Off-Campus Living

Bucknell is a residential university with a four-year residency requirement, which means that you are expected to live in Bucknell campus housing for the four years of your college experience. Each year, a limited number of rising seniors are given permission to live off campus. In order to live off campus, students must apply and be granted approval by Housing Services.

Off-campus approval from Housing Services is not required for:

  • Graduate students
  • Non-traditional students 
  • New students who are 23 years of age or older
  • Students who are living with family/commuting
  • Students who are married and/or have children
  • Returning students who will turn 25 during senior year


Living off campus at Bucknell is a privilege, and comes with responsibilities. When living off campus, the student becomes the face of Bucknell for members of the local community. Only rising senior students who complete the application process will be eligible to live off campus. Eligibility is determined by the following factors:

  • Judicial Review
    The conduct record of each off-campus living applicant is reviewed. Those with certain conduct infractions may be denied final approval. Appeals are reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • Class
    Only rising seniors and students beginning the fourth year of a five-year program are eligible to apply for off-campus living.
  • Lottery Number Assignment
    Approximately 250 students receive approval to move off-campus for 2020 and 2021 — a fraction of the total number that apply. In our effort to keep the process fair and not penalize students who need time to select roommates, Housing Services assigns a random number to each completed application. 
  • Fraternity or Sorority Membership
    For fraternity or sorority members, approval to live off campus is contingent upon their organization filling their chapter housing to capacity, as well as providing six alternates to live in on-campus accommodations. A complete list must be submitted to Housing Services before members of these organizations will receive final approval to live off campus. This list is due to Housing Services in March. Students who terminate their membership in a Greek-letter organization are required to reside on campus and will not be considered eligible for off-campus housing.

    How to Apply

    The application process begins in late September for the following academic year and is a multi-step online process. Approval to live off campus is not guaranteed. Do not sign a lease for off-campus accommodations until you have received final written approval from Housing Services.

    Learn how to apply

    Search for off-campus housing


    If final approval to live off campus is granted, the student is responsible for locating an approved rental property, negotiating with the landlord and signing a lease. The University does not inspect facilities located off campus that are not owned by the University; however, approved properties are inspected by the local codes authority (the Central Keystone Council of Governments). The University does not determine whether an off-campus residence is safe, sanitary and in compliance with local ordinances.

    Please note: The Borough of Lewisburg limits the number of unrelated persons living together in a rental unit to three.

    The University does not provide Residence Life services or directly supervise students off campus.

    Adding an Available Rental Property

    Are you a local landlord interested in renting to Bucknell students? To have your property inspected for approval, please contact Central Keystone Council of Governments at 570-522-1326 to have your property inspected by the codes office. If approved, the property will be added to our map and you will be able to be contacted by potential tenants.

    Conduct and Off-campus Housing

    Student behavior off campus is subject to the sanctions of local authorities and may also be subject to the University's disciplinary procedures. Students living off-campus who are cited at their residence by the local authorities for infractions such as disorderly conduct, excessive noise or underage drinking will also have their conduct reviewed in on-campus proceedings. 

    An administrative hearing officer from the Deans of Students Office will determine responsibility and sanctioning on a case by case basis as outlined in the Student Handbook

    Students who have been found in violation of the Bucknell Code of Conduct in the past may be denied permission to move off campus. Occurrences that may lead to a loss of off-campus living privileges include:

    • Repetitive and serious alcohol infractions at the time of the application or after approval has been granted
    • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
    • Incidents of violence where actions are not deemed to have been in self-defense
    • Verbal or physical assault of a University or government official
    • Distribution of controlled/illegal substance not for personal use

    Defrauding Housing Services

    Students have a responsibility to act honestly. Once students have been approved to live off campus, signed a lease and agreed to live in a specific space, they must continue to live there. Anyone attempting to defraud the application process will have their approval revoked, along with the approval of the other members of their group. Actions resulting in revocation of off-campus housing privileges include:

    • Selling or trading a lottery number
    • Attempting to use a lottery number multiple times
    • Signing a lease with a group and then backing out in order to sign with another group
    • Being on probation

    Contact Details

    Housing Services


    Taylor Hall 105


    8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday