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Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

School of Natural Sciences Living Learning Communities

Aristotle House

Beyond the MD

Carson House

Vaughan House


The School of Natural Sciences is proud to offer four unique living-learning experiences to first-year students. These four houses are special residential communities cosponsored by the School of Natural Sciences, which houses Applied Mathematics, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental Systems Science and Physics.

Students in our Living Learning Communities (LLCs) have the opportunity to enroll in a one-unit seminar in the fall and spring semesters, engage in personalized study hours and participate in community service and leadership activities exclusive to the LLCs. All students in our LLCs are placed on a floor in Glacier Point with all other participants in the LLC, creating a close-knit community of scholars who live together, study together, work together and learn together.

Students will work closely with House Fellows, current UC Merced PhD students who lead study sessions, house events and teach the one-unit seminar for both semesters. House Fellows provide one-to-one support on coursework, campus life and campus resources.

Students of all majors who expect to enroll in the following courses in their first semester are highly encouraged to join the Living Learning Communities from the School of Natural Sciences:

  • Introductory Biological Sciences
  • Preparatory or General Chemistry
  • Preparatory Mathematics or Calculus

Program Expectations

LLC Scholars are expected to live on the floor of their house and actively engage in house activities and events, including:

  • A welcome reception during move-in weekend
  • A one-unit pass/no pass seminar for the fall and spring semesters that meets 3:30-4:30 p.m. or 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Friday
  • A half-day house retreat during the first or second weekend of the fall semester
  • Weekly study sessions hosted by House Fellows
  • Off-campus and on-campus activities hosted by House Fellows

Why Join a Living Learning Community?

The first year of college can be the toughest for many reasons. Our LLCs strive to create a close group of like-minded scholars to build a home away from home. Nationwide, LLCs have been shown to support scholars in graduation and retention rates, making a home at their institution and forming close relationships with other students and faculty.

How to Apply

To indicate your interest in joining one of our four Living Learning Communities, you must indicate Glacier Point (double or triple) as your number one preference. You may select other housing options for your second or third preferences, but it is critical that Glacier Point is your first preference.

When you make your selections in the Housing Options and Learning Communities page, you may indicate your interest in the Natural Sciences Living Learning Communities and may select as many as you are interested in. Declaring interest in the Living Learning Communities is not a guarantee of placement. You will be notified if you are selected to join the LLCs.

Have questions, or want to learn more about the LLCs from the School of Natural Sciences? Please email us at

If you have specific questions regarding housing, including the cost of housing and meal plans, please visit the housing website.