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Living Learning Communities



The Living-Learning Communities are partnership programs sponsored by the Office of Residence Life and Education. The purpose of Living Learning Communities at UC Merced is to enhance student learning and persistence, intellectual development, and to bridge the gap between students’ in-class and out-of-class experiences. These programs have specific structures that facilitate student interactions with other students, faculty, and staff, including community outreach components. Examples of structured activities are field trips, service learning projects, cluster classes, and many cohort and community based social activities!

Students with similar interests or major live together and participate in programs that cater to their academic, social, and personal growth. Students in these living-learning environment will have opportunities to interact with faculty,  student and staff mentors.

All students are encouraged to apply for a Living-Learning Community. It is a great step to a great experience at UC Merced!

Fiat Lux Scholars

Fiat Lux Logo

Available To: Eligible First Year and Continuing Students (by invitation only)

Located In: Tenaya Hall

The Fiat Lux program is aimed to enhance your academic performance, drive and ambition, and overall college experience. Members of this program are encouraged to live together as part of the Fiat Lux Living-Learning Community. Fiat Lux residents will have the opportunity to participate in monthly Faculty Receptions and participate in the common course USTU 10.

Interested students should contact the Fiat Lux Program.

Natural Sciences Living Learning Communities

Available To: First-Year Students

Located In: Glacier Point

Students in the School of Natural Sciences may participate in a one of four academically themed Natural Sciences Living-Learning Communities.

In the News: 

Science-Themed Living Learning Communities Enjoy Success Debut

Leadership and Service Living Learning Community

Available To: First-Year Students

Located In: Mariposa Hall

The Leadership and Service Living Learning Community (LSLLC) is open to first year students who are interested in exploring and developing leadership and becoming an active and engaged member of their community.

Social Justice Living Learning Communities

Available To: First Year and Continuing Students

Located In: Cathedral Hall

The Social Justice Learning Community is for first year and continuing student interested in engaging in diversity, inclusion, and social justice work. Residents within this community are expected to engage in and learn about social justice in an interdisciplinary manner, through projects that they work on, monthly discussions, community service and social justice programming either in the halls or within the wider UC Merced community.

Gender Inclusive Housing Option

**Location to be determined**

Gender Inclusive Housing is designed to create inclusive communities for students of varying gender identities. Gender identities are numerous and include man, woman, transgender, and gender queer among many others. Gender Inclusive Housing is intended to be more than co-ed housing. *Please be sure you understand the intent of this program before expressing interest.*

Students who are interested in learning more about the Transfer LLC housing option should contact Hui-Ling Chan at


Available To: First Year and Continuing Students

Located In: Cathedral Hall

The AFRO Hall Living and Learning Community welcomes first year and continuing students from all cultures, who are interested in exploring the African Diaspora.

Sophomore Experience

Available To: Second Year Students

Located In: Valley Terraces

Now that you have finished your first year, are you ready to declare a major, find an internship in your field, build your network, and finish your undergraduate studies? The sophomore experience will provide students opportunities to be ready for their next life and career endeavors.

Transfer Living Learning Community

Available To: Transfer Students

Located In: Stanislaus & Madera (Valley Terraces)

The Transfer Living Learning Community provides a supportive environment for transfer students to successfully transition to UC Merced’s culture & community.

As a community of transfer students who are transitioning from another campus to life here at UC Merced we aim to provide resources that vary widely from the freshmen services because we recognize that the support you need is different. We do this by providing academic support for upper division courses, a transition course that is only for transfers, a close-knit community of students who are also looking for a social experience that will help them build a network on campus, plus an opportunity to meet faculty and learn about the value of research.

Learning outcomes: 

  • Students will be able to identify & use resources on campus to help them with their transition to UC Merced.
  • Students will be able to identify & use resources on campus to help with academic challenges.
  • Students will belong to an inclusive community of transfer students to ease their social transition into UC Merced culture.
  • Students will engage in the Merced community so they feel connected to more than just the university but the city in which it’s situated.
  • Students will support & encourage one another in their academic and personal pursuits.
  • Students will be look for ways to be involved on campus so they become lifelong UC Merced bobcats. 


  1. Tinto, V. (2000). Learning Better Together: The Impact of Learning Communities on Student Success. Journal of Institutional Research.
  2. Stassen, M. L. A. (2003). Student Outcomes: The Impact of Varying Living-Learning Community Models. Research in Higher Education.
  3. Brower, A. M., Inkelas, K. K. (2010). Living-Learning Programs: One High-Impact Educational Practice We Now Know A Lot About. Liberal Education.