Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A residential college system is a housing and educational aspect of certain universities across the world, most notably Oxford University and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Yale University, Rice University, and the California Institute of Technology in the United States. Other universities in the U.S. have recently begun implementing residential colleges as a housing option, but at these universities 100% of undergraduate students are members of a residential college. Princeton University has a residential college system for underclassmen, but most upperclassmen leave their college to join an Eating Club. It has recently begun implementing a 4-year residential system more like that of Yale, but for only a portion of its undergraduates.
In the United Kingdom, a residential college combines both the living and academic aspects of the university in one location. Students often take their classes on the lower floors of the college building and live in the upper floors.
In the United States, the academic and residential functions of the residential college system have separated somewhat leaving the colleges primarily as residential systems. Although residential colleges still offer some classes, these offerings supplement the offerings of the major academic departments which have separate facilities. The primary difference in the U.S. between residential colleges and standard dormitories is that students are a member of the same residential college for each year that they attend the university. In addition, the members of each residential college are usually expected to eat their meals together, as a unified body. Standard dormitories tend to have residents who move between dorm complexes each year, and who eat in dining halls largely mixed with residents of other dormitories.
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