Resident Advisors (RA)

Apply to be an RA; Your adventure is out there.

We are looking for Responsible, Fun, Diverse members of our community to apply to be Resident Advisors! Our RAs are widely involved on campus and come from every academic school.

Resident Advisor Job Description

The primary role of the RA is developing a community of students in a university living environment. RAs create opportunities for students to learn about themselves and others and are responsible for facilitating the general safety and well-being of the community.

The RA position is a challenging and rewarding experience. There are opportunities for RAs to develop skills in many areas including leadership, communication, programming, counseling, crisis management and other transferable skills. Much of this development is obtained through training activities (August, winter, and Monday nights) as well as weekly staff meetings. RAs are also expected to take an active role in departmental committees and initiatives.

The Resident Advisor (RA), as a member of the Residential Life team, is supervised by a Residential College/Community Director (RCD). As a representative of the Office of Residential Life, RAs must abide by and uphold university regulations as well as state and federal law.

Residential Life Diversity Statement
Read the mission, commitments and diversity statement of Residential Life.
General Expectations

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Enrolled as a full-time student
  • Junior or senior in class standing
  • Role model positive behavior that is in alignment with Residential Life expectations, the University’s Student Conduct and Community Standards Code, and individual community standards.
  • Foster an environment that is respectful of and conducive to intellectual discourse among all members of the community.
  • Role model healthy academic behaviors while fostering a culture that values multiple styles of learning and engagement academically within your community.

Community Building

  • Develop a personal understanding of identity, equity, diversity and social justice, and foster an inclusive community respectful and accepting of multiple identities.
  • Become acquainted with residents to understand their emotional, physical, academic, and social needs. Facilitate resolution of interpersonal conflicts among residents.
  • Implement the residential area’s Community Engagement Model.

Collaboration and Involvement

  • Become familiar with position expectations, individual RCD expectations and Residential Life policies and procedures.
  • Implement and evaluate university and departmental policies, regulations and procedures.
  • Serve as an ambassador of the Office of Residential Life and support all departmental initiatives.
  • Fulfill other responsibilities as assigned by the RCD or other Residential Life staff.

Crisis Management and Emergency Response

  • Respond to personal crises and emergencies of residents with promptness, dependability and consideration for individual needs in alignment with university and Residential Life guidelines.
  • Serve as a responsible employee for the university. A responsible employee is a Washington University employee who has the authority to address sexual misconduct, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct, or who a member of the university community could reasonably believe has such authority or duty.
  • Document crisis and emergency information into the Res Life reporting system.
  • Be familiar with campus and community resources in order to provide information and referrals to residents.
  • Enforce and uphold all university and Residential Life policies, rules and regulations.
  • Participate in duty rotation, which can include desk shift rotations at the duty desk and cell phone duty shifts (overnight).


  • Complete all required paperwork in a timely and accurate manner
  • Promptly post signage, pertinent community information and regularly change passive programming
  • Identify and report maintenance concerns in community
  • Assist in opening and closing of residential communities at the beginning and end of each semester.
  • Assume additional responsibilities as assigned by the RCDs, ARCD, Grad Fellow and other Residential Life professionals
  • Attend weekly staff meetings and/or trainings. RAs must have Monday nights from 7-11 p.m. available.
  • Attend weekly and/or bi-weekly 1:1s with RCD

Personal and Professional Development

  • Demonstrate an understanding and commitment to racial justice on an individual and communal level.
  • Participate in a focus area to support initiatives within the residential community and/or the Office of Residential Life.
  • Maintain an ethic and practice of self-care and encourage others on staff and in your communities to do the same.
  • Pursue Green Dot and Safe Zone certification by the deadline laid out by the Professional Development Committee.


  • Room and Board is provided for all RAs
  • New RAs: Half Silver Meal Plan
  • Returning RAs: Full Silver Meal Plan

Resident Advisor Application

Important Dates

Applications for the 2018-19 Academic Year are now LIVE.

  • Oct. 1, 2018: Applications are live
  • Oct. 28, 2018: Study abroad applications deadline
  • Nov. 10, 2018: Study abroad interview day
  • Dec. 3, 2018: General application deadline
  • Dec. 3, 2018: References due
  • Jan. 26 & 27, 2019: General interview dates
  • Feb. 8, 2019: RA notification day – HIRING DAY

In order to apply for the Resident Advisor position, you MUST complete your housing application. The Housing Application for Fall 2019 will open FEB. 1 and close FEB. 8.

