Plan ahead for a smooth start to your semester.
Are you feeling stressed about everything to do before and after you move in? We get it! Starting college can be intense. Move-in is a time of high emotions — mostly excitement, but also nervousness and uncertainty (for both students and their families).
To help you prepare and take away some of the pressure, we've compiled this checklist of items to do before, during, and after you arrive.
Do you have questions?
Please review this guide as it includes answers to the questions we are asked most frequently. You can also feel free to contact us! We've helped countless students prepare for move-in, so we are happy to help.
As You Prepare
At the end of July, all students who have been guaranteed housing received an email with their housing assignment. This email included the student’s building and room assignment along with the name of their roommate(s) and a link to get their contact information.
Other students (such as transfer students or students who did not fulfill the requirements for guaranteed housing) will receive an email by mid-August.
Note: You will need your UMN email and password to access My Assignment (directions for resetting your password are available on the Office of Information Technology website).
Requesting an Assignment Change
Please note: The deadline has passed for residents wishing to request an assignment change before the start of the school year.
There will be a period at the end of September when residents can submit Assignment Change Requests, but only a limited number of changes will be possible due to a lack of available spaces.
Changes to your contract or housing assignment must be requested in advance, and many factors impact approvals. Review our webpage about Changes or Cancellations for more information about the process and timeline for these requests.
Important! Your move-in reservation will automatically be deleted if your room/building assignment is changed. You must make a new move-in reservation if your assignment is changed (even if your new assignment is in the same building).
Canceling your contract
Please note: The guarantee payment refund deadline has passed. First-year students can still submit a contract release request if they find other housing, but they will not be refunded their Guarantee Payment.
Incoming first-year students wishing to cancel their housing contract can do so by submitting a release request. You must make this request before the Housing Cancellation Deadline if you wish to be refunded your Housing Guarantee payment. Review the Changes or Cancellations webpage for more information.
All other students should carefully review the Changes or Cancellations webpage for more information.
Please note: The deadline has passed for students to change between the Silver, Gold, and Platinum meal plans. Additional Dining Dollars can be added to a student's account online at any time, and these funds can be used to pay for students or guests.
Residential hall students wishing to change between the Silver, Gold, and Platinum meal plans can do so by going to housing.umn.edu/mealplanchange. The deadline to make these changes is Friday, August 12 at 4 pm.
Students assigned to a residence hall who do not make another selection will automatically be assigned to the Silver Meal plan (unlimited meals, $100 in Dining Dollars, no guest passes).
Students can go to the My Assignment webpage to review their current meal plan assignment.
- All students living in a residence hall are required to have a meal plan. Apartment and commuter students can elect (but are not required) to purchase a meal plan.
- All of the meal plans for residence hall students include unlimited meal swipes in the dining hall located in Middlebrook, 17th Ave, Sanford, Bailey, Pioneer, and Comstock (Comstock and Yudof residents only).
- Additional Dining Dollars can be added at any time online. These funds can be used at any of the 20 retail restaurants operated on campus by M Food Co., including Starbucks, Panda Express, Subway, Chick-fil-A, and more.
- The Gold and Platinum meal plans include a set number of guest meal passes to be used at the dining halls. Residents can use Dining Dollars to pay for their guests if they do not have guest passes.
Housing & Residential Life organizes a staggered move-in process to limit traffic (both on the roads and in our hallways).
All residents (new and returning) can now reserve a move-in time. Please select a time after confirming your availability. If you need to change your move-in time, please use the link in your confirmation email.
Do you need to arrive early?
Due to space limitations, requests from domestic students to move in early are only approved for extenuating circumstances. When submitting a request, please explain the reason(s) that they need you move in early. We will review the request and determine if the need meets our requirements.
Students arriving early should expect to be placed in a temporary housing assignment, and requests should be submitted by August 18.
Note: There are limited unassisted move-in appointments available on August 28, but fees may apply. Use the Early Arrival Request form to apply.
International Students (Students on an F, J, or similar visa)
New international students who arrive before they can move into their school-year assignment can reserve space in International Early Arrival Housing. This option is available to all incoming international students including students who will live off campus during the academic year.
Reservations must be made by August 18.
Please note: You should carefully review all of the information sent regarding International Early Arrival Housing.
- Your check-in location will be determined based on 1) when you arrive and 2) where you will live during the academic year. This means you may be told to go to a different location than another international student.
- You may need to live in a temporary location before moving into your permanent assignment.
- New students are the only people who can live in International Early Arrival Housing. Students traveling with families must find other temporary housing.
Once you receive your housing assignment (see above), you can use these pages to learn more about your space including any special amenities that are in/around your building. You can also learn about the full-time and student-peer staff working in your building on our Community webpage.
Please note: We are unable to provide estimates or exact measurements for individual rooms as they vary. The average square footage is listed for each room type, and residents can access a floor plan on the My Assignment page.
In addition to getting to know each other, you should talk about what you plan to bring to campus and when you will arrive. This means you can save money and space by avoiding unnecessary duplication.
The University does not provide insurance for your personal property.
You should check whether your family’s homeowner’s insurance can cover your items. If not, you may want to speak with your provider about purchasing renter’s insurance. It can be inexpensive, and many companies provide discounts for customers who have more than one type of insurance.
The front doors of our residence halls/apartments are locked 24 hours a day, so all residents must swipe their U Card to enter the building.
You should pick up your U Card either during orientation or at the U Card Office before move in.
Bonus: The U Card Office is giving away $50 in Gopher GOLD to four people who pick up their U Cards from the office! The deadline is 4 pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2022.
Reminder: Do not allow others to enter the building behind you without swiping their U Card unless they are your guest. Strangers following residents into our buildings is one of the primary ways unauthorized individuals gain access to our residence halls/apartments!
We know it may feel rude or awkward to ask someone to swipe their U Card, but doing this is part of the responsibility we all share in keeping our building and community safe.
Housing & Residential Life and M Food Co. are currently hiring students for a variety of part-time jobs.
Working in the same building where you live will save you time and give you the opportunity to meet your neighbors. Additionally, we offer flexible schedules since we know you are a student first.
Bonus: Students who are hired to work for Housing & Residential Life can move in early if they assist with move-in! Ask for more information about this when you do an interview.
Find a Job
We are seeking volunteers for the following positions. These roles are a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, and make a difference in your community.
Space is going to be limited in your room/apartment. Because of this, we encourage residents to only bring essentials when first moving in. You can then assess what you need after knowing how much space you have.
If you are arriving at a residence hall on August 29 and 30, we will have volunteers to help unload your vehicle. You should consider this when packing your belongings.
- When feasible, remove items from their individual boxes. Our dumpsters fill quickly on move-in day so we appreciate your assistance with eliminating large boxes.
- Pack your belonginhs in luggage, boxes, or bags. This will make it easier for you to avoid losing or breaking loose/individual items.
We start accepting packages for incoming residents on August 25. Mailing items to yourself is a useful option for reducing how much you need to bring in on move-in day.
Tip: When mailing items, the address should be formatted as follows:
Building's street address, room number
Building's city, state, ZIP code
More information about mail delivery is available on our Current Residents webpage.
Driving directions are available on our website along with information the designated unloading zone for each building.
QR codes will be sent to incoming students before move-in. This code will vary by building/day, so the front desk will also have a copy of the appropriate QR code.
Note: We encourage incoming residents and helper(s) to research if there are any construction projects that could delay your arrival.
When First Arriving
Once you arrive, incoming residents should go to the lobby of their building to check in. You need to bring your U Card.
You will be given keys and additional information.
Tip: If there is a wait for parking/unloading spots, students can check in and return to the vehicle when it is time to unload.
We supply moving carts to make move-in easier.
We encourage residents to completely fill these carts when unladingso you can make fewer trips and minimize congestion in the hallways/elevators. You can also bring your own cart/dolly if you prefer.
- If you are moving into a residence hall on August 29 or 30, we will have volunteers available to help unload your vehicle. While we want to be of assistance, our move-in volunteers will not help bring your belongings to your room.
- Many residents and families find it necessary to make more than one trip when bringing everything inside. We will not have staff/volunteers responsible for monitoring carts left unattended, so you do so at your own risk. This is one of the reasons we encourage residents to only bring essentials when first moving in!
- A driver should remain with the vehicle at all times.
Our unloading zones are only for active unloading.
After everything is unloaded from the vehicle, the driver should move their vehicle to long-term parking. Incoming residents will receive an email with a QR code for free parking before the start of the semester.
Helpers are then welcome to return to help residents get settled and to celebrate/say goodbye.
Once in Your Room/Apartment
To ensure they are available for other residents, please return your moving carts as soon as possible.
We only have a limited number of carts available. Please unload all of the contents at one time. You or your helper(s) should then return your carts to the front before arranging your room.
Thank you for helping other incoming residents have a smooth and enjoyable move-in.
When first arriving in your room, you should submit a Room Condition Report (RCR). This will help ensure you are not charged for pre-existing damage when you move out.
