First Year Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Living Communities (TLCs)

Drury University > New Student Programs & First Year Experience > First Year Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Living Communities (TLCs)

Fall 2024 Living Learning Communities and Themed Living Communities Applications are now open!

Living Learning Communities

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Living Communities (TLCs) provide an easier way for students to transition academically and socially into the Drury’s campus. LLCs are organized around themes and coincide with an academic class. All LLC themes will be the same theme of your FUSE 101 course. Students who are accepted into an LLC will attend class together and live on the same wing in their Residence Hall. 

Themed Living Communities

Themed Living Communities (TLCs) are not linked to an academic class but will offer specialized programming throughout the first year. Students will have the opportunity to live on the same wing with a cohort of students with similar interests and participate in theme-based.  Students in the TLCs will be required to meet with a staff advisor monthly and will be encouraged to participate in campus activities related to their theme. As a result, LLC and TLC students quickly form social bonds with their peers and instructors, have a like-minded support group and access to staff and faculty mentors. LLCs and TLCs bridge the gap between in-class and out-of-class learning.

What are the Benefits of Joining a Living Learning Community or Themed Living Community?

Nationally recognized research has consistently shown a correlation between social wellness and academic performance. Students who feel comfortable with their peers are more likely to participate in class, have a higher rate of satisfaction with their class and are more likely to get involved in campus life.

LLCs and TLCs exemplify our commitment to creating an intimate learning experience and we wish that we could enroll all students in the program. However, due to size restrictions, LLCs/TLCs participants are selected through an application process and are capped at 15-20 students per section. Students are not selected on a first-come first-selected basis. Drury selects students based solely on the quality of the applications and short essay answers received. Please read below for a list of this year’s LLC/TLC themes and the online application.

**Please note that themes will be offered based on student interest.  The lowest ranked theme(s) may not be offered for the 2024-25 academic year.**

Faculty/Staff Mentors

Living Learning Communities encourage strong mentoring relationships between faculty/staff and students, as well as the value of developing communities of shared purpose. Nationally, research has consistently shown benefits of the interaction in Living Learning Communities and Themed Living Communities  to include:

  • Higher levels of student participation in class.
  • Greater student satisfaction with class.
  • Greater appreciation of the areas.
  • More involvement in campus life.
  • More time in group study (Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005).

The Arts (Sunderland Hall)

We will examine humanity and culture through art, music, theatre, and literature.  We will attend art shows, theatre productions, and concerts.

The Future's So Bright, I've Gotta Wear Shades – Dystopian Futures (Sunderland Hall)

In recent years, surveys of first year students indicate that they have great optimism for their individual futures, but a far more pessimistic, even dystopian, view of our collective future.  Environmental degradation, erosion of privacy in the digital age, political polarization, increased social and economic inequity, and the fraying of our collective sense of community suggest that we have work to do to build the future in which we seek happiness for ourselves and for the world around us.
This LLC will use a variety of dystopian novels/films (e.g., Handmaid’s Tale, Blade Runner 2049, Sanctuary, The Road, Hunger Games, etc.) to unpack the nature of dystopian societies, not simply for their own sake, but also in order to identify useful strategies for assuring a future in which dystopian fiction actually remains fiction.  The class will also be built around opportunities to engage with nonprofit agencies in the Ozarks that are committed to enhancing our shared quality of life, providing a tangible outlet for the theoretical and literary issues we’ll address.

The Traveler Within: Finding Yourself in the World (Sunderland Hall)

In addition to teaching students about the many unique places you can visit as a future world traveler, this class will give you the skills and confidence to travel throughout your lives as well as the ability to appreciate travel as one of greatest educational experiences in life.  

Wellness (Sunderland Hall)

How are you doing? Are you well? After living through 2020, people across the globe are seeking wellness, but first they have to define it, and different cultures define wellness very differently. Norwegians say friluftsliv, or “free air life,” which means being outside as much as possible for work, play, meals, everything, regardless of the weather. Hawaiians say nana i ke kumu, or “look to the teacher,” meaning you can only be well when you know yourself, spending time in reflection and alone. In this class, we will explore different versions of wellness by learning about how different cultures around the world define wellness.  We will weave in some thoughts on wellness at college and practical applications of the ideas we discuss. 

Fanatics (Sunderland Hall)

Calling all Fans!  Do you love all things sports? From watch parties for the big game, participating in fantasy competitions to participating in intramurals , this TLC is for you!  We will collaborate with Campus Rec/Intramurals and our campus Fanthers group to help students engage in campus athletics as a participant or fan!

From the Outside In (Sunderland Hall)

From the Outside In explores healthy, active living and the love of nature. If you love taking nature walks, hiking, and camping or if you are interested in living a healthy lifestyle this is the place for you. This TLC will focus on exploring the Ozarks and living well.  From healthy eating and mental wellness, students will be given resources to create safer coping habits. Residents will have opportunities to partner with Panthers for Prevention, Drury’s student organization that encourages peers to make well-informed decisions regarding their overall health and wellness.  

