CWRU Frequently Asked Questions

Based on feedback, it seems it would be helpful to have a FAQ for CWRU. This could include info in the following areas:
Greek Life
Social Life
Research available to freshman and undergrads
Success Stories at Case
Advice for first year students

Anything you wished you know before you applied, when you were deciding or after you enrolled.

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What kind of Housing does CWRU have?

Back in the 80’s, you had to live on campus until you were 21 unless you commuted. These days Case has a two year residency requirement.


As a part of the larger first-year experience, the residential colleges play an integral part in a first-year student’s personal and academic transformation. The residential colleges help students transition into their new communities, connecting them with the university through academic support, campus activities, residence hall programs and other events. Our goal is to help each resident establish a foundation for future success.

First-year students at Case Western Reserve University become a member of one of four residential colleges: Cedar, Juniper, Magnolia, and Mistletoe. Located in the North Residential Village, each residential college has its own identity and traditions.

Because of their size and structure, the residential colleges allow students to feel comfortable in their smaller building communities and, at the same time, encourage residents to become a member of a larger community of other first-year students.
Our eleven residence halls belong to one of our four Residential Colleges:

Cedar Residential College: Includes Pierce and Storrs Houses
Juniper Residential College: Includes Smith, Taft and Taplin Houses
Mistletoe Residential College: Includes Norton, Raymond, Sherman and Tyler Houses
Magnolia Residential College: Includes Cutler and Hitchcock Houses

Most undergraduate students live together in the North Residential Village (NRV). Case Western Reserve has a two-year residency requirement, and unless you live at home within 40 miles of campus, you must live on campus for your first two years at CWRU.

The NRV is located near the museums, Severance Hall, and other cultural attractions. The residence halls are surrounded by trees and recreational fields and are close to the academic buildings on Mather Quad, the Thwing Student Center, The Coffee House at University Circle, the Denny’s All Nighter diner, and the Kelvin Smith Library.

Southside All second-year undergraduate students live together in the South Residential Village (SRV). The SRV is located within walking distance of historic Little Italy, Coventry Road, and the Cedar-Fairmount areas of Cleveland.

The village is split into Murray Hill (“Bottom of the Hill”) and Carlton Road (“Top of the Hill”). Murray Hill houses both second-year and upper-class students, while Carlton Road is exclusively for second-year students. Both areas provide ample opportunities to enjoy our green space on campus and close proximity to the university quad and Veale athletic facility. Because the residence halls are surrounded by trees and wildlife, the South Residential Village is also a quiet place to live and study.

The Village at 115 was designed with the upperclassman in mind. It incorporates seven residential “houses” with apartment-style accommodations for approximately 740 third and fourth-year students. Many of these apartments overlook the football field.

Opening in 2015, the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Residence Hall is CWRU’s newest student housing facility. The LEED gold project is focused around three basic elements: community, sustainability, and learning environments. This hall is available to upperclassmen students.



To see the layouts/photos of the various residence halls/apartments:

What is the Off-Campus Housing Listing Service? ALOHA is the online property rental search system provided by CWRU’s Office of University Housing. Say “aloha” to your new campus home!

One small correction, about 50-100 sophomores at Case Western live on North Residential Village in dorms, unless they built more dorms on South Residential Village, which I think Case did not, they cannot fit all sophomores in South Residential Village so they mix freshman and sophomores in Clarke Tower in North Residential Village. Sophomores live together on certain floors of Clarke Tower and freshman live with freshman there and are part of a themed housing system that focuses on service, fine arts, or sustainability.

Also fraternity brothers and sorority sisters may live in a Greek House on North Residential Village as sophomores. South Residential Village also has some Greek Houses so some students live on South Residential Village for more than one year. Its on a big hill and one can see Lake Erie from up there on a clear day.

Both North Residential Village and South Residential Village have nice rooms. Some people like being up on the hill and a little away from the main campus. There are good cafeterias on both campuses,
and you can get Greenie buses from either location to where you want to go at night.

The big Rec Center with the pool is slightly closer to South Residential Village. There are workout rooms on 115th Street near the stadium so students do work out up there too.

My son lived all four years in North Residential Village and enjoyed it. ( year one Hitchcock, year two Clarke Tower, year three and four the suites on 115th Street with other upper classmen)
The suites on 115th also are next to the baseball diamond and great coffee shops on 115th. Its a nice place to live,
and feels “grownup” as students adjust to the Cleveland environment. It is easier to food shop with a car, but possible to food shop without a car as well.

Off campus housing is less expensive than the upper class suites with kitchens provided by CWRU. Quite a bit of “off campus” housing is just as close to campus and a variety of buildings, some are less well maintained than the CWRU dorms and suites. CWRU upper class housing is all ten years old or newer so its in very good shape and convenient to walk to class. Students share a bath with only one other student in some of the suites. The kitchen is shared by four students, for some suites.