Immediately after you check in, you will receive an email with a link to complete a Room Condition Report (RCR). We encourage residents to complete this form before unpacking you so will have an unobstructed view.
You can access this form either on a computer or a smartphone, and it can be completed by you or one of your helpers.
Note: This link provided above is shared in case a resident deletes or cannot find the email. Do not submit this form until after you check-in.
Many residents choose to loft or bunk the bed(s) in their room to create more floor and storage space.
We encourage residents to do this themselves (we have easy-to-follow directions, and mallets can be checked-out from the Information Desk). Alternately, if you are unable or do not want to do it yourself, you can submit a Fix It request after you arrive.
Please note: Due to space limitations, the bed arrangement in some of our rooms cannot be changed. A list of these rooms is available in the “Exceptions” section of the Lofting & Beds webpage. Incoming residents should review this list after receiving their housing assignments.
You must register your devices with the University before they will connect to WiFi.
You can use our WiFi to use wireless devices like a Roku or PlayStation, but you need to register your device with the University first. Directions are available in the Connecting Devices section of our Internet webpage.
Top: Some smart/IoT devices designed for home use will not work on the UMN’s WiFi due to the size and design of our network. We encourage residents to wait on buying these items until after arriving so they can easily be returned. Additional information is in the Connecting Devices section of our Internet webpage.
Your room is your new home, so you are encouraged to decorate and make it your own.
Caution! It is important that you are careful when hanging/attaching any items to the walls or other surfaces. You may be charged for any damage that is left when you move out.
In particular, do not use the adhesive that comes on the back of LED light strips. These strips significantly damage walls when the lights are taken down (for more information, review the Warning in the “Other” section of our What to Bring webpage).
Review the Community Behavioral Standards
You should also review the Community Behavioral Standards for other information about prohibited decorations, including:
- Weapons (Section 2) and drug paraphernalia (Section 18) are prohibited in all buildings, and alcoholic beverages (including empty containers) are not permitted in the residence halls (Section 21). As such, none of these items should be used as decoration.
- No more than 30 percent of your unit’s front door can be covered, and no flammable materials should be placed on your room door or the adjacent walls (Section 7).
- Residents cannot hang wreaths or other protruding items on the outside door of their room or apartment door (Section 26).
- Floor mats cannot be placed in the hallway outside your room/apartment (Section 26).
All residents are responsible for properly disposing of their trash and recycling. Residents should break down (flatten) cardboard boxes before disposal, and all trash bags should be securely closed.
If you are not sure where to take your trash or recycling, please ask your Community Advisor or another staff member.
Tip: Instead of recycling them, flatten and save boxes so you can use them when you move out.
Now that you've arrived, you can assess your space and decide what you want to buy. There is a mini-Target in Dinkytown that is popular with students, and the Quarry, Rosedale Shopping Center, and HarMar Mall (along with the Mall of America) are all short bus/car trips away.
Another Option: The ReUse Program
The University's ReUse Program is a great option for buying futons, furniture, and refrigerators at an affordable price. When students move out in the spring, they are encouraged to donate things they no longer need to the ReUse program, and it is also the place University departments send items they no longer want.
Donated items are available at the University's ReUse Program Warehouse.
Bonus Tip: We recommend following the ReUse Program on Facebook as they regularly post new items that are available for sale. Items are sold on a first-come-first-served basis.
The ReUse program also holds a popular bike sale twice a year where they sell refurbished bikes that have been abandoned on campus. It is a great chance to buy an inexpensive bike. Watch their Facebook page for more information.
During Your First Month
Your Community Advisor will hold a House Meeting soon after move-in and periodically throughout the semester.
These sessions are an opportunity for your Community Advisor to share information about upcoming opportunities, discuss community issues, and help you get to know your neighbors.
Don't miss your House Meetings!
Your Community Advisor will expect all residents to attend House Meetings. Reach out to your CA before the house meeting if you have a conflicting appointment.
We have a team to support you.
Each of our residence halls and apartment buildings has a dedicated team of professional and student-peer staff ready to provide support or connect you with services and campus resources.
You will interact most often with your Community Advisor, but you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to the Residence Director or any of the other staff members with questions or concerns. We are here to help.
Have a question but aren’t sure who to ask?
The Information Desk staff will be happy to connect you to the right staff person. Feel free to stop by the Info Desk or call/email us.
Our community values the health, safety, and personal wellbeing of all residents and staff, and we are committed to fostering inclusive and engaged community living experiences.
This is a shared responsibility, and we expect residents to support Housing rules and University policies with the understanding that there are consequences when these expectations are not met. As part of accepting your housing contract, you agreed to follow Housing’s Community Behavioral Standards.
