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Life on Campus

Students in hammocks


Western Carolina University prides itself on having one of the most supportive, tight-knit campus communities found anywhere. First-year student dorms are centrally located—making it easy for you to get to class on time, connect with support staff, or grab a bite to eat. Our greatest achievement is your success, and we’re here for you from Day 1. Plus, our mild climate and rural setting make for a great outdoor study space while affording plenty of opportunities to hike or bike our 6.8-mile trail system—or just enjoy a hammock nap.

Diverse Dining

Courtyard dining


Familiar favorites like Papa John’s, Chick-fil-A, and Moe’s Southwest Grill offer variety right on campus, but it’s hard to pass up the all-you-can-eat options at Courtyard Dining Hall or the Lodge at Brown Hall. Here you’ll find a Mongolian grill, full salad bar, and daily specials. Campus is also home to several coffee shops, including two Starbucks, and several grab-and-go spots with freshly made snacks, frozen dinners, and other groceries.

Meal Plans

Students can choose from a handful of meal plan options ranging from unlimited to ideal for those that want to only eat on campus a few times per week. Meals plans include buffet-style dining hall meals and dining at retail locations.

More About Campus Dining

Housing FAQs

We’ve compiled common questions about residential living below, but we invite you to contact or call 828-227-7303, Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

Campus housing is available and guaranteed for all freshmen. Freshman students at WCU will be required to live on-campus for two academic years. We also guarantee housing for transfer students who are entering with less than 30 credit hours, and are under 21 years of age by August 1 for the fall entry, or December 1 for the spring entry. Housing is available to upperclass students on a space available basis.

Freshmen are required to live on campus for two academic years and new transfer students for one academic year. The majority of freshmen students will participate in Western Carolina PEAKS, our transitional living-learning community. Living on campus means you will live in the heart of all the activity on campus and everything will be easily accessible. The residency requirement may be waived if the student is married or lives with parents or legal guardians in Jackson County or any county contiguous to Jackson County provided he/she completes a “Residency Exemption Form” and submits it to the Department of Residential Living. More information on this requirement can be found in Policy #96. Transfer students matriculating with less than 30 credit hours, and are under 21 years of age by August 1 for the fall entry, or are under 21 years of age by December 1 for the spring entry are also required to live on campus.

Instructions to apply for campus housing can be found in your acceptance packet or by visiting our room assignments and preferences page.

Room assignments are made via our automated system. Our room assignments coordinator makes every attempt to meet the requests of all residents. Assignment priority is determined by the date on which both the non-refundable housing deposit and the Residence Hall Agreement is received. If you request to live with a particular person, we will make every effort to honor this request provided we also have received a request by the preferred roommate. Both students wishing to room together must submit mutual requests and each person must indicate a preference for the other through our online system.

Room assignments for the fall semester are made in mid to late July, and for the spring semester they are made in mid to late December. All room assignments will be sent to your Catamount email address.

The Area Coordinator (AC) has responsibility for the operation of his/her area of buildings. Each AC is a full-time professional staff person with a master’s degree in counseling, human services, or related area. The AC lives in one of the buildings for which he/she has responsibility. His or her responsibilities include counseling/advising residents, supervising staff, administering the disciplinary process for in-hall behavior problems, coordinating residence hall programs and activities, promoting community and leadership development, and administering paperwork and reports.

Each floor has a Resident Assistant (RA). RAs are upperclass residents who have been through a thorough selection process and an intensive training program. The RA is responsible for developing a community environment among the residents on the floor; providing opportunities for interaction among the residents through programs and activities; being a peer counselor/advisor; and monitoring and reporting behavior problems to the Area Coordinator. The primary responsibility of the RA is to assist you.

The residence life program at WCU offers many opportunities for personal growth and development to residents through various recreational, social, educational, cultural, developmental, and community service activities. In addition, you may take advantage of many other services offered in the residence hall. Each residence hall room is furnished with two loftable or bunkable beds (All beds are extra-long standard size), two desks and desk chairs, two drawer sets and closets, desk lights, overhead lights, window blinds, two Ethernet ports with high-speed internet connection. Digital cable TV also is provided. Located in each residence hall are laundry facilities, which are free to the resident; snack and drink vending machines; study lounges; and public area lounges, equipped with wireless Internet.

We encourage you to personalize your room. You may bring small end tables, shelves, television, refrigerator (of no more than 4.6 cubic feet or 5 amps), microwave oven, plants, pillows, rugs/carpet, and wastepaper baskets. You are not permitted to paint your room.