Information Sessions

You are required to attend an information session as part of the RA application process. Each session will be 2 hours. The first hour is required and will cover what it means to be an RA and important information about the process. The second hour is optional and will be an interview skills workshop in collaboration with the Career Center. Applicants are encouraged but not required to attend. Applicants will not be penalized or advantaged by attending the second hour.

Information sessions will be held at these dates and times:

Day Month Date Time Location
Wednesday October 3 6-8 p.m. Seigle L003
Thursday October 11 6-8 p.m. Dardick Seminar Room
Friday October 12 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lien Seminar A
Thursday October 18 6-8 p.m. Lopata House 22
Wednesday October 24 6-8 p.m. Seigle 304
Friday October 26 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Seigle 109
Friday November 2 12-2 p.m. Lopata House 22
Wednesday November 7 6-8 p.m. Dardick Seminar Room
Thursday November 8 6-8 p.m. Lien Seminar A
Wednesday November 14 6-8 p.m. Lofts MPR
Sunday November 18 1-3 p.m. Lopata MPR
Tuesday November 27 6-8 p.m. Louderman 461
Wednesday November 28 6-8 p.m. Lopata House 22
Thursday November 29 6-8 p.m. Simon 18

Application Checklist

  • Information Session
    Applicants must attend one information session prior to their respective application deadline (i.e., study abroad or general deadline)
  • Online Application & ReferencesApplicants must complete an application with references
  • Interview 1-3 current RAs about the position
    Strongly encouraged
  • Social Justice Article
    Find an article that explores a social justice topic that could impact your residents within the realm of colleges and universities. For example, the article could explore topics of race/ethnicity, class, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability, access, etc. The article can come from a newspaper, magazine, journal, etc. You should be prepared to discuss article content and personal insights during the individual interview process.
    Bring this to your RA Interview.
  • Interview Day
    Applicants must participate in the designated interview dates (Study Abroad – Nov. 10, 2018 & General Deadline – Jan. 26 and 27, 2018)

Application & Reference Forms

Resident Advisor Application

Resident Advisor Reference Form


As a part of the selection process for the RA position each candidate goes through an interview day consisting of a group interview process in the morning and followed by an individual interview in the afternoon. Both the group and the individual interviews are important ways for us to get to know you as an individual and to evaluate your potential as an RA.

We want to note that we understand everyone comes from a variety of different background and experiences. Finding clothes for an interview can create added stress and we do not expect you to purchase anything new for your interview.

The Career Center offers some excellent advice and workshops on how to make the most of your interview:
Interviewing is the most critical part of your search process. No matter what you end up doing or where you go, you will participate in an interview at some point in your life. Internships, medical school, co-ops and full-time jobs all use interviews as a way to get to know you and better understand how your skills, and experiences bring value to their organization.

Pre-Interview Preparation
Employers consider knowledge of the organization a critical factor when they evaluate applicants. This element is completely in your control: research the organization’s website and study the position description so you can give confident and customized examples of your qualifications.

Clear and fluid communication skills are also important. Think beforehand about how to frame your comments and examples. Focus on what you can bring to the organization and the position.

Building Your Interviewing Skills
The Career Center has a variety of resources to help you develop your communication skills and prepare for your interview. For some quick information on how to prepare for an interview, download the Interviewing Skills Handout (PDF). The Career Center also provides interactive workshops and opportunities to practice your interview skills. Visit the Events Calendar for upcoming events.

RA Testimonials

What are you involved in on campus besides being a RA?

“On campus, I am a member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity as well as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I also serve as the Programming Director for ThurtenE 2018! I also write for Reclamation & work in Cornerstone and Parent Programs & Athletics for Alumni and Development.”
~ RA Alexis Jaya Hutchinson | Wayman Crow Residential College

How has being an RA changed your experience at WashU?