Coventry, a neighborhood about a mile to the east, is a walk but students may live there in the summers and during the school year. There is a city bus
running to campus, and all students get a free bus pass and train pass as part of their student fees.

What kind of Academic Support does CWRU have?

Peer Tutoring
Peer Tutors are fellow students who are trained to work with you on an individual basis. They can reinforce what you already know, model new ways of learning, and connect notes and readings.

Study Group +1
Students can strengthen their understanding through discussion of course content in a peer tutor-supported study group of no more than 5 students. It allows students to utilize their collective knowledge to achieve the shared academic goal of student understanding.

Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is available each semester in selected undergraduate courses in mathematics, sciences, and engineering. SI Leaders are trained and experienced peer educators, each of whom has been successful in his or her assigned course. SI Leaders attend the course to which they have been assigned and conduct weekly study sessions designed to give students the opportunity to actively engage in course material.

Spoken English Language Programs
Spoken English tutoring is available for improving pronunciation, conversational, and fluency skills. Appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis for undergraduate and graduate students.

Writing Center:
The Writing Resource Center (WRC) provides individual support for academic writers across the university.

Personal Librarian:
Personal librarian: Each student is assigned a personal librarian to guide you with research assignments, help setting up a computer and more. You’ll receive your personal librarian assignment before the start of classes, but your navigator can also connect you to your assigned librarian. Librarians are assigned by residence college, but you can also view a list of librarians by academic department.

Academic Inventory
This tool will help you assess important academic skills like time management, goal setting, and note taking. It can help identify what’s going well and possible areas for improvement.

Printable Student Resources
These one-page PDF resources are designed to help students improve their study habits and academic performance. Download and and save or print them for easy reference.


Can I choose a major different from what I have chosen in the application as primary and second interests?

i.e. I chose Aerospace Engineering. can I choose a different major from other schools or even a different major in the school of engineering in case of being accepted?

YES!!! This is a unique thing about Case…Case has a single door admissions policy. Once you are in, you are in and you can major in whatever you want. You can change majors and you can take classes in any area. However, if you applied as an English Major but secretly want to be an Electrical Engineer, your coursework in HS better have prepared you to be an Engineer (e.g., math and science). And if you start down the Chemistry path way and then decide to go Anthropology, you have to make sure you meet the requirements for your new major. But you don’t have to worry about “getting into the engineering school” or “you can’t take business classes because you are not a business major” at Case. And if it is nursing for example, let Case know as they need to make sure there is clinical spots for everyone.

What kind of Pre-Health Advising is there at Case?

Case has a dedicated Pre-med Advisor, Wesley Schaub.

The pre-health advisor also maintains a Pre-Health Professions Canvas page for current and past CWRU undergraduate students interested in the health science professions. The Canvas page provides additional resources for students and is used to communicate information about group advising sessions, application preparation and workshops, clinical and research opportunities, and guest speakers on campus. Students may request access to the Pre-Health Professions Canvas page by sending an email to Wesley Schaub.

You will need to take the pre-med pre-req courses.
Info can be found here:

**You may want to get involved in research. **
Info is here:

You may want to volunteer at a hospital:
Case is literally surrounded by hospitals. For example:

You may want to get more info about applying to med school:
You could attend activities such as:

You might want to join a medically related student organization:

Explore CampusGroups ( for the most up-to-date information about student pre-professional and health-related organizations at CWRU.

What is it like to be LGBTQ at Case ?

Have you checked out the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center?

"Fierce Feature: In addition to having a gorgeous LGBT center, Case Western provides transgender-related health care to all of its students as part of their student health care plan. The center also offers an LGBT-related academic opportunity: a short-term, study-abroad course in Amsterdam this spring break called “Gender & Sexuality Justice: LGBT Life in the Netherlands,” which is being offered through the School of Social Work.

‘Freshman year I was kind of nervous when I first arrived on campus. I knew I wanted to be out, but that still didn’t make it any easier. I was even nervous to take some of the LGBT Center’s pamphlets during orientation, or to walk into the center, for fear of someone seeing me. The center had a men’s conversation group and a coming-out group that I began attending, and those helped me tremendously! I have never felt more comfortable being who I am anywhere else in my entire life.’ —Mike Siberski, Case Western Reserve University student

‘I’m a very out lesbian with short hair AND I’m an executive member of a large sorority. At other schools, this would just not be possible. I take for granted how limitless my opportunities are here at CWRU. We have an annual “LGBT? Fine by me” T-shirt giveaway. We always run out of 300-plus shirts within the first 20 minutes. Our allies are fantastic’. —Rya Lally, Case Western Reserve University student"

Case Western Reserve is among the Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities, according to Campus Pride, a national organization that aims to make universities safer and more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. The recognition follows Case Western Reserve’s first five-star ranking on the Campus Pride Index, a detailed survey of universities’ policies, services and institutional support for LGBT individuals.

