Sophomore QUEST

If you graduated from a high school located outside the SDSU local admissions area, you are required to live on campus your first and second years at SDSU. SDSU data shows that students living on campus for two years are 13.5% more likely to graduate, and graduate in a timely fashion. Our Sophomore QUEST programming for second-year students will provide you with an engaging living and learning environment tailored to your needs. Participation in this programming is designed to keep you on track for graduation and prepare you for life after SDSU.

Sophomore QUEST programming includes: 

  • Live-in faculty and staff support
  • STAR Center access 
  • Convenient access to the ARC, ARC Express and Aquaplex
  • Community building and social events
  • Academic advising workshops and one-on-one sessions
  • Career readiness: resume critiques, internship preparation, connecting with SDSU alumni and employers
  • Study abroad planning
  • Financial literacy education
  • Healthy living: Trader Joe’s smart shopping tours, healthy cooking demonstrations, creating balance and managing stress

Compared to living off campus, living on campus provides:

  • The ability to apply financial aid to housing and meal plan expenses
  • The ability to switch rooms to other residential communities on campus
  • 9-month (school year) and 11.5-month (through summer) leasing options
  • Live-in faculty and staff to assist with personal needs and host programs and activities
  • Convenient access to campus facilities 


Sophomore Success Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the Sophomore Success Program initiative at SDSU?

    In alignment with SDSU’s previous initiatives to improve student academic success, retention, and graduation rates, the university has adopted a Sophomore Success Program with the residential program including a live-on requirement for sophomore students who live outside of its local service area. This requirement is an expansion on the success achieved with the freshmen live-on requirement implemented in 2010.  The Sophomore QUEST program, a robust offering of student success programs and staffing in our sophomore residential communities, is a complement to the Sophomore Surge program which is focused on our commuter students and is offered through the Commuter Resource Center.

    Students in their first year at SDSU live in traditional style residence halls while second-year students can move into suites, South Campus Plaza, and apartment communities.  

  • Why does SDSU require that sophomores live on campus?

    Data indicate that students who live on campus are better prepared academically, enjoy an increased sense of community and campus connectedness, and graduate at faster rates than those who do not. The live-on requirement is for sophomore students who live outside of San Diego State University’s local service area. While SDSU is not the first university to implement the initiative (both Ohio State University and Illinois State University offer similar programs), the Sophomore Success Program does further SDSU’s commitment to student success and aligns with the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025.

    At SDSU specifically, we have seen marked, positive outcomes among our own sophomores living on campus.

    From our 2009 cohort: 

      • The six-year graduation rate is 13.5 percent higher for sophomores who lived on campus than those who did not; and,
      • The retention rate of sophomores who lived on campus was 15.6 percent higher to their third year and 15.4 percent higher to their fourth year than sophomores who lived off campus.
  • What are the benefits to students living on campus?

    The primary benefits are environments and support structures that improve students’ likelihood of graduating and graduating on time. This provides an improved return on the financial investment made by students and their families to complete a degree. Specifically, Sophomore QUEST is the educational program designed to meet the needs of second-year students.  Based on national research on the retention and success of college sophomores, this program includes the following initiatives:

    • one on one mentoring by Community Assistants to assist students in tailoring their SDSU experience and identifying challenges that might hinder their success (i.e. confirming their major, planning to participate in high impact learning opportunities like internships, etc.)
    • workshops, events, and videos on topics critical to sophomores movement towards graduation.  Topics include academic advising tools, resume and internship preparation, wellness and mindfulness, healthy cooking, financial literacy, etc.   
    • a sophomore newsletter and program calendar highlighting residence hall and campus resources that provide support for second-year students
    • Community Assistants are student leaders who live in the community and are  responsible for the following:
      • promoting a safe and secure residential community
      • Building community in our sophomore areas
      • Connecting students to resources that help them prepare for internships, study abroad, undergraduate research, etc.
  • As a sophomore will I get to pick my space for next year?

    Yes. All students who will be required to live on campus as sophomores are included in a lottery which designates their date and time to go into the Housing Portal to select from available bed spaces. Students also have the option of being assigned by the Office of Housing Administration. Given there are finite numbers of buildings and spaces, the available options are reduced the later the room selection date and time. Students who would like to change their assignment will have the opportunity to submit a room switch request starting on Monday, March 25. Barring extenuating circumstances, students will be accommodated based on space availability and date the room switch request is received.

  • Is it true there is no space available for sophomores?

    No. There is sufficient space available for all required sophomores to live on campus. While specific buildings may be full, there will continue to be sophomore-designated housing for all students.

  • Am I guaranteed to live with my desired roommate(s)?

    No. Space availability will dictate whether an individual will be able to live with their intended roommate(s). As more beds and buildings are selected, there will be fewer options. That said, the Office of Housing Administration makes every effort to accommodate roommate requests based on space availability.

  • Will I be living with freshmen?

    The Sophomore Success Program has designated locations in apartments, suites, and South Campus Plaza (private restroom) to best accommodate unique developmental and programmatic needs. It will be rare that freshmen and sophomores will be living on the same building or floor.

  • Is there an opt-out option if I am not able to live on campus as a sophomore? What are the requirements, and how do I make a request?

    Students who are required to live on campus can make a live-on exemption request prior to both the cancelation deadline and matriculation to the university or submit a contract release request. The primary criteria for both are demonstration of medical or financial hardship as described on the cancellation web page along with the process and documentation required for making requests. 

  • I am a member of a fraternity or sorority, or I would like to pledge. Does Sophomore Success allow me to participate in Greek life and also live in a fraternity or sorority house?

    Yes. New fraternity and sorority members that joined a fraternity or sorority during the Fall semester can request to live in the chapter facility during their sophomore year, however, both the student and the chapter must meet specific requirements in order to be eligible. The students must have a Fall Term and Total GPA at or above 2.80 and be in good standing with the university. This means they cannot be on academic or judicial probation. The fraternity or sorority must acquire a minimum of "Accredited" status on their Greek Accreditation Evaluation Scorecard for the Fall semester and have a Fall Term and Total GPA at or above 2.80. Students interested in being a resident of their respective fraternity/sorority chapter facility starting Fall 2019 during their sophomore year must submit their interest to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisory Team before January 14, 2019. A completed signed Letter of Intent/Contract Release Request form must be electronically submitted to the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisory Team by January 23, 2019. A completed Letter of Intent/Contract Release Request form includes electronic signatures from the student, parent/guardian, and the chapter's alumni/ae advisor. Students and chapters will be notified of eligibility by January 31, 2019. Eligible chapters will submit the names of those they wish to become residents of their chapter facility by February 1, 2019. The deadline for names of final eligible students with signed Letter of Intent/Contract Release Request form is February 15, 2019. Additional information can be found by contacting the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life by phone at 619-594-5221 or via email at [email protected].

  • As a sophomore am I required to purchase a meal plan?

    Sophomores are not required to purchase a meal plan.  However, there are several options that have been created for sophomores if they do choose to purchase one.  

  • Who can I contact if I need more information?
    Representatives from the Office of Housing Administration can be reached by phone at 619-594-5742 or via email at [email protected].


Sophomore QUEST