Skip to main content

Campus Living

Jacob discusses housing options for students throughout their years at Carleton.

Jacob discusses housing options for students throughout their years at Carleton.


An important aspect of life at any college is where students live. At Carleton, all first years, sophomores, and juniors, as well as most seniors, live on campus. There are eleven dorms and several on-campus houses that students can live in. First year students are semi-randomly placed in some of these dorms (Goodhue, Musser, Myers, Watson, Cassat, Nourse, and Burton), and sophomores, juniors, and seniors choose rooms during the complicated process of room draw.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to live in two different dormitories, and will move to a third next term. My first year at Carleton, I lived on 4th Watson, the tallest dorm building on Carleton’s campus. The floors in Watson are shaped like squares with the rooms on the outer edge facing in. With this design, every room’s door faces the center of the floor, creating an open, inviting atmosphere. On one edge there is a lounge with a couch, chairs, and a TV. I spent a lot of time there hanging out and playing card games with friends. While its location on the East Side of campus is not ideal, Watson will always remind me of the fun times I had during my freshman year.

Last year and this term, I lived on the other side of campus in Davis Hall. Davis is part of the Complex, a series of connected buildings that includes Davis, Burton, Severance Hall, and the Sayles Hill Campus Center. Dorms in the complex are especially popular because of their location near Sayles and the dining hall in Burton, which allow students to stay indoors while traveling between their room, the dining hall, and the campus center. Another benefit of living in Davis is having a bathroom connected to your room. In many dorms, there are public bathrooms and showers on each floor, but every room in Davis has its own bathroom.

Next term, I will be moving into a double in Musser, a dorm with mostly first year students. Finding rooms when returning from a term abroad is difficult, and I was only able to find one in Davis that I could live in for winter term. Luckily, my friend and I got placed together for spring term. Musser is located right next to the Complex, so I’m excited to live there and get a new perspective on campus.

As a senior, even more options open up for living options. Next year, I will be living with four friends in an off-campus house. This option is limited to about 80 seniors, so we are incredibly happy to have gotten the opportunity. As a non-senior, the options for houses are mainly limited to interest houses or other houses on campus, which you can learn about here.

Where you live on campus won’t make or break your Carleton experience. Each dorm has its pros and cons, and most students are able to find the option that suits them best!


Jacob is a junior physics major interested in environmental science, which he is currently studying in Costa Rica (along with Spanish, of course). At Carleton, Jacob enjoys going on outings with CANOE, the outdoors club, and playing ultimate frisbee with the Gods of Plastic, Carleton’s Division III men’s ultimate team.