Each of MU's 20 residence halls has something different to offer. The amenities are more or less the same, but experiences vary across campus. This housing guide aims to give incoming students an inside peek at the realities of life in the residence halls. The Maneater interviewed and surveyed 123 MU students to paint a picture of what on-campus housing looks like from a student perspective. Additionally, this housing guide provides insight into which Freshman Interest Groups and learning communities are in which halls. These descriptions will help readers to pick a residence hall that is the right fit based on both their educational and social interests. The responses below were lightly edited for style.
Terms to know
Freshman Interest Group:
A group of about 15 to 25 students who are enrolled in the same classes.
Thematic Learning Community:
People with the same major or interest living together.
General Learning Community:
A group of students with diverse majors and interests living in the same space.
You share a bathroom with four people.
The bathroom is down the hall, and you have just one roommate.
Not dorm. Don’t ask why. It’s an MU thing.
Basics: The newest hall on campus is located in the southwest corner of campus next to Greektown, Faurot Field and the Pavilion at Dobbs.
The building, which is named after one of MU’s first black administrators, will be home to business learning communities. It opens its doors in August 2016.
Basics: College Avenue Hall is located on the east side of campus, near Hatch and Schurz halls. The residence hall is a short walk to Baja Grill and Plaza 900.
College Avenue is one of the more progressive halls on campus. The first floor has gender-neutral housing options, and the staff is known to throw events focused on social justice. It’s also home to a plethora of journalism majors. You can burn the late-night oil in the spacious study rooms. But heads up, the suite style living option means you might have to spend time in the lounge to make friends.
“Yes, the dorm has a location just on the edge of campus which makes the commute longer, but you also are able to look out onto campus. Another thing that is nice is the dorm is a newer construction, so the building isn't falling apart.” —Joseph Sell, who lived in College Avenue during the 2015–16 school year
“Don't try and be the coolest kid around and never have any embarrassing moments. We all live together 24/7, which means awkward moments are bound to happen. It's unavoidable.” —Matt Swing, who lived in College Avenue during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Defoe-Graham Hall is located near the Medical School, Mizzou Market, the Student Center, MizzouRec and Stankowski Fields, in the center of campus.
With a mix of traditional and suite-style rooms, Defoe-Graham is home to FIGs and learning communities that explore different cultures and religions. Many international students live in this hall, so be open to meeting new people from a variety of backgrounds.
“Don't pick a hall just based on being with your high school friends, you'll make lots of new friends in your hall.” —An anonymous student who lived in Defoe-Graham during the 2015–16 school year
“Take advantage of the events that your student staff put on in the hall! There's almost always free food involved, and the community service events are a perfect way to start building your involvement resume.” —Kate Herrington, who lived in Defoe-Graham during the 2013–14 school year
Basics: Discovery Hall is located on the southeast side of campus near Plaza 900 and Rollins dining halls. The hall is located in a cluster of halls that reflect MU’s core values: Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence.
Discovery houses four floors of General Learning Communities. If you are unsure about your major, this could be a good fit for you. Since there are so many different majors represented at Discovery, you’re bound to learn something new.
“It is very spacious and has all of the accommodations I need.” —A student who lived in Discovery during the 2015–16 school year
“Really think about what kind of room you want (suite or community) and weigh the pros and cons of both.” —A student who lived in Discovery during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Dogwood is a part of the HawLeWood complex in the center of campus. The residence hall is located near the Student Center, Mizzou Market, Sabai and MizzouRec.
Dogwood is home to the Four Winds TLC, which is focused on community service and improving lives through speech and physical therapies. The hall features a quad, so when the weather is nice, it’s a perfect place for frisbee and sun tanning.
“The rooms are large, and the bathrooms are cleaned regularly.” —Levi Doyle-Barker, who lived in Dogwood during the 2015–16 school year
“I made the best friends that I have today and built a support group for myself. If I ever need someone to talk to, I know it can be anyone from D3 (Dogwood third floor).” —Steven Ziegler, who lived in Dogwood during the 2014–15 school year
Basics: Excellence Hall is located on the southeast side of campus near Plaza 900 and Rollins dining halls. The hall is located in a cluster of halls that reflect Mizzou’s core values: Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence.
