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Arches Living & Learning Community

Freshmen in the Arches program live and learn together, make forever friendships and become part of New York City.

Arches students live together in suite-style housing, and take one class each semester of their freshman year that features New York City excursions and community-engaged learning opportunities. And after that? Many former Arches students say the friendships they made during the program endured well beyond graduation.

To apply for the Arches Program, please complete the housing application on the myMC Portal.

Videos: Join the Arches Freshman Year Experience 

female student smiling on indoor rock wall

Top 5 Reasons to Join Arches

You get to move in early. Take classes with your friends. Live in the newest residence hall on campus. What could be better? Read about the many perks of being an Arches student.


As an Arches student, you have the chance to get settled on campus by moving in before the rest of the student body. You will live in the a suite-style residence 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. 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

Part of New York City 

Diving into 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 community-engaged learning experiences. You'll get to reflect upon your own beliefs and philosophies, which 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

Hear from our students

In their own words, Arches freshmen share what they learned in the program.

Arches Experiences

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.