Honor Houses

The Mission of the Honor Houses

The college maintains 21 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 Taylor Center (International, Diversity Awareness & Gender and Sexuality) houses are established by their respective departments. These houses 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 8-10 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 assigned a house based on their group’s size. Previous special interest house titles have included:
    • Intersectionality House
    • Muslim House
    • Creativity for Community House
    • International House
    • PRIDE House
    • Library House
    • Maker House
    • Gender Equity Movement House
    • Wendell Berry House
    • Environmental House

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 deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year is March 8. Groups interested in forming an Honor House should prepare by considering the criteria below:

  • Selection Timeline
    • March 8 @ 11:59pm – Application Due
    • March 17 – Selected groups will be asked to present their idea to a panel. Honor House Presentations will take place between 9am-5pm. Each presentation will take no longer than 15 minutes.
    • March 20 – Finalists will be selected and offered a house via email.
  • Application Information: 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 8-10 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. To view the floor plans for each house click here.