From @Coloradomama: I observed my sons friends over four years. I believe gay students are well accepted at CWRU.
One student was gay, and he was right in there with his fellow majors, doing all the same things
and highly successful in getting into top grad schools. CWRU has a midwestern but liberal tradition
by way of Western Reserve College. The speaker at graduation in 2017, was a civil rights attorney,
who prosecuted a case against the US federal government for deliberately not treating black men for syphilis! Amazing man who graduated from CWRU Law. Good luck.

What’s unique about CWRU?

I am not sure any college has just one thing that makes it unique:

CWRU was created from the merger of a LAC + STEM school in 1969. So you get people majoring in the liberal arts, nursing, business, as well as engineering. Unlike some engineering schools, you get more of a male female balance.

Case also has a Single Door admissions policy…once you are admitted you can major in whatever you want…no applying to the engineering or business school or whatever…so you can also easily change majors (obviously you need to meet the requirements)

Case is in the University Circle, Home to world-renowned museums, prestigious universities, nationally recognized hospitals, Cleveland Orchestra, eclectic restaurants, beautiful parks, and cozy spaces.

Case is minutes from downtown Cleveland and you get a free RTA pass

Case is known for Merit Scholarships

Case is affiliated with the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Art.
All art programs are considerably enhanced by close cooperation with and access to the facilities of cultural institutions located in University Circle, in particular The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Institute of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.
The Department of Music at CWRU offers undergraduate students a wide range of opportunities for musical study and participation, many of which take advantage of our Joint Music Program with the Cleveland Institute of Music.

There is no issue getting housing on campus, or off.

Case has the think[box] Maker Space
ThinkBox at Case is 50,000 square feet of space for engineers, business majors and patent attorneys
to come together to innovate. I think this is unique, even MIT does not offer this cross section of
resources in one place, the maker space, the business partners and the attorneys all for you to invent, prototype
patent and launch a start up while an undergrad or grad student or MBA student at Case Western.
Watch the students talk about it on this video:

Case will support you if you are more into the practical Co-op or more theoretical research.
SOURCE Research:

If you are looking for a health profession, Case has a nursing, medical, and dental school and all the advising and next door hospitals for volunteering/clinicals.

If you are interested in being an Entrepreneur, there is LaunchNet to help you launch your business.

If you happen to be LGBT:
Case Western Reserve is among the Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities, according to Campus Pride, a national organization that aims to make universities safer and more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. The recognition follows Case Western Reserve’s first five-star ranking on the Campus Pride Index, a detailed survey of universities’ policies, services and institutional support for LGBT individuals.

Western Reserve was had one of the first commencement speeches delivered by an African-American, Frederick Douglas in 1854.

** What is with the name “Case Western Reserve University”**

Comments heard about the name “Case Western Reserve”:

“My son19 did not like the name Case Western Reserve, said it sounds like cheap wine LOL.”


“Is Case Western Reserve a military School?” (e.g. like Army Reserves)

Case Western Reserve University was founded when the Case Institute of Technology merged with Western Reserve College in 1967.

What is a Western Reserve?

The Connecticut Western Reserve was a portion of land claimed by the Colony of Connecticut and later by the state of Connecticut in what is now mostly the northeastern region of Ohio. The Reserve had been granted to the Colony under the terms of its charter by King Charles II.

Connecticut relinquished claim to some of its western lands to the United States in 1786 following the American Revolutionary War and preceding the 1787 establishment of the Northwest Territory. Despite ceding sovereignty to the United States, Connecticut retained ownership of the eastern portion of its cession, south of Lake Erie. It sold much of this “Western Reserve” to a group of speculators who operated as the Connecticut Land Company; they sold it in portions for development by new settlers. The phrase Western Reserve is preserved in numerous institutional names in Ohio, such as Western Reserve Academy and Case Western Reserve University.

College Legend:

The tower of Amasa Stone Chapel, completed in 1911 on the Western Reserve Campus, is adorned on three sides with smiling angels. The west side, however, features a menacing gargoyle, sparking what is probably the most persistent legend concerning the campus. As the story goes, the trustees of Western Reserve University decided to put the gargoyle on the side of the chapel facing the campus of Case School of Applied Science. Their reason for doing so, it is said, was their belief that Leonard Case Jr., who founded Case School, was an atheist.

The little blue book that Case freshman receive has this history about Western Reserve U. which was founded in 1824. and Case Institute of Tech which was founded in 1880. The famous Michelson and Morley physics experiment happened in the basement of Western Reserve University with two scientists, one from each institution:

**What are the Top 10 Myths about CWRU? **