Resident Assistant (RA)


The Resident Assistant position is a live-in, peer mentorship, student staff position working an average of 15 hours a week within the Residence Halls on the Oregon State University Corvallis campus. RAs are assigned to a wing or floor of residents within that community.

RAs are responsible for creating and maintaining emotionally and physically safe and secure residential communities. RAs are called upon to effectively respond to and manage a variety of crisis and emergency situations. They play a key role in creating environments that encourage all students to be academically and personally successful. Resident Directors supervise RAs in the performance and evaluation of their duties through weekly one-on-ones, staff meetings, and trainings/in-services.

For more information, you can review the Resident Assistant Position Description for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • Be a current full time OSU student or degree partnership student with OSU with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.50 or higher.
  • Maintain good academic and conduct standing with both OSU and UHDS.
  • Successfully pass a Criminal History Check upon hire.
  • Demonstrate the ability to cultivate relationships with people who have different experiences or perspectives. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage with others who are different from you.
  • Demonstrate the ability to learn about social justice principles and concepts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in difficult conversations or conflict.
  • Demonstrate the ability to balance multiple priorities through effective time management. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of social justice principles and concepts.
  • Demonstrate engagement with diversity and social justice education, initiatives and programs. 
  • Demonstrate crisis management skills.
  • RAs receive a residence hall room. RAs may be assigned roommates on a temporary basis as part of the UHDS Temporary Housing Plan.
  • RAs receive a Student Staff Meal Plan equivalent to Residential Dining Level 1 each term, plus additional prorated weeks during fall training.
  • RAs receive a $1080 stipend for the academic year.


Apply Now


Application Process & Timeline


The RA Application process for 2024-25 occurs throughout the winter and spring term.  The application opens on February 5, 2024 and will close on March 3, 2024.

The application process includes submitting a resume and essay responses to the application essay questions. The Selection Committee will review application materials and extend an offer to interview to those who meet qualifications.

  • You will need to have an updated resume for your application.
  • Please save your resume as a PDF file.
  • Please highlight any experiences that relate to the required and preferred qualifications listed above. Some common experiences to highlight include:
    • Experience working with or supporting diverse groups of people.
    • Experience engaging in social justice activism, education, learning, and programming.
    • Experience having navigated difficult conversations with others or working through conflict with others.


Improve your resume. Use Oregon State's online resume reviewer, Vmock, to get instant, personalized feedback before you submit your application to UHDS. Based on tips from Vmock, improve your resume to boost your odds of getting hired.


Essay questions

The application requires candidates to provide essay responses to supplemental questions.  It is recommended that you write your response offline and then copy and paste them into the application before you submit.

1. As an RA, you are tasked with forming personal connections with all of the residents within your community. Tell us about a time when you took initiative to build a connection with someone you didn't know. What steps did you take to further grow that relationship? How do you feel this applies to the RA position?

2. As an RA, you may be in situations where you have to engage in uncomfortable conversations around breaking policies, roommate agreements, or other conflicts. Please give an example of a time when you approached or engaged in a conflict or difficult conversation. How did you manage the situation and what was the resolution? How could this experience help you support residents navigating conflict or difficult conversations?

3. Engaging with diverse cultures, identities, and perspectives gives students learning depth and vibrancy. We strive to help students reflect on their own identity and cultures, develop empathy and deepen their commitment to effect social change. How have you explored your own cultural and social identities? How have you demonstrated a genuine interest in the cultural and social identities of others? Reflect on how your engagement has enhanced your understanding of social justice and/or social change. 


Opportunities & Resources

We want applicants to be successful in this process. Here are some resources and opportunities to prepare for the application process. 

  • Learn more about social justice:
    • Talk to your Diversity Learning Assistant: Each hall has a designated Diversity Learning Assistant that facilitates workshops and programs around diversity and social justice issues.
    • Community Dialogues: Each term, OSU’s Community Engagement & Leadership, the Office of Institutional Diversity, and University Housing & Dining Services host dialogue opportunities to learn about critical & contentious issues.
    • Cultural Resource Centers: OSU's Cutural Resource Centers provide community for racial groups on campus. They host monthly programming, workshops, and cultural celebrations.
    • Diversity Education: For an in-depth look at social justice opportunities on campus, check out the Diversity Education website. Listed are events, programs, and departments that offer a variety of opportunities to be involved or learn further.