This residence hall will not be open for the 2016–17 school year.
Basics: Galena Hall is a part of the HawLeWood complex in the center of campus. The residence hall is located near the Student Center, Mizzou Market, Sabai and MizzouRec.
Galena, the center building of the HawLeWood complex, is currently home to the Nursing Learning Community. The prime location means you are minutes from all the dining halls. When wandering through the floors, use your inside voice because you never know what big exam is around the corner.
“Outgoing, loud, dedicated, fun.” —Julie Lane, who lived in Galena during the 2013–14 school year
“It was a good location, nice size rooms and new.” —Jamie Warren, who lived in Galena during the 2013–14 school year
Basics: Gateway Hall is located on the southeast side of campus, and is the first and only residence hall to have private unisex bathrooms. The residence hall is near Mizzou Market and Plaza 900.
Gateway Hall opened in the fall 2015. The hall contains the Pre-Medicine FIG, along with multiple other science-based FIGs and learning communities. The hall’s name was selected by the Residence Halls Association in 2015, and reflects MU’s history as the first university west of the Mississippi River. It’s also made of recycled materials from other halls, such as all the old doors of Wolpers. "Private unisex bathrooms" just means you'll always have your own private stall.
“I loved it in this hall. The rooms and bathrooms are very nice. It is also a very social dorm and I have friends throughout the dorm!” —Lauren Conover, who lived in Gateway during the 2015–16 school year
“Very nice, new, and usually clean.”—A student who lived in Gateway during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Gillett Hall is located near the Student Center and is a part of the Rollins complex, which is also home to Hudson Hall and Rollins Dining Hall. Plaza 900 and Sabai are other nearby dining options, and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources building and life sciences buildings are also close.
Gillett is home to many engineering majors and will house the ROTC Leadership Learning Community next year, so if you hear alarms going off at 5 a.m., don’t worry, it’s not a fire drill. Most importantly, you don’t have to walk outside to go eat.
“Lay down the law with your roommate as soon as something you don't like occurs. Don't wait.” —A student who lived in Gillett during the 2015–16 school year
“Great friends, great staff.” —A student who lived in Gillett during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Hatch Hall is located on the east side of campus, near Schurz and College Avenue halls. The residence hall is a short walk to Baja Grill and Plaza 900.
Hatch hall is home to FIGs with a variety of students in different journalism interest areas, as well as freshman who are exploring their career options. The hall is known for having a tight-knit community unlike anywhere else on campus. It gained the nickname “Hatch Nasty” when a resident stole underwear in 2012.
“The music room in the basement of Hatch is really cool because there are a lot of kids here who are very musically inclined. I'd go to the music room a lot and just have jam sessions with random kids.” —A student who lived in Hatch during the 2015–16 school year
“It was OK. It's really far away from basically everything. Having Baja in the basement was a plus. I also really liked living in walking distance of Clyde Wilson Memorial Park, which is a fun place to go hiking!” —A student who lived in Hatch during the 2014–15 school year
“Hatch is the party dorm.” —A student who lived in Hatch during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Hawthorn Hall is a part of the HawLeWood complex in the center of campus. The residence hall is located near the Student Center, Mizzou Market, Sabai and MizzouRec.
At Hawthorn, you’ll find a little bit of everything as the hall is home to a general learning community. The hall is relatively new, so you might feel like you are living in a hotel. While you might pick the hall for its newer feel, you’ll stay for the fun community you find.
“Our floor got along well, and the res hall was close to Pershing, the rec and dining halls.” —Clara Dow, who lived in Hawthorn during the 2013–14 school year
“Loved it! My floor was so social, and since it wasn't a FIG, you got to know different kinds of people. The location was great and the rooms were nice and big.” —Faith Vickery, who lived in Hawthorn during the 2013–14 school year
Basics: Hudson Hall is located near the Student Center and is a part of the Rollins complex, which contains Rollins Dining Hall. Plaza 900 and Sabai are other dining options nearby, and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources building, and life sciences buildings are also close.
