Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find frequently asked questions about participating in a SSIR or Themed community. If you have other questions that are not answered here, please contact us.


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  • May I apply for more than one SSIR or Themed Community?

    Yes. You can only apply to be a participant in up to three SSIR or Themed Communities. Faculty are looking for students who show a particular interest in their community.

  • What’s an ideal length for my application essays?

    An essay response should be concise yet expansive enough for you to express genuine interest as to why you want to be part of this community. You are limited to 250 words with each prompt.  You will have the opportunity in your interview to expand on your essay. 

  • Why do you ask for my G.P.A. on the application?

    We ask for your grade point average only as part of your entire application; there is no minimum grade point average to apply. The classes associated with SSIR and LLCs are rigorous and require a committed student; however, we understand that grade point average is only one measure of academic success. If you are not satisfied with your grade point average or do not feel it reflects your ability as a student, please explain that in one of the essays.

  • I have submitted my application. Now what?

    Once you submit your application you have completed the steps that are needed until the interview process.  You will hear from the New Student and Transition Programs Team about how to schedule your interview.  

  • What are the faculty looking for from students?

    We are looking for students with a genuine interest in the topic and an open mind. We want students who will commit to the community fully. We are looking for students who want to join a community of peers who they may not know well to begin with, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, academic disciplines, and who want do more with their academics outside of the classroom.

  • I am a student athlete; can I apply to be in an SSIR or Themed Community?

    Yes, communities are open to all. We have had many student athletes participate in an SSIR or Themed Community who successfully balance academics, the SSIR of Themed Community, and their athletic commitments.


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  • Does it cost anything to participate in an SSIR or Themed Community?

    No. Participation involves no out of pocket expenses for students; transportation, lodging, food, and admission to anything as a class is included.  If financial assistance is needed, we can also discuss paying for a student’s first passort, as well as any visas that may be required for travel.  If you have any questions about this please contact the New Student and Transition Programs office.

  • For SSIR communities, do I have to enroll in the spring semester seminar?

    As a participant in the SSIR program, you will be automatically enrolled (by the Registrar’s Office) in the fall course and spring semester seminar.

  • May I study abroad for one semester and still participate?

    If you are interested in one of the SSIR communities, you are not able to study abroad, as participating in a SSIR community is a full-year commitment.

    Students applying to live in a Themed Community may study abroad in the Spring semester. Students who plan to study abroad in the Fall semester will need to apply for the community in a future year.