Academic Initiatives

University Housing supports academic success by integrating curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning, community service and leadership development while interacting with faculty, staff and other partners within the greater community.

University Housing employs a full-time academic initiatives coordinator whose entire focus is to forge collaborative partnerships across interdepartmental boundaries that maximize the flow of academic resources to our large and diverse resident population. Successful academic initiative programs managed by University Housing include:

Living Learning Communities

One of the benefits of living on campus is the opportunity to live with a cohort of peers whose academic interests match your own. University Housing works with on-campus partners to integrate academics into the residence halls, resulting in a unique first-year experience.

The Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community, also known as the Launch Pad, is open to students of any major who are interested in launching their own business, non-profit or startup. Located in Creswell Hall, the Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community accommodates up to 40 students.


UPDATE: Per USG guidelines, the University of Georgia (as a USG institution) has moved all summer 2020 classes online, including Thrive. Please visit the Thrive site for details.

The University of Georgia’s Thrive offers a transformative four-week academic residential program to a diverse community of first-year undergraduates. Introducing scholars to the rigors and unique learning opportunities at America’s first state-chartered university, Thrive allows students to form meaningful academic and social networks, equipping them for future academic success.

Students who apply to and are accepted into this limited enrollment program enroll in three credit-bearing courses including a service-learning course that fulfills the University’s new experiential learning requirement, a discipline-based course that fills quickly in general semesters, and a small-group seminar on personal development. Graduate student mentors live in residence during the program to provide sustained support as students navigate their first experiences as college students.

These components and much more make Thrive the premier first-year experience program at the University of Georgia.

Honors Magnet Program

The Honors Magnet Program is a community of honors students housed in Myers Hall. By living together in Myers Hall, Honors Program participants are surrounded by other serious students whose discussions and friendships promote the exchange of ideas and information across disciplinary boundaries. The Honors Program also maintains a satellite office in Myers Hall to provide academic advising and support students' other academic pursuits. First-year students have priority in assignments to Myers Hall, including a condensed sign-up period specifically for Myers Hall.  Living in Myers Hall is not a requirement of the Honors Program. Honors Program participants should expect to have an Honors Program roommate.

Language Communities

It is often said that the best way to learn a new language is to live in a country where that language is spoken. The next best thing is to live in a language community within University Housing, where students from all walks of life are united by their interest in mastery and enjoyment of the French, Russian or Spanish languages. Participants are immersed in these languages through daily spontaneous interaction with their neighbors, as well as through organized activities such as movie nights, dinners, dances and parties, guest lectures, concerts, excursions, and a required weekly conversation course. Residents earn academic credit for completion of the program and are granted priority registration for language courses. 

French language community is Mary Lyndon Hall 

Russian language community in Building 1516 

Spanish language community is Mary Lyndon Hall 

Franklin Residential College (FRC)

Enrolled undergraduate students with majors in the Franklin College of Arts and Science are invited to apply for positions within the Franklin Residential College, an innovative collaboration between the University of Georgia's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and University Housing that builds upon some of the most ancient collegiate traditions of institutions as Oxford University and Cambridge University in Great Britain.

The FRC is hosted in Rutherford Hall in the Myers Community. The Franklin Residential College integrates a close-knit community of university students with members of the faculty who integrate academics into residence life through interaction and engagement with ideas. The Franklin Residential College also sponsors numerous cultural and academic events, programming and activities throughout the year.

First-Generation Faculty-Student Mentoring Program

Bringing faculty members into residence halls as mentors for first-generation students will enhance students’ academic experience providing opportunities to connect with faculty in formal and co-curricular settings. Pairs of faculty members will engage with groups of students to provide insights into academic expectations and success strategies. Faculty mentors will be supported by staff from Student Affairs and the Division of Academic Enhancement to support students’ growth and holistic development through academic and co-curricular explorations and to expand students’ campus-wide support and success network. 

Faculty Mentors for the 2019-20 Academic Year

Swati Bhandarkar, Lecturer in the J.M. Tull School of Accounting

Dr. Rodney Mauricio, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Genetics

Through participation in this program, students will:

- cultivate meaningful connections with faculty members and staff members from Student Affairs and the Division of Academic Enhancement;
- develop a sense of community with other first-generation students;
- feel an increased sense of belonging at UGA;
- know where and how to access campus resources; and
- develop a campus-wide support and success network.

Program Overview

Information on programs for fall 2020 coming soon!

Departmental Contact Information

Jen Rentschler
Interim Director of Residential Services and Programs

Becki Bury
Assitant Director for Academic Initiatives and Student Leadership

Other Academic Programs

Academic Advising: Thousands of students per semester complete academic advising within their residence halls.

The University of Georgia's Division of Academic Enhancement (DAE) offers an active learning space known as the Russell Academic Center (RAC) on the first floor of Russell Hall. The RAC offers various UNIV courses, Student Success Workshops, tutoring (in chemistry, math, and writing), academic coaching, and other resident support services in a more convenient location for first-year students. The DAE empowers all students to achieve success with innovative courses, programs, services, and student-centered initiatives.  Please visit the DAE website for further details and updated offerings.