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Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

Spring 2021 Semester Housing


Given the status of COVID-19, we will continue to provide on-campus housing to students who demonstrate a high need for on-campus accommodation. We’ve added a fifth category below for students who did not demonstrate a high need but would like to live on campus for spring 2021 semester:

  • Safe & Secure Housing: Scholars who identify that on-campus housing is the safest environment or provides the most secure ADA accommodation requests
  • Guaranteed Housing: Scholars who identify as Foster/Former Foster Youth, Homeless, and Regents Scholars
  • Student Success Housing: Scholars who identify on-campus housing as best environment to serve their success
  • Financially Secure Housing: Scholars who identify the need for on-campus housing as a needed resource given their financial situation
  • I do not fit the four categories above, but would like to live on campus for spring 2021.

The health and safety of our campus community is a top priority. UC Merced continues to respond to the novel coronavirus, and the below information is subject to change. Please stay up to date with the latest information for students here:

Application Process & Timeline

Current on-campus residents do not need to reapply. Current residents who do not wish to not return for spring 2021 are asked to cancel their housing contract by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec.14, 2020. Students can cancel through the Housing Portal.


Current UC Merced students who are interested in living on campus for the spring 2021 semester can apply starting 8 a.m. Monday, Oct.19, 2020. Students can apply through the Housing Portal. Applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.

New incoming first-year or new transfer students who are interested in living on campus for spring 2021 can apply starting 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, 2021 through the Housing Portal. Applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.

Students will receive emails about possible housing offers on their UC Merced email. Students wishing to live on campus will need to sign their housing contracts by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.

Housing assignments will be sent to students by the first week of January 2021. Students will receive move-in information by the first week of January.

All students will be assigned to single rooms. Students will not be able to choose rooms or buildings.

Please click here to see housing/room and meal plan rates for spring 2021.

Students interested in residential overnight parking may visit the UC Merced Transportation and Parking Services site to learn more.

What to Bring

UC Merced Housing and Residence Education wants to help make your transition to college as smooth and comfortable as possible. To help ensure students have what they need in their residence hall and make it feel like home, we have put together a list of what to bring and what to leave at home.

Before Moving in

Symptom Monitoring

In preparation for students arrival to campus, all residents are expected to participate in symptom monitoring for 14 days prior to their assigned move-in date. Arrival also includes a COVID-19 testing component.

Residents will receive more detailed emails with instructions about symptom monitoring. These emails will include information about how to use the UC Merced symptom monitoring app. To be approved to return to campus, residents must enter one response each calendar day for 14 days prior to their assigned move-in date. Please read and follow the instructions in the emails about symptom monitoring. 

COVID-19 Testing

A COVID test, taken no more than seven days prior to residents arrival to campus, is recommended. A negative COVID test reduces campus sequestration time from 14 days to seven days. COVID test results will be uploaded directly to the student health center using the same web interface used for uploading vaccination information. COVID testing may not be available to all residents prior to arrival. Residents unable to get a COVID test before arriving will be assigned the 14-day sequestration time. 

How to upload your COVID test results:

  1. Go to myHealth Portal.
  2. Click on the “messages” link on the left side.
  3. Click “new messages."
  4. Click the line item for "COVID-19 Test Results" and click "Continue."
  5. Follow the prompts on the page.


Sequestering means minimizing in-person interactions among students, faculty and staff, whether in the dorms, dining facilities, classrooms or other campus locations where students congregate. It also includes off-campus spaces for those students who live at home or in off-campus housing. Students should leave their on- or off-campus residences only to participate in essential activities. For UC Merced, essential activities are defined as getting food from the dining hall, participating in low-risk outdoor recreational activities, obtaining health care services, picking up mail and picking up books. Students can’t leave campus during sequestration and should move in prepared with all items needed for the first 14 days on campus.

If a resident has a negative COVID test result within seven days prior to their arrival, their sequestration time will be seven days from their move-in date. If a resident is not able to get a COVID test prior to arrival, they will sequester for 14 days from their move-in date. More information about symptom monitoring and COVID testing will be emailed to residents.

A symptom check must take place each day for 14 days prior to residents arrival. If you have questions or concerns, or if something is not working, please contact or call 209-228-0000.

