Upper-level living-learning communities

The upper-level student experience offers the chance to live in a close-knit group of peers who have shared community and educational goals for the academic year. There are a number of college houses that surround campus on College Avenue and National Road West, all of which have a different Theme Community or Friendship Community. Each college house holds between five and twelve students at a time, allowing a close and independent community to live together throughout the year. Earlham College’s houses bolster intentional learning environments beyond what a typical residence hall community provides.


Residence Hall lifestyle and themed communities are a floor or floors of students living together around shared values and/or educational or service goals. These communities are reviewed regularly by the Office of Residence Life. Students self-select into the communities as space allows, agreeing to live by the tenants of the community.

There are two residence hall lifestyle & themed communities on-campus:

African, African-American, & Black Identity Community (BAAAF)
The African, African-American, & Black identity community is an intentionally designed community for black-identifying students at Earlham College. This community provides more direct connection to support and resources for black-identifying students while also creating a stronger sense of community through shared-experiences. The African, African-American, & Black community is located on the third floor of Warren Hall.
Substance Free Community
The Substance Free community is committed to living a total substance-free lifestyle. Students living in this community share a commitment to zero substance use, such as tobacco and alcohol. The Substance Free community is located on the second floor of Earlham Hall.

Theme house communities

Theme houses are elements of our residential life program that have special connections to our educational program. Many are supported by an academic department and advised by a member of the teaching faculty. These communities provide special experiences that extend various aspects of our educational program. Theme houses enable both majors and non-majors with an active interest in a field to live together and explore a theme in a more independent residential setting. Please read our Theme House Policy Statement.

The Campus Life Advisory Committee reviews Theme House communities every four years and will begin the process this fall.

Jewish Cultural Center

Blue Shutters House

JCC provides a community space for Jewish students and beyond on campus. JCC is a space for all those interested in Jewish life to eat, learn, and have fun! We host cultural events for holidays, we cook Shabbat weekly as a house and often for all of campus. We also host a range of speakers who talk about Judaism in many different contexts.

Address: 404 College Avenue
Occupancy: 7 beds


Cunningham Cultural Center House

Quaker House provides an environment for Quaker students and anyone interested in the values or practices of Quakerism. The House offers a safe space where residents can explore what Quakerism means to students and community members. We organize weekly house events to foster the Quaker presence on campus, including but not limited to workshops, worship, and fellowship.

Address: 420 College Avenue
Occupancy: 3 beds


Edwards House

Address: 410 College Avenue
Occupancy: 8 beds


Address: 712 National Road West
Occupancy: 9 beds


Fry House

Address: 525 SW G Street
Occupancy: 10 beds


 417 College Avenue
Occupancy: 5 beds


Garner House

 450 College Avenue
Occupancy: 5 beds


Hobbs House

Address: 414 College Avenue
Occupancy: 4 beds


Marshall House

Address: 420 College Avenue
Occupancy: 7 beds

About This Community:  Quaker Living Learning House provides an environment for Quaker students and students interested in Quakerism. The house provides an atmosphere and a space where residents explore what Quakerism means to students, community members and others. House sponsored events to make the Quaker presence on campus more visible include workshops, worship and fellowship.


Penn House

Address: 620 National Road West
Occupancy: 8 beds


Address: 400 College Ave
Occupancy: 7 beds


Address: 426 College Ave
Occupancy: 6 beds


Woodman House

Address: 240 College Ave
Occupancy: 8 beds

Friendship houses

Friendship houses provide students with the opportunity to establish an intentional community, within the larger Earlham community, based on shared social, academic or service-based interests. Unlike the theme communities, Friendship communities need not be connected with an academic department. Proposals that promote service, shared responsibility for house activities and academic success are strongly preferred. Friendship communities should bear in mind the College’s priorities on sustainability, wellness and living respectfully with our greater community.

 Note: The following houses have central air conditioning: 417 College Avenue, Blue Shutters, Garner, Marshall and Woodman. Other houses listed have no central air conditioning; window or portable A/C units not allowed due to electrical safety concerns. 

LGBTQ+ House

Brown House

Address: 234 College Avenue
Occupancy: 6 beds


Cutter House

Address: 440 College Avenue
Occupancy: 11 beds

I know where I want to live, what’s next?

Once you’ve selected a hall that you have a preference for, the next step is to fill out a housing application. If you’ve already done that and know where you will be moving to, check out our page on moving in!

More information and resources

The Office of Residence Life works behind the scenes to keep you safe, healthy and fulfilled throughout your journey at Earlham College. Whether you are looking for academic advice, a shoulder to lean on, or opportunities for personal and professional growth, our team is here to support you through it all.