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Residential and Campus Life

overhead drone photograph of campus

During Summer Session, you will be part of our amazing community during your time on campus. Orientation kicks off with a myriad of activities to connect you with other students and the residential staff in your House. These conversations expand as you attend classes, and your newest friends will help you explore the farthest corners of campus, grab a cup of coffee, or cap off the day with a late night study break in your House. Find more information on Housing and Student Life on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

overhead drone photograph of Woodlawn Commons

Woodlawn Commons

All Summer Session pre-college students will reside in Woodlawn Residential Commons, and may share a room with one or more students. Shared rooms include a desk, dresser, closet, bed, blanket and pillow. Linens (sheets and towels) are provided and may be exchanged once each week.

Woodlawn Commons, opened in 2020, features a residential courtyard, two centrally located common rooms for programs and events, multiple lounges, recreation rooms, vending and ice machines, 24-hour front desk service, and a dining commons.

Housing instructions, policies, and move-in dates are sent to families after a student is admitted to a program. For more information prior to admission or enrollment, please refer to our FAQs.

“I really enjoyed eating in the dining hall! The variety was more than I get at home. They had everything from sandwiches to pasta to burgers, plus they always had great sides like yogurt and fruit. The staff was always really nice and helpful when I asked for something.”

Isabella T, Dyer County High School, Newbern, TN

Residential Staff

Our outstanding residential staff helps to ensure that students engage with the community and get the most out of their Summer Session campus experience. Staff members, including the Residential Director, Assistant Residential Directors and professional desk staff are accessible to students 24 hours a day. Residential Assistants, many of whom are undergraduates in the College and recent alumni, live in the Houses with the students and provide guidance and mentorship as students adjust to college life. Our residential staff members help students connect with each other and ensure easy access to campus resources and services.

Activities

The residential staff coordinates daily activities for students to come together to experience our campus, the Hyde Park neighborhood, and many of Chicago’s cultural amenities. Students can elect to join a variety of events and trips suiting a wide range of interests. Many of these activities are low-cost or free to attend for Summer Session students. Previous events include:
•    Trips to major league baseball games and soccer matches
•    Intramural sports
•    Museum, aquarium, planetarium and botanic garden outings
•    Beach trips
•    Cultural festivals throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods
•    Much, much more

Students are also welcome to plan their own trips around Chicago. During Orientation, residential staff work with students to learn how to navigate a big city safely.

“My favorite memory of my summer experience at UChicago was staying up late playing board games with my house. I loved using my brain in a competitive way while playing everything from Cranium to Egyptian rat slap. It was at this moment that I truly knew that UChicago was for me.”

Emily W., 2nd year in the College

Dining

Residential dining commons are hubs for students to connect and build community during Summer Session. Students congregate in the dining commons to refuel before and after class, connect with new friends, and engage in discussion, be it about an interesting course topic or to plan a House trip downtown. The dining commons offer a wide range of meal options, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options, served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For more information, please see the Student Life and Housing FAQs

UChicago Campus

UChicago Campus

Ivy-covered buildings, hole-in-the-wall cafes, and beautiful green spaces are just a few features of the UChicago Hyde Park campus, where Summer Session students get a sense of UChicago student life. Our main quadrangles, 215 acres officially designated as a Botanic Garden, offer quiet relaxation, impromptu discussions or quality people-watching. Sip a milkshake from Hutchinson Commons while watching the ducklings swim in Botany Pond. Gather up your friends for post-class topic discussions in one of our many on-campus cafes. Stop and get a bite to eat from any of the creatively-named food trucks parked nearby. And be sure to wander with friends in search of unique and notable locations. Within three blocks, you’ll find the Harper Memorial Library Reading Room (which could be the model for Hogwarts’ Great Hall), the Robie House, a heralded Frank Lloyd Wright design and a National Historic Landmark, and the Midway Plaisance, a multi-use green space that was originally part of the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Learn more about student life on campus at the University of Chicago! 

Hyde Park

Surrounding UChicago is vibrant Hyde Park, a neighborhood full of history and culture. Here you’ll find eclectic thrift shops, vintage record stores, and unique architecture. You can even experience a world-class museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, a twenty-minute walk from campus near Lake Michigan’s shores.


Hyde Park is no stranger to good food. Start the day at Valois Cafeteria, the well-known preferred breakfast option of former faculty member Barack Obama. That mid-afternoon coffee run will take you to one of Hyde Park’s numerous cafes. Dinner options dozens of restaurants within walking distance, including Medici on 57th, a restaurant whose menu includes fresh-baked treats, appetizers, 15+ sandwich options, pizza and eclectic entrées.

The nearby lakefront includes Jackson Park’s Osaka Garden, a Japanese-inspired sanctuary with a waterfall, foot bridges, lagoons, lush ferns, and miniature trees. A few blocks away you’ll find the Promontory Point peninsula, where you can sit on the rocks, watch Lake Michigan’s waves crash against the shore, and enjoy one of the best views of downtown Chicago in the distance.

Chicago: A City of Neighborhoods

Summertime in Chicago affords opportunities in every corner of the city. Hop on a CTA bus or train for a quick trip downtown, and soon you and your friends will be posing for selfies at Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), atop Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and at storefronts along Michigan Avenue (the "Magnificent Mile"). Wander through the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago, press your face to the glass of the 360-degree tropical fish tank at Shedd Aquarium, or ponder the cosmos at Adler Planetarium. Take in the culture and history of the city via a walking, bus, or boat tour.

"The city of Chicago has allowed me to eat amazing food and learn about a diverse group of people and cultures throughout the city."

Aaron H., 3rd year in the College

But there’s no need to limit yourself to the Loop. Are you a sports fan? Grab your baseball jersey and head to Wrigley Field to cheer on the Cubs or stay on the south side to cheer on the White Sox. Head north of the Chicago River to experience Old Town, where you’ll see historic townhomes, visit the Chicago History Museum, and take in sketch comedy at the famous Second City Theater. Head further north to Wicker Park and Logan Square, where you’ll find hole-in-the-wall art galleries, fusion restaurants, and coffeehouses. Or head to Pilsen, where you can not only find great Mexican food, but also explore the arts district and see some of the best mural art in Chicago.

The city of Chicago is truly a mosaic of culture, cuisine, and activity. Whatever your interest, you’ll find a place—or, more appropriately, a neighborhood—for it in the Windy City!