“Being an RA has had a tremendous impact on my collegiate experience at WashU. The RA experience has helped me a find a community that not only empowers me to live out, but also to truly embrace members of our community “by name and by story”. This role has made me wrestle with the idea of what kind of person I am, what kind of person I want to be, and what kind of legacy I want to leave behind. It has challenged me to think critically, unequivocally speak up, and be fully present both in and outside the WashU community.”
~ RA Kyung | Brookings Residential College

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact for more information?
Please email the selection committee.
What is the time commitment?
In general, you’re expected to spend at least 15 hours per week in your community, but that is merely a guideline. Being an RA is more than taking on another activity, it is a lifestyle change. Your floor or building is your home, and you and your fellow RAs are responsible for developing the community environment in that home. Sometimes that means spending a lot of time on the floor or in the building with your residents or planning and presenting programs, and sometimes that means studying ahead of time so that you can do those other things the next week. Being an RA is a serious time commitment, but it is one that is based on your individual situation. There is no way to determine exactly how much time it will take to be an effective RA. Required training for the RA position takes place in August and January, so you will be unable to enroll in Summer Session IV classes. In addition, RA Training and staff meetings will be held every Monday night during the academic year from 7-11 p.m. You will be unable to enroll in Monday night classes. All RAs participate in a duty rotation. RAs on the South 40 have duty in the RA Duty Office in the Residential Life Center. RAs on the North Side carry a duty phone for a week at a time. The time commitment depends on you. If you are selected, we believe that you have the ability to stay involved in your current activities and handle the responsibilities of being an RA. We know that your campus involvement is an important part of who you are, and we wouldn’t expect you to sacrifice that, however, we expect that being an RA will be your top priority after your academics.
Do I get to choose where I’m going to live?
No. When you apply, we ask for your preferences in terms of what type of floor/community you would like most. We make an effort to follow your preferences, however, in deciding placements, we maximize our strengths, consider space limitations and the staffing needs of each residential area. Thus, we cannot guarantee that you will be placed in your top choice.
Will my residential preference choices affect whether I am hired?
Our goal is to hire the most qualified candidates to be RAs. We use the Residential Community preferences as a guide to help us make the best match possible.
What is the room and board compensation?
All RAs receive their room, local phone service, and half of their Ethernet charge as part of the compensation package. In addition, new RAs receive half of a Silver Meal plan, and returning RAs receive a full Silver Meal plan.
Will I still get financial aid if I am an RA?
Yes; however, please speak to Student Financial Services to learn more about what this would look like for you.
What are the benefits of being an RA?
For most RAs, being an RA is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding and enriching aspects of their college experience. As an RA you get an opportunity to serve others; develop interpersonal, budgeting, communication, rapport building, and a plethora of other skills; gain valuable university contacts; experience over 200 hours of professional training; work with some of the most talented students at WU; learn about yourself and others; and be a part of a supportive group of friends who are all working together to make your community a great place to live. As one RA said, “You go from feeling like you’re just at the university to being a part of the university.” You will be a part of the RA and Residential Life family.
When do I have to be back in August?
August Training begins approximately two weeks before the first day of first-year move-in and orientation.

RAs are required to stay in the halls through the end of each semester, when the halls close. RAs return early for training in January. RAs will stay until the Sunday following graduation. All RAs are expected to participate in all August and January training sessions. Specific dates will be provided to newly hired RAs.

What is the RA selection process like?
To determine whom to select as RAs, we use a number of criteria – the written application, recommendations from references, as well as group and individual interviews. We also make sure candidates are in good standing with the university, both with conduct and academics. We use all of these means to get a complete and accurate picture of each candidate so that we can make an educated, thorough decision in the selection process.
When will I find out if I’ve been selected?
All candidates will be notified of the results of the RA selection process on Friday, February 8, 2019 so that you will be able to make the necessary housing arrangements before the housing process begins.
What if I am abroad in the fall and cannot attend an info session?
Candidates who are abroad in the fall must contact the RA Selection Committee to receive the information electronically. Candidates who do not reach out for this information will not be considered for the RA position.
Who should I choose as my reference?
The references you choose should be mentors or professionals who know you well and can speak to your skills, strengths and abilities (past high school teacher, coach, professor, former or current supervisor, counselor, research supervisor, clergy, volunteer coordinator, four-year adviser, major adviser, etc.). One of your references needs to be WashU affiliated. The following people cannot serve as references: current RAs or past RAs who are still undergraduate students, RCDs, Graduate Fellows, Associate/Assistant Directors in Residential Life, Jill Stratton, Rob Wild and Kawanna Leggett. If you do choose an undergraduate student as a reference, this person should have acted in a leadership capacity and can speak to your professionalism and work ethic.
Can transfer students apply to be an RA?
Yes; we encourage all transfer students to apply. They must be a current WashU student at the time they apply and must be in their third year of college when they start the role.
Can graduate students apply to be an RA?
The RA position is an undergraduate student leadership role. Those in a 3-2 programs can only apply if they will begin the role as an undergraduate student.