An attached dining hall and more spacious rooms than most of the other residence halls make Hudson a popular choice. Home to many engineering FIGs and even a meteorology and astronomy FIG, expect impromptu stargazing sessions when it’s a clear night.
“It was pretty good. My floormates were a little odd, but living in a res hall is a rite of passage at Mizzou, so it was pretty good.” —A student who lived in Hudson during the 2011–12 school year
“Hudson has Rollins so we're pretty cool.” —A student who lived in Hudson during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Johnston Hall is located in the center of campus. Near the Student Center, MizzouRec, Sabai and many class buildings, this hall is a short walk to most places.
It’s a women-only scene at Johnston. The hall is the home of the EVA learning community, which focuses on Excellence, Vision and Achievement. You’ll find a lot of empowerment here. The hall’s central location makes it a popular place to live. Additionally, students from across campus often visit Johnston to eat MU’s own Asian cuisine, Sabai.
“It was brand new and my room was huge compared to everyone else's.”—A student who lived in Johnston during the 2014–15 school year
Lathrop (In memoriam)
Basics: Lathrop Hall is near North, Center, and South halls, Greektown and Faurot Field.
Lathrop (In memoriam)
“I loved it! It was old but a great community because it was very Greek oriented, which helped because I did rush and join the Greek community, so being near people who did the same thing was nice! And it was close to Dobbs, the stadium, and Greektown, which was a perk!” —A student who lived in Lathrop during the 2014–15 school year.
“I loved living in Lathrop. It was by far the worst in terms of actually living there, especially compared to the newer dorms, but we made up for it in all the fun we had.” —Lillian Robinson, who lived in Lathrop during the 2010–11 school year
Laws (In memoriam)
Basics: Laws Hall is located near North, South and Center halls and the Pavilion at Dobbs dining hall on the southwestern side of campus. It will be torn down during the 2016–17 school year.
Laws (In memoriam)
“Great community that was fun to get to know and meet people. Laws is also way more social than other dorms.” —A student who lived in Laws during the 2015–16 school year
“It had a great view and enough drama to keep things interesting. Unfortunately there are no study rooms on the floors, but during exam times, people are pretty good about making study groups in the lounges.” —A student who lived in Laws during the 2014–15 school year
Basics: Mark Twain Hall is located on the northwest side of campus, near Taco Bell, the MKT Trail and downtown Columbia. It has seven floors, suite-style rooms and features its own dining hall, The Mark on 5th Street.
Mark Twain houses many of MU’s education and journalism majors. While it’s secluded from many of the other residence halls, you can often find many of the students in journalism FIGs, including Walter Williams journalism scholars and Honors journalism students, holding watch parties for presidential debates or skimming through the latest edition of The Missourian. If you’re ever lost the iconic smokestacks attached to the power plant across the street are always a way to guide you home.
“Nerdy but lovable.” —Jackson Marvin, who lived in Mark Twain during the 2015–16 school year
“I like the location toward the Quad and Greektown. Downtown is also very close, so it's good to be able to go explore the community.” -Kelli Wilson, who lived in Mark Twain during the 2015–16 school year
“Yes. It's been newly updated, so it feels very modern and clean and I have my own bathroom! The attached dining hall is a great plus, and they're generally not that far of a walk to anywhere, despite popular belief.” —A student who lived in Mark Twain during the 2014–15 and 2015–16 school years
Basics: McDavid Hall is located on the edge of campus, near The Mark on 5th Street, Peace Park and downtown Columbia. This residence hall is one of the smallest on campus.
McDavid is home to the Fine Arts Residential Community. At the monthly open mic night, you catch some of MU's most talented students. Yes, this hall is far away from the center of campus, but the hall has a reputation for having an artsier vibe. If you’re interested in starting your own band, McDavid is the place to be.
