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 the challenges of university life and study.

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. The Clusters are located throughout South Campus Communities, in Johnston Hall and Lennox-Addington Halls. They are placed in areas adjacent to other clusters and other non-cluster sections, so you have a chance to meet people from other academic programs.

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As a Cluster Member...

Live & Grow academically and socially in a cluster of 18-30 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 that are 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.

Types of Clusters

Academic Clusters are currently organized into the following programs: 

  • Bachelor of Applied Science

  • Bachelor of Arts - Literatures, Music, History, Philosophy, Languages, Fine Art, Performance Studies

  • Bachelor of Arts -Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Criminal Justice and Public Policy

  • Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science - Psychology

  • Bachelor of Arts and Sciences

  • Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management

  • Bachelor of Commerce

  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

  • Bachelor of Science (Agriculture)

  • Bachelor of Science - Biological Sciences

  • Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

  • Bachelor of Science (Environmental)

  • Bachelor of Science - Physical Sciences 


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Frequently Asked Questions


Where are the Academic Drop-in Centres?

Presently, we have an Academic Drop-in centre in Mountain Hall, Lennox/Addington Hall, and East Residence which are open from Monday to Thursday, 7:00-9:00 pm. It is also open on Friday Night when there are Saturday exams. 

What is an Academic Programmer?

Academic Programmers are members of the Residence Life staff. They create programs that meet the needs of residents in an entire building, including things like academic bulletin boards, special large study sessions, and academic trips both on and off-campus.

How do I apply to be in an Academic Cluster?

To apply for an Academic Cluster, choose the Academic Cluster option on your Residence Application. We will then place you in the Academic Cluster for your program.