Understand the Student Conduct Process
We encourage all residents to review these Community Behavior Standards along with the Student Conduct Process. Our philosophy for this system places primary emphasis on education and development. Rather than being punitive, our ultimate desired outcome is for residents to gain an increased understanding of self and others and a positive change in behavior.
Just like your building has a physical Information Desk, our Virtual Info Desk will be your main portal to the resources and services available through Housing & Residential Life.
This is the website that you will use to check out games and supplies from the Info Desk, track if you have packages that arrived, and submit Fix It requests to get help when things are broken.
Want to find other residents who share your interests? Joining or starting an HRL Group is a great way to do that!
Groups are exactly what they sound like, a way for you to connect with others in your building community around something you love to do. You will also be able to get financial support from Housing to support your Group’s activities.
Other Ways to Get Involved
If you want more opportunities to get involved and gain leadership skills, explore the options on our Get Involved webpage including:
Each of our buildings has a Computer Center/Tech Lounge that is available to all residents 24/7. They have PC and Mac desktops along with scanners, printers, and other peripherals that vary by building.
All residents can use the computers at any time, and printing is inexpensive (only $0.05 per page for black/white and $0.10 for color). Printing can be done either from a computer in the Computer Center, or you can send it wirelessly directly from your own.
Reminder: You will need to bring your U Card to access the Computer Center, and you will use Gopher GOLD on your U Card to print.
Have a computer-related problem?
Each building has a Computer Center Coordinator (a fellow resident) who can help. They can assist you with setting up the internet on your computer/devices or watching UMN-TV. They also take care of the Computer Center to ensure everything is working including the computers and printers.
If you have a question or want to meet them, they will post their hours in the Computer Center. Otherwise, you can submit a Fix It ticket when you need help.
Maintaining the safety of our residents and the entire campus priority is a top priority both within Housing & Residential Life and across the University of Minnesota.
Take time to go to our Health & Safety webpages to learn about safety within our buildings (including your role) along with campus safety initiatives like the following:
The University of Minnesota’s notification system sends alerts when an emergency or dangerous situation poses an immediate threat to campus.
A free service where you can have a campus security officer will walk or bike with you to and from campus locations and nearby adjacent neighborhoods. Escorts are available at any time.
- Gopher Chauffeur
A program that provides free rides to students during the night.
- RAVE Escort App
A free smartphone app that acts as a virtual escort. Once you activate it when starting a trip, it will track your progress and can contact 911 or a designated contact if you do not report arriving at your destination by the expected time.
Bike theft is a concern at the University of Minnesota. Residents are, therefore, encouraged to only bring inexpensive bikes with them to campus.
Additionally, to make it easier for you to recover your bike if it were lost/stolen, you should register/record your bike’s information. Police will then be able to use this information if necessary.
Parking & Transportation Services has more information about how you can register your bike if you are in Minneapolis, and St. Paul residents are encouraged to record their bike's information and save it somewhere secure.
Eating on campus will be an integral part of your life at the University of Minnesota. In addition to the six dining halls, there are more than 20 places to eat on campus including food courts, restaurants, coffee shops, and convenience stores.
Residential meal plans come with two dining features—meal swipes used for all-you-care-to-eat meals at residential restaurants and Dining Dollars.
Dining Dollars are loaded on your U Card and can be used at any M Food Co. location on campus including Starbucks, Panda Express, and more! They work like cash, and you can add Dining Dollars at any time. The Gold and Platinum meal plans also include a certain number of guest passes.
Additionally, if you don’t have time to eat in your residential hall, you can grab your favorite meal in a to-go box through the M Food Co. To-Go Program.
What’s on the menu?
M Food Co.’s website includes a link to the menus for all of their dining halls. In addition to listing what will be available, the website/app includes dietary information including Balanced U labels for food fitting certain wellness criteria.
Do you have special dietary needs?
M Food Co. has a registered dietitian you can meet. She can help individuals with food allergies, intolerances, diseases, and conditions navigate the dining halls. She can also help all residents understand M Food Co’s vegan and vegetarian options, balanced meals, and wellness.
Do you live in an on-campus apartment?
Apartment residents can buy a meal plan at any time, but it is best to make the request by August 21. In addition to being able to take advantage of any of the residential meal plans, apartment residents or commuters may sign up for semester block meal plans or Dining Dollars plans—a flexible option for students with a busy schedule.
Questions about M Food Co., meal plans, or dining options?
M Food Co. is separate from Housing & Residential Life, so please contact them directly if you have questions or feedback.