  • Computer
  • Refrigerator (4.5 cubic feet or = 5 amps)
  • Microwave (= 800 watts)
  • Surge protector
  • Television
  • Extra-long twin sheets, mattress pad, pillow and pillow cases
  • Blanket
  • Bedspread
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Bathrobe
  • Soap, toiletries, shower bucket
  • Alarm clock
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry detergent (HE only)
  • Laundry basket
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Umbrella
  • Fan
  • Waste basket
  • Small recycling bin
  • Sticky poster mounting gum (look-for-Poster Gum)
  • Study supplies
  • Sewing kit
  • Flashlight
  • Can openers
  • Plants
  • Bookshelf (free standing)
  • Carpet or rug
  • Camera
  • Decorative items (pictures, posters, etc.)
  • Cleaning supplies

We recommend that only one of the following items be in each room:

  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • TV
  • Fan
  • Air conditioners
  • Alcohol consumption devices (including kegs, keg taps, party balls, funnels, etc.)
  • Ammunition
  • Amplifiers
  • Aquariums (larger than 10 gallons)
  • Archery equipment
  • Candles, incense, hookah, or any flammable devices
  • Ceiling fans
  • Cooking equipment with exposed/accessible heating elements or open flames including but not limited to: air fryers, coffee makers, crockpots, hot plates, indoor grills/boilers, induction cooktops, pressure cookers/instant pots, toaster, toaster oven, etc.
  • Contact paper, wallpaper, removable stickers (“glow-in-the dark” stars, etc.)
  • Darts/dartboards
  • Decorative weapons
  • Drones
  • Drug paraphernalia (including bongs, pipes, etc.)
  • Electric blankets
  • Electrical items that are not U.L. approved
  • Explosives or fire accelerants (including gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.)
  • Extension cords
  • Fireworks
  • Halogen or incandescent lights/lamps
  • Motorized modes of transportation (including hoverboards, electric scooters, etc.)
  • Oil lamps
  • Pets (other than freshwater fish)
  • Portable laundry equipment
  • Power tools
  • Refrigerators > 5 amps
  • Smoke/fog machines
  • Space heaters (electric, ceramic, or kerosene)
  • Television mounts and/or other wall installations
  • Waterbeds
  • Weapons including, but not limited to; knives, bb guns, air/gas pistols or rifles, firearms of any type, pressurized guns, paintball guns, splat guns, stun guns, toy guns or weapons (water, Nerf), and martial arts weapons.
  • Weights/weightlifting equipment
  • Wireless routers

This list is not all-inclusive. If you have an item you’d like to ask about specifically not listed on the to bring or not to bring lists, please contact the Department of Residential Living at: or via phone at: 828-227-7303.


U.S. Mail is collected and distributed to the Student Mail Center Monday through Friday, and delivered to each resident's mail box before the end of the day. The Mail Center is located on the second floor of A.K. Hinds University Center. To ensure that your mail reaches you as quickly as possible, make sure that your correspondents have your correct address as indicated:

Your Name
Western Carolina University
245 Memorial Drive
Suite ________
Cullowhee, NC 28723

If any part of your address is wrong, your mail will take longer to reach you.

Yes, overnight guests are allowed for residents. However, a maximum of two guests per resident is permitted at a time. An overnight guest can stay only if the resident's roommate(s) have no objections. It's important to note that no guest may exceed three consecutive nights, three nights in a calendar month, or ten nights in a semester.

For safety and security reasons, the resident host must always accompany guest(s) while inside the building. Please refer to the Residential Living Guidelines for more comprehensive details on our Guest Policy.

In Residential Living, we take your safety very seriously. Since residence halls are public buildings that serve as private residences for a large number of students, security is an important concern. All exterior doors remain locked at all times. Electronic access is provided for residents of each building. You are encouraged to always carry your CatCard and room key with you, and to always lock your door when you leave your room. You must also take responsibility for safety and security of community by assisting with keeping doors locked at all times and never propping doors.

Smoke detectors are located in public areas and fire alarm pull stations on every wing of each residence hall floor. Fire drills are conducted the first of each semester. Your residence hall staff has been trained to assist you with evacuation procedures. AS A SAFETY PRECAUTION, BURNING CANDLES AND INCENSE (or any open flame), OR ANY OPEN COILED COOKING APPLIANCES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS. As an added safety measure, all residence halls have sprinkler systems.

Your residence hall staff will conduct various safety programs in the residence halls related to theft prevention, self-defense, rape awareness, fire safety, and others. Emergency call boxes are located at the main entrance of each residence hall. University Police Officers patrol the campus and are only a phone call away. They are available to assist you if and when the need arises. For further information regarding campus safety and security, please visit the University Police website at:

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