Learning Communities

Learning Communities

OHIO's Learning Communities help new students get connected and support them during their transition from home to Athens, and from high school to Ohio University and Athens. 98% of first-year students were in a learning community, it is part of the Bobcat experience.

As part of a Learning Community, you'll get to know other students from your major or area of interest. Together, you'll take a series of classes, typically a first-year seminar and two general education courses. You'll gain a deeper understanding of your courses, subject matter and make friends both inside and outside the classroom.


Info for Transfer & Relocating Students

First-Year Communities 

Learning Communities are designed with learning, academic success and life outside the classroom in mind. All students want to feel at home, get to know people easily and do well academically. Ohio University's Learning Communities help students transition to college life, build connections and thrive at OHIO. 

Participants have ranked the top four benefits as: 

  • meeting new people and making friends
  • small class size
  • in-class discussions
  • studying for other classes with classmates

Sign-Up at Bobcat Student Orientation

Every major is tracked into a community.  If the major is a smaller program, it will be combined with another major.  Your advisor will help you find a learning community to call home.

Coming in with transfer credits, AP credits, credits you earned in high school?  Not to worry, communities have been or will be adjusted to meet students where they are at.

You can preview the communities for Fall 2023 below:

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Business

Scripps College of Communication

Patton College of Education

Russ College of Engineering and Technology

College of Fine Arts

College of Health Sciences and Professions

International Studies

University College

Special Programs: ROTC: Army and Air Force


Learning Communities are an excellent way to meet new friends. As part of a group of no more than 25 students, you and your community members will share not only learning experiences and out-of-class activities, but support one another's academic success.

Common Courses

You and the members of your Learning Community are enrolled in two or more courses in common. These linked courses form the basis of your fall semester schedule. You’ll know a few friendly faces in those larger classes— finding a study partner has never been so easy!

Fulfilled General Education or Major Requirements

Every student at Ohio University must complete a series of "general education" courses. The courses in the Learning Community program are either general education courses, or courses that are required for your specific academic program. This means that when you enroll in a Learning Community, you begin to complete these requirements and progress toward your degree immediately.

Learning Community Seminar

The Learning Community Seminar is a one-credit seminar course (UC 1900) that serves as the hub of your community. Your instructor will assist you in adjusting to college life as well as guide you through the exploration of what Ohio University has to offer. Each community will also have an upperclass student as a peer mentor (Learning Community Leader, LCL) to provide social and academic support. Other topics such as campus involvement, diversity, community responsibilities and career resources and planning will be explored.

Out-of-Class Activities

Participating in a Learning Community will give you the opportunity to engage in academic as well as social activities with the members of your community. These activities may include the faculty from your linked courses. Some activities from past communities include custard, climbing, attending athletic and cultural events, cookouts, shopping/IMAX movies in Columbus, dinner with professors, carving pumpkins for Halloween, study sessions, and more.


From your community members, peer mentor and Learning Community instructor to the faculty who teach your linked courses, you will make connections throughout the University. Each of these unique connections can contribute to an academically rich, fun and rewarding academic experience, and your ultimate success at OHIO.

Sign Up

There are specialized options for first-year students as well as transfer and OHIO relocating students.

Incoming First-Year Students

Students will sign up for their learning community during a June Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO).  You do not need to take action before then.

The second day of the day-and-a-half BSO program is held for registration with your advisor.  You will leave with a full schedule, including the Learning Community Seminar and linked courses.  

Initially, through the beginning of July, the Learning Community classes will show on your schedule as LCOM (this is short for Learning Community).  You will see the days and times of the classes that make up your Learning Community but not the specific classes. 

After July 6 your schedule will be adjusted and show the specific classes that make up the Learning Community.

Transfer & OHIO Relocate Students Campus Connections Class

OHIO offers a unique Campus Connections class that centers around being a transfer or an OHIO Relocate student. This is a 7-week course supported by a Peer Leader that focuses on connecting you to the Athens community, the campus resources, and to the Bobcat student community. 

There is a limited housing option for students who sign-up to be part of this community.