Moving In

We will assign each student a specific move-in date and time to comply with social distancing guidelines and to keep all students and family safe. Please move in at this assigned date and time. Please contact if the assigned move-in date or time not possible for you. Please understand that a change may take some time to figure out based on other students’ move-in dates and times.

Unloading and Moving In

Families can accompany students to campus to help with unloading. Due to physical distancing requirements, students are limited to two adult guests to enter the building for move in. Children under 13 can accompany the adults, but all persons must wear a face covering. Elevator use is restricted to one occupant per elevator, per trip. Family members can wait in the student’s room to assist with unloading and unpacking but must stay in compliance with physical distancing. This requirement includes no congregating in hallways or lounge areas. All persons will be expected to wear a face covering while helping with move in.

Family or friends are not permitted to spend the night with students in their room. Guests who do not comply with our policies will be asked to leave. Students are responsible for the actions of their guests at all times, including during move in.

Mailing Address

Use the following format as your mailing address:

[Your Name]
[Building] [Room]
5400 N. Lake Rd.
Merced, CA 95340

You can pick up your mail at the Valley Residence Education Office.

Download the complete instructions for using smart lockers via Smiota PoDS.

Valley Residence Education Office Hours

Please direct question to the office at 209-228-4663 or the Housing Contact Form.

Move-In Parking

Information coming soon!

Meal Plans

For more information about meal plans and dining, please visit the UC Merced Dining Services website. If you have questions about dining or meal plans, please contact Dining Services at


CatCards allow access to many services on campus including building access and dining services. New students must submit a photo online. Photos can be submitted here: You may find additional information and answer about CatCard by visiting or email

Continuing students who have lost their CatCard and need a replacement should visit and follow the instructions to replace their card.


If you have questions about textbooks and course materials, please contact store manager Jon Neeper at



What to Expect Living on Campus
The housing handbook covers all the policies, rules and amenities for students living on campus. Please review this handbook and pay attention to interim policies related to COVID-19. We’ve also provided overviews of what to expect from life on campus in fall for both housing and dining below.


All campus buildings that are authorized to reopen will be cleaned regularly. Facilities Services will clean all building public spaces consistent with public health recommendations and OSHA guidelines for disinfection. Public spaces include building entries, lobbies, elevators, hallways, bathrooms, hallway door knobs and designated conference rooms. Public spaces do not include offices/office suites, faculty labs, etc. It will continue to be the responsibility of building occupants to clean their own, non-public spaces, such as cubicles and offices. Facilities Services will provide disinfecting wipes when possible, but encourages departments to purchase their own disinfectant or disinfectant wipes. As supply is available, Facilities Services will maintain hand-sanitizer stations at building entrances, elevator stops and high-traffic areas.

Building occupants should wipe down their own frequently commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. Such surfaces include any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, personal desks and tables, lab and office light switches, doorknobs, drinking fountains, elevator call buttons and elevator panels, handrails for stairs, braille signage, etc.). We recommend that employees using cleaning and disinfection products should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, such as those pertaining to concentration, contact time, and wash hands thoroughly after cleaning.

Financial Aid and Students First Center

The Students First Center will be open the following dates and times to assist students with questions related to admissions, financial aid, registration and billing:

In person: This service is currently not available. Please continue to check the website for updates.

Phone: 209-228-7178

Hours: Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chat Hours: Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m.

Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Virtual Zoom Appointments

Hours: Monday through Thursday: 4-5 p.m.

Weekends and holidays: Closed.

Please visit for updates, contact information and potential changes related to COVID-19 health and safety needs.

Student Business Office

Emails and phone calls only. No in-person services. Closed on weekends. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. General inquiries of the department can be made to

Student Health Center

Student Health Services will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every weekday. Closed on the weekends. The health center can be reached at 209-228-2273.

UC Merced Police Department

For information about campus safety escorts or bike and electronics registration, please contact UC Merced Police Department at

IT Help Desk

For questions related to technology/online courses, game console set up and VPN, please contact

No Longer Living on Campus?

If you no longer need on-campus housing, please cancel your housing contract. You may submit your cancellation on the Housing Portal under "Housing Cancellation."