Resident Assistant

Resident Assistant Recruitment Information


RA applications for 2020-2021 are now closed.


If you have any questions about the RA application process, please email



Job Expectations

The RA Job Expectations are updated each year. View the 2020-2021 RA Expectations here.

Please note: specific responsibilities and requirements may change.


To be eligible for the Resident Assistant position, you must meet all the following requirements:

  • You must currently be in good conduct standing with Housing & Residential Life and the Dean of Students

  • You must have a cumulative University of Arizona GPA of 2.5, and semester University of Arizona GPA of 2.5, at the time of application and appointment. Candidates not meeting this criterion will be cut from the process

  • You must have spent at least one semester as a full-time college student at the University of Arizona to be eligible to apply

  • You must maintain full-time student status (12 credits) while on staff

  • You must be able to arrive on campus and attend, and fully participate, in Fall RA training and hall opening

  • Resident Assistants are required to work through hall closing at the end of each semester

  • Through the selection process, a successful candidate will demonstrate: 

  • Positive attitude

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Commitment to helping others

  • High level of maturity and responsibility

  • Time management and organizational skills

  • Supports the Mission and Vision of Housing & Residential Life, as well as the core values of:

    • Health and Wellness

    • Sustainability

    • Safety

    • Equity and Inclusion

Application Information

Applying to be a Resident Assistant (RA) involves more than completing an application and interviewing; applying is a process. While the position comes with great rewards, it also can be demanding at times. Our application process is designed not only to ensure that we get the best candidates for the position, but also to provide the opportunity to make sure the RA position is the best fit for you.

The selection process begins in November when the RA selection website is updated with the new information for the next year's staff. Information about the process will be distributed for promotion in November and January with information sessions and applications going live in early December. The process ends around spring break when candidates are notified of their selection status for the following academic year. More information below:

1. Learning more about the position

In addition to reading the website, the best way to learn about what RAs do is to get out and meet the people who work in the residence halls. Talk to an RA or Community Director about their experiences. Attend one of our information sessions where staff members will talk about the position and explain the application process. You can also click here to watch our Information Session video.

2. What you need to know about applying online

Between November 25th at 5pm and January 9th at 11:59pm, complete the online application form located on this website. The essay questions that will be asked are listed below and all candidates are encouraged to answer these questions prior to starting an application, and then cut-and-paste their answers into the application in the appropriate space.

The Resident Assistant application is authenticated through UAccess. It is assumed that the individual completing this application is the student who is applying for the Resident Assistant position. Given this, the student applicant will be held responsible for the accuracy and truthfulness of the information submitted on and/or related to this application for housing. For this reason, some of these fields within the application will be pre-filled with student information on file.

The Resident Assistant application will ask the following:

Personal Information:

The personal and address information displayed comes from your official University records. Housing & Residential Life's systems are updated by central University systems daily. If any of the displayed information is incorrect, you may still complete the application and then make the changes to your official records with the University. Within 48 hours of a change to your University records, it will be updated in Housing & Residential Life's system, including in your Resident Assistant application.

Academic Information:

You must have a 2.50 cumulative and semester University of Arizona GPA to be hired as an RA. Housing & Residential Life must have permission to check your GPA in order for you be considered eligible for hire.

Interview Times:

Each candidate will select a day while filing out the application. Interviews will be taking place between February 8th and February 9th, 2020. Carefully check your class schedule and activities as rescheduling of interviews are done on an emergency basis only. If asked to continue in the process, you will be invited to participate in the interview. The interview day will consist of the a group process in the morning and an 30 minute interview in the afternoon on either February 8th or February 9th.

Residence Hall Community:

  • You will be asked to list any type of residence hall communities you have lived in.

  • If you are a transfer student, you will be able to list your previous residence hall communities.

  • You will also be asked about your areas of interests with regards to our many Theme Communities. RAs selected for Theme Communities can expect responsibilities that may look different from other RAs. Although specific duties vary from community to community, Theme Community RAs typically are called upon to do more than an RA on a non-Theme Community wing. Here is a general list of additions and extras that one can anticipate: community-specific training, planning meetings, collaboration with living-learning partners, more-focused programming. As an example, RAs in The Arts District Community are expected to know more about the arts than the average RA.