Housing options for Fall 2023 are:

Bromley 4th floor- suite doubles

5/23 update: the Transfer Living Community spaces have been filled!  Thank you!


You are still able to sign-up for the UC 1500 Campus Connections course with your advisor, but housing is full.


Learning Community Program Objectives and Elements

There are five objectives for the Learning Community program at Ohio University:

  1. Create learning-based peer networks
  2. Improve the academic success of first-year students
  3. Improve student retention from first year to sophomore year
  4. Increase student satisfaction with Ohio University
  5. Increase student–faculty interaction outside the classroom

The objectives are met through the following programmatic elements:

  • Students are enrolled in two to four thematically linked courses, including a Learning Community seminar, in the fall semester. These courses, with the exception of the introductory course, count toward students' Tier 2 requirements or major requirements.
  • In some Learning Communities, students live in a shared living environment for a common residential experience.
  • An administrator or faculty member from the college teaches the seminar course.
  • Students participate in out-of-class activities, in most instances organized by a Learning Community Leader, that support connection to campus, the Athens community and other community members.

Learning Community FAQ

How much does it cost?

There are no additional fees for joining a Learning Community, nor does it require all your time. You will take classes outside your community, room with students outside the program and become involved in other parts of campus life. However, when you have questions, need to get in a study group or want to grab lunch, you will always know someone to call.

How do I sign up for a Learning Community?

You will sign up when you register for classes during your Bobcat Student Orientation.   

Do I have to live in a special residential area to participate?

The majority of our Learning Communities are NOT residentially based, which means that you can live anywhere on campus. 

Some of our college-based Learning Communities ARE residentially based and/or have a residential option, and some college-based Learning Communities are non-residential. 

For Fall 2023, the College of Fine Arts Communities have a residential option.

How do I register for Learning Community courses?

During orientation you will be given one call number to use to register for the community of your choice. That one call number will enroll you in two or three courses, the UC 1900 Learning Community Seminar course as well as the classes that are associated with your learning community.

If I am placed in a residence hall that has a Learning Community, does it mean that I am automatically in the Learning Community?

Our residence halls are quite large and even if a Learning Community is residentially based or has a residential option, the students in the Learning Communities are spread out over the entire building so that you can get to know other students as well. ­The majority of the students in the residence halls are NOT in residentially-based Learning Communities.

Will I be able to register for other classes in addition to the courses I will take with my Learning Community?

Yes. During orientation, you will meet with an academic advisor who will discuss the coursework that would best match your interests and complement the Learning Community classes that you intend to take.

What if I have AP or previous college credit for a course requirement and my preferred Learning Community includes this course?

You can still sign up for this Learning Community. Be sure the University has a copy of your transcript. During orientation, the Learning Community director can make adjustments to your Learning Community cluster. We don't want to penalize a student for thinking and planning ahead!

Is it required that I take all of the classes that are clustered in my Learning Community?

Yes. Students must take all courses that are offered with their community.

The only exception is for those courses in which a student has AP, CC+, or other college credit.

What is the Learning Community seminar course?

The seminar course is the hub of the community and is taught by the students’ Learning Community instructor. There is also a Learning Community Leader (peer mentor, LCL) who is the instructor’s assistant for each community.

Information for Transfer and Relocating Students

Campus Connections

The UC 1500 Campus Connections course is a seven-week course designed to help transfer and OHIO relocate students learn about campus resources and the Athens community, and to build a community with peers who are similarly transitioning to Ohio University. A peer leader assigned to each class will support class conversations, facilitate out-of-class activities and help you to succeed academically in your transition.

Living on Campus

Students who take the Campus Connections class are not required to live together, but there is an option, with limited space. Learn more about Residential Learning Communities 

Students who live in the Transfer Residential Learning Community are required to take the UC 1500 Campus Connections class. 

Please see the green "Sign Up" section above for the link to access the sign-up.

Learning Communities at Ohio University are a collaborative effort between University College, the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Registrar, Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics, the Office of Information Technology, the Division of Student Affairs, Division of Diversity and Inclusion, Alden Library, Women's Center, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the Scripps College of Communication, the Patton College of Education, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Health Sciences and Professions.