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What Are Academic Clusters? 

Academic Learning Communities (or Academic Clusters) are small groups or "clusters" of first-year students who are enrolled in the same academic program and share living space and friendships. This program is designed to help new students adjust to university life and study challenges. 

Each cluster is assigned a Cluster Leader who lives in the area and helps organize study groups and other activities to support learning and living in university. Clusters are placed in all areas of campus and are typically adjacent to other non-cluster sections, so you have a chance to meet people from other academic programs. 


As a Cluster Member... 

Live & Grow  academically and socially in a cluster of first-year students sharing your academic program. 

Meet  senior students, called Cluster Leaders, who have taken some of the same courses as you and who will live in your cluster.  You will also have the opportunity to meet professors, faculty and staff from various University departments. 

Explore & Discover  by learning and working in your area of academic interest.  Get involved in the wide range of opportunities available to students at the University of Guelph. 

Learn  how to make a successful academic transition from high school to university. 

Enhance  your in-class learning by participating in activities and attending presentations organized and facilitated by your Cluster Leader. 

First-year students find it very helpful to live near other students in their classes, so they can share information, ask questions, study and socialize together. Having a Cluster Leader in the area to ask questions is also quite convenient. Students who live in clusters tend to do better academically. 


Where Are Clusters Located?  

Clusters are located in all areas of residence and may change each year based on demand and availability in our residences.  

We have an Academic Cluster available for all programs:

  • Agriculture
  • Applied Science
  • Arts
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Bio-Resource Management
  • Commerce
  • Computing
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Human Health / Human Kinetics / Bio-Medical
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences

What Are Some Recent Events Clusters Have Run? 

  • Tours of the on-campus Human Anatomy Lab and Ontario Veterinary College 

  • Tours of the McLaughlin Library and introductions to library resources 

  • Essay writing workshops 

  • Jeopardy-style study sessions 

  • Research information nights 

  • Time management strategies sessions 

  • Course selection workshops with Program Counsellors 


How Do I Join a Cluster?  

It's easy! When you complete your online Residence Application, select “Academic Cluster” as a building choice in the Residence Preferences section. Learn more here.  


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