Welcome Home

About the College Houses


A distinctive feature of the Franklin & Marshall experience is the College House residential community. These are not run-of-the-mill dormitories, but lively hubs of intellectual, extracurricular and social engagement governed by the students who live there.

Facing an expansive common green popular for relaxing on warm fall days or sunny spring afternoons, the five Houses — Bonchek, Brooks, New, Ware and Weis — merge academic and residential life and form dynamic "third spaces" where students and faculty are encouraged to continue conversations begun in the classroom, lab or office, in the process adding an important and distinctive dimension to the overall living and learning experience at F&M. 

Faculty dons and House deans provide a strong faculty and administrative presence to help guide students and student advisers through projects and challenges. 

Enrichment Beyond the Classroom

All first-year students are assigned to their College House based on the interest they express for their first-year Connections course, a seminar-style learning environment.

The seminars set the pattern for the year to come — a vibrant intellectual life that doesn’t restrict learning to the classroom. Students choose from first-year seminars ranging from general academic courses in chemistry, music composition, Russian history, human genetics and the like, to more specific areas of study, such as Civil War fictions, Zeno’s paradoxes, underworlds and afterlives, and more.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors also can choose the College Houses for their residences, which leads to a diverse mix of students, ranging in age and outlook, living and working together.

Faculty dons are the go-to people for House seminars, dinners with visiting scholars, and any ideas students might have about academic or social pursuits.

Students Making Their Own Way

Students in College Houses chart their own course for study and play.

Each house receives a substantial annual budget that students may spend on social programs, décor, academic and community activities, special projects and more. Students disburse these funds through House governments that draft their own constitutions. Here are a few examples of events our students have organized within their Houses:

  • Formal dances
  • Meals for the homeless
  • Theatrical productions
  • Play-reading discussions
  • Dinners with artists, authors and business leaders
  • Pizza parties, bagel breakfasts and field trips
  • Faculty-student publications
  • A campus-wide yard sale to raise money for a local nonprofit

The Houses

Every F&M College House crest was developed by the earliest student residents of the respective houses. The best part about the College Houses, our students say, is that students are in charge of their living spaces and organized activities.

House-Inspired Communities

Marshall Fellows Program

The Marshall Fellows program recognizes demonstrated academic excellence, creates a cohort of intellectually engaged students, encourages intellectual adventure, and provides support to Fellows for academic enrichment.  The program is intended to help students think about and prepare for post-graduate opportunities.

Learn More

Junto Society

The Junto Society is patterned after Benjamin Franklin's own organization of the same name.  The Society meets on five Sunday evenings during the academic year. Each senior member of the society presents a paper on a topic of public interest and current debate for discussion by all members.

Learn more
The Pulse of the College Houses at F&M
Story 8/17/2017

Off-Campus Study: Jabari Benjamin '18

Economics major studies for the summer in Bath, England.

Read More
Story 8/17/2017

Off-Campus Study: David Schnoll '18

Government and Computer Science joint major studies on the SIT/IHP Cities of the 21st Century program in Argentina, Vietnam, and South Africa.

Read More
Story 8/1/2017

Shanghai Rises as a 21st Century Global City

A Franklin & Marshall College professor and student are examining whether Shanghai’s resurrection from its war-torn, impoverished past to its thriving capitalist present under communist rule is...

Read More
Story 6/23/2017

Off-Campus Study: Teresa Chappell '18

Creative Writing, French double major and Chinese minor studies in Hangzhou, China.

Read More
Story 4/28/2017

Off-Campus Study: Cecilia Plaza '17

Sociology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies joint major studies on the Alliance for Global Education - Contemporary India:  Development, Economy, Society program in Pune.  

Read More
Story 3/27/2017

Research Takes Senior, Professor to Bonn UN Conference on...

Senior Lea Senft’s twin passions for wildlife and environmental conservation and her research into public policy recently sent her to a United Nations conference in Bonn, Germany.

Read More
September 13
event 9/13/2017

Q & A with Emily St. John Mandel

Writers House Reading Room

Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a...

Read More
September 27
event 9/27/2017

Craft Talk with Phoebe Lapine

Writers House Reading Room

Phoebe Lapine is a food and health writer, gluten-free chef, wellness personality, culinary...

Read More
November 09
event 11/9/2017

Captive Whales and Dolphins: Life Beyond Concrete Tanks

Mayser Gymnasium

Lori Marino, Ph.D. Board President and Executive Director of The Whale Sanctuary Project Since...

Read More