; if two specialty program’s requirement first-year courses conflict with each other, a student will only have the ability to participate in only one of the programs.

Submit Your SME Interest Form Now

Specialized Housing Communities

Open to all residents

Our themed housing communities will offer individualized support and deeper community building opportunities. 

Communities include:

  • LGBTQA Housing
  • Substance Free Housing
  • Gender Inclusive Housing (mixed gender apartments)

If interested in taking advantage of these communities, please notate on your housing application and we will follow up with you. The ability to offer Specialized Housing Communities are dependent on the amount of interest expressed on housing applications.

If you have any questions or would like more clarification, please contact Paola Romo, at