Frequently Asked Questions-Housing Services - Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find an answer to your question? Contact Housing Services at or 412-268-2139 and someone will respond to your question within two business days.

Can I pull-in (as a roommate) a friend who is currently living off-campus?

No — only residents who are currently residing in university housing or Greek housing and are eligible to participate in Room Selection (and have not already confirmed an assignment) can be pulled-in. Residents who are currently off-campus are not eligible for Room Selection and should complete a housing waitlist application. You can review eligibility information here.

I retained/selected a prime room which shares a bathroom with another prime double room. Can I pull-in/select roommates for that adjoining room? 

In most cases, no. Residence hall rooms are viewed as separate, independent rooms, even if they have a semi-private bathroom. Residents are only permitted to fill the individual room that they have retained or selected. For example, if you retain a prime double room in Henderson House, you can only select one roommate to live in that double room with you. The adjoining double room will be filled during a later phase of Room Selection.

Exceptions exist for Resnik and West Wing suites, Roselawn Houses, and multi-room apartments in Woodlawn, Margaret Morrison, Shady Oak, Webster, and Fairfax apartments.  In these instances, retaining or selecting residents are permitted to select the roommates for the entire suite or apartment and are encouraged to do so.  

I would like to retain my current assignment but then try for a better assignment during General Room Selection. Can I do this?

No. Residents need to decide whether or not they would like to retain their room during the Retain Your Room phase which runs from February 22 through noon on February 24, 2017. Once you've retained your room, your 2017–2018 academic year housing assignment is confirmed and finalized, and you are no longer eligible to participate in any other phase of Room Selection.

What are my chances of getting a single room?

Single rooms are extremely popular and are thus hard to come by. Single rooms are frequently retained and tend to fill up quickly during General Room Selection.

I am planning on studying abroad for the Fall 2017 semester. What should I do for Room Selection?

If you know for sure that you will be studying abroad during the Fall 2017 semester, you should not participate in Room Selection. Instead, complete the "Spring 2018 Only" application through the Housing Portal before you leave campus at the end of the spring semester. Be sure to select "Return from Study Abroad" as your reason for application. You will be guaranteed a housing assignment when you return in the spring as long as you lived in campus housing for the semester immediately preceding and following your semester abroad. 

If you're not sure whether or not you've been accepted into a study abroad program, then you are welcome to participate in Room Selection to secure a room for the fall semester. However, you will be held to the cancellation deadlines just as any other resident would, and depending on when you cancel, may be responsible for paying the $400 housing cancellation fee that will be charged to your Fall 2017 student account. If you find out about your study abroad acceptance after the open cancellation period is over, please contact to coordinate your housing cancellation so that you are not responsible for the full cost of your housing assignment. You will still be responsible for paying the $400 housing cancellation fee on your fall bill.

I may be transferring to a different university for the Fall 2017 semester, but I'm not sure. Should I still participate in Room Selection?

Eligible students who think they might be transferring to a different institution are welcome to still participate in Room Selection for the 2017–2018 academic year, but will still be bound to the cancellation deadline of April 7, 2017, if they wish to receive a full refund of all housing charges for the Fall 2017 semester. Cancellation requests approved after April 7, 2017 - regardless of the reason for leaving - will be assessed a $400 Housing Cancellation fee in July 2017, which will be due in August 2017, even if you are not enrolled for the upcoming Fall 2017 semester. 

Keep in mind that most universities do not send out transfer student admission offers until mid-summer. Thus, if you wait until then to cancel your housing assignment you will still be responsible for paying the $400 Housing Cancellation Fee on your student account. (Failure to pay may result in significant late fees and penalties.)

What if I hear something about Room Selection from a friend but I can't find it on this website?

It's important to note that Room Selection changes every year and it's best practive to use this Room Selection website as the official source for all information regarding Room Selection. If you still have questions, contact Housing Services at or 412-268-2139.

I'm not interested in retaining my current room, but I heard that there was something called "Building Retention" where I could select a different room in my current building. Can I participate?

"Building Retention" is not a phase of Room Selection. Residents who are eligible to retain their current rooms can either retain their current room or participate in General Room Selection to try for a different room. To view all of the current phases of Room Selection, check out the Room Selection Options page.

I'm a first-year student and I'm afraid of getting an Open Assignment. What is that exactly?

We start giving out Open Assignments when all of the other spaces reserved for upper-class students fill during General Room Selection. If you receive an Open Assignment, you are still guaranteed housing but won't find out your specific assignment until after other students start canceling. We collect your preferences and make assignments in the order of your class standing and room selection. 

Students can also choose to select an Open Assignment. This is a particularly good option if you are selecting as an individual (no specific roommate in mind) and want to get into a half-filled double room in a particular building. Although we cannot guarantee an assignment in a particular building, since we generally have cancellations in all of our buildings, there is a good chance that we'll be able to assign to one of your top building preferences. Students who opt into an Open Assignment can rank a single room as their top building preference but should be aware that getting a single room is unlikely.

Read more about the Open Assignments process.

I am a first-year student living in Margaret Morrison (or any other upper-class building). Can I retain my room?

No. First-year students are not permitted to retain their current assignment, even if they are currently residing in a traditionally upper-class building.