Honor Houses

The Mission of the Honor Houses

The college maintains 19 campus houses that are available for upper-class student housing. These houses provide students with alternative opportunities to explore and develop interests and personal relationships through an intimate residential setting. It is the goal of Residence Life to address a diverse array of topics and needs for the St. Olaf community with a focus on social justice and service. There are two categories of houses:

  • Academic Houses – Criteria for acceptance into the Asian Studies (Chinese & Japanese), French, German, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Diversity Awareness houses are established by the appropriate academic departments. These house focus on language fluency, study tables, immersive experiences, and campus programming. Please contact the specific academic department to find out about their application process.
  • Special Interest Houses – Groups of 5-10 upper-class students may apply for an honor house. Residence Life seeks to promote ideas that focus on topics of interfaith, cultural awareness, community outreach, wellness, and institutional mission. Selected groups will be asked to present their idea to a panel. Finalists will be invited to select a house based on their group’s size.

Applying to Live in an Honor House

Students who are interested in living in an Honor House must complete an application and go through an interview process. The application for the 2019-2020 academic Will be available in January with a deadline of March 1. Groups interested in forming proposals for next year may begin preparing by considering the criteria below:

  • Selection Timeline
    • Application due on March 1st at Noon.
    • Selected groups will be asked to present their idea to a panel.
    • Finalists will be selected and notified by mid-March.
    • Selected groups will choose a house based on their group’s size in mid March.
  • Be prepared to answer the following questions on the application; it is split into four sections:
    • Proposal
      • What is the title of the proposed Honor House?
      • Please describe the mission and purpose of the proposed Honor House.
      • What specific need(s) does the proposed Honor House address in the St. Olaf and/or Northfield community?
      • St. Olaf provides little to no funding for honor house events.  What expenses do you anticipate with your honor house?  How do you plan to raise and/or obtain this funding?
      • Advisor(s) / Community Contact(s) and letter of support.
    • Event Details
      • Please describe the events you have planned for the entire academic year.
    • President Information
      • Please select one person to be the primary contact (President) for your honor house. A different president may be selected for interim, if necessary. (Please list person’s name, ID #, and email address)
    • Resident Information
      • Houses range in size between 5-10 people. Please list the other residents that will reside in the house including name, ID #, and which terms they will be in the house.


College houses are equipped with basic kitchen appliances and furniture. Partial custodial service is also provided. The houses are considered extensions of the residence hall system and all college policies apply. Residents of these houses have the opportunity to elect a full or a partial board plan. Residents of honor houses are not eligible for Interim room rebates or manufactured room rebates.