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us (Sunderland Hall)

Film buffs, music junkies, and pop culture aficionados alike, come as you are and apply to live with those who share your passions in all things entertainment. Whether you prefer Scorsese or Tarantino, feud over Marvel vs. DC, or are the first to weigh in on a Stones or Beatles argument – we have a place for you! Apply to be a resident in the Here We Are Now, Entertain Us TLC and live among others who share your appreciation for popular culture and the music and movies that shape who we are. You will never have to watch the Oscars alone again!

The Game Domain (Sunderland Hall)

Board game lovers, computer gamers, LARPers, and X-Boxers are invited to live together in Sunderland in the Game Domain theme community. Enjoy game board nights and get active hunting for Squirtle or cosplaying on Sunderland Field. Residents will also have the opportunity to team up with Drury’s Esports varsity team and the Esports club to share gaming with area children. Live in the Game Domain TLC, and never be short a player for Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Exploring Majors ( Wallace Hall)

The Exploring Majors TLC is for students who are still exploring majors, minors, or certificates. Partnering with the Career Planning office, students will explore various career paths through personality assessments, campus events, and hands-on experience. The goal of the TLC is to assist students in finding programs that align with their skills and interests.

Panther's First (Wallace Hall)

Are you the first in your family to attend a four year university? If so , let us celebrate this accomplishment with you!  The Panther’s First TLC is designed to help first generation students navigate their way through the first year of college. Students in this TLC will have access to peer mentors and staff leadership will provide programing to help get students engaged on campus.

D.I.V.E (Diversity Inclusion Values Everyone) (Smith Hall)

First year students in this TLC will live together in a shared residence hall. Students will have the opportunity to participate in cultural connectedness and social justice issues; such as By Stander intervention training, cultural diversity training, and community outings.


  • Student’s overall educational experience will be enhanced
  • Group discussion along with activities through reflection writings will foster deeper learning experiences
  • Respect and support for self and community

How to Apply: 

  1. Apply and be accepted to Drury University.
  2. Complete your online  2024-25 Housing Contract to the Drury Admission Office with Freshman Living Learning Communities and Themed Living Communities marked as your first residential hall choice.
  3. Pay the $200 enrollment deposit (refundable through May 1, 2024).
  4. Submit the online Living Learning Community application. 
  5. All requirements (online application, deposit and housing contract) must be received by 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2024

Apply for the LLC/TLC Program

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Stewart, Director of New Student Programs, at You can also review our Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Am I guaranteed a room in Sunderland Hall if I am selected to be in a freshman Living-Learning Community (LLC)?

Some LLC/TLC sections will be in Sunderland Hall. If you are selected to one of the following sections you will have a room in Sunderland Hall:

  • The Arts
  • The Hunger Games
  • Pre-Health Sciences
  • From the Outside In
  • The Game Domain
  • Arts and Letters

The following LLC/TLC will be housed in Smith Hall:

  • GOLD – Globally Oriented Living at Drury
  • LEAD – Leadership Excellence at Drury

Am I guaranteed a spot in an LLC/TLC if I am in the Honors Program or an athlete?

No, all students wishing to be in an LLC must apply and submit all  requirements by the May 15, 2020 deadline.  Placement in an LLC is based on the quality of the application and short essay answers.

Do I have to major in a certain subject to sign up for an LLC?

The Pre-Health Science LLC does have a major requirement, but this is the only LLC that requires a certain major. See the Pre-Health Science LLC description for more information. Otherwise, students of all majors and minors, especially those who are unsure of their major, are welcome and encouraged to apply to any of the LLC sections.

Are there additional time requirements for students in an LLC?

Yes, but the additional time required is very minimal. Students are asked to participate in programming activities related to their LLC/TLC theme each semester. These activities are based on the theme of the group.

What is the deadline to apply for an LLC/TLC?

The online application will be available for students in November 2019. Completed applications will be accepted through May 15, 2020.

To be considered for placement in one of the LLC themes all requirements must be received by 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2020.

Requirements include:

  • Completed LLC application – submitted online
  • Completed 2020-21 Housing Contract
  • Paid Deposit

There will be no exceptions to this deadline. 

When and how will I know if I have been selected to be in an LLC / TLC?

All applicants will be notified by email of either immediate acceptance or if they have been placed on a wait list. Notifications will go out prior to June 1, 2020. The students who are selected to participate in an LLC/TLC will be asked to accept their placement by following the instructions in the email. If acceptance confirmation is not received by the deadline stated, that spot will be offered to a student on the wait list. 

If I am selected to participate in an LLC, is there an additional cost associated with the program?

There is not an additional cost for the program. However,  LLC sections that are housed in Sunderland Hall which is comprised of single rooms, will have a higher housing cost. View the housing prices for the current academic year. We will update the website as soon as the housing prices for 2020-2021 are available.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Stewart, Director of New Student Programs for more information at