  • Get help with other career topics one-on-one. The Career Development Center offers consultations with career assistants who can answer your questions about resumes, cover letters, Handshake, and finding a job on campus. If you have additional questions, such as about career exploration for your major, make an appointment with a college-specific career advisor through Handshake.


Application Timeline

  • 2024-2025 RA application opens February 5, 2024
  • Application closes on March 3, 2024
  • Interview offers sent April 3, 2024
  • Interviews April 8 – April 13, 2024
  • RA offer letters sent April 26, 2024


Apply Now


Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not listed below, please contact

What if I don’t have the required GPA?

  • We encourage you to still apply! Students who do not meet the academic requirements would not receive an initial offer but still have a chance to be an RA by being placed in our alternate pool. We determine eligibility at the time that we send an offer letter. Students who improve their grades and meet the academic requirements would be eligible for offers that we make on a rolling basis throughout summer and into the academic year.  

I am an international student. Can I still apply?

  • Yes! Any full-time student who is permitted to work in the United States is eligible to apply, please check with the Office of International Student Affairs to ensure you’re eligible.

When is training?

  • Training for the fall term occurs for two to three weeks prior to UHDS move-in. Please see the terms and conditions of the position description for exact staff move-in and training dates. Staff are required to be present for all of training in order to be eligible for the position.

Can I hold another position on/off campus if I am an RA?

  • Student employees are limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week, this position is set for an average of 15 hours a week. You will need to seek prior approval from your Resident Director to work any hours outside of the position. In order to promote healthy time management and wellbeing, we encourage students to be mindful of time commitments.

I’ve never lived on-campus. Can I still apply?

  • Yes, students are not required to have lived on campus. We recommend students to reach out to friends, student staff members, and Resident Directors for further information on what it’s like to live where you work. If you have questions, we encourage you to reach out to us at

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

  • While experience responding to crisis and enforcing policy would be beneficial, we don’t expect our student employees to be knowledgeable of protocol and procedures. Staff are trained on ways to respond to a variety of situations. Additionally, our department provides on-call support via professional staff, the Department of Public Safety, and other professionals.

I see RAs are “on duty.” What does this mean?

  • Resident Assistants work between 1-2 nights a week, holding a duty phone from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. the next day, responding to the needs of the residents throughout the night. During duty, RAs are expected to staff the front desk (from 8 p.m.-midnight on weekdays and 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on weekends) and to walk through the building to ensure the safety and security of students.

Why am I being asked about social justice in the application?

  • OSU is committed to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We recognize that our residents hold a diverse set of identities and come from different backgrounds. For this reason, it is important for us to hire RAs who are able to create inclusive environments and communities. While our department provides on-going training and education around social justice topics, we recognize it is beneficial to our residents to have staff who are able to understand issues that impact the individuals in their community.

What is my expected time commitment in the building?

  • A large part of the RA position is cultivating relationships with individual residents and establishing a sense of community among the residents on their floor. While there is no set number of hours that staff must be present, staff are asked to dedicate time throughout the week to engage with the residents on their floor (based on their own availability) to build those relationships.

How many RAs are you hiring? What is an alternate pool?

  • We have approximately 130 RA positions each year, and will hire between 30-50 new positions each year depending on how many current RAs return to the position. Candidates who are qualified to be an RA but did not receive an offer will be placed into the alternate pool. When vacancies occur, we will hire candidates out of the alternate pool.

Will I get to choose which building I will be assigned?

  • Candidates who are hired or placed on the alternate list will fill out a placement survey to share their preference of student populations and communities that they are interested in working with. During the summer, our professional staff will review application materials and the placement survey to create the staff teams for each building. 

What should I do about housing if I don't get hired or get selected as hired as an RA?

  • We recommend that you apply to live in our Second Year and Above Housing. If you apply and sign a contract with housing and then get hired as an RA, we will be able to transfer your contract from a resident contract to a staff contract without any fees or charges.