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Living on Annapolis Campus

The Annapolis campus is nestled between College Creek and the US Naval Academy in the heart of the state capital, just off the Chesapeake Bay. It has been home to St. John’s College since 1784. Our intentionally small student body and interdisciplinary curriculum cultivate a close-knit community––conversations started in the classroom often spill onto the quad, into the dorms or the coffee shop, or wherever students and tutors gather. Of course, the scope of student life includes more than the great books––the campus is also rich with opportunities to unwind and play.

Freshmen are required to live on campus and upperclassmen live either on campus or in apartments close to campus. On-campus housing is only guaranteed for freshmen. Each of the six historic dorms houses around 40 students and is situated on the common quad around McDowell Hall (1789, pictured above), the vibrant center of both academic and social life at St. John’s.

McDowell’s interior includes colonial classrooms, each simply furnished with a seminar table around which students and tutors gather for conversation, some decorated with wooden models of mathematical forms. At the center of the building is the Great Hall, in which General Lafayette is reported to have danced a waltz or two, and where the college continues the tradition with monthly waltz and swing parties. Downstairs is the coffee shop, where students meets with tutors and friends and seniors host weekly fireside gatherings.

Two newer dorms, Gilliam (2004) and Spector (2006), provide double and single rooms a little further removed from the hub with a view of College Creek and a shared kitchenette on each floor. When students choose to live off campus, housing is generally available within a few blocks and many enjoy living in apartments in historic downtown buildings.

Various gardens and benches scattered around campus exist to provide beautiful places to sit and talk (or sit and read, or sit and breathe). The campus is designed to support ongoing leisurely conversations and learning. This integrative residential arrangement fosters a humane academic and social community, in which activities of all kinds are steps away.