Arches Living & Learning Community

The Arches is a learning and living experience that provides an enriching introduction to college life for Manhattan College freshmen.

Arches students live in a community in Lee Hall and take one class together each semester of their freshman year that incorporates cultural excursions and service projects in New York City. Many former Arches students say the friendships they made through the program last well beyond graduation.

Apply for the Arches Program

Videos: Join the Arches Freshman Year Experience 


As an Arches student, you have the chance to get settled on campus by moving in a week before the rest of the student body. You will live in the College’s newest suite-style residence hall, Lee Hall. Residents live on co-ed floors in gender-specific suites. Each suite typically consists of two double-occupancy rooms, and a private bathroom that you share with your roommates.

Lee Hall houses 550 students on 10 floors, although the Arches is contained to four specific floors of the building. Living in the heart of campus ensures that you'll be part of a safe and fun community, and makes those early morning classes a little bit easier to get to!


During the fall and spring semester of your freshman year, you’ll take a class with your Arches peers. These are often intro-level core classes in liberal arts subjects such as religious studies or psychology, and offer stimulating discussions and interesting perspectives on timely topics. Because these class sizes are smaller than most, you’ll get to know your teachers personally and build important relationships.

The Arches Program was the ultimate ice-breaker for my freshman year at Manhattan College. It also gave me the chance to familiarize myself with the various community service opportunities throughout the Bronx and beyond.

Paige Hughes, Urban Studies Major


Diving into the diversity of New York City is one of the best parts of The Arches! You’ll get to know your peers that first week through team-building activities off-site at an outdoor adventure camp and fun excursions into the city. Throughout the year, classes and special events often take place off campus, where you’ll be encouraged to learn about and meet people from a variety of social, economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Some past events include:

  • Visits to museums and other local art institutions
  • Tours of New York City historical landmarks
  • Concerts and performances at Lincoln Center
  • Ice skating in Bryant Park


A great way to live what you’re learning in the classroom and really make a difference is through service. The Arches incorporates community service opportunities into its programming throughout the year. Taking part offers a chance for reflection upon your own beliefs and philosophies, and makes for meaningful discussion with peers and professors. Some past service projects include:

  • Volunteering at local soup kitchens and food pantries
  • Working at senior centers
  • Working with at-risk youth
  • Cleaning up local parks
  • Renovating religious community centers

Video: Student Project

Arches students Sarah Obeidalla and Caitlin Hall produced this video after visiting a mosque to learn about Muslim culture as part of their Arches class, The Nature and Experience of Religion. 

Apply to The Arches

Ready for a one-of-a-kind freshman year? Apply to the Arches now! There’s no extra cost to join, but we do encourage you to apply early because space is limited. All admitted freshmen are eligible to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Apply for the Arches Program