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Are Most College Dorms Coed? What You Need To Know

Going to college is a big step for any student. There are many uncertainties and many options to consider when joining a university. A living situation is an important decision to make when moving away from home and into a dorm. 

Most dorms aren’t coed; however, 90% of universities have coed floors for people who want to live with members of the opposite sex. There are advantages and disadvantages of coed dorms. There are fewer restrictions on visitors, but it might not be as comfortable as living with same-sex roommates. 

The remaining article will explore the college life of those who live in coed dorms and what you need to know before deciding what’s best for you. 

Coed Dorm Advantages

There are many advantages to living in a coed dorm. If you choose to live in a dorm and feel that you’d best fit in a coed living situation, then here are a few things you should know before bunking up. 

co-ed college dorms - what you need to know.

Freedom and Independence 

One of the advantages of living in a coed dorm is more freedom and independence. If you’re searching for the least amount of restrictions in your living situation on campus, picking a coed dorm is probably the best choice. Another significant part about coed housing is that you can bunk up with people you feel comfortable with regardless of gender. 

Freedom is essential for freshmen students who are just getting their first tastes of adulthood. If you’re interested in dating or expanding your social network, joining a coed dorm can be an excellent experience for a new student. 


Socialization is also a significant reason why students want to live in a coed dorm. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you don’t have to limit their accessibility if you live in a coed dorm. You may also have more options for dating and meeting new people. See

A new student who’s entering college may find that they’re trying to expand their social circle. That can be an excellent option for coming out of your shell if you attend a school with a coed dorm. 

Socialization may not be a big deal for you, but friends and activities are a notable part of attending a college for many students. 


Comfort can go both ways here; a student may feel more comfortable living with other students of the same gender. However, some gender-neutral or nonbinary students or even LGBTQ+ students may feel more comfortable sharing a space with students of mixed genders. 

Comfort is essential when sharing your space with people. If you’re a student that’s freely open regarding their gender or orientation, then a coed dorm might be the right choice for you. You should feel a certain level of comfort when living in a dorm room and with the people you’re surrounded by, regardless of gender (source).

Coed Dorm Disadvantages

The disadvantages of living in a coed dorm may outweigh the positives, depending on the type of person you are. Same-sex dorms offer a more comfortable living situation for some; if you feel safer sharing your space with people of the same gender as you, then here are some disadvantages of living in a coed dorm that you should know. 

Lack of Privacy

Privacy is a significant concern for students just beginning to get comfortable sharing their space with others, let alone people of the opposite gender. If you’re uncomfortable seeing people of the opposite sex not completely dressed or in a towel or robe, then maybe a coed dorm isn’t the right choice for you. 

Many dorms have shared bathrooms and other living spaces, which means that when everyone needs to get up and shower or do their other business, you may see others not fully dressed. 

That would mean you would see others of the same and opposite gender in towels, which may make someone feel uncomfortable in their living space. 

Loud and Disruptive Sounds

Coed dorms and same-sex dorms are usually loud and disruptive; however, there are fewer restrictions around coed dorms, so they tend to be even louder than some areas of the college. 

If you’re trying to study with loud noises around you, that may be reasonably distracting and interfere with your learning process. 

If you have trouble learning and need a quiet space, you may want to live in a same-sex dorm or understand that coed dorms are known for having more parties and activities and choose to study at the library or other quiet spots when you’re trying to learn or read. 


One concern that many students may have is crimes. When living in a dorm, you risk the chance of belongings being stolen or personal property being broken. 

Colleges take crimes exceptionally seriously, and if anything happens, it should be reported as soon as possible. However, other more serious crimes may occur in coed dorms, such as rape or sexual harassment. 

Concerns like these may bother a new student who is just stepping out into adulthood. If that’s an issue for you and you’re unwilling to take any risk, you may choose a same-sex dorm (source).

How Do Coed Dorms Work?

Coed dorms mean different things at different schools. Some colleges have coed rooms where students of the opposite gender share dorm rooms. Another option that some colleges offer is coed dorms on separate floors. Finally, there are also coed dorms exclusively for LGBTQ+ or nonbinary students.

In the first type (coed rooms), you could potentially have a roommate of the opposite gender, depending on if you choose your roommate or are given a roommate. 

In the second example, females may be on the first floor of the dorm, while males are on the second. At other schools, there are coed dorms where all the students in a single room are the same sex; however, next door might be roommates of the opposite gender. 

As for the LGBTQ+ and nonbinary dorms, they are technically coed; however, they share a different purpose for each student (source).


Whether you decide to live in a coed or same-sex dorm, you should choose the living situation that makes you feel safe and comfortable.

Dorms can be a great experience for new students and should be explored when deciding what living condition is best for you. 

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