  • You will select from a list of the Theme Communities (visit this link for a list and description) any community you are interested in.

  • For each Theme Community you are interested in, you will answer the following essay question regarding:

    • Please explain your interest the Theme Community you selected. Specifically address ideas you have for that community, how you would work with related campus partners, and any related unique skills/experiences you possess.

  • During the interview process, you may be asked questions regarding the Theme Communities you indicated interest in.


  • You must confirm that you have read and understand the example RA Expectations.

  • RA appointments are for the academic year. You will be asked if you are able to commit to the entire 2020-2021 academic year.

  • You will be asked to list any campus and/or community organizations you have participated in, as well as anticipated commitments for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Application Essay Questions: All the application essay questions should connect back to you serving as an RA. You will be asked to answer the following essay questions:

  • Please describe an experience at the University of Arizona that has impacted you significantly. How would you utilize this experience in the RA role? (minimum of 250 words, maximum of 750 words) 
  • What talents, skills, or abilities do you bring to a team? What skills or abilities would you like to improve? How would you apply them to the RA role? (minimum of 250 words, maximum of 750 words) 
  • In your opinion, what does an ideal residence hall community look and feel like? What components/qualities does this ideal community possess? How would you play a role in developing your hall community as an RA? (minimum of 250 words, maximum of 750 words) 

3. Group Process/Interviewing

As part of the selection process, after applications are reviewed the chosen candidates will have to attend a one-hour long group process and 30 minute interview with current Housing & Residential Life staff members. You will select a day for your interview during your application. You must be available for the day you select to interview for the position. 

  • All group process and interviews will occur February 8th and February 9th, 2020.

  • Please plan on arriving 15 minutes early to your group process and interview.

2020-2021 Academic Year Selection Timeline

Nov. 12

RA Information Session in El Portal from 5-6pm

Nov. 20

RA Information Session in El Portal from 5-6pm

Nov. 25

RA Information Session in El Portal from 5-6pm

Nov. 25 

Applications Available Online, 5pm 

Jan. 9 

Applications Close, 11:59pm 

Feb. 4 

Interview Invitations Offers go out to selected candidates 

Feb. 8 

Interview Day – Group Process and Individual Interview 

Feb. 9 

Interview Day – Group Process and Individual Interview 

Feb. 27 

Offer Letters Sent to candidates via email

Mar. 12 

Must accept/decline offer by 5pm 




Should I go through the 2020-2021 return housing application process if I’m applying to be a Resident Assistant?

You should plan for fall housing without considering the Resident Assistant position in your plans. If you would like to live on campus next year even if you are not selected for an RA position, please go through the 2020-2021 return housing application process. If you are offered and accept an RA position, any payments you made in conjunction with your fall housing application (e.g., Application Fee and/or Confirmation Rent Payment) will be refunded to you. If you plan to live on campus only if you're a Resident Assistant, it is not necessary to complete the 2020-2021 return housing application process. If you are not selected for an RA position, and you did not go through and complete the return housing application process, you will be ineligible to return to campus housing next year. Resident Assistant selection will be completed in late March, giving candidates time to plan for fall housing accordingly.

If I’m accepted can I get an extension on my decision timeline or defer my acceptance to another semester/year?

No. Due to our staffing needs and out of respect to other candidates also in the process, we do not allow candidates to receive an extension on their decision timeline or to defer their acceptance to another semester/year. If you choose to decline your position, we encourage you to consider applying again next year.

If I’m not accepted, can I apply again?

Absolutely! We encourage you to continue to stay active and involved at the University and consider applying again next year.


Can I hold another position on/off-campus if I am a Resident Assistant?

The Resident Assistant position is designed to be a 15-20-hour per week, live-in leadership position and is expected to be your number one priority after academics. We understand that our RAs are student leaders who are already very involved within the community and it is possible for you to hold additional commitments while being an RA. However, if selected, it is important for you to speak with your Community Director about any other responsibilities you have beyond the RA position as soon as possible. RAs cannot work, under any circumstance, over 15 hours a week at any other combination of on-campus jobs per university policy. Overall, you are not allowed to hold additional positions that require more than 20 hours of your time per week, whether it's one job or a combination of leadership positions.

Will my profile in an online community or social networking site affect whether or not I will be hired?

If you are hired for the RA position you are expected to be a positive role model for all communities that you’re involved in. It is up to you to look at your profile pictures, comments, groups, etc. and decide if that is the best reflection of yourself. Understand that these images and associations may influence your Community Director and your future resident’s opinions of you before they even meet you in person.

If I have been documented for an incident, can I still be a Resident Assistant?

That depends. Students must be in good conduct standing with the Dean of Students Office and Housing & Residential Life in order to become a Resident Assistant. Good conduct standing means: you are not currently on deferred eviction status or evicted from Housing & Residential Life or currently suspended, expelled, on interim suspension, or university probation from the University. In addition, you must not have any incomplete sanctions with the Dean of Students office.

I’ve never lived in a residence hall. Can I still apply?

Housing & Residential Life values a wide range of experiences in our student leaders and that includes students who have only lived off campus. So yes, please still apply!

What if I don’t have the required GPA?

You must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, and 2.5 semester GPA in order to qualify for the RA position. This GPA requirement exists because the Resident Assistant position is time-intensive position and time management is essential to maintaining good grades. Another reason is that a Resident Assistant serves as an academic role model for their students, peers and the department of Housing & Residential Life, therefore maintaining good grades is essential.

Do I already need to know how to confront people or deal with emergencies?

No, prior experience is not a requirement to be a Resident Assistant. All staff members receive comprehensive training prior to the academic year on many situations that might arise. Furthermore, throughout the academic year, Resident Assistants are provided ongoing training and support by their Community Director and the department.

I am an international student, can I still apply?

Any full-time student who is permitted to work in the United States is eligible to apply. If you are unsure of your work eligibility, please check with the Office of International Student Programs.

I am a graduate student, can I still apply?

Yes. While the RA position is staffed in undergraduate residence halls, full-time graduate students are still eligible to apply. Please note, if you are interested in the Graduate Resident Assistant position for La Aldea Graduate Housing that the position is hired through another process, please contact La Aldea staff at

What qualities do strong candidates possess?

We look for well-rounded candidates to become RAs. While we look for no specific qualities, we encourage you to be authentic and bring your true self to the process. 

Interview Process and Timeline

What does the interview process entail?

The interview is a 30 minute, in-person, process that will allow you to demonstrate your strengths in a variety of context. The individual interview will allow you to talk one-on-one with a Residential Education Staff. Unlike past processes, this year the group process and individual will be on the same date. The group process will be one hour long, followed by the individual interview later that day. In addition, you’ll have the chance to learn more about the Resident Assistant experience, with time set aside for questions you may have for us.

If I will not be available during the stated interview times should I apply?

If you will not be available to interview during the defined interview time frame, you will not be considered for a position and, therefore, should not apply. Given the size and nature of the process, we do not have the ability to make accommodations for individuals who will not be able to attend the interview during the defined interview time frame. If you are studying abroad during the spring semester, please select a time on the application and email as soon as possible to determine if we are able to setup an interview.

What should I wear to the interview?

The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you present yourself – which includes your attire and how you carry yourself. That’s why it’s always important to dress appropriately for a job interview even if the work environment is casual. We encourage you to wear something that will allow you to be comfortable, look professional and presentable, and give you confidence as you demonstrate your skills to the interviewers.

Benefits and Compensation

Will being an RA affect my financial aid?

The Resident Assistant position can affect your financial aid or scholarship award. To determine how that will affect your situation specifically, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (520) 621-1858.

What is the compensation for being an RA?

You are assigned a single room in a residence hall rent-free as part of your compensation. 

  • RAs in double rooms may have roommates at time of Fall Opening as space is needed. 
  • The department assigns RAs to a residence hall based on departmental needs. In rare cases, reassignment may be necessary.  

You receive a partial meal plan as another part of your compensation.

  • You receive $1000 Meal Plan and $500 CatCash at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. For Honors Village RAs, this distribution is $500 Meal Plan, $500 CatCash, and 50 meal swipes.  
  • Additionally, $100 CatCash is given for use during Fall Training. 
  • If you leave or are removed from the position at any time during a semester, all components of your meal plan will be prorated. Prorated means that the total amount of the meal plan compensation is divided by the number of working days a semester to calculate a daily rate. If you leave or are removed from your position, the daily rate is multiplied by the number of days worked to identify the amount of meal plan money that should have been spent by that time. You must pay back to Housing any amount of your meal plan that you have spent beyond this amount.  We recommend that meal plan is spent with this in mind to avoid having to pay back any amount.  


Assignments and Placement

Can I choose the building I want to be Resident Assistant in?

If you are hired for the Resident Assistant position you are hired for the department, not for a specific building. While it is possible for you to voice your areas of interest in the application, those preferences are not guaranteed to be met. Resident Assistants are placed in buildings due to qualities that would make them successful in that environment

As a Resident Assistant, will I have a roommate, and if so, for how long?

The University attempts to provide housing for as many students as possible, requiring the use of all available spaces. Resident Assistants in single occupancy rooms will not have a roommate. Resident Assistants assigned to established double occupancy rooms will, most likely, have a temporary roommate. Half of the Resident Assistant’s double room will be used to house students until permanent accommodations become available for the temporary roommate. The Resident Assistant will be provided single occupancy of that room only after all other students have been accommodated. The length of time this process takes varies from year to year but all steps are taken to minimize the overall impact of the temporary housing process on our Resident Assistants.

What is the process to be a Resident Assistant in La Aldea, the 12-month graduate housing hall?

La Aldea has seven Graduate Resident Assistants (CRAs), who work 12 months of the year, primarily with graduate students. The selection process to be a GRA in La Aldea is completely separate from the RA selection process. If you are interested in applying for a GRA position, please look for postings or contact the La Aldea office:

What is the alternate pool and how will I know when I’ve been selected from the alternate pool?

The alternate pool is for those candidates who we feel are qualified for the RA position, but, due to the number of applicants, are not placed in a building. Candidates in the alternate pool will be notified via e-mail if they are offered a position and building placement as an RA.

When will I know my actual building placement?

When you are offered a position, your offer letter will include what building you will be placed in. You are unable to change what building you will be placed into. If you choose to decline the placement, you will be removed from this year's process.

Training and Support

When do I need to be back at the UA for Resident Assistant training?

Resident Assistant training for the academic school year begins in Late July/Early August. Please look for an update in February. You are expected to be present on campus, and fully participate in the entirety of training, opening and Community Day. The RA position will require a great deal of time from Late July/Early August through the first week of classes. Please if you have more specific questions.

If I have a conflict, can I miss training or be late for it?

No. Resident Assistant training is an essential component to you being a successful RA. During training all RAs and individual staffs will be talking about crisis management, emergency protocols, hall operations, etc. RA training is also an essential time to bond with your staff and start to build strong working relationships that will aid you throughout the year. Please keep in mind that Summer Session II typically conflicts with the first portion of Fall RA Training and class conflict is not an excusable reason to miss Fall RA Training.

Do I have to stay until the residence hall closes for break or return before the residence halls open from break?

As stated in our sample Resident Assistant Expectations, staff members are required to stay until the halls close for break and return before the halls open from break. Details of dates and times, which are specific to each school year, are listed on that year’s current Resident Assistant Expectations. It is necessary for some Resident Assistants to be on duty for Thanksgiving break and Spring break.

What are the basic components of training?

There are two basic components of training: RA Training and Hall Opening/Move-In. As a new RA, you are not allowed to miss any part of training or opening.

Online Application

RA applications for 2020-2021 are now closed.

Information Sessions

Stop by an RA Information Session

  • Tuesday, November 12th from 5-6pm in El Portal
  • Wednesday, November 20th from 5-6pm in El Portal
  • Monday, November 25th from 5-6pm in El Portal
  • Ask your RA or CD for more information about events in your dorm!
  • Cultural & Resource Centers
  • Watch our RA Information Session Video
Mid-Year Hiring

Applications: RAs interested in being picked up mid-year should submit the 2020-2021 RA application. On the RA application, candidates will be able to select if they are interested in being hired during the Spring 2020 semester. On December 6, 2019, the RA Selection Committee will review applications to create a mid-year candidate pool.