Carnegie Mellon University

Which phase is right for you?

The vast majority of residents participate in one of the four main phases of Room Selection: Retention, Pull-Ins, Block Housing, or General Room Selection. Students may also consider applying to be an Resident Assistant (RA) or Community Advisor (CA), joining a Themed Living Community, and participating in Gender Inclusive Housing.

Main Phases of Room Selection

You love your room. Why not keep it?

Retain Your Room


Become the roommate of someone who retained.



For friends who want to live close to one another.

Block Housing


Select from remaining available spaces.

General Room Selection


These videos explain each Room Selection phase:

Retention and Pull-Ins

Block Housing

General Room Selection

These videos explain how to apply for a particular phase:

How to Retain Your Current Room

How to Apply for Block Housing

General Room Selection How To Video Coming Soon

How to Sign Your Housing License Agreement (HLA)

Open Assignments & Extended Selection

You may also opt for an Open Assignment (when rooms open up during the cancellation period) or particpate in Extended Selection (when you don't need to fill a room with roommates). Learn more 

Other Housing Options

Get involved in your community.

Become an RA or CA

Live with anyone you wish.

Gender Inclusive Housing

Join a community with a cause.

Themed Housing

Live with your sorority or fraternity.

Greek Housing

Live off campus.

Off-Campus Housing

Retain Your Room

If you like your current room and you live in a space that is retainable, then retaining your current room might be the best option for you.

In general, upper-class students (current sophomores and juniors) are eligible to retain their rooms. Some rooms are not retainable, such as RA or CA rooms/suites (and their roommates), themed houses, ADA/handicapped accessible rooms, and any space that Housing Services is reserving for other purposes. Upper-class residents will be able to log in to the housing portal to see whether or not their room is retainable. If your room is not retainable, you will receive an error message. 

Each resident must complete their own retention application to retain their space. Your roommate cannot retain for you.

First-year residents are not eligible to retain their current housing assignment.

Step One: Required
Log into the Housing Portal between Wednesday, February 20, at 9 a.m. and Friday, February 22, at 12 p.m. (noon). Start a 2019-20 Academic Year Housing Application. Complete all of the required portal steps to retain your room and sign your Housing License Agreement. If you don't sign your agreement, your space will not be retained for you.

Step Two: Optional
Pull-in roommates either via the Housing Portal (if only pulling in one person) or in person at a scheduled Pull-Ins Meeting on February 22 or 25 (see the Pull-Ins section below for more information.) Residents who retain but do not fill the room/suite/apartment with pull-in roommates should be prepared for the possibility of being consolidated to another space. Read the full Consolidation Policy for more details.

This video explains how to retain your current housing assignment.

  • Once you retain, you cannot participate in any later phases of Room Selection (other than to pull in roommate for any remaining vacancies.)
  • Not all rooms are retainable. If your room is not retainable via the portal but you believe it should be, send us an email
  • First-years cannot retain their rooms.
  • Retainers have "first right" to a room - if everyone in the space retains, then no pull-ins will be permitted.
  • Retainers must agree on who they are pulling in; this is done by all retainers requesting the same pull-in electronically, or by signing off on the Pull-Ins Form for the in-person meetings.


The Pull-Ins phase is for residents who already retained their room and the friend(s) who they wish to pull-in as roommates. At least two people need to be involved for a pull-in to occur: the person who retained and the person being pulled in.

Anyone who is eligible for Room Selection who hasn't already been assigned a room for next year. In order to be pulled in, you must know someone who successfully retained their room, and who wishes to pull you in as a roommate.  Pull-ins are also dependent on space existing in the room or unit that they wish to be pulled into.

Residents who are being pulled in do not need to start a Room Selection application in advance. We will walk you through that during the in-person meetings or send information via email, after you have been officially pulled-in.

Option One: Online
Residents who retained and only wish to pull in one roommate may complete the process online via the Housing Portal.

Online requests must be made through the Housing Portal before 12 p.m. (noon) on February 25. Online pull-ins are requested as part of the retention application via the Housing Portal. Residents who were requested as a pull-in will be contact by Housing Services once eligibility and space are verified. You do not need to pull-in your current roommate if they are also retaining.

Option Two: In Person Pull-In Meetings
Residents who retained and wish to pull in one or more roommates may do so at a pull-in meeting. All residents within the unit that retained and the pull-ins must either be present or send a completed Proxy Form (pdf) per individual. Please complete the Pull-Ins Request Form (pdf) prior to attending the pull-in meetings.