“The community was great and we really made a lot of great friends, but there was never any quiet. People were always partying and it seemed like no one took a day to study ever.” —An MU student who lived in McDavid during the 2015–16 school year
North, Center and South
Basics: North, Center and South residence halls are located in a cluster near Mizzou Market Southwest, a convenience store, and the Pavilion at Dobbs. Together, the three halls house about 650 students.
North, Center and South
North, Center and South halls are home to business FIGs and sports (psychology, journalism, and management) FIGs. A former resident called Center Hall “crazy but loveable.” Many athletes live in these halls, so don’t be surprised if you run into a starting football player on the way to your mailbox.
“Whether you have a group of friends in the dorm, or you're a part of Greek Life, as long as you have a core group, it keeps you from feeling lonely in your room.” —Ben Borst, who lived in the residence halls during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Respect Hall is located on the southeast side of campus near Plaza 900 and Rollins dining halls. The hall is located in a cluster of halls that reflect Mizzou’s core values: Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence. Respect is suite-style, and you could snag room with its own common area.
This residential hall will not be open for the 2016–17 school year.
“I loved my hall! I had a great RA, nice people and a huge room. I was in a general learning community and we didn't do anything with it and I loved it! It was really cool getting to know people in other majors, especially since I was from out of state. ” —Taylor Kinnerup, who lived in Respect during the 2014–15 school year
Basics: Responsibility Hall is located on the southeast side of campus near Plaza 900 and Rollins dining halls. The hall is located in a cluster of halls that reflect Mizzou’s core values: Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence.
Responsibility, like the other four in the complex, offers residents the opportunity to experience new things and to get to know a variety of people. All four floors are GLCs. When it’s nice out, you are steps away from the Plaza amphitheatre, a great place for people-watching and eating carnival cookies.
Basics: Schurz Hall is located on the east side of campus, near Hatch and College Avenue halls. The residence hall is a short walk to Baja Grill and Plaza 900, and it has traditional-style rooms.
Schurz is known as the Honors hall, and it has many students from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, as well. From time to time, students can be seen roping a fake cow or barbecuing outside. Schurz is attached to Bingham Commons, which has study rooms and computers available for the residents of Schurz, Hatch and College Avenue. Late night quesadillas are always an option from Baja Grill, and the smoothies go with everything.
“Buy noise cancelling headphones. The walls are thin!” —A student who lived in Schurz during the 2015–16 school year
“Schurz is a little bit out of the way from the rest of campus, which means it’s a little more of a walk to class, but when campus is loud with game celebration on weekends, it’s great to be away from the noise.” —Allison Womack, who lived in Schurz during the 2015–16 school year
“Yes, I made a lot of friends with the people on my floor. Also, having Baja in the basement was really convenient for a quick dinner or a late night snack.” —Jenny Roeger, who lived in Schurz during the 2015–16 school year
Basics: Wolpers Hall is located in the center of campus, near MizzouRec, the Student Center, Sabai and Rollins dining hall.
Wolpers Hall was renovated in 2015 and contains a GLC, along with a variety of FIGs, like the Textile and Apparel Management FIG, the Nutrition FIG and the Entrepreneurship FIG. Wolpers residents represent states on either coast, come from all walks of life and even if you don’t know your roommate, there’s a chance that they will become your best friend by the end of the year. It’s a smaller hall, so expect to bond with your floor.
“Some of us got involved in Greek life, some decided not to. One thing we all had in common is that we love to have a good time. Sometimes we got a little rowdy, but everything was within reason and helped us grow closer together. We didn't stand out in a crowd. We were always dressed casual and comfortable. Nothing was special about us as individuals, but when we were together we acted as if we had grown up knowing each other our whole lives.” —Mitchell Lotko, who lived in Wolpers during the 2013–14 school year
“Adjusting to dorm life can be difficult but it really isn't that bad in the long run. The hardest part for me was the communal bathrooms and lack of private space/alone time. After living in the res hall for over seven months, I have really come to enjoy it and will miss it next year!”—Sarah Jaeger, who lived in Wolpers during the 2015–16 school year