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9 amazing UC spots to call home, from Hogwarts to Middle Earth to oceanfront luxury

Cinder block cells, musty carpet and dingy hallways. The smell of stale beer. Sound like college housing to you?

Maybe some places. But this is UC.

The University of California doesn’t just offer a world-class education. Each campus also offers its own world-class, unique housing options.

How many times in life will students have a chance to live in a building that has been compared to Hogwarts? Swing through the surfer shower before heading upstairs to relax? Tell someone they live in Isengard or The Shire?

Like many wonderful things in life, these experiences are unique to college, and are part of what sets UC apart. Let’s take you on a housing tour below.

Bowles Hall (UC Berkeley)

The first residence hall in UC history, Bowles opened in 1929 to 102 students. Often compared to Harry Potter’s alma mater, Hogwarts, the hall is now on the National Register of Historic Places. And you don’t have to worry about cobwebs. It’s recently undergone a $45M renovation, which means a brand new kitchen, elevator and other improvements that have preserved the historic dining commons, lounge and grand staircase.


Baggins End Domes (UC Davis)

These were tiny homes before tiny homes. Originating in the ‘70s, the Baggins End community offers affordable, cooperative housing, and is the only student-built, student-governed, student-maintained student housing in the country. Known as “Domies,” students work together to grow their own food, take care of chores, and share meals and resources within a culture that embraces learning and unlearning bias. A documentary was made about this unique community in 2011.

See photos and read more about the other seven that made this list.

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