Pull-ins meetings take place at the Residence on Fifth, 4700 Fifth Avenue.

Friday, February 22 - 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. - for Doherty, Fairfax, Margaret Morrison, Roselawn, Shady Oak, Webster, and Woodlawn
Monday, February 25 - 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. - for Morewood Gardens, McGill, Resnik, West Wing, and Welch

* Note: If you can't attend on your building's designated day, you may attend on the other day without issue. However, please do not wait until the last minute on Monday - wait times can be extremely long. Send a proxy in your place if they are able to attend at an earlier time!

  • If you are unavailable to come to the in-person meeting on your buildings' assigned day, you may attend on the alternate day or send a proxy in your place by completing the Proxy Form (pdf) and sending a copy of your photo ID.
  • If you completed the online pull-in request, you do not need to attend the pull-ins meetings unless you need to pull-in additional people or make changes to the assignments within the room/suite/apartment.
  • Before arriving at the in-person pull-ins meetings, make sure to complete the Pull-Ins Form (pdf) and bring any Proxy Forms and IDs with you.
  • All individuals involved (both retainers and pull-ins) need to either be present or have Proxy Forms in order for the pull-ins to be processed.
  • The longest wait times for pull-ins meetings occur between 4:30 and 6 p.m. Please arrive earlier if possible to avoid these waits.
  • Retainers will always get first priority over pull-ins. If a room is filled because both or all residents retained, no pull-ins will be permitted. Please talk to your roommate(s) in advance!
  • Residents who retained and do not completely fill their unit with pull-ins may be consolidated to a different room of a similar room type. See our Consolidation Policy for more details.

Block Housing

Block Housing is for groups of six to 12 friends who wish to live in close proximity to each other in pre-designated buildings. The following buildings will be available for Block Housing: Fairfax Apartments, Shady Oak Apartments, Webster Hall Apartments, and Morewood Gardens.

Any Room Selection eligible resident who has not already confirmed a housing assignment for the next academic year can apply for Block Housing.

Step One

Designate a Block Leader, who will set up the Block Housing group in the Housing Portal.

Step Two

Block Members add themselves to the group created by the Block Leader. The Block Leader will "verify" the group via the Housing Portal once all of the members have added themselves.

Step Three

The Block Leader (and up to one other block member) attends the blocks' assigned Block Housing selection timeslot and selects rooms for the block. This includes pairing up roommates.

Step Four

All block members return to the Housing Portal to confirm their space and sign their Housing License Agreements.

This video explains all the steps for applying for Block Housing.

  1. Create the group and set the password through the Housing Portal.
  2. Share the group name and password with group members.
  3. Make sure that group members add themselves to the group.
  4. "Verify" the group through the portal once everyone has been added.
  5. Make sure that group members go back in and "submit" their applications once it's been verified.
  6. Attend your Block Housing Timeslot. You may designate a proxy to select if your have class during your assigned timeslot by using the Proxy Form (pdf).
  7. Select a block of rooms.
  8. Pair roommates and make room assignments via the Housing Portal.
  9. Make sure your Block Housing members sign their Housing License Agreements before the deadline to confirm their space.

In addition to the above, the Block Housing Group Leader will have the added responsibility of being the liaison for their group with Resident Assistant (RA), Community Advisor (CA), and Housefellow staff. Should there be any issues with members of your group during the year, Housing Services will contact the Block Leader to address those concerns. The Block Leader is expected to be responsive to this type of outreach.

  • Blocks must have at least six but no more than 12 block members.
  • Smaller sized blocks (six to eight individuals) may find more block options available to them.
  • Blocks can consist of both men and women. If men and women are opting to reside together in the same apartment, all will need to sign a financial responsibilty form.
  • Blocks are required to completely fill any rooms or apartments that they select. No half-filled rooms will be permitted, outside of "pick-up" spaces.
  • Blocks are not required to select rooms if they are not happy with the choices. All residents can go back and opt into General Room Selection if the Block Leader decides not to select.
  • Block timeslots are randomly generated amongst all blocks without regard to class standing. A first-year block is just as likely to get the first timeslot as a senior block.

General Room Selection

General Room Selection (GRS) is the final phase of Room Selection where eligible residents who haven't yet selected a room choose from the remaining available spaces.

Students who opt into General Room Selection through the Housing Portal will receive a random Room Selection time slot within their class (first-year, sophomore, or junior+), which determines the date and time when they select their housing assignment for the following academic year.

General Room Selection takes place completely online, but Housing Services is available during time slot hours to provide assistance.

Any Room Selection eligible resident who hasn't yet selected a space in campus housing for the next academic year, who applies for General Room Selection before the deadline.

Step One

Start your Room Selection application and select General Room Selection as your process. Set up your roommate group and pair up with your roommates.

Step Two

Submit your application by clicking "Confirm Process" before 12 p.m. (noon) on Friday, March 1. This gets you into the pool of GRS applicants to receive a time slot.

Step Three

Wait to receive your General Room Selection time slot, which will be available on March 1, 2019, at approximately 5 p.m. Your time slot determines the date and time that you will be able to go in and select your room. In the meantime, start investigating your housing options.

Step Four

At the start of your timeslot, log into the Housing Portal to select your room. If you have confirmed roommates, the person with the best timeslot can assign all roommates to the selected room during their timeslot. All residents must sign their Housing License Agreement in order to confirm their space.

  1. At the start of your timeslot, log back into your Room Selection application. If you have class or are unavailable during your timeslot, you will be able to access the General Room Selection pages anytime after your timeslot, through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.
  2. Go to the "Select Room" page of the application, if not taken there automatically after logging in.
  3. Browse the available buildings and rooms to find a space that you're interested in.
  4. Select the room you want by clicking on it. It will then highlight in yellow.
  5. Assign yourself to a bed space. Don't worry — this doesn't assign you to a specific physical bed in the room, it's just a representation of the total number of beds available in any given room.
  6. Complete your Housing License Agreement.
  7. Complete the "Complete and Confirm" step to lock in your selection.
  8. You're done. Congratulations!

Extended Selection

Students participating in Extended Selection can select from all remaining rooms and do not need to fill the room with roommates. Extended Selection begins immediately following the last General Room Selection timeslot on Wednesday, March 6.

Here's the difference between General and Extended Room Selection: During General Room Selection, a resident wishing to select a Morewood Gardens prime triple must have two roommates. During Extended Selection, a resident can select a Morewood Gardens triple without having any roommates. Roommates will be assigned to the triple during Extended Selection and through the Open Assignments process.

Open Assignments

Students who select an Open Assignment are guaranteed university housing for the next academic year, but may not know the exact location of the assignment during the Room Selection process. Current first-year students should anticipate the possibility of receiving an Open Assignment. Residents who select or receive an Open Assignment will fill out an online form that allows you to rank your preferred buildings and room types. Housing Services uses this information when making your permanent assignment. Here is additional important info about Room Assignments:

  • Residents can select an Open Assignment even if vacancies currently remain in other buildings. Oftentimes, residents with Open Assignments receive a housing assignment they prefer more than the options that were available during General Room Selection. 
  • An Open Assignment guarantees you a housing assignment but a particular building or particular room type is not guaranteed.
  • Students with Open Assignments will be assigned to permanent spaces in the order of their class standing and General Room Selection number, as spaces become available. Many spaces open up during the Open Cancellation period.
  • Residents who receive an Open Assignment will need to sign their Housing License Agreement once they receive an assignment. Once signed, you are committed to on campus housing for the next academic year. 
  • Open Assignments can be canceled during the Open Cancellation period.
  • Spaces that open up during Open Cancellation could be in any residence hall or apartment. Every effort will be made to house you in one of your preferred buildings but cancellations dictate where spaces open up.  
  • After confirming your permanent assignment, you have the option of requesting a room change. In many instances, with an Open Assignment, you may have a better chance at some spaces than students who participated in Room Selection before you.
  • If a resident isn't happy with his or her open assignment offer, he or she can decline the offer and cancel their housing agreement within the three-day response window without any penalty, even if the offer was made after the Open Cancellation period ends.
  • Residents, particularly current first-year students, should be familiar with our Open Assignments Policy.
  • Residents who do not have a roommate(s) will be limited to selecting from either single rooms or half-filled double or triple rooms. If there are no more singles or half-filled rooms available, individuals selecting by themselves will need to wait until Extended Selection to select their room.
  • During General Room Selection, residents are required to completely fill the room that they are selecting with confirmed roommates.
  • The Roommate Groups pages of the Housing Portal will remain open during General Room Selection so that groups can add or remove roommates based on the avability of rooms. Please note that residents are notified if they are removed or added to a group.
  • Residents who are eligible to participate in General Room Selection but did not complete the application before the deadline may be permitted to participate in Room Selection by receiving an Open Assignment (based on availability). Please email for more information if you missed the application deadline.