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A Comparison of the UT Austin Dorms

As an incoming freshman at UT Austin, I was faced with a major life decision. The spring before my freshman year, I was tasked with picking which dorm I would call home for the coming school year. Being an out of state student (and, in general, someone who had not spent a great deal of time perusing dorm buildings), I desperately searched for dorm reviews online, found contradictory information, and ended up making my decision based on the minimal knowledge of an acquaintance.

For all of you who are currently in my pre-freshman year predicament, I am here to help. I will attempt to remain neutral about each of the dorms I mention, so that you can more easily decide which dorm you think would fit you best! I will be grouping the dorms in the honors quad together, for simplicity’s sake, but will point out a defining characteristic or two about each of the individual buildings. Also, keep in mind that I will not be mentioning any of the privately-owned, off campus dorms that some students choose as their future homes!

Also, I added the links to some student-made dorm tours down below. If there is a dorm that you are checking out that does not have a link below, it is because I could not find a virtual tour for that covered that particular building. Instead, check out the “find more info” link under the building you are considering, and there should be a UT-produced virtual tour of that building’s rooms.

Honors Quad Dorms 

  • Include: Andrews, Blanton, Carothers, and Littlefield Residence Halls

  • Close to the best dining hall (in my opinion): Kinsolving!

  • Courtyard in the center of the quad for sunbathing, running about, and having cookouts!

  • All dorms in the Quad have sun decks in the buildings

  • Location wise: not in the center of campus, but very convenient if you are a communications major of any sort!

  • Andrews special features:

    • Pool table and theater system

    • Thermostat for the room (in some dorm buildings, students do not have control over the temperature of their room)

    • Piano

    • Find more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/andrews

  • Blanton special features:

  • Carothers special features:

  • Littlefield special features

    • For women only!

    • Please note: this dorm follows a system of restricted visitation past a certain hour every night

    • Sinks in rooms

    • Study areas featured on each floor

    • Cafe inside the building 

    • Individual thermostats

    • TV room

    • Find more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/littlefield

 

Kinsolving Hall

  • All women

  • Super convenient if you are a communication major or psychology major, and fairly convenient if you are in engineering!

  • One of the greatest benefits: The hall is large, but known for fostering a strong community among residents.

  • Free science and math tutoring hosting most evenings of the week for those who live there, as well as an advising office

  • There is an exercise room! (A feature that you will not find in most residence halls at UT)

  • The best dining hall (once again, in my own opinion) is in the building!

  • Hosts two living learning communities within the larger community:

    • Women in Engineering

    • Women in Natural Sciences

  • Find more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/kinsolving

 

Duren Hall

  • There are rooms with private bathrooms and connecting bathrooms (shared between two rooms).

  • Study space features on each floor of the building

  • Individual thermostat control

  • Exercise room and game room

  • Convenient for engineering majors

  • Typically, slightly pricier than other dorms (such as Jester)

  • Find more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/duren

 

Whitis Court

  • Living learning communities housed here:

    • Sustainability Living

    • Global Living

  • Close to Kinsolving (the best all you can eat food!)

  • Kitchens (shared among community members)

  • Living rooms with TVs

  • Room are typically a bit larger than in some other residence halls

  • Comprised of several buildings, and each building gives off house vibes

  • Downside: on the edge of campus, and fairly far from where most liberal arts classes are held, and feels a bit secluded from campus life; however: also very close to the school of communication and some good food on Guad!

  • Virtual tour on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UrxKCHZstak

  • FInd more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/whitis-court

 

Waller Creek Community Halls

  • Advantages overall: close to Gregory Gym, the Jester dining halls, the stadium; centrally located if you are an art, liberal arts, or social work student

  • Brackenridge Hall

    • Smallest residence hall at UT Austin (housing only 122 people)

    • Individual thermostat control

    • TV room

    • Recreation room (with pool table, etc.)

    • Virtual tour: see video under Prather Hall

    • Find more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/brackenridge

  • Creekside Hall

  • San Jacinto Hall

    • Has rooms with private bathrooms

    • Has an amphitheater 

    • Study room on every floor of the building

    • Houses dining hall Cypress Bend

    • Information not from the UT website: this residence hall is more expensive than most of the other halls and is known for housing many of the student athletes (also: it is very close to the stadium, so getting to football games is quick!)

    • Find more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/san-jacinto

  • Roberts Hall

  • Moore-Hill Hall

    • Individual thermostat control

    • TV lounge (has one of the biggest screens on the UT campus!)

    • Two study rooms

    • Rec room with ping-pong and pool table, etc.

    • View of the pool at Gregory Gym

    • Great community! This is where I lived freshman year, and I was able to form so many lasting friendships with my fellow residents! There were socials held, informal community movie nights, and a lot of supportive people. I am biased, but I highly recommend this residence hall. Also, it is close to the stadium (for a quick commute to football games), is a relatively small residence hall, and is close to the buildings that most liberal arts students have classes at.

    • Virtual tour on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9JBcPO4YDbA

    • FInd more info at: http://housing.utexas.edu/halls/moore-hill

  • Prather Hall

 

Jester

  • Easily the largest two residence halls on campus

  • Can’t control the temperature in your rooms typically!

  • Don’t base your decision to live here (or not) on the stereotypes that this building has. Instead, try to reach out to people you know who live in Jester, or come to campus and ask people in the Jester lobby, how they like living there. Most of the people I know who lived at Jester were happy living there.

  • Buildings:

 

Hopefully you will find this article helpful when you are deciding where to live next year. Most of the information I included in this document came from the UT Austin residence hall website, but I also included some of my insider knowledge (which could be flawed and is limited, but has been gleaned from friends who have lived in many of these halls), and links to dorm tours! Don’t get too consumed by the reddit comments about different dorms, because there will always be individuals who loved  a particular dorm and others who did not. Enjoy this process, and I am sure you’ll end up somewhere that fits you well! 

 

Megan Turner is studying Spanish and Political Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. In her free time she enjoys long-distance running, painting, and